Ruth Nalliah

Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair

(260) 359-4203

Joined the Huntington University faculty in 1995.

Dr. Ruth Nalliah leads and teaches in the Chemistry Department at Huntington University. She specializes in optical and Roman spectroscopy, porphyrin chemistry, and degradation of pharmaceutical pollutants. 

As an educator, Ruth’s goal is to encourage students to embrace curiosity about how the world works. She believes that understanding how things work chemically is an important key to making informed, responsible decisions about our individual and collective future and wellbeing. Ruth uses hands-on labs and works with her students on research projects to help them pursue a deeper understanding of the beauty of God’s creation. By encouraging exploration in the chemistry classroom and lab, Ruth encourages students to carry that same insatiable curiosity into whatever field they choose. 

Originally from Lima, Ohio, Ruth lives in Huntington with her husband, Paul, who also works at the university. Together they have two children. Outside of class, Ruth is interested in backyard astronomy and music. Those loves also influence her classroom; in the past, Ruth and Paul have co-taught a January term class on backyard astronomy.

  • Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from University of Toledo
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Bluffton University
Notable Experience
  • Developed an ongoing project to research the degradation of pharmaceutical pollutants, with the assistance of HU chemistry students. Ruth and her students presented their research at the Indiana Academy of Science Annual Meeting.
  • Three-year research project with HU students on solvent effects on porphyrins (published)
  • Eight-year research project with HU students on the stability of anthocyanin pigments (published)
  • Kinetics of color demonstration, published on the cover of the Journal of Chemical Education
Publications and Awards
  • With HU students: “Solvent Effects on the Electronic Transition Energies of Porphyrins in in Binary Solvent Mixtures” (Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 2001)
  • With HU students: “Experimental in vitro arterial reactivity and tissue culture solutions after the time dependent stability of anthocyanins from elderberry, chokeberry, and bilberry extracts” (International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 2009)
  • With former student: “Writing Instrument Profiles for Mastery of Instrumental Analysis” (Journal of Chemical Education, 2012)
  • “Oxone/Fe2+ Degredation of Food Dyes: Demonstration of Catalyst-Like Behavior and Kinetic Separation of Color” (Journal of Chemical Education, 2015)
  • “Petroleum Ether” (entry in the Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 3rd edition, 2014)
  • Chair, Northeastern Indiana Local Section, American Chemical Society
  • Indiana Academy of Science
  • Regional President, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society