MAE welcomes first class of LEGACY postdoctoral scholars
The first-ever MAE class of LEGACY postdoctoral scholars has arrived and begun work at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department this summer. This inaugural class includes three outstanding scholars, Shawanee’ Patrick, Ejike Daniel and Leonardo Rodrigues da Costa Moraes.
The LEGACY Postdoctoral Scholars Program was founded by Ohio State College of Engineering Dean Ayanna Howard to prepare and diversify the next generation of engineering leaders in academia.
The goals of the program, according to the program website, include increasing the number of underrepresented minority postdocs who transition to faculty positions in the college, establishing quality mentoring relationships that advance the careers of scholars, enhancing the research, teaching and service portfolios of scholars, and building and enhancing scholarly communities in their fields, the college and the university.
Each scholar will have three forms of mentor: a primary mentor in their research area, a secondary mentor in teaching or service area, and an intersectional mentor that aligns with their identity.
Intersectional mentorship is a unique feature of the LEGACY Postdoctoral Scholars Program at Ohio State. Scholars and mentors will engage in authentic conversations that promote a culture of inclusivity.
Shawanee’ Patrick’s primary mentor is Ajit Chaudhari and her secondary mentor is Dr. Robert Siston. Patrick’s research goal focuses on improving biomechanic walking outcomes by improving walking assistive device and rehabilitation strategies.
“It is also important that I am able to mentor and train new scholars to be both confident and competent in their respective fields,” Patrick said. “In both research and teaching it’s about helping people move forward physically, intellectually and in every way.”
For Patrick, the mentoring and collaboration has been best part of the LEGACY program so far. In the future, she hopes to gain greater insight into what is needed to be successful faculty and a solid network for support and future collaboration.
Ejike Daniel is being mentored by Dr. Shaurya Prakash. Daniel’s research goals are in the intersection of two-phase flow, nanofluids and microfluidics. He is also interested in engineering for social justice and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in engineering education.
“I am looking forward to coming up with a unique research theme worthy of winning numerous grants and impacting the world positively,” Daniel said. “I also look forward to learning from my wonderful mentoring team and fellow LEGACY scholars.”
Daniel’s experience so far has been exciting and a great learning experience. Throughout the program, he hopes to have learnt about the American higher education system, grant writing, setting up a research laboratory, and DEI.
Leonardo Rodrigues da Costa Moraes’ primary mentor is Prof. Richard Vasques, his secondary mentor is Prof. Vaibhav Sinha and his intersectional mentors are Profs. Richard Vasques and Carlos Castro. His research area of focus resides in the development of mathematical and computational tools to model the interactions of sub-atomic particles.
“My interest in this area includes the development and application of efficient methods to the solution of classical and nonclassical transport equations and the development of computer programs that assist decision-making in problems involving radiation transport through matter,” Moraes said.
Moraes believes the LEGACY program offers a unique opportunity to develop a career through an inclusive and well-designed postdoctoral program that is focused not only on research development but also on other equally important areas such as teaching, grants creation, and career mapping.
“The opportunity to become a professor in a well-respected university does not present itself very often,” he said. “Therefore, it is of great importance to be well prepared (in all areas) when the chance appears.”