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SUNY Potsdam Chemistry Professor Fadi Bou-Abdallah Honored for Exemplary Online Teaching

April 6, 2018

SUNY Potsdam Professor of Chemistry Dr. Fadi Bou-Abdallah has been recognized with two awards for excellence in online teaching.

Dr. Fadi Bou-Abdallah of SUNY Potsdam's Department of Chemistry was awarded with the 2017 Thomas L. and Jane D. Russell Distance Education Faculty Excellence Award. In addition to having his name being displayed on a permanent plaque on campus, Bou-Abdallah received a $1,000 award for his Chemistry 101 course, titled “Chemistry and Human Health.”

Earlier this year, Bou-Abdallah also received the Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador-Exemplary Online Educator Award. The award recognizes a State University of New York faculty member who is both enthusiastic and effective in online teaching, and who can be a positive and strong advocate for online teaching in the SUNY community.         

“I designed my online course (Chemistry and Human Health) with the intent of creating a good learning environment and a positive experience for those who have never taken an online course. The topics that I chose are very engaging and drawn from daily life experiences and encounters. Because students can easily relate to these topics, it brings more fun to the learning process and makes it more practical,” Bou-Abdallah said.

About the award:

The Thomas L. and Jane D. Russell Distance Education Faculty Excellence Award recognizes faculty who are conducting their courses in an exemplary manner, providing them with a financial incentive to improve their distance education courses and rewarding those who make their courses available as widely as possible by removing all unnecessary barriers. The Russells endowed the award to encourage high impact practices in SUNY Potsdam’s distance education program. Criteria for the award are based on course access, excellence in course design and presentation, student evaluations, instruction and delivery mechanisms and an academic evaluation of teaching effectiveness, scholarship and completion rates.

An alumnus of SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, Thomas L. Russell ’57 is director emeritus of the Office of Instructional Telecommunications at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. His career covered more than 40 years, including five years teaching elementary and secondary school music, before changing to instructional technology and eventually focusing on research and distance education at NCSU.

Jane D. Russell, Hon. ’09, taught at the elementary through university levels, and then enjoyed a career as a university law librarian. From the University of Florida, she moved up to a position at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2009, she was bestowed with Honorary Lifetime Membership in the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association. She passed away in 2016.

About the recipient:

Dr. Fadi Bou-Abdallah is a professor of chemistry at The State University of New York  at Potsdam. He received his master’s degree in chemistry in 1996 from the Lebanese University, Lebanon, and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 2000 from the University of Paris Diderot 7, France. His regular teaching duties at SUNY Potsdam include introductory chemistry courses for non-majors (on site and online), general chemistry labs, chemistry topics and seminars, and upper-division physical chemistry lectures and labs for majors. In 2013, he was awarded the SUNY Potsdam President’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creativity, and more recently received the 2016 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. He is also the recipient of competitive national awards for research and teaching, such as the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2016) and the Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award (2017). In 2018, he was awarded the Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador-Exemplary Online Educator Award. His research interests are in the general area of iron–protein biochemistry, bio-inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry of biological processes. He is the author of 45 publications, and serves on the editorial board of many international scientific peer-reviewed research journals. He is the elected chair of the Northern New York Local Section of the American Chemical Society, a position he has served in since 2012. He serves as a reviewer to more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific journals, and U.S. and foreign government granting agencies. His research endeavors are supported by major research agencies, including the Research Corporation, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Chemistry offers a rigorous and well-balanced curriculum that provides a solid foundation for successful graduate study or a career in chemistry or a chemistry-related field. The department is known for its strong and diverse undergraduate research programs, its $1.3 million in grants to support teaching and research, and the success of its students’ acceptance to competitive graduate and professional schools. To find out more, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

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Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, College Communications (315) 267-2114

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