Extraordinary Black Alumnae from AAUW’s Fellowship & Grants Program

Celebrating Passion, Dedication, and Leadership

We’re honoring Black excellence this month, highlighting the incredible achievements of these Black AAUW Fellowships & Grants alumnae. Read about the depth of their impact on social justice and equity below.  

Yamilée Toussaint, Community Action Grant, 2022-23

Yamilée Toussaint is the founder and CEO of STEM From Dance. After completing her degree in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, she combined her passion for dance with her desire to change the representation of women of color in STEM careers at a systemic level. STEM From Dance empowers thousands of girls of color across the U.S. to become the next generation of STEM leaders and innovators through dance. Toussaint holds a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT and a Master of Science in Teaching from Pace University. She is also a recipient of Teach For America’s Social Innovation Award, AnitaB.org’s Educational Innovation Award, and an AAAS/IF THEN® Ambassador.

Dr. Deeonna Farr, American Fellowhip, 2016-17

Deeonna Farr, DrPH, MPH CHES, is an Assistant Professor in Health Education and Promotion at East Carolina University. Her primary research emphasis is on multilevel influences on chronic disease prevention in Black communities with a focus on the adoption of cancer prevention behaviors. Dr. Farr seeks to refine existing public health theories and intervention strategies to account for the contexts and experiences of Black communities and developing approaches to improve the racial and ethnic diversity and generalizability of public health research. Dr. Farr received her Doctorate of Public Health from the University of South Carolina.


Dr. Tamika Nunley, American Fellowship, 2018-19

Tamika Nunley, Ph.D., is an author and Associate Professor of History at Cornell University. Her research is focused on the history of slavery, African-American women’s history and gender history, the early Republic, and the American Civil War. Her most recent book,The Demands of Justice: Enslaved Women, Capital Crime, and Clemency in Early Virginia, 1662-1865″ examines clemency in legal cases that involve enslaved women accused of capital crime in early Virginia. Dr. Nunley received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia.

Robin Gee, American Fellowship 2006-07

Robin Gee, Associate Professor of Dance at UNCG, holds an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Sarah Lawrence College and specializes in African dance techniques, Caribbean dance forms, and modern dance techniques. Gee has performed with several New York-based dance companies, including Les Ballet Bagata, directed by Yousouff Koumbassa; Maimouna Keita Dance Company, directed by Marie Basse Wiles; and the Cinque Folkloric Dance Company, where she served as choreographer and Artistic Director for 15 years.

Teonna Cooksey, Selected Professions Fellowships, 2021-22

Teonna Cooksey received her Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Planning from Columbia University. Her research has explored the correlation between housing segregation and the variables that lead to foreclosure and eviction. Her work as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, a WiscAMP STEM Scholar, and an Undergraduate Research Fellow has received both National and International awards. As an executive officer in multiple student organizations, Cooksey indulged in work that focuses on immigrants’ rights, Blacktivism, and multicultural achievement in architecture.

Dr. Amber Henry, American Fellowship, 2020-21

Amber Henry, Ph.D., is an anthropologist, storyteller, and filmmaker. Dr. Henry earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology and Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interrogates women’s activism, embodied forms of placemaking, and Black & Indigenous critiques of sovereignty in Latin America. Her current project, explores how Afro-Colombian women mobilize traditions of marronage to envision life beyond the Colombian nation-state. Dr. Henry is completing her post-doctoral fellowship at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.  

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