Black Holes? Rural women’s health? Social classification? What incredible topics are the 37(!) AAUW-funded fellowship and grant recipients studying? Attend these live virtual events showcasing their personal stories and fascinating studies. But wait, there’s more! This is a chance to see the great speakers who can be scheduled for branch programs!
Make a donation to AAUW Fund and note that it is “In honor of AAUW California Fund Event.”
Watch an Event
November 7, 2021 Event
October 30, 2021 Event
October 23, 2021 Event
|Sarah Biscarra Dilley
|yatspułhitsʔišaʔ World-Place It Is in Continuous Motion: Patterns, Peoples and Place [niłpasini wastspu tiłhin ktitʸutitʸu] The One Ocean + Land-World of the People of Tiłhini
|Sarah's written, visual and material practice is grounded in collaboration across experiences, peoples and place, connecting extractive industries, absent treaties and enclosure to emphasize movement, embodied protocol and possibility. Her aspirations are toward cultural resurgence and the return of land to her families’ stewardship.
|Edge Effects: Salt-Making Worlds of Timor
|Gillian Bogart is an anthropologist whose work explores social and ecological transformation, especially in relation to capital-driven disturbance. Her current project is a study of salt production on Timor island and the impacts of Indonesia’s national salt self-sufficiency initiative on fisher-farmer communities, coastal ecologies and the human-nonhuman relations that animate them. Her nascent research program focuses on women’s vernacular livelihood practices.
|The Sound of Touch
|Stacey Cabaj is a performing artist and theatre pedagogy specialist. She is currently an assistant professor of acting and pedagogy at Loyola Marymount University, where her work focuses on new pedagogies of teaching and learning theatre arts. Her latest project, The Sound of Touch, explores technological synesthesia as a learning tool in classrooms and as a storytelling device in theaters.
|Effect of Coral Reefs on the Evolution of Fish Feeding
|Katherine Corn’s research integrates macroevolution and biomechanics to understand how transitions in prey capture mechanism affect the morphological diversity of fishes. Her current work explores how the K/Pg mass extinction may have facilitated the evolution of a new feeding mode on coral reefs and looks into the functional role of a novel joint common in jaw systems of reef herbivores. She is passionate about engaging women and girls in quantitative biology and lectures on macroevolutionary statistical methods.
|Stubborn Social Emotions and Their Harms
|Kaitlyn Creasy’s work explores Nietzsche’s philosophical psychology, especially psychological manifestations of meaninglessness and the transformative potential of emotions in his thought. In her recent work, she examines sociocultural impacts on emotions (both in Nietzsche and in general) and analyzes the unique ethical harm of affective oppression. She also has research interests in self-knowledge and environmental philosophy. She advocates for and mentors women in philosophy with the aim of making philosophy a more hospitable field for women.
|Investigating the Role of a Supernova Explosion in the Formation of the Solar System
|Jasmeet Dhaliwal is a planetary scientist who studies the chemistry of the early solar system and how it has influenced planet formation and evolution. She is actively involved in science outreach education for K12 students, as well as efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the earth and planetary sciences. She eventually hopes to become a professor and develop interdisciplinary research with her colleagues to advance social-justice issues in the field.
|Feeling Like We Belong: Student Publications and Extracurricular Rhetorical Education
|Allison Dziuba is a feminist teacher and scholar. Her current project examines how historically marginalized college students create a sense of belonging through their extracurricular writing and organizing.
|Yessica Garcia Hernandez
|Intoxicating Pleasures: Jenni Rivera and the Sexual Politics of Fan Cultures
|Yessica Garcia Hernandez is writing a book on the cultural impact of the late Chicana singer Jenni Rivera. She particularly focuses on how her fans use Rivera’s music, reality shows, radio and live performances to reimagine class, gender, race and sexuality. With the support of the fellowship she also hopes to make progress on the documentary and podcast companions to her book.
|Trans Circulations: Globalizing Gender Categories
|Tara Gonsalves’s research examines the contested processes through which social categories such as gender and sexuality emerge, circulate and become institutionalized as well as the social consequences of classification processes. Her work has been published in Social Forces and Gender & Society.
|Jessica Gutierrez Masini
|Native American Indigeneity Through Danza in Southwest Powwows: A Decolonized Approach
|Through engagement, dance and compassionate listening, Jessica Gutierrez Masini explores how two intertribal Indigenous practices (Danza and powwow) reflect transnational Indigenous identities, values and expressions. Her interpersonal analysis of intergroup relations across the U.S. and México borderlands echoes modes of decolonial inquiry and meaning-making among feminist scholars and communities. Through personal presence, critical pedagogy and scholarship, she dedicates herself to Indigenous self-determination and equal accessibility and equity in education.
|The Scandal of Access: Drug Price, Quality and Property in Pakistan
|Zahra Hayat’s dissertation analyzes how drug price, quality and intellectual property condition consumer access to medicines in Pakistan. Deploying the analytic of scandal as situated critique, she diagnoses as scandalous not just spectacular events but embedded, structural aspects of global and national pharmaceutical landscapes. Pakistan’s staggering burdens of fatal, treatable, yet untreated diseases define the urgent stakes of her research, which while ethnographically grounded in Pakistan, addresses pharmaceutical capital’s inequities across the global South.
