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Ohio State announces first cohort of Provost's Midcareer Scholars

New program recognizes recently promoted associate professors of highest caliber

The Ohio State University has selected its inaugural cohort in the Provost’s Midcareer Scholars: Scarlet and Gray Associate Professor Program. The initiative honors and recognizes tenure-track faculty who have recently been appointed to the rank of associate professor with tenure and have demonstrated significant accomplishments in their discipline(s). This program joins others, including the Provost’s Early Career Scholars Program and Tenure-Track Fellow to Faculty Program, in advancing the Academic Plan and its goal of maintaining a premier faculty at Ohio State through all stages of the academic lifecycle.

“The Provost’s Midcareer Scholars: Scarlet and Gray Associate Professor Program selects and supports outstanding, recently tenured faculty. This program aims to help accelerate their careers at an important moment in their academic trajectory,” said Melissa Gilliam, executive vice president and provost. “These scholars are future academic leaders, and I am delighted that they comprise our inaugural cohort.”

Scarlet and Gray Associate Professors will hold their designation for three years and will receive supplemental compensation and an annual stipend from the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) to advance their scholarship. Scarlet and Gray Associate Professors will also receive a one-semester teaching exemption. The cohort will participate in social and professional development activities organized by OAA. Eligible faculty must be within three years of having been promoted to associate professor.

“Our colleagues in this inaugural cohort are role models for other faculty, inspirational teachers in the classroom or other learning environments, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to service to the university. This program will help accelerate their careers and amplify their work individually and collectively,” said Patrick Louchouarn, senior vice provost for faculty. “Programs like this will help Ohio State attract and retain an inclusive and innovative group of faculty as we support them throughout all stages of their careers and continue building our thriving community of scholars.”

Scarlet and Gray Associate Professors were nominated by their college dean. An interdisciplinary faculty committee evaluated nominations and recommended their selection to OAA.

Stephanie Di Stasi
Associate Professor
Division of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Medicine
Di Stasi is a principal investigator with the Sports Medicine Research Institute at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She uses biomechanical and functional assessments to study mechanisms of disability in individuals with orthopaedic injuries to develop effective rehabilitation strategies to optimize function and physical activity participation across the lifespan.

Brian Foster
Associate Professor
Division of Biosciences, College of Dentistry
Foster’s research in the dental-oral-craniofacial field focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms driving tooth root formation and bringing that insight to novel approaches for regenerating tissues and restoring function.

Emmanuel Hatzakis
Associate Professor, Clinical
Department of Food Science and Technology; College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
Hatzakis’ research interests include applications of liquid and solid-state NMR spectroscopy in food science, structure determination and metabolomics. He is developing analytical tools to understand the factors that affect food composition and quality and establish agronomic and processing strategies to improve the nutritional value of foods.

Jasmeet Hayes
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Hayes is the director and principal investigator at Ohio State’s MINDSET (MRI Investigation of Neurodegenerative Disease, Stress Effects, and Traumatic Brain Injury) lab, which examines the acute and chronic effects of head injury and psychological stress on the brain and neurocognitive function. The lab employs cognitive neuroscience techniques, such as MRI and genetic and biomarker data, to investigate individual differences in risk for accelerated aging and neurodegenerative disease.

Steffen Lindert
Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
Lindert’s research focuses on developing and applying computational techniques for modeling biological systems to gain a deeper understanding of biomolecular processes, predicting protein structure de novo using sparse experimental data, and discovering new drugs.

Kelly Purtell
Associate Professor
Department of Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology
Purtell’s research centers on understanding how contextual factors shape health and development among low-income children and adolescents and how policies and programs can enhance the developmental trajectories of these youth. Many of her current projects focus on policies and practices related to early childhood education and their influences on children’s development.

John Rehbeck
Associate Professor
Department of Economics, College of Arts and Sciences
Rehbeck holds expertise in microeconomic theory and experimental economics. His research focuses on revealed preferences in theory and application. Rehbeck’s research includes studying when behavior from random consideration is rational, whether individuals prefer to randomize their choices, and whether individuals follow recommendations given by economic theory.

Mary Rodriguez
Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership; College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
Rodriguez’s research addresses household food insecurity, resilience and decision making. Working primarily in low- and middle-income nations and with New American populations in the United States, she examines the role of women in the household and explores the interaction between the community social system and an individuals decision making.

Elissa Washuta
Associate Professor
Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences
Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a nonfiction writer. Her essay collection, White Magic, was selected as a finalist for the PEN/Open Book Award, longlisted for the PEN/Jean Stein Award, and named among the best books of 2021 by TIME, the New York Public Library and National Public Radio.

Jiangjiang (Chris) Zhu
Associate Professor
Department of Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Zhu’s current research includes studying host-microbiota metabolic interactions, the critical roles of nutritional components in modulating such interactions, and investigating the impact of therapeutic modulation of gut microbes on colorectal cancer patients. He is also developing multiplex mass spectrometry-based metabolomics platforms for various disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring studies.

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