Huddle receives top award from local chapter of American Chemical Society

Salem - Dr. Ben Huddle, professor emeritus of chemistry at Roanoke College, has received a top science award from the American Chemical Society's Virginia Blue Ridge section.

Huddle, who retired in 2012 after 44 years as a chemistry professor at Roanoke, received the Gene Wise Award at the chapter's meeting on Nov. 19. The award, typically given every three years, recognizes an influential member of the society for dedication to the profession and advancement of chemistry. Wise was a chemistry professor at Virginia Military Institute for 36 years, where he worked closely with students and was involved in chemical research.

Huddle, who is chair of the society's Blue Ridge section, spent his entire career at Roanoke College, where he taught more than 5,000 students in chemistry, math, computer science and some general and Honors Program courses. Also, he helped bring the first computer to Roanoke.

Huddle mentored at least 43 student research projects while at Roanoke, served as the Chemistry department's chair for 20 years and was a visiting professor at Sang Ji University in Korea and at Hollins University.

Huddle also helped to pioneer Roanoke's student research program, and he served the College in various capacities, including as coordinator of its Summer Scholars and Undergraduate Research Assistants Programs. His own research was focused in x-ray crystallography, forensic chemistry and homology.

Though he is retired, Huddle still teaches a general chemistry course at Roanoke. He also is active in the community, from judging local and regional science fairs to grading high school AP Chemistry exams.

"Ben has spent his whole life doing things that helped the discipline," said Dr. Gary Hollis, a chemistry professor at Roanoke and chair of the College's chemistry department, who nominated Huddle for the award. "We nominated him to recognize a career of outstanding service to the chemical profession."

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its "Best 376 Colleges" 2012 guidebook.

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Released: November 14, 2013
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