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American Association of University Women Honors Two at Mills

Oakland, CA–July 20, 2016

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has awarded funding to two Mills College women. For the 2016–17 academic year, AAUW awarded a total of $3.7 million to more than 230 scholars, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls through six fellowships and grants programs. The awards help fellows and grantees achieve their educational and professional goals, allowing women to break through barriers in fields where they are traditionally underrepresented.

Je'Nen Chastain of Oakland, who studies in the MBA program at the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy, received a $12,000 Career Development Grant from the AAUW.

In addition to studying at Mills, Chastain is a designer at Heller Manus Architects in San Francisco where she plans to become a licensed architect. She is in her final year in the MBA program where she will take such classes as Operations Management, Strategic Management and Socially Responsible Business.

“These classes will prepare me to leave Mills with the knowledge to successfully launch into the next step in my professional journey,” Chastain said.

The MBA program at Mills educates ethical and socially responsible organizational leaders with the skills to make a positive impact on society and the environment.

Connie Wun, also of Oakland, is conducting post-graduate research at Mills’ Research Justice at the Intersection Scholars (RJI). She received a $30,000 American Fellowship. The fellowship is designed to help women who are completing dissertations, planning research leave from accredited institutions, or preparing research for publication.

Her research project at Mills is titled Digital Formations: Social Media, Surveillance and Girls of Color. “I am going to be doing research on social media as surveillance and what that means for women and girls of color,” Wun said. “Is it an intrusion or an empowering moment?”

The RJI program at Mills is an interdisciplinary research group that conducts social justice-oriented research. Its work challenges hierarchies between experts and communities and fosters community-based production and ownership of knowledge.