|Ill Fares the Land: Pellagra and Women’s Public-Health Work in the Jim Crow South
|Dana Landress is a historian of 20th-century medicine and public health. Her research explores the diverse voices of female home-demonstration agents from across the American South who, without formal medical training, established community-health networks to eradicate pellagra—one of the South’s most devastating nutritional diseases. She is broadly interested in the intersections between rural women’s health, agrarian economies and medicine as it is learned and practiced outside of the clinic.
|Probing Supermassive Black Holes with Tidal Disruption Events
|Brenna Mockler’s research focuses on understanding the growth and behavior of supermassive black holes, such as the one at the center of our own galaxy. Her current work studies stars captured and engulfed by black holes to learn about how fast black holes can grow. She is also deeply committed to improving the culture in astronomy and academia and believes that advancing equity and inclusion in academic research is vital to its success.
|Contours of Care: The Influenza Pandemic, Public Health and Asian American Communities in Southern California, 1918–1941
|Health, medicine and migration are among the many forces that have shaped the life of Juily Phun, a southeast Asian refugee. Her work examines the place of medicine and health as sites of understanding belonging, inclusion and exclusion in the United States. Her goal is to obtain tenure at a teaching university for underrepresented minority students and continue with community-based research.
|Racialized Expertise and the Enabling and Constraining Character of Organizations: The Case of University Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Personnel
|Sandra Portocarrero studies issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion management in organizations. She focuses on organizational processes, expertise and race. Her goal is to obtain tenure at a research university and mentor women and minoritized people in academia.
|Silvia Rodriguez Vega
|Caged Childhoods: Art, Healing and U.S. Immigration Policy
|Silvia Rodriguez Vega is a community-engaged artist and scholar. Currently she is also a New York University Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research explores the ways anti-immigrant policies impact the lives of immigrant children through new methodological tools centering art and creative expression. She is working on her first book manuscript under contract with NYU Press.
|Development of Cubic Morphologies of Perovskite Materials for Enhanced Creep Resistance
|Maritza Sanchez’s research focuses on the development of cubic particle morphologies of perovskite ceramic materials for enhanced creep resistance. The introduction of new particle morphologies allows for enhanced mechanical properties of materials for applications in power generation and nuclear energy. Her goal is to become a tenured faculty member in hopes of inspiring the next generation of engineers.
|Measuring the Impact of Immigrant-Serving Nonprofits
|Zayda Sorrell-Medina’s dissertation encapsulates four studies that investigate the impact of immigrant-serving nonprofits on immigrant inclusion outcomes. Of particular interest are outcomes such as immigrant legalization, rights and cultural acceptance. Her goal is for her research to have practical and policy implications. She also hopes to obtain a faculty position upon graduation.
|Spatial Organization of Metabolic Complexes and Instructor Talk in Laboratory Courses
|Kelly Subramanian works with undergraduate researchers to understand the spatial organization of mitochondrial metabolic complexes that may help resolve human metabolic diseases linked to disorganized mitochondrial membranes. She also collaborates with teams at the University of Georgia and the University of Texas, El Paso, to understand what instructors talk about with students unrelated to scientific content that may affect student development in life-science lab courses. She hopes to pursue a career in teaching and mentoring undergraduate students.
|Career Development Grants
|Biology - M.P.H., Epidemiology
|Sabrina Baffert is a project manager at Primordial Genetics, a startup biotechnology company in San Diego. Her work focuses on the development of more efficient RNA polymerases for use in manufacturing vaccines that are used to impact genetic and viral diseases like Covid-19.
|Social Work - M.S.W., Clinical Social Work
|Alison Espinosa-Setchko is dedicated to creating healing in the lives of survivors and perpetrators of severe harm. Until recently, she was program manager at The Ahimsa Collective coordinating a “Restorative Approaches to Intimate Violence” program for hundreds of incarcerated men.
|Health and Medical Sciences - M.S., Physician Assistant Program
|In her work within higher education, Brittney Miller has spent years developing programming and community-outreach initiatives as well as becoming a leader in health-education advocacy for underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students.
|Public Administration -M.P.A., Public Policy
|Antonia Romero’s work focuses on issues of equity and justice. As an analyst with the Department of Child Support Services, she coordinates with community partners to provide additional support to customers, furthering the goal of reducing barriers that contribute to poverty.
|Education - M.Ed., Enrollment Management & Policy
|Maria Salgado builds educational equity by creating college access and success pathways for students from marginalized backgrounds. Her work focuses on removing the stigma of imposter syndrome and navigating the hidden curriculum to ensure that underrepresented college minorities can maximize the benefits of their college degree. Her goal is to gain a leadership role in higher education to improve educational outcomes. As a mentor, she helps young women find their voice and independence through education.
