11 Projects That Will Empower College Women from D.C. to Brazil

February 05, 2018

The year 2017 showed us that women are not slowing down in the face of inequality, from the #metoo movement to Hollywood women launching Time’s Up, and the AAUW Campus Action Project (CAP) grant recipients are no exception.

CAP grantees focus on developing campus women’s leadership initiatives for students, faculty, and staff.  Our grant recipients represent a breadth of campuses from around the nation, as well as one international campus in Brazil.

AAUW’s grant funding enables groups of educators, administrators, and students to enhance opportunities for women on campus from increasing women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields to engaging students in spoken word to fostering empowerment to closing the leadership gap amongst faculty. We are proud to announce this year’s grant recipients.

1. University of the District of Columbia

Five members of the University of the District of Columbia's AAUW Campus Action Project team stand with their leadership project poster for #HEARMELEAD.

Returning for a second year the #hearmelead program is a peer-mentoring project that serves as a leadership development incubator for women students across campus. In its inaugural year 25 students formed the core of this creative writing project, with another 50 engaged through different activities on campus. This year the project hopes to develop curriculum strategies and sustained student engagement through leadership apprenticeships with a focus on self and community advocacy.

2. Georgetown University School of Medicine—AAUW College/University Member

Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Women in Science and Education program will raise awareness about issues that women face in science and education careers. The team has identified such opportunities as improving communication skills and developing mentorship relationships on campus. They will do this through workshops, mentoring opportunities, and other events with projected outcomes to inform students about the challenges facing women in science and education.

3. Iowa State University—AAUW College/University Member

Graduate Womyn of Colour Sister Circle Meet-up is an opportunity to create a critical space for graduate women of color at ISU. The sister circle meet-ups will take place monthly throughout the semester and cover such topics related to women of color succeeding in graduate school as well-being and navigating graduate school and the imposter syndrome.

4. University of Notre Dame—AAUW College/University Member

Empowering Women Leaders in STEM at Notre Dame has three objectives: to serve as a continuous pipeline of discussion and implementation of professional development programs for women in STEM at all career stages, to advocate institutional policies that increase women’s participation in STEM fields, and to provide networking and mentoring of STEM women through collaborative projects with existing women’s organizations on campus. The program will adapt and expand the structure of Notre Dame STEMentorship, a successful mentorship program that pairs female undergraduate students in STEM with female graduate student mentors based on individual career aspirations.

5. Robert Morris University—AAUW College/University Member

Overcoming Statistics: Empowering Women in Actuarial Science addresses the gender leadership gap in actuarial science at RMU and in society at large. A pipeline of women actuaries will be created through a series of campus events that promote the field and provide role models encouraging women in high school and college to consider and stick with the discipline. The team will host events including a six-week campus “takeover” campaign to educate the community and a reception and panel discussion with high school students interested in pursuing degrees in actuarial science.


UNIFEOB is a university in São João da Boa Vista, Brazil. The CAP project there, Campus Female Empowerment Actions, will focus on raising awareness about the gender gap and the consequences of low women’s representation in leadership positions in Brazil. The team wants to engage students to foster more participation in leadership positions — on and off campus. This project is one part of a greater initiative within the university to secure female student rights, fight campus harassment and intolerance, and promote diversity.

7. University of Alabama—AAUW College/University Member

Intentionally Diversifying Engagement and Leadership is designed to encourage and teach the skills needed for young women to run for office in hopes of addressing the lack of women in political leadership in the state of Alabama. They will do this through networking receptions, a Women in Office speaker series, campaign skill-building workshops, an empowerment event between college and elementary school age girls, and social media campaigns.

8. University of Dallas—AAUW College/University Member


The objective of the Women in STEM Leadership Initiative is to connect female science, technology, engineering, and math undergraduate students with successful female professionals in both formal and informal settings, including speaker series, small networking groups, and mentoring opportunities. The team aims to increase in the number of UD women who graduate with a STEM degree who will either continue on to graduate school to pursue an advanced degree in a STEM field or achieve first-destination employment in a STEM field.

9. University of North Carolina, Wilmington—AAUW College/University Member

The Mentoring Women Faculty: A Pilot Project will help assistant and associate female professors meet their career goals and create a model that can be used to mentor others and to create a professional campus climate receptive to and encouraging of women. The team will host a series of community-building brown bag lunches, professional development workshops, and mentoring opportunities with female full professors.

10. University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh—AAUW College/University Member

The Titan LeadHERship project will be a photo exhibit and larger Inspiration to Action workshop hosted for 200 female identified leaders pursuing “pink-collar” career fields. The project aims to address the gender leadership gap specifically in pink-collar careers by inspiring female-identified students to see themselves as leaders and take subsequent action by setting leadership goals.

11. Wingate University—AAUW College/University Member

“empoWer” at Wingate University is a series of workshops that aims to improve financial literacy, career and leadership skills, and leadership self-efficacy among students at the university. Throughout the program information will also be delivered through social media and advertisements to encourage a broader campus conversation.

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Members of the Younger Women’s Task Force Greater Lafayette (IN) Chapter used a photo booth to take action.

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