Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award

The Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award honors remarkable investigators at Grand Valley State University who began their independent scholarship within the past six years. These scholars demonstrate mastery in their field and show significant potential for continued success. The award recipients have made major contributions to theory, research and creative practice, and they have earned national recognition for their outstanding achievements. In addition to the honor of being designated a CSCE Distinguished Early Career Scholar, recipients of the Award are given an award of $500.  Nominations for the Award are solicited from deans, department chairs, and faculty colleagues.

2022 Recipients


Kuhelika De, Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award
Daisy Fredricks, Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award
Laura Hawk, Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award
Sanjivan Manoharan, Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award

Kuhelika De, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Economics
Seidman College of Business

De is an applied macroeconomist who studies the intersection of monetary and international economics, time-series econometrics, and development economics. Using a highly quantitative modeling approach, she focuses on understanding how large-scale macroeconomic issues (e.g., monetary shocks, income and racial inequality) affect the lives of individuals in areas as diverse as food consumption, personal debt, unemployment, and the price of consumer goods. In her most recent work, De considered the combined effect of recent recessions and COVID-19 on health care employment. Since joining GVSU in 2017, she has published five articles in top (A-level) journals, and has presented at a number of highly regarded national conferences.

Daisy Fredricks, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Teaching and Learning
College of Education and Community Innovation

As a former bilingual elementary and middle school teacher in Michigan and elsewhere, Fredricks’ scholarship seeks to disrupt inequitable schooling experiences for multilingual students and improve teacher preparation though instruction grounded in research. Fredricks is a leader in the “Voices from the Field” research team, a working group of teacher educators and novice teachers who have identified a set of Core Practices for teaching multilingual students, and will publish a book on this work in 2022 (Teachers College Press). She maintains an active program of scholarship — often centered on teacher and student experiences, in an effort to humanize both research practice and classroom instruction — with 11 peer-reviewed publications, six since arriving at Grand Valley.

Laura Hawk, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hawk’s research focuses on biological recognition, which concerns how biological compounds interact with one another and other important molecular compounds. Her work has significant implications for the fields of antibiotic resistance, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease. She has an impressive publication record, having placed a number of papers in top-rated peer-reviewed journals, and was awarded the Pew Teaching Excellence award in 2021. Soon after joining GVSU in 2017, Hawk led the effort to secure a National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrument Award to acquire a liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer. Given her standing in her field, she has been selected as a reviewer for both top journals and federal granting agencies, such as NSF.

Sanjivan Manoharan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Engineering
Padnos College of Engineering and Computing

Sanjivan Manoharan has quickly established himself in the field of engineering, developing projects on wind tunnel investigations of aircraft aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, airfoil configurations based on humpback whales to improve aircraft wing performance, and nucleation and bubble dynamics. His most notable contribution has been securing a large, multidisciplinary NSF grant to examine the barriers that prevent underrepresented students from pursuing graduate education, which will provide support for at least 30 students pursuing their master’s education. Manoharan has also been awarded several internal and external grants through his research that have acquired innovative engineering equipment for his department and student research projects.

Application Materials

Data to be included with the nominations:

  • Completed Declaration Page
  • A statement from the nominee, one or two pages in length, of that person's professional accomplishments deemed most significant
  • Two letters of support from faculty colleagues who have knowledge of the nominee’s ability as a scholar and who are not committee members. The letters should address the criteria for the award.
  • Curriculum Vitae

** Please note: ONLY the above stated documents, combined into a single PDF, will be accepted as a completed nomination packet. No additional documents will be accepted. Please submit electronically to: csce@gvsu.edu 

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria are used in nominations and evaluations of nominees:

  • Potential to develop a national reputation  
  • Major contributions to theory, research, and/or creative practice
  • Highest standards of professionalism 


Process and Timeline


Nominators: Each college sets its own internal deadline for the initial review. The CSCE is not involved in this part of the process. Contact your dean’s office to inquire about internal deadlines for nominations and materials to be submitted to the college dean’s office for review.

Dean’s Office: The applicant’s dean’s office must submit the electronic copy (pdf) of this form (Declaration Page) and all supporting materials, as a single PDF, to the CSCE office by November 1. Submit electronically to: csce@gvsu.edu 


Procedures for Administering the CSCE Distinguished Early Career Scholar Award

Each college may nominate a faculty member for one of the four University wide awards. Recipients will be recognized as distinguished scholars. The award selection procedure is as follows:

The Faculty Award Committee for each college will select one faculty member (except CLAS, which selects up to seven, and Seidman College of Business, which selects up to two) to be considered for the award. Committee members will be selected by the dean. Committee membership will be a minimum of three faculty:

Nominations for the award may come from college dean, department chair, and faculty colleagues. Self-nominations are not accepted.

All full-time faculty members who have been employed at GVSU a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 6 years are eligible.

Up to four awards will be made each year. Each recipient will receive $500. 

An individual faculty member may not receive the award more than once.

Recipients are selected by the Research and Development Committee. 

The CSCE will forward the names of recipients to the provost and relevant dean by December 15. The dean will inform the recipient of his or her selection. The CSCE will inform nominees who are not selected.

Declaration Page

Download a Declaration Page


All tenured and tenure-track faculty members who began their independent scholarship within the past six years. 

Page last modified February 17, 2022