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Liz Chen, a doctoral student in health behavior, is leveraging mobile technologies to transform health education and support adolescent well-being. Jessica Shor, a master of business administration student, works full-time within renewable energy and wants to increase opportunities for women in the industry.

Liz Chen
Liz Chen

The two University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students recently received American Association of University Women (AAUW) awards focused on “expanding women’s potential and supporting their future promise.” In total, the AAUW provided fellowships and grants to 250 women and community projects for academic year 2018-19.

Chen receives an AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship. Named a Forbes 2018 “30 Under 30” social entrepreneur, Chen is working with colleagues to develop a mobile application in which teens can share stories and read information on topics such as puberty, healthy relationships and bullying. For her dissertation research, Chen is developing a scale to measure the acceptability of mobile health (mHealth) interventions among teens.

“I am honored and grateful to have received one of the AAUW American Dissertation Fellowships for the 2018-2019 academic year,” said Chen. “This fellowship allows me to prioritize my independent research and connects me to a vast network of fellows and grantees who are also trying to positively impact the lives of women and children.”

Jessica Shor
Jessica Shor

Shor receives an AAUW Career Development Grant. As finance manager for Enel Green Power North America, Shor manages a project finance team and works with investors to secure funding for the company’s large-scale wind and solar energy projects.

“I’m grateful to be a 2018-2019 recipient of the AAUW Career Development Grant to support my MBA studies,” said Shor. “Through MBA@UNC, I’m learning the skills I need to continue advancing in my career in renewable energy finance. AAUW’s assistance enables me to focus on balancing school and career, and to devote more time to helping other women enter and succeed in the industry.”

Jennifer Gerz-Escandón, associate dean for interdisciplinary education and fellowship programs at The Graduate School, said the AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship and Career Development Grant awards affirm the timely and important research and professional goals Chen and Shor are pursuing at Carolina.

“Each year, AAUW funding plays a valuable role in increasing the number of females completing doctorates and enhancing women’s career advancement prospects. For Liz and Jessie, the impact of these generous awards begins with degree funding and will continue to be felt professionally for years to come,” she added.

The AAUW, one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education, has awarded more than $115 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 women since 1888.


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