Carnegie Mellon University
June 26, 2012

Heather Steffen Receives AAUW Fellowship

By David Golebiewski

Heather Steffen Receives AAUW Fellowship

Heather Steffen, a Ph.D.  Candidate in Literary in Cultural Studies, has received a $20,000 fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to support her dissertation writing.

“It’s a huge honor, and it gives me confidence as I face the tough academic job market,” Steffen said. “Applying for the fellowship also helped me get ready for job applications by crystallizing my thoughts about my identity as an academic professional and as a researcher in the humanities.”

Steffen’s one-year fellowship allows her to take time off teaching her Interpretation and Argument course and focus on her dissertation, which examines how academic labor criticism in the early twentieth century influenced professors’ labor conditions, academic freedom and university governance throughout the twentieth century.

A nationwide network with over 100,000 members and donors and 600 college/university partners, the AAUW seeks to advance educational and professional opportunities for women in the U.S. and abroad. Steffen notes that the AAUW plays a crucial role in exploring work-life balance issues that can prevent women from reaching the top professional ranks in higher U.S. education and encouraging more women to enter science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related fields.

“The AAUW is doing great work shaping policies that can help bring women to parity with men at this level,” Steffen said.