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Paul Ha-Yeon Cheong standing in front of black backdrop

A banner year for Chemistry’s Paul Cheong

Based on Fumes from the Hood, Chemistry Department newsletter (Summer 2014)

Paul Ha-Yeon Cheong, assistant professor in chemistry

To say Paul Cheong has had a busy year might be an understatement. The assistant professor of chemistry has received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2014 Emerging Scholar Award from Phi-Kappa-Phi and was chosen to represent the American Chemical Society (ACS) at the 2014 European Young Investigators Symposium.

The NSF CAREER Award recognizes junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Cheong also received the Phi-Kappa-Phi Emerging Scholar award, which recognizes non-tenured faculty for outstanding research or creative activity in their field of study. Since 1897 Phi Kappa Phi's mission has been to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.

ACS’s European Young Investigator Symposium honors talented young inorganic chemists and provides a high-profile forum for them to present their research.

All this recognition has been humbling, says Cheong, who emphasized that he never could have done it alone.

“Without the support of my colleagues and the hard work of my students and postdoc, none of this would be happening,” said Cheong.

Born in a small town in South Korea, Cheong realized his parents’ life-long dream for their child to settle in America. He spent most of his youth in Indonesia and Thailand, before beginning his post-secondary education in the United States.

In every part of his life, Cheong has had great advisors around him who were accomplished professionally and served as good mentors. In becoming professor of chemistry, he found the perfect match between his love of research and his commitments to pay it forward to future generations.

Paul’s scientific passion is solving scientific mysteries by discovering and explaining fundamental and practical principles that underlie chemistry and nature. His research team applies and develops state-of-the-art computational tools to provide a complete understanding for some of the most complex and powerful phenomena in organic, bioorganic, and materials chemistry. Cheong’s research interests include organic, bioorganic and materials chemistry.

Originally an undergraduate English major at Bowdoin College, Cheong switched to Chemistry and then earned his PhD in organic chemistry Cheong received his bachelor’s degree from and his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles followed by a postdoctoral fellowship from 2007-2009 before coming to OSU.