Congratulations to AAUW’s 2017–18 Fellowships and Grants Awardees!

AAUW fellows and grantees
April 14, 2017

“To have an organization like AAUW saying, ‘We support your research, we support you, you’re on the right track,’ that really empowered me and restored my confidence as a scholar.”

— Bonnie Williams, 2015–16 AAUW American Fellow

AAUW’s fellowships and grants have helped scholars and activists like Bonnie Williams, Ph.D., overcome barriers to their education and advancement for almost 130 years. Recipients have become leaders in business, government, academia, community activism, the arts, and the sciences.

A graphic showing AAUW's fellowships and grants awards around the worldFor the 2017–18 academic year, 250 women and community projects serving women and girls will receive $3.7 million from AAUW.

This level of funding for women’s education and projects has a tremendous impact on women and their communities by expanding women’s potential and supporting their future promise.

By easing the pressure of financing their academic and community work, AAUW’s awards help women tackle the growing burden of student debt and focus their efforts on the task at hand: developing the skills and confidence they need to excel in their fields.

Who are these trailblazing fellows and grantees? See how just a few 2017–18 fellows and grantees are making a difference in their lives — and how they are bringing up others behind them.

2017–18 American Fellow Zawadi Ahidiana

fellowships and grans awardee

2017–18 American Fellow Zawadi Ahidiana

Portraits of Gentrification: When Neighborhood Change Becomes News

Zawadi Rucks-Ahidiana is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research is at the intersection of race, class, space, and culture. Her current project documents how the media portrays gentrification in order to better understand the depictions that influence public perceptions of class-based neighborhood changes and policy responses to gentrification. She hopes to continue her work as a tenure-track professor.

2017–18 Career Development Grantee Moni Briones

fellowships and grants awardee

2017–18 Career Development Grantee Moni Briones

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

Moni Briones’ work focuses on social marketing research and developing small-business strategies for young women in STEM and for “career changers.” Prior to pursuing a master of business administration, she worked in the New York City fashion industry. She aims to break down societal obstacles and empower women to reach entrepreneurial goals with actionable steps.

2017–18 Community Action Grantee The Juvenile Justice Coalition

Project Director: Erin Davies

Developing Leadership for At-Risk and Court-Involved Young Women

The Juvenile Justice Coalition will support young women ages 12–24 who have been suspended or expelled from school or who are involved, or at risk of becoming involved, in the juvenile court system. The coalition will educate the public and amplify girls’ voices around juvenile justice issues. This funding will support youth meetings, increase community engagement, and help girls identify and formulate solutions to issues important to their communities.

2017–18 International Fellow Marcela Cervini

fellowships and grants awardee

2017–18 International Fellow Marcela Cervini

Using Financial Engineering to Increase Opportunity

Marcela Cervini aspires to become an innovative leader and strengthen financial institutions in Mexico through the incorporation of mathematical models and computer science tools. She aspires to increase the participation of women in finance by generating better opportunities and spreading awareness of the importance of improving the work environment for women in the finance field.

2017–18 International Project Grantee Otgontugs Banzragch

fellowships and grantees

2017–18 International Project Grantee Otgontugs Banzragch

Helping Mongolian Girls Become STEM Professionals

Otgontugs Banzragch, Ph.D., serves as the first woman dean of the graduate school at the National University of Mongolia. She is working with local nongovernmental organizations and businesses to help rural girls from herder families in Mongolia to obtain the preparatory training necessary to be enrolled in STEM fields in higher education institutions.

2017–18 Selected Professions Fellow Daisy Benitez

2017–18 Selected Professions Fellow Daisy Benitez

Taking Science Activism to Her Community—And Beyond

Daisy Benitez aims with her studies to develop technologies to support safe, sustainable, and reliable energy generation. She is interested in understanding the complex relationship between energy production and the environment to minimize negative impacts on marginalized communities. As a leader of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, she is also dedicated to increasing the number of Latinx students in STEM fields.

This new group of fellows and grantees stands on the shoulders of past recipients who broke through barriers in their fields and helped those who came after them.

Find out more about the amazing work this year’s fellows and grantees — as well as our alumnae — are doing by visiting the fellowships and grants directory and reading up on the blog.


Following the Fellows

From award-winning authors to international change makers, see whose footsteps this year’s class will follow.

Marine biologist standing in water

Educational funding and awards

Seeking funding for academic or community work? Learn more about our programs and applications.

A vintage image of a lecture hall filled with women students, with a professor teaching up front

100 Years of Sexism

Anthropologist and 1942–43 AAUW Fellow Elizabeth Colson remembers a time when female students at Radcliffe College were only allowed to use Harvard’s reference library if they stood.

Lesley Perry By:   |   April 14, 2017