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Profile for Ben Haenni

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Ben Haenni

Pronouns: he/him
Associate Teaching Professor
Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Ben Haenni Pronouns: he/him

Associate Teaching Professor

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Specialty area(s)

Organic Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Physical Organic Chemistry

Brief biography

Ben started his chemistry journey at Drake University, where he graduated in 2010 with a BS in BCMB (Biochemistry Cell & Molecular Biology) and Chemistry. While at Drake, he studied ionic liquids as solvents for organic reactions under Dr. Gholam Mirafzal.

Ben received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the guidance of Dr. Bob McMahon. At Madison, Ben has used computational chemistry to study highly-reactive diradical and carbene species.

Current courses at UWL

CHM 300 and CHM 302


Teaching history

General and Organic Chemistry TA 2010-2015



Benjamin Haenni, Chemistry & Biochemistry, served as vital collaborator and champion of lab curricular redesign. Haenni was dropped feet first into an overhaul of the non-majors' organic chemistry laboratory in 2019. The changes were to be designed, tested and implemented by two tenure track faculty in summer 2019, but one co-PI left in May 2019. The sole remaining co-PI did as much as possible, but could not do all the work. Haenni stepped in to test experiments, review and edit lab instructions and modify procedures, and develop question banks. Far from being a passive or skeptical adopter, Haenni went outside his comfort zone and tried seven new experiments with his fall sections. He taught the majority of the fall 2019 and spring 2020 lab sections, and he took the lead on training, knowledge transfer and file sharing for two new lab instructors in spring 2020. Ben has led like a PI in this project, all without recognition or compensation. The success of the project is due in large part to his tireless and enthusiastic efforts.

Submitted on: May 26, 2020