USD chemistry professor and dean of USD’s graduate school Ranjit Koodali was recently recognized for his commitment to research and teaching.
Earlier this year, Koodali was awarded the Salutes to Excellence Award from the American Chemical Society. The award is given to individuals who’ve made significant contributions to the field, according to the organization’s website.
“It has an emphasis on trying to see how chemistry can help society and mankind in general,”
Dylan Fox, a senior studying medical biology, said he thinks Koodali is worthy of this honor.
“Dr. Koodali is very deserving of this award because he is an extraordinary person,” Fox said. “He knows above and beyond about chemistry and does a great job of portraying that knowledge. He is an amazing person who deeply cares about the study
Koodali was nominated for the award by the Energy and Fuel division of the ACS, which he’s been a member of since 2011. Each division has the opportunity to nominate someone who’s made exceptional contributions to the department. He now joins more than 500 honorees who’ve received the Salutes to
He has held leadership positions in the Energy and Fuels (ENFL) technical division, and has been a member of the executive committee since 2011. He also served as the national president chair in charge of overall symposia for the calendar year
“In addition, I also served as the program secretary to help guide new national program chairs and provide direction about what symposia may be best, and I was also a co-chair for our 2013 meeting,” Koodali said.
Koodali began his chemistry career at Loyola College in India, where he earned his
“I was fascinated by sciences in general because I grew up in an academic environment, although my father was a CPA,” he said. “Many of my friends’ parents were in academia, including in chemistry, which is why I had an inkling for chemistry — and I was good at it.”
Koodali came to USD in 2005 and became dean of the graduate school in 2016.
Along with his passion for chemistry, Koodali said he has a passion for
“Following my bachelor’s degree, I pursued a master’s en route to get a Ph.D., and I was fascinated by academia because we have the opportunity to mentor students,” he said. “Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students is something that
Kulatheepa Thanabalasingam, a graduate student who works closely with Koodali and also teaches a chemistry class of his own, said he appreciates Koodali’s passion for
“He is a really good mentor for the students doing research in the field of material chemistry and environmental aspects,” Thanabalasingam said.
Koodali said he enjoys being able to remain active in research and other projects that he cares about.
“(In academia), we have the freedom to pursue projects that one is passionate about,” he said.
Koodali makes a point to encourage students to pursue research as well.
Balaranjan Selvaratnam, a third-year graduate student in the material chemistry program, said he appreciates the encouragement Koodali provides throughout the research process.
“When it comes to research, he is challenging, and yet supportive and always available to his students to guide through research problems,” Selvaratnam said. “In addition, he also takes interest and care of his students’ academic good standing and general well-being.”
Koodali said the Salutes to Excellence Award is very meaningful to him because it represents the work
“It’s a recognition that your services and contributions are valued by your colleagues and peers in the division,” he said. “It’s symbolic of the hard work and efforts that you have put into the program.”