Parting Words from Last Year’s Fellows and Grantees

September 21, 2011
The young grantee Miriam poses for a photo next to a podium with the AAUW banner and branch member Patricia Allgeier.

American Fellow Miriam Matthews (right) with AAUW Laguna Hills (CA) Branch President Patricia Allgeier.

There are many rewarding aspects to working in Fellowships and Grants at AAUW, but one in particular is reading about all the amazing accomplishments of our outgoing fellowship and grant recipients in their final reports. Some have graduated and are venturing into the working world; others are finding new inspiration as they make the final push to complete their degrees. All have remarkable stories to tell, which we hope to share in the Following the Fellows blog series in the future.

Here are some interesting numbers from 2010–11 that display the connection between these projects and AAUW’s work.


The number of fellows or grantees who were invited to a branch meeting or event.


The number of fellows or grantees who became AAUW members during their grant year.


The number of Community Action Grantees who collaborated with AAUW branches.

Impressive as these numbers are, they don’t capture the passion of our alumnae’s work or their appreciation for AAUW’s support. Here’s what a few of those fellows and grantees had to say.

“I enjoyed so much being able to see the faces of our sponsors. I have found AAUW’s work so inspiring. I have met wonderful women who dedicate themselves to make this world a better place for women and girls through sponsoring opportunities for a better life.”

— Maria Guadalupe Bravo Vinaja, International Fellow


“I am honored and grateful to have received an AAUW fellowship. I have met multiple women affiliated with AAUW during this fellowship year, and I have been consistently impressed with their kindness, intellect, and drive.”

— Miriam Matthews, American Fellow


“I feel a tremendous sense of pride being a part of the AAUW legacy. The importance of what women can contribute to academics remains a guiding issue in the conduct of my research. I believe that being a fellow has validated my current work in the eyes of those who hold academic power and those who take an active interest in women’s issues.”

— Stefanie Toise, American Fellow


“This is such an empowering fellowship, and just knowing that there are so many other women who work hard and lead inspiring lives is amazing. I am proud of being awarded this fellowship and will continue to encourage other women to become involved in this association.”

— Kelley Sullivan, Selected Professions Fellow


“AAUW is a real-life fairy godmother to me. The money was incredibly helpful, but the honor of being chosen gave me confidence I didn’t know I needed. I feel like Cinderella, only instead of giving me clothes, you gave me strength.”

— Anne Kahle, Career Development Grantee


“Knowing that this grant came to me in order to support me as a woman, from other women who have professional degrees and know the value of that, so that I can change my life and my career, means so much to me. I feel encouraged and supported, and this has been very helpful to me as I pursue my degree.”

— Samantha Ostergaard, Career Development Grantee

This post was written by Laura Blyler and Lesley Perry from AAUW’s Fellowships and Grants Department.

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