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Four UAB women receive American Association of University Women fellowships and grant

  • October 16, 2019
The American Association of University Women awarded four UAB women who are making a difference in the lives of other women and girls.

AAUW2Ashley Turner, Denise Stanford and Molly BuckleyThe American Association of University Women awarded a 2019-20 fellowship to four students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

AAUW fellows are selected for their academic achievement, scholarly promise, and demonstrated commitment to women and girls. Fellowship and grant recipients perform research in a wide range of disciplines and work to improve their schools and communities. Their intellect, dedication, imagination and effort promise to forge new paths in scholarship, improve the quality of life for all, and tackle the educational and social barriers facing women worldwide.

“Only a select number are chosen as fellows, and there are some pretty incredible applicants, so I’m grateful to now be a part of that number,” said Alana Nichols, M.D., UAB Department of Medicine. “The Selected Professions Fellowship will allow me to focus on finishing up my undergraduate work in medical education and continue my research on underrepresented minority student education.”

Ashley Turner, Ph.D., UAB Department of Biology and an American Fellowship recipient, says UAB has provided her a landscape where she can pursue all of her interests, including research, mentoring, teaching and advocacy.

“I have been involved with numerous programs and initiatives focused on promoting education and success for women and girls,” Turner said. “I have had the unique opportunity to serve as a role model and mentor to female high school students wanting to enter STEM, and young women currently in STEM at UAB and surrounding community colleges. I have also had the privilege to mentor some amazing women scientists and graduate students in the research lab.” 

In addition, Turner has been an advocate at UAB for increased recognition, support and services for LGBTQ students, staff and faculty, including cisgender and transgender woman. Her professional and career goals are to continue research, mentoring and teaching as an academic scientist and professor.

Denise Stanford, researcher in UAB’s Department of Medicine, says the Career Development Grant will provide the required resources for her to enlist in more courses to reach her goals in minimal time.

AAUW4Alana Nichols, M.D.“My future goal is to play an active and impactful role in the development of new and effective drugs to treat cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients,” Stanford said. “As a professional researcher, I have been successful in working with scientists with a variety of backgrounds in biomedical research. I strongly believe that this additional training will help my advancement as a research scientist and enable me to excel further in my career.”

Molly Buckley, master’s student in the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering, plans to work in the drug development industry for cancer therapeutics. For her Selected Professions  Fellowship, she will study the effects of mechanical forces on breast and ovarian cancers, and how to turn the findings into drug targets for improved cancer therapies. 

“I am honored to represent AAUW as a Selected Professions fellow because this organization has a huge impact on women in fields where we are typically underrepresented,” Buckley said. “I hope to also be able to help future generations of women narrow the gender gaps in these fields. 

“I found this fellowship opportunity through UAB’s Biomedical Engineering department, and was encouraged to apply by my mentor and peers at UAB. With my master’s program, I am able to collaborate with UAB’s distinguished O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. My involvement with the exciting research that is happening there to improve cancer therapies, specifically those that significantly affect women such as breast and ovarian, played an important role in my receiving this fellowship.”

One of the world’s largest sources of funding for graduate women, AAUW is providing $4.3 million in funding for fellowships and grants to 270 outstanding women and nonprofit organizations in the 2019-20 academic year.