The American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded its 2019–20 American Fellowship to Dr. Ashley Nicole Turner of Tallapoosa, GA. Turner is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“I am truly honored to receive an AAUW American Postdoctoral Fellowship based on my personal commitment to education and equity for women and girls in STEM,” said Turner. “During my postdoctoral training, I am acquiring experience working with the microscopic nematode C. elegans in theScreen Shot 2019 09 27 at 3.42.56 PM basic biology of aging.”

Turner plans to continue research, mentoring, and teaching as an academic scientist and professor. She wants this to include a C. elegans research lab exploring questions involving the interplay between aging and neurodegeneration, as well as teaching and offering unique research and learning opportunities to students.

“With the support of AAUW, I will gain the C. elegansmodel, tools, and expertise I need for my professional career aspirations,” said Turner.

AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education: Over the past 130 years, it has provided more than $115 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to 13,000 women from more than 145 countries. 

 For the 2019-20 academic year, AAUW is awarding a total of $4 million through seven fellowships and grants programs to 259 scholars, research projects and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls.

American Fellowships, AAUW’s largest funding program, began 1888, making them one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious fellowship programs exclusively for women. These fellowships support women scholars who are completing doctoral dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research or finishing research for publication

“AAUW’s fellows and grantees have made major contributions to our society and to the world at large,” said Kim Churches, the chief executive officer of AAUW. “These trailblazers are breaking the mold in nontraditional fields and redefining what leadership looks like. AAUW is proud to support them with the resources they need to excel.”

Educational funding is especially important given that women are disproportionately burdened by student debt.  And their ability to pay off that debt is hampered by a lifelong pay gap that affects women in nearly every profession. The pay gap widens over time and has consequences on all aspect of a woman’s financial life,  from paying for an education to saving for a comfortable retirement.  AAUW’s awards are designed to help to alleviate the burden of student debt so women can focus on developing their skills and experience.