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Welcome!

The Chicago Loop branch of AAUW was founded by Alexis Reese in June 2009. Our branch mission is a commitment to the women and girls living and working in an urban environment who want to pursue their educational dreams. We strive to interest and to network with Chicago area professionals in current local, national, and global issues related to women.

Meet the Fellows We Support

Date: Saturday, September 12, 2015
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: 65 East Huron, Chicago, IL
Facilitator: Dr. Lisa  Ann Acosta

A light brunch will be served.

Recipient: Rashida Abdul-Ganiyu
Award Year: 2015-16
Award: International Fellowship
Institution: University of Illinois, Chicago
Citizenship: Ghana
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Discipline: Biology
Degree and Specialization: Sc.D., Biological sciences (molecular cell and developmental biology)

Rashida Abdul-Ganiyu hopes to use her research findings to help increase productivity and production among resource-poor women farmers in Ghana. Her passion for helping disadvantaged people led her to establish Tab-bu Foundation, a youth-led charity organization that supports orphans, children with disabilities, and needy rural women and children.

Recipient: Midwest Academy
Project Director: Kate Barthelme
Award Year: 2015-16
Award: Community Action Grant
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Term: One-year
Project Name: Women’s Legislative Leadership Project

The Women’s Legislative Leadership Project is an intensive policy training program that equips women, their allies, and their organizations with the capacity to advocate successfully for sound policies that ensure economic stability, equity, and justice for women in Illinois, with a focus on benefiting older women of color and their communities.

Recipient: Breakthrough
Project Director: Amy Coles
Award Year: 2015-16
Award: Community Action Grant
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Term: One-year
Project Name: STEAM Education for Girls

Breakthrough’s STEAM Education for Girls programs incorporates STEM programs with the arts to provide a holistic learning experience for girls in East Garfield Park on Chicago’s west side. Through this innovative program, girls are exposed to a variety of technical skills and future career opportunities. The goal is to give high-quality education programming to underserved youth, to expand and deepen skill sets, and to create workers.

Genevieve Dempsey, AAUW American FellowName: Genevieve Dempsey
Award Year: 2015-16
Award: American Fellowship
Institution: University of Chicago
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Discipline: Music
Degree and Specialization: Ph.D., Ethnomusicology
Project Name:
‘Salve Maria’: The Sacred Sound of Congado in Afro-Brazilian Musical Communities

Genevieve Dempsey’s research investigates how congadeiros, Afro-Brazilian practitioners of popular Catholicism, use sacred musical performances as forums for negotiating racial and gender identities. She explores the ways in which congadeiros turn to music to collectively mobilize for the advancement of cultural rights, social justice, and racial and gender equality.

Name: Nisheeta Jagtiani
Award Year: 2015-16
Award: International Fellowship
Institution: University of Chicago
Citizenship: India
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Discipline: Religion
Degree and Specialization: M.A., Religious studies

Nisheeta Jagtiani’s interest is the sociocultural effects of Dalits coverting to Buddhism in modern India. The Dalits, often called the untouchables, form the lowest caste of the Hindu caste system. They have been discriminated against by upper caste members in almost all spheres of life such as social, professional, and cultural. Dalits women are the most vulnerable members of the community and are most often victims of rape and physical abuse.

Name: Rehanna Kheshgi
Award Year: 2015-16
Award: American Fellowship
Institution: University of Chicago
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Discipline: Music
Degree and Specialization: Ph.D., Ethnomusicology
Project Name:
Crowning the Bihu Queen: Music, Rural Youth Culture, and Gender in Liberalizing Northeast India

Rehanna Kheshgi’s research directs attention to the situated politics of young women performers in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. She investigates how economic liberalization has shaped national identity, increased the circulation of mass media, and opened up possibilities for challenging traditional gender roles by focusing on the springtime Assamese Bihu festival.

Name: Ariel Schwartz
Award Year: 2015-16
Award: American Fellowship
Institution: Northwestern University
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Discipline: Religion
Degree and Specialization: Ph.D., Religious studies
Project Name:
In the Wake of Hate: Rebuilding Religion, Place, and Community in Sacramento and Joplin

Ariel Schwartz examines the effects of violence committed against religious minorities in the United States. Focusing on the arsons of a California synagogue and a Missouri mosque, her dissertation addresses the consequences of hate crimes for communities’ reconstructions of religious space, practice, and identity and the lived expressions of pluralism and belonging.