Office of Academic Affairs Office of Faculty Affairs

Provost's Early Career Scholars announced

The Ohio State University has selected its second cohort for the Provost's Early Career Scholars Program, an initiative designed to attract and develop exceptionally promising, high-caliber faculty being recruited to Ohio State.

The program enables Ohio State to compete for some of the top scholars in the country. Early Career Scholars are nominated by their college dean. A faculty committee led by Geoffrey Parker, Distinguished University Professor and Andreas Dorpalen Professor of European History, evaluates nominations and recommends candidates to the Office of Academic Affairs. 

"The quality of our faculty determines the quality of our scholarship, research, and creative expression and profoundly affects our students and their academic experience," said Melissa Gilliam, executive vice president and provost. "This program supports the recruitment and recognition of extraordinary faculty as they begin their careers at Ohio State."

Provost's Early Career Scholars become part of a multidisciplinary cohort and will participate in dedicated activities focused on research and scholarship, engage in social programming, and interact with university leaders and administrators. In addition, each Early Career Scholar will receive a named professorship for the first five years of their appointment, annual research funding and a year's release from regular duties to devote time to their scholarship. The program demonstrates Ohio State's commitment to academic excellence by supporting tenure-track, early-career candidates from all disciplines being recruited to Ohio State who have exceptional promise in their respective fields.

"Ohio State is committed to recruiting innovative faculty and accelerating their success through all stages of the academic career lifecycle," said Patrick Louchouarn, senior vice provost for faculty. "The new colleagues identified through this program are emerging as creative, impactful scholars who will continue to elevate Ohio State's thriving academic community."  

2023-24 Provost's Early Career Scholars

Early Career Scholars
Left to right: Provost's Early Career Scholars Clementine Bordeaux, Melisa Diaz, Eric Mbakop, Manuel Santana Palacios


Clementine Bordeaux, starting August 2024  
Assistant Professor  
Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies  
College of Arts and Sciences

Interested in the intersections of art, culture and land, Bordeaux highlights the work of Indigenous artists who create for, on and about Lakota communities to show an alternative map to misappropriation. Her work features artists who engage with topics about resistance and highlight connection to land and place. Bordeaux's research examines how complex Lakota concepts become diluted when transferred to varied social contexts.

Melisa Diaz, starting January 2024  
Assistant Professor  
School of Earth Sciences  
Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center  
College of Arts and Sciences

Diaz is a geochemist specializing in surficial processes and ice-water-soil interactions in polar regions, urban systems and ocean worlds. She integrates field campaigns, in-situ measurements, and laboratory studies to understand landscape development and salt/nutrient cycling.

Eric Mbakop  
Assistant Professor  
Department of Economics  
College of Arts and Sciences

Mbakop's research investigates questions related to identification and inference of semi/non-parametric econometric models. His work has spanned topics such as auction models, mixture models, and statistical decision theory. Most recently, he has been developing new techniques for identification in discrete choice models.

Manuel Santana Palacios  
Assistant Professor  
Knowlton School of Architecture  
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering  
College of Engineering

Santana Palacios' research takes an interdisciplinary and global perspective to examine how investments in infrastructures and policy initiatives that promote sustainable mobility impact population groups differently by race, ethnicity, and other forms of stratification that divide society. Specializing in transportation policy and planning and urban transitions that are just, his work on transportation and distributive justice also intersects with questions about urban development, urban technology, and climate justice.