University Mourns Chemistry Professor Hani Y. Awadallah

Hani Y. Awadallah, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Montclair State University and an outspoken advocate for Arab-Americans, died suddenly on Tuesday, January 9.

Willard Gingerich, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Robert Prezant, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, praised Awadallah for his years of service and academic dedication to Montclair State.

Gingerich called Awadallah, 70, a “stalwart contributor to the growth and development of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry” who taught everything from Introductory Chemistry to Physical Chemistry.”

“Awadallah was almost an academic fixture we came to count on. Over the years, he has touched and influenced many hundreds of student lives,” Prezant added.

Awadallah joined Montclair State as an instructor in the Science Department in September 1968. In 1970, as a founding member of the Department of Chemistry, he was promoted to assistant professor. During his first ten years at Montclair State, he was the principal instructor for introductory chemistry courses for non-science majors.

For approximately 15 years, he had been an instructor in the Saturday Gifted and Talented Program.

Awadallah, who headed the Arab American Civic Organization in Paterson, was a fiery leader of the Arab American community there. “All those who knew him know he was a passionate and unwavering defender of our Arab-American communities and their rights to involvement and respect in every aspect of citizenship and American life,” Gingerich said.

Awadallah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and geology at Cairo University in 1964. After two years as an instructor at the Teachers Institute in Ryadh, Saudi Arabia, he began his graduate studies in chemistry at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, earning his master’s degree in 1968.
Funeral services for Awadallah were held on January 10, 2012.