February / March 2018

Hesford named faculty director for Humanities and Arts' first focus area
Wendy S. Hesford, a professor in the Department of English, has been named faculty director of the Humanities and the Arts’ first focus area — Human Dimensions of Global Challenges. She will oversee the program in consultation with Peter Hahn, the theme’s lead dean. The first priority area is global mobility and migration. The H&A Discovery Theme was established in 2015 to revitalize the humanities and the arts at Ohio State and to demonstrate their ability to contribute to our understanding and solving of real-world problems.

TDAI begins search for executive director 
The Translational Data Analytics Institute has launched its​ search for an executive director. So far, more than 20 TDAI faculty members have attended listening sessions to provide input about the strengths, key experience, and other characteristics that they believe candidates should have. Other faculty wishing to provide input can email Matt Delucas in the Office of Human Resources – Talent Acquisition, which is managing the search process. TDAI Lead Dean David Manderscheid will name search committee members in the next few weeks, and the position will be posted in the next month. The search is expected to take five to seven months.

Chronic Brain Injury program seeks interim faculty lead
CBI has begun a search for an interim faculty lead. Nominations and self-nominations will be accepted through Jan. 26.  A decision will be made by March 2018. Contact Kedar Hiremath for more information.

Chronicle’ ad campaign highlights Discovery Themes
Beginning in fall and extending into early winter, University Marketing directed an ad campaign to increase awareness of Ohio State’s investment in the Discovery Themes and the tenure-track faculty positions the initiative created. The campaign in The Chronicle of Higher Education consisted of print and digital ads, sponsored articles, and targeted emails and electronic newsletters, all of which linked back to the revamped careers page at The Chronicle ads showcased faculty members and highlighted the diversity and interdisciplinarity of the initiative. The sponsored articles, above, featured interdisciplinary work involving big data for good, the food-energy-water nexus, and smart mobility.

Update on Discovery Themes hiring numbers
The number of tenured or tenure-track faculty who have been hired in collaboration with the Discovery Themes is now 126, according the latest report from the Office of Academic Affairs. Another 57 positions are in active recruitment.

‘Girls of Color’ symposium set for Feb. 8 at Ohio Union
The Humanities and the Arts Discovery Theme is sponsoring a public symposium titled “Girls of Color: Resistance & The Politics of Empowerment.” It will bring together scholars whose work focuses on social justice, critical literacy, and leadership for girls of color. The symposium is a 
collaboration of three Humanities and the Arts pilot programs: Human Rights in Transit, Transnational Black Citizenship, and Environmental Humanities.  The event is Feb. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room in the Ohio Union. 

A.G. Kawamura: The need to transform
global food system is urgent

The global agricultural community must become aligned in vision and strategy if the world is to meet the “very real threats to food security,” A.G. Kawamura, former head of California’s food and agriculture department, told faculty, staff, students and external partners at a recent talk hosted by InFACT. The opportunities and challenges that come with advanced research, technology and information systems are forcing the world to re-think all aspects of agriculture, he said. Kawamura, a third-generation farmer himself, is co-chair of Solutions from the Land, a non-profit organization that is working to convene the North American Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture. More.

Hackathon to focus on neurotechnology for brain health
The Chronic Brain Injury (CBI) program is hosting a student hackathon to develop neurotechnology solutions for brain health, including projects around virtual reality, biosensors, mobile health and brain injury, pain, and other neurological issues.  Partners are Center for Brain Health & Performance, Neuroscience Research Institute, and OHI/O.  The event is March 23-25, 2018 at the Ross Auditorium in the medical center, and winners will present their work at the Global Brain Health & Performance Summit, sponsored by CBI.  All undergraduate and graduate students at Ohio State are welcome to participate. The registration link isn’t available yet but will be circulated through OnCampus, student groups, and related channels. 