|Community Action Grant
|Boys & Girls Clubs of Ocenside - STREAMing Ahead
|Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside’s STREAMing Ahead program will provide hands-on, project-based learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STREAM) to at-risk girls, ages 5–18. Participants will attend a 24-week program that will include exciting STREAM projects and community-based events, focused on in-depth career exploration. In the wake of the pandemic, this program will help renew their love for learning and inspire them to dream big.
|P F Breese Foundation - Physical Sciences and Engineering Exploration for 100 Low-Income Central Los Angeles Girls
|Bresee’s goal is to ensure that 100 local low-income middle-and high-school girls gain meaningful exposure to STEM education opportunities and career exploration that they otherwise would not have access to. To achieve these outcomes, Bresee’s Youth Services team will reach out to community organizations and local schools to enroll youth participants in its programs designed to achieve academic success and prepare for college and the workforce.
|Economics - M.S, Development Economics
|Faheema Eissar will pursue a master of science in international development economics, with a focus on development policies and data analytics. She would like to pursue research in utilizing the private sector and the role of women in leading underdeveloped countries toward development. This interest comes from the extensive work experience she has had with the private sector in Afghanistan over the past seven years.
|Computer and Information Sciences - M.S., Artificial intelligence and computer vision
|Becky Mashaido is a graduate student passionate about the intersection of women and technology. She combines her background in applied mathematics and computer science to study the impact algorithms have on women. Her research seeks to promote gender inclusion within the development of artificially intelligent technologies.
|Engineering biomedical - M.S., Drug Delivery
|During her fellowship year, K’Ashe McKinney plans to focus on targeted drug delivery as it relates to cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Her goal is to become a pillar in the biomedical engineering industry and aid in enhancing the state of her country’s health-care system.
|Health and Medical Sciences - Ph.D., Cardiology
|Melissa Middeldorp’s research to date has focused on atrial fibrillation (AF) with an emphasis on educating patients and managing their risk factors to improve their outcomes. In addition she has an interest in gender differences, socioeconomic factors and stroke. Her goal is to expand her knowledge with skills in epidemiological studies while implementing further research projects in patient education and managing risk factors to provide crucial information about this condition to potentially reduce stroke and AF.
|Biology - Ph.D., Integrative biology
|Veronarindra Ramananjato is a conservation biologist, investigating mutualistic interactions between the world’s smallest primates, the mouse lemurs, and plant communities. She has previously demonstrated that they are effective seed-dispersal agents, facilitating the regeneration of native plant species both within and outside forest areas. Her current work seeks to determine how the disruption of such interactions will affect biodiversity for forest conservation and restoration purposes. Her goal is to use her findings to earn a Ph.D..
|Sociology - Ph.D., Migration, gender and human rights
|In her research, Zofia Włodarczyk focuses on issues of migration, gender and human rights, specifically on the experiences of female refugees fleeing domestic violence. Previously her work focused on the agency of rural women in Poland and Polish feminist movements. Her goal is to advocate for women’s and refugees’ rights through her work in the public and third sectors.
|Research Publication Grant
|Reem Al Olaby
|Elucidating the Role of Heat Shock Proteins in Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome
|Reem Al Olaby is an assistant professor at California Northstate University. She participated in projects that aimed at genetic and proteomic profiling of neurological disorders like autism spectrum disorder and fragile x-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Her new project focuses on elucidating the role of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in the pathology of FXTAS. Once significant HSPs are determined, then they could be potential drug targets for the treatment of this orphan disease.
|Taxonomy, conservation genomics and de- extinction of Galapagos racer snakes
|Danielle Edwards is a herpetologist, an evolutionary biologist and a conservation advocate. She will use this fellowship to establish her lab as a leader in applied conservation genomics toward the management of snake populations across the Galapagos Islands, the birthplace of the theory of evolution. She will also be sequencing a specimen Darwin himself collected!
|Selected Professions Fellowship
|Mathematics - M.S., Applied Mathematics
|After several years working as a data analyst both in and alongside the nonprofit sector, Leah Hoogstra is beginning her master’s degree in mathematics. She plans to get her Ph.D. in applied mathematics and go on to a career in research and teaching. She intends to apply her research in mathematics to social science contexts, especially to issues of equality such as gerrymandering, algorithmic fairness or the better understanding of dynamic social systems.
|Computer and Information Sciences - M.S., Data Science, Web Development, Software Engineering
|Aliannea Sherman’s work on creating a virtual-reality development pipeline for nursing simulation training aims to address diversity concerns in training simulations, as well as rapport-building with virtual characters. In her free time, she offers support to undergraduate and high-school students through mentorship and volunteerism.
|Engineering mechanical - M.S., Mechanical Engineering
|Paula Stocco has spent her early career working in the medical-device industry including new product development, sustaining engineering and operations projects. Her first-year goal at Stanford is to participate in research developing innovative solutions to address unmet health-care needs. She hopes to expand her technical expertise while leveraging her industry experience to create sustainable solutions.