American Association of University Women American Fellowship

The oldest and largest of AAUW’s fellowship and grant programs, the American Fellowships program began in 1888, a time when women were discouraged from pursuing an education. Now one of the largest sources of funding for graduate education for women, AAUW has provided more than $83 million to more than 11,000 fellows and grantees since awarding its first fellowship to Vassar graduate Ida Street, a pioneer in the field of early American Indian history.

American Fellows have continued to make important contributions to scholarship and society:

  • Melissa Harris-Lacewell (2001) is an associate professor at Princeton University, a columnist for The Nation magazine, and a regular contributor on MSNBC.
  • Late critical essayist, short-story writer, and novelist Susan Sontag (1957) wrote about modern culture.
  • Late Challenger astronaut Judith Resnick (1975) received a fellowship to complete her dissertation on chemical engineering.
  • Several American Fellows served as college or university presidents, including Rhoda M. Dorsey (1953) at Goucher College, Hanna Holborn Gray (1954) at the University of Chicago, Mary Maples Dunn (1957) at Smith College, and Nannerl O. Keohane (1966) at Duke University.

The 2011-2012 American Fellows continue this legacy. To contribute to their fields and society, the diversity of their study includes the development and function of early financial markets; gene regulation in embryonic stem cells; global ecosystem processes; transportation engineering; and the resurgence of early modern theatre practices intervention with contemporary audiences and expectations.

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