AAUW awards fellowships to three scholars at UC Santa Cruz

Gillian Bogart
Jasmeet Dhaliwal
Brenna Mockler

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has awarded 2021-22 American Fellowships to three scholars at UC Santa Cruz who will pursue academic work and lead innovative community projects to empower women and girls.

The fellowship recipients are Gillian Bogart, a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology; Jasmeet Dhaliwal, a postdoctoral scholar in Earth and planetary sciences; and Brenna Mockler, a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics.

Gillian Bogart is an anthropologist whose work explores social and ecological transformation, especially in relation to capital-driven disturbance. Her current project is a study of salt production on Timor island and the impacts of Indonesia’s national salt self-sufficiency initiative on fisher-farmer communities, coastal ecologies, and the human-nonhuman relations that animate them. Her nascent research program focuses on women’s vernacular livelihood practices.

Jasmeet Dhaliwal is a planetary scientist who studies the chemistry of the early solar system and how it has influenced planet formation and evolution. She is actively involved in science outreach education for K-12 students, as well as efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Earth and planetary sciences. She eventually hopes to become a professor and develop interdisciplinary research with her colleagues to advance social-justice issues in the field.

Brenna Mockler’s research focuses on understanding the growth and behavior of supermassive black holes, such as the one at the center of our own galaxy. Her current work studies stars captured and engulfed by black holes to learn about how fast black holes can grow. She is also deeply committed to improving the culture in astronomy and academia and believes that advancing equity and inclusion in academic research is vital to its success.

AAUW is one of the world’s oldest leading supporters of graduate women’s education. Since 1888, it has awarded more than $115 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to 13,000 women from 150 countries. For the 2021–22 academic year, AAUW has awarded a total of an unprecedented $5 million through its fellowships and grants programs to 260 scholars as well as to community projects and programs that promote education and equity for women and girls.

Educational funding is especially important for women since they are disproportionately burdened by student debt. The burden is exacerbated by a lifelong pay gap that affects women in nearly every profession. The pay gap widens over time and has negative impacts on all aspect of a woman’s financial life, from paying college tuition to saving for a comfortable retirement. AAUW’s awards help to alleviate the burden of student debt so women can focus on their education and academic pursuits.

“We’re proud to support the work of these outstanding scholars,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW executive vice president and chief programs officer. “This year’s recipients are making valuable contributions in a wide range of fields, but with a common goal of improving life for all of us. We’re impressed by what these scholars are doing and excited about the great things they’ll accomplish throughout their research and careers.”