As our Anniversary Fund nears completion, it’s natural — and fun — to think about the potential recipients of our namesake grants. So I asked branch member Sue Bordner what it’s been like for her. Sue was California AAUW president from 1994 to 1996, and, as has been the tradition with California presidents, a fund was created in her name when her term in office ended. In Sue’s case, it’s an American Fellowship, which is awarded annually to women engaged in full-time study to complete dissertations, conduct postdoctoral research or prepare research for publication. Begun in 1888, American Fellowships is the oldest and largest of AAUW’s fellowships and grants programs.
It is possible to look at www.aauw.org to find Sue’s fellowship and the names and projects of the winning recipients. Sue even had the opportunity to meet three of them — Jan Goggans, Kimberly M. Parke and Kristina Smith — and has information on two. Goggans, 2001-2002, was at UC Davis for a Ph.D. in modern American literature/American nature writing, focusing on Dorothea Lange. Parke, 2002-2003, attended UC Berkeley, exploring the intersection of science and music. Other grantees have worked in business administration, law and social policy, robotics, women’s health policy, racial identity in Costa Rica, gender and the sense of belonging, personality consequences in wild vervet monkeys, and engineering for better water quality. What an education we might get if we could put these women in a room and listen to their conversation! How proud Sue must be to know that her name grant is forever linked to their accomplishments.
AAUW attempts to place grant recipients with a fund donor in the same geographical area, making it easier for the two to meet. We have much to anticipate!