Roesner to Speak at Honors Convocation

Rebecca Roesner
Rebecca Roesner

April 1, 2014                    

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan will hold its annual Honors Convocation on Wednesday, April 9 at 11 a.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall. The 2014 Kemp Award winner, Associate Professor of Chemistry Rebecca Roesner, will give the keynote address, “The Art and Science of Living in the Present.” All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the ceremony dedicated to the Class of 2014 and to students who have earned academic and activity honors.

The 2015 winner of the Kemp Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, the University’s highest teaching honor, will be announced at the Convocation.

Roesner is an inorganic chemist and the Chemistry Department chair at Illinois Wesleyan. In announcing Roesner’s recognition during the 2013 ceremony, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Jonathan Green quoted a nominator, “[Roesner’s] dedication and exceptional commitment to each student, and her mentoring of junior faculty in the department, create a model for other IWU faculty. She integrates scholarship in teaching of undergraduates, stimulating excitement for the acquisition of knowledge and motivating students to utilize their potentials. She is always looking for ways to enhance the college experiences of our students.”

In addition to her teaching, Roesner is also passionate about her research, which explores polyoxometalates, the inorganic compounds that form between oxygen and certain transition metals such as vanadium, molybdenum, and tungsten. She hopes to modify polyoxometalate in such a way that, if successful, the new compound may lead to the development of new anti-HIV and anti-cancer pharmaceuticals.

A member of Illinois Wesleyan’s faculty since 1997, Roesner earned a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, in chemistry and history from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1992. In 1998, she completed a doctorate degree in inorganic chemistry at the University of Kansas.

At Illinois Wesleyan, Roesner serves on the University’s Curriculum Council and Pre-Medical Advisory Committee and is vice president of the University’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors. She is also an active member of the American Chemical Society, Phi Beta Kappa and Iota Sigma Pi, a national honor society for women in chemistry.

Roesner has displayed a clear dedication to helping Illinois Wesleyan students in their research endeavors, as well as with obtaining fellowships offered by the National Science Foundation Graduate School and the Pfizer Summer Undergraduate Research program.

The chemist’s work has been featured in publications such as the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Journal of Computational Chemistry, Journal of Inclusion Phenomena and Molecular Recognition in Chemistry, Journal of Chemical Society, Chemical Communications and many others.  She presented her work at the International Symposium on Macrocyclic Chemistry, the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education as well as several meetings of the American Chemical Society.

For additional information regarding the Honors Convocation, contact Sherry Wallace, director for news and media relations at (309) 556-3792.

Contact: Hannah Dhue, ’15, (309) 556-3181,