July 22, 2022

The Gift of Time: Drucker, SAH Students Selected for a Life-changing Grant

AND THE WINNERS ARE: AAUW grant recipients Deja Darrington (left) and Jessica Moss.

Two CGU students have been chosen for significant awards from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), an advocacy group dedicated to supporting women and girls that recently announced some $6 million in grants to help ease student debt.

The graduate journeys of Drucker MBA student Deja Darrington and Cultural Studies doctoral student Jessica Moss will be made easier thanks to their selection for two of the AAUW awards.

“Because of this fellowship, I can graduate earlier than expected by next spring,” said Darrington, who started her degree program in 2020. “I am ecstatic about this!”

What’s one of a grad student’s

most precious resources? Time.

Darrington is the recipient of one of the AAUW’s Selected Professions Fellowships that comes with an $18,000 award to help her focus on marketing courses including experiential marketing and marketing strategy.

Darrington said there are relatively few fellowships and scholarship programs at the graduate level in comparison to undergraduate degree programs.

“It was amazing for me to find an organization like AAUW that helps empower women in their academic goals,” said Darrington, who said her goal in her Drucker program is to leverage data analytics, research and innovation in order to make strategic marketing decisions that inspire change and drive results.

Like Darrington, Moss, who is pursuing her doctorate with a focus on the motivations, experiences and contributions of women and nonbinary individuals in local interfaith communities, agreed that the greatest gift of the AAUW award is time.

“As a mom with two young and active boys,” Moss said, “I have worked full-time throughout my PhD journey.”

Moss is the recipient of an AAUW American Fellowship, which comes with a $20,000 award to help her as she works on her dissertation.

Moss said the AAUW fellowship is easing some financial pressures so that she doesn’t have to carry a full-time teaching load to cover her family’s expenses.

“It’s allowing me more time to write,” she explained, “as well as spend time with my children. It is a huge blessing.”

Responding to Student Debt

According to the AAUW, the burden of student debt is a key contributor to a pay gap that disproportionately affects women, particularly women of color, across professions.

To bridge or shrink that gap, the AAUW has spent its nearly 140-year-lond existence providing more than $135 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to 13,000 women from 150 countries.

“Our fellowships and grants have opened doors of access and opportunity for thousands of women for more than a century,” said AAUW CEO Gloria L. Blackwell. “This funding is life-changing and plays a pivotal role to ensure that women can achieve their dreams, especially women of color and for women in STEM fields, who still face enormous obstacles to success.”