Two Ph.D. Students Receive $20,000 Grants From American Association of University Women

Ph.D. students Claudia Astorino (Anthropology) and Natalia Ortiz (Urban Education) were each awarded grants of $20,000 from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which supports women scholars and promotes empowerment for women and girls.

Claudia Astorino (Anthropology)

Claudia Astorino studies how sex, age, and ancestry inform skull shape and size in modern humans. Skulls are used to infer sex, population, and species differences in human fossil ancestors, and therefore characterizing variation in skull form can help anthropologists more accurately reconstruct the past. Astorino is also an intersex activist and a co-founder of New York City’s Annual Intersex Awareness Day.

“This grant is particularly meaningful to me since I have previously needed to take on heavy adjunct teaching workloads to cover living expenses, which reduced the time available to focus on my research,” Astorino said. “Being an AAUW fellow has allowed me to dedicate 100 percent of my time to my dissertation and finish before — hopefully! — starting a postdoc in fall 2018.”

Natalia Ortiz (Urban Education)

Natalia Ortiz is a scholar, educator, and activist. In her research, she explores how teachers engage in critical dialogues around race and racism using applied theater and theater of the oppressed techniques.

“As a graduate student who is also a mother, this fellowship has been particularly helpful,” Ortiz said. “I have been able to use this money to help pay for the childcare of my two-and-a-half year old son, which allows me to have more time to write and advance in my dissertation.”

Through her work, Ortiz hopes to offer an alternative practice in teacher education, one that engages the body and mind. Before joining the GC, Ortiz taught U.S. history to over-aged, under-credited youth — students aged 15 to 21 who have a low number of accumulated high school credits — in New York City.

Submitted on: FEB 13, 2018

Category: Anthropology | Diversity | Grants | Student News | Urban Education