Three DT programs sponsoring faculty speaker training
The Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI), the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) and CBI are offering a three-part workshop this spring for faculty to better communicate and pitch their research ideas. Faculty will learn about communication fundamentals and persuasive speaking, and will have an opportunity to practice their research pitches to peers. Videos will be made so participants can post the speeches on the web. The training is covered by the DT groups.  There are a few slots left, so interested faculty should contact Jenna McGuire in TDA, Nicole Pierron Rasul in InFACT, or Kedar Hiremath in CBI.

Traumatic Brain Injury Summit set for March 14 
Three CBI affiliates — Jon Godbout, Yune Lee, Lise Worthen-Chaudhari — are presenting their work on traumatic brain injury at the Brain Injury Association of Ohio’s 2018 TBI Summit on March 14. (Please note: The website has the wrong date.) CBI is sponsoring this conference. Also speaking from Ohio State are Jennifer Bogner and John Corrigan, who lead the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation at Ohio State.
Campus events will mark U.N. World Water Day
Four campus partners, including the Sustainable and Resilient Economy program, are planning events to commemorate U.N. World Water Day and to draw attention to the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in developing countries. At noon on March 30, the Wexner Medical Center Green Team will host a discussion about the global imperative to improve access to healthy water and take a closer look at an Ohio State program that’s putting the goal into practice in Tanzania. The brown bag talk will be in room L035 in the James Cancer Hospital. Though details are still pending, other campus events are planned for March 22 and 23. The Office of Energy and Environment and the Global Water Institute also are involved in the planning. Look for more information in OnCampus in coming weeks.
InFACT, TDAI team up to build partnership opportunities
INFACT and TDAI are teaming up for a special event at Watershed Distillery on Feb. 8 designed to foster new research partnerships and grant proposals. Connecting faculty, staff and external partners affiliated with InFACT and TDAI, the event will feature presentations by interdisciplinary faculty groups including an NSF grant-funded team that is linking datasets to improve food systems and two seed grant awardees that explore the use of data to examine disparities in food accessibility and to research unexploded ordnance and agricultural productivity in Cambodia. The event aims to bring together teams working in different disciplines through networking and connections. Faculty, staff and external partners affiliated with InFACT and TDAI are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Nicole Pierron Rasul in InFACT or Rebecca Momany in TDAI.
Global food science group honors Hatzakis with Young Scientist Award
The organization that serves as the global voice for food science and technology has honored Foods For Health affiliate Emmanuel Hatzakis with its Young Scientist Award, which recognizes an early career investigator for the potential to make outstanding scientific contributions and provide future leadership in the field. The award from the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) was announced Nov. 30 in Frankfurt, Germany. Hatzakis is an assistant professor of Food Science and Technology in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and a member of the Food Innovation Center. More.
InFACT's Inwood lends perspective to Post article
In a Nov. 23 article in The Washington Post, Shoshanah Inwood, a recent InFACT faculty hire, addressed the importance of mid-size multi-generational family farms for the resiliency of the food system and rural communities. Inwood, a rural sociologist, is an assistant professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. The article focused on the growing number of young Americans leaving desk jobs to farm. More.
TDAI launches searchable course directory
The Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI) has launched a searchable directory of data science and analytics courses and programs offered throughout the university, thanks to the help of three data analytics majors. Big Data and Analytics Association members Elizabeth Gilbert, Suli Li, and Junfa Zhu collaborated to identify the courses and create the search categories. In addition to compiling foundational offerings in engineering and statistics, the directory they helped create reflects the growing prominence of applied data science in domains ranging from linguistics to public affairs to geography. New and adapted data science and analytics courses will be added to the directory page each semester; faculty who wish to include their new or adapted offering should email TDAI.
Ohio State joins national discussions on data analytics
