The Women’s Advancement Initiative is dedicated to creating opportunities for female students, faculty, and staff at the University. Its annual Faculty Fellowships honor full-time female faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to advancing their discipline in teaching, scholarship, mentoring of female students, and engagement in their profession. Each recipient receives an honorarium which can be used for research, travel, or professional development.
Lillian Kamal, Associate Professor of Economics, in the Barney School of Business and Katharine Owens, Associate Professor of Politics and Government and Director of University Interdisciplinary Studies (UIS) in the College of Arts and Sciences jointly received the Mid-to-Late Career Fellowship Award for their collaboration on a research project to explore ways that social entrepreneurs are addressing the problem of marine debris.
Owens has taught three iterations of a marine debris and policy class at UHart, once as a combined Honors and Politics section and twice as a First-Year Seminar. She has been awarded over $500,000 in grants including a grant from NOAA, to teach and conduct research on marine debris. She has won a Nehru Fulbright grant for the spring of 2018 to teach and conduct research on marine debris at the University of Kerala, India. Owens frequently mentors students in research, having collaborated with 42 individual students, 71% of whom are women.
Kamal has taught a class in “Economics and Finance of Social Entrepreneurship” at UHart in which student create social entrepreneurships with detailed financial and sustainability analyses. She has published research on financial development and microfinance, a vital funding source for social entrepreneurship. She has mentored several female students’ research.
Owens and Kamal plan to do a joint research and develop a UIS that combines social entrepreneurship and marine debris, as well as a study abroad component.
Owens says “This grant will allow us to complete our join research in this area, collaborate with the University of Kerala, engage in on-the-ground development of a UIS course, and explore the logistics of a study abroad component in the course.”
Paola Sacchetti, Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of the MS in Neuroscience Program in the College of Arts and Sciences received the early career award for her proposed innovative project which combines the study of ketogenic diet, circadian rhythms, and Alzheimer’s disease, to identify potential new treatments to ameliorate symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders.
This exciting project will look at the impact of the ketogenic diet on Alzheimer’s disease and the potential use of the diet to normalize the altered circadian rhythm produced by the disease. Sacchetti says she plans to work side-by-side with undergraduate and graduate students and to grow with them as a mentor and as a scientist.
In her time at this University, Sacchetti has mentored six female graduate students through defense of their theses.
Sacchetti says “These funds will enable me to connect two of my current scholarship projects, one linked to dietary treatments and the other to Alzheimer’s disease, in pursuit of simpler and more affordable cures for neurodegenerative diseases.”