2021 award recipients

The Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle is delighted to announce the 2021 recipients:

Graduate awards

Leah Fulton

PhD student, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

"Thank you so much for this generous award. The focus of my dissertation research about the doctoral training experiences and post graduation career choices of Black mother doctoral students has been born out of my own experience. When I began my program in 2017, I had three preschoolers. My career ambitions have evolved in large part because of uncertainty about how to negotiate my academic ambitions with my mothering commitments. The invisibility of Black mothers in doctoral education means that there is no roadmap for students like me. Throughout the course of my studies, I have encountered others who are also navigating life at the intersection of race, motherhood, and doctoral education. This award will support my efforts to use both research and practice to develop resources, create spaces, and advocate for race conscious student parent supports at every institutional level."

Mariann Howland

PhD student, Institute of Child Development

"I am very grateful, honored, and excited to receive this award from the WPLC. My research focuses on women’s mental and physical health during the perinatal period (pregnancy and the first postpartum year). Women’s health during the perinatal period has important implications for the long-term well-being of women and their children. With my research, I intend to improve understanding of the prevalence, consequences, and causes of perinatal mental health disorders, including among marginalized populations. I also am interested in the interplay between women’s early life and current experiences of adversity, with an aim towards understanding if pregnancy is a window of opportunity during which interventions for women who have experienced early life adversity may be particularly effective. I am excited to put this award towards my dissertation study, which will focus on less-studied but important aspects of perinatal mental health. Thank you so much for this opportunity!"

Rising Star Faculty award

Blanca Caldas Chumbes

Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction

"I want to thank the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle (WPLC) for the 2021 Rising Star Award. As a faculty of color and the only Latina faculty in my department, part of my duty is to develop a research agenda and to foster pedagogical environments where minoritized voices are heard and their experiences centered. I am interested in the formation of Mexican-American/Latinx bilingual teachers and how they face and counter issues of racism, xenophobia, and linguistic discrimination at schools. My research agenda reflects the immediate needs of bilingual teachers in the Twin Cities through my participation in ongoing conversations within schools and direct work in bilingual classrooms. I also design curriculum using multicultural/multilingual scholarship in (language) teaching and learning, emphasizing Black, Mexican-American/Latinx, and Indigenous authors. It is essential for me to contest the reproduction of harmful discourses towards underrepresented populations by juxtaposing texts (e.g., as peer-reviewed articles, official textbooks, media, news, art) to destabilize regimes of truths while creating a safe space to feel uncomfortable. Muchísimas gracias por este premio, el cual me proporcionará los recursos para la continuidad de mi trabajo."