A Word of Thanks: You Make a DifferenceNovember 27, 2013
Here in the Fellowships and Grants Department of AAUW, we often hear stories of challenges, hard work, and courage. At this time of year, it is especially gratifying to hear from our current fellows and alumnae on what their fellowship or grant meant for their education.
Earlier this month, we hosted the annual fall luncheon for fellows and alumnae at the national office. Everyone broke bread, and the fellows and alumnae shared where they had been, where they are, and how AAUW has helped them along the way.
At this luncheon, fellows and alumnae also discussed what it was like to find out about receiving their award, what this fellowship or grant enabled them to do that they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, and why it is important to support women in higher education.
“I was in Kokstad, South Africa, in my cute thatch-roofed apartment. I’d been in great anticipation of the announcement and held my breath as I scrolled through the names. When I finally saw my name there, I cried. I hadn’t expected to feel so emotional about it, but as I reflected on it later, realized that it was exactly the morale boost I needed at that time, when I’d been experiencing a number of challenges with my research.”
— Reshma Naik, American Fellow 2011–12
“Getting my award was such a profound validation. My decision to pursue graduate education in biology represented a terrifying leap of faith. AAUW’s confidence in me gave me confidence in myself so that I could face those challenging last hurdles of earning my degree.”
— Nina Hasen, American Fellow 2006–07
“It was getting to a stage of deciding whether to go on with my doctoral program or abandon it due to financial constraints. This grant has enabled me to concentrate on my study without worrying about how I am going to pay tuition and buy books and other things.”
— Abosede Gbenga-Akinbiola, International Fellow 2013–14
“Women still represent the largest untapped resource in the world.”
— Sichu Mali, International Fellow 2013–14