Ohio State has been well represented during national discussions on data analytics over the past year, with TDAI taking part in special reports and workshops around the country.  In December, TDAI directors David Mongeau and Raghu Machiraju each led discussions on the future of data science and analytics with peers across business and education. Mongeau presented to the NYC Data Science & Analytics Task Force in a meeting at KPMG in Manhattan on Dec. 8, while Machiraju participated in inaugural discussions about a national Data Science Corps with the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7-8.
Farming after war: Edible Columbus profiles Erin Lin
Erin Lin, assistant professor of Political Science and Global Food Politics at Ohio State and an InFACT faculty hire, recently spoke with Edible Columbus magazine about her research on unexploded ordnance left after war and its impact on farmers and agricultural production. Lin has conducted fieldwork on the topic in Cambodia and is working with Rongjun Qin, a computer engineer at Ohio State, to develop a machine-based algorithm to scan high-resolution satellite images for bomb craters with the goal of finding a more efficient way to remove ordnance, thereby reducing the impact on human security and economic development.
InFACT Executive Director Brian Snyder, left, with former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, center, and Michael T. Roberts, executive director of the Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy at the UCLA School of Law.
Snyder takes InFACT to UCLA Food Law & Policy program
Brian Snyder, InFACT executive director, recently attended the annual meeting of the advisory board of the Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy at the UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, a program he has been involved with for four years. The Resnick Program is a think tank at UCLA that seeks legal and policy solutions to support food systems that yield improved health and sustainability outcomes. More.
Conference promotes local food in more cafeterias
Ohio State University Extension will serve as the local host for the National Farm to Cafeteria conference in Cincinnati on April 25-27. The conference is designed for school districts looking to start or expand a Farm to School program, consumers who want to learn more about local food opportunities, and farmers and producers looking for ways to sell fresh, local foods to schools and other institutional cafeterias. To register or for information on scholarships to attend the conference, as well as other discounted admissions, go to For more information about the Ohio focused pre-conference, which InFACT is helping to oragnize, contact Amy Fovargue at 740-398-8397 or
3 DT groups present research at seed grant showcase
Research supported by seed grant funding from three Discovery Theme programs — InFACT, Foods for Health (FFH), and Sustainable and Resilient Economy (SRE) — was presented at a seed grant showcase on Nov. 15  at the Thompson Library. About 100 people participated in the event. Since 2014, the eight focus areas of the Discovery Themes initiative have awarded more than $2.2 million in seed grants to scores of research teams. More than 325 faculty representing most of Ohio State’s 15 colleges have benefited. View program.
Mass Spec/Metabolomics conference set for May
The joint meeting of the 2nd Annual Conference on Food and Nutritional Metabolomics for Health and the 15th Annual Ohio Mass Spectrometry Symposium will be at the Blackwell Inn on the Columbus campus on May 16-17, 2018. The conference builds on the success of the inaugural joint meeting last May, which was attended by 234 people from 42 academic and industry organizations. The purpose of the two-day event is to provide an opportunity for academic and industrial researchers to present their findings, share information, discuss research challenges with colleagues, and spark new collaborations. Registration will open in February. Please visit for up-to-date information about the symposium and links to registration.
Discovery Themes brochure for faculty
The Office of Academic Affairs has created a general information brochure for faculty who might be interested in participating in the Discovery Themes. It will be distributed through various offices around campus. Contact Tom Rinderle for copies. 

Ohio State is a founding university partner with The Conversation, an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public. The Conversation develops articles two ways: by soliciting specific subject-matter experts through its newsletter, and by encouraging academics to pitch their ideas directly to the editors. Once an idea is accepted, The Conversation works with faculty to produce the story, typically 800 to 1,000 words. Ohio State professors have seen their work republished in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Time, Newsweek and other major outlets.
More information on the Discovery Themes can be found at and at each program’s website:
Chronic Brain Injury
Foods for Health
Humanities and the Arts
Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation
Infectious Diseases Institute
Materials for Manufacturing and Sustainability 
Sustainable and Resilient Economy
Translational Data Analytics Institute
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