Comfort Itunu Adedeji (left) and Dominque Ferguson(right) will benefit from the programs to tackle barriers women face in education
WASHINGTON — Two Florida A&M University scholars have been awarded 2022-2023 fellowships and grants from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
The recipients, Comfort Itunu Adedeji and Dominque Ferguson, will pursue academic work and lead innovative community projects to empower women and girls, the AAUW announcement said.
Adedeji, who received the International Doctoral Degree Fellowship, is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. A native of Nigeria, Adedeji is presently working on water-resources protection at the Resilient Infrastructure and Disaster Response (RIDER) Center at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.
Her focus is to develop easy-to-use tools for data generation and water-quality assessment using multiscale spatiotemporal data-driven models. Over the next couple of months, Adedeji will be collaborating with other research mentors to “create training modules in spatial data science that will foster the inclusion of minority women and girls in science and watershed protection research,” according to the AAUW website.
Ferguson, a recipient of the American Dissertation Fellowship, is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at FAMU, where she studies molecular pharmacology. Her dissertation evaluates chemical carcinogenesis through exposure to Benzo[a]pyrene in racially diverse breast nontumorigenic/tumorigenic models and evaluates the ability of nutraceuticals to attenuate steps of the carcinogenesis process.
After completing her Ph.D., Ferguson looks forward to pursuing a career in “Big Pharma to develop novel therapeutic regimens to make an impact and improve cancer prevention, detection and treatment,” according to the AAUW website.
AAUW is one of the world’s oldest leading supporters of graduate women’s education. Since 1888, it has awarded more than $135 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 women from 150 countries. For the 2022–23 academic year, AAUW has awarded an unprecedented $6 million through its fellowships and grants programs to 320 scholars and community projects that promote education and equity for women and girls.
“We’re proud to support the work of these outstanding scholars and community leaders,” said Gloria L. Blackwell, AAUW’s chief executive officer. “These exceptional awardees are dedicated to making contributions in a wide range of fields. We’re impressed by their work and can’t wait to see the great things they’ll accomplish throughout their research and careers.”
Educational funding is especially important for women since they are disproportionately burdened by student debt, which is exacerbated by a lifelong pay gap that affects women in nearly every profession. The pay gap widens over time and has broad negative impacts on women’s economic security—from making it difficult to pay college tuition to reducing the ability to save for retirement. AAUW’s awards alleviate financial stress so women can focus on their educational and career aspirations.
Applications for AAUW’s fellowship and grants open August 1 each year. Deadlines vary by program. To find out more about this year’s class of awardees, visit the online directory.