The University of Connecticut’s Women’s Center annually grants the 100 Years of Women Scholarship Award. The 100 Years of Women Scholarship Fund was established in 1992 to honor a current UConn undergraduate or graduate student (who will be enrolled for the Fall 2015 semester) or high school senior planning to enroll in the University of Connecticut, who has demonstrated a commitment to women’s issues through service to their community or school.
Keisha is currently pursuing a PhD at UConn in Chemical Engineering. She received her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia, where she was a Varsity Track and Field athlete. As a child, Keisha wanted to escape her “girliness,” because growing up as a girl meant she wasn’t allowed to do certain things that her brothers could. As Keisha grew and matured, it became a priority to make sure other women knew that they are capable of pursuing anything they set their minds to. Keisha has served as a mentor to middle school girls in the Young Women’s Leadership Program, has supported her peers in the Society of Women Engineers, and has participated in several other groups committed to empowering women in education. Driven and passionate about female involvement in the STEM fields, Keisha wanted to form an organization that empowered women to serve as mentors and role models to young girls in the highly-rewarding science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Keisha is the co-founder of ManyMentors, a program that aims to get more girls and young women engaged in STEM through advocacy, leadership opportunities, programs, and events. To date, ManyMentors has impacted over 5,000 students in the State of Connecticut. The program organizes one-on-one mentorship connections through an innovative website platform, in addition to panels and events where STEM leaders share their experiences and inspire the next generation of innovators. In the future, Keisha hopes to continue her journey empowering women to change the face of the STEM fields. Keisha’s future plans also include pursuing an industrial post-doc. Through her ongoing commitment to women’s issues, Keisha continues to remind young women to transform perceived obstacles into action and achievement.
Aimee is currently a UConn graduate student pursuing a PhD in history. She received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Dartmouth College and her master’s from the University of Vermont. She reflects, “In my teaching, I work to design syllabi in which women of many backgrounds and ethnicities appear as central actors in history.” Aimee is currently working on a dissertation that analyzes the Norma Rae icon. Aimee is actively committed to women’s issues in her community. She is a member of the National Organization for Women and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, an organization that works to oppose restrictions on abortion. In the early 1990s, Aimee joined an initiative at Dartmouth College that provided escorts and buffer zones for patients who are harassed upon entering health clinics. Aimee is also a member of the Untamed Shrews, a women’s theater troupe, which has provided her with the opportunity to meet other campus activists. Emerging from that collaboration, Aimee and other activists formed the Dartmouth Women’s Initiative, which organized invited speakers and discussion events. In the future, Aimee hopes to teach in a history or humanities department in the New England area. She looks forward to designing classes that call attention to women and their leadership and work worldwide. Aimee’s future research will emphasize female visibility and analyze female labor and activism within the transnational network of government, financial, and technological structures. She also plans to continue her work connecting low-income women to access points for economic, social, and political power.