Professor enjoys research

IUS Horizon

Ben Nassim, professor of chemistry, has been employed at IU Southeast for nearly 30 years.

Ben Nassim, professor of chemistry, has been part of the School of Natural Sciences for nearly three decades.

Nassim has been employed at IU Southeast since 1982, when he was hired to teach basic and advanced chemistry courses.

“I liked the landscape of IU Southeast, and I also liked the faculty I interviewed with,” Nassim said. “I liked the campus very much.”

His professional position at IU Southeast consists of teaching classes, helping students and doing research on various subjects.

“I enjoy the research area of the more medicinal type of chemistry,” Nassim said. “I study molecules with medicinal properties, specifically steroids. Steroids do a lot more than what they are known for.”

Prior to becoming a professor at IU Southeast, Nassim attended the University of Missouri in Kansas City, where he received a doctorate in chemistry.

In Columbia, Miss., Nassim completed three years of post-doctoral research work.

“My research consisted of attaching florescent molecules, such as estrogen, to be able to follow them on tissues,” Nassim said. “I studied how and where they bonded.”

Nassim said he liked chemistry in high school and was excellent at math and science.

He originally considered studying architecture because of his interest in three-dimensional structures. He also considered medical school to become a doctor before settling on chemistry as his profession.

“I liked working with [the faculty] a lot, and that stuff helps you make decisions in life,” Nassim said.

In the middle of his employment at IU Southeast, Nassim became the dean of Natural Sciences in 2002.

After seven years as dean, gave up the position in 2009 and resumed teaching.

“I enjoyed the position very much,” Nassim said. “I served a little more than two terms and then stepped down to teach again. I missed teaching a lot.”

During his years as dean, Nassim said he was able to strengthen the ties with the community leaders and was also able to strengthen the program to some extent.

He said he is proud of his achievements he has earned while employed at IU Southeast.

“When I first came to the Chemistry Department, the research activity was very minimal,” Nassim said. “My strong research background helped enhance the research program greatly.”

Kyle Forinash, professor of physics, has worked alongside Nassim in the School of Natural Sciences for 25 years.

Forinash said he and Nassim bike together a couple of times a week.

“As a teacher, Nassim has always set high standards for his students and has been very dedicated to them,” Forinash said. “Students are always first and foremost. He is very much a student-centered teacher.

“As dean, he also worked hard to make the student experience richer, and he worked hard to improve all the disciplines in the School of Natural Sciences,” Forinash said.

While being here, Nassim said his experience has been smooth sailing.