Institute for Research on Women and Gender announces graduate student fellowships


The Institute for Research on Women and Gender has awarded one Boyd/Williams Fellowship for Research on Women and Work, 12 IRWG/Rackham Graduate Research Fellowships, and 11 Community of Scholars (COS) summer fellowships to U-M graduate students studying women, gender and sexuality.

The students were selected from a highly competitive pool. Their diverse set of projects demonstrates the scope of women and gender studies at U-M.

Graduate student recipients and their projects are:

• Sahin Acikgoz (comparative literature), Graduate Research Fellowship.
“In Other Worlds: Compulsory Military Recruitment in Turkey and Transnational Itinerary of Western Sexology.”

This project casts a critical eye on the Turkish nation-state’s classification of homosexuality in the process of compulsory military recruitment.

• Jacqueline D. Antonovich (history), Boyd/Williams. “The Imagined City: Female Physicians and Their Role in Shaping the Urban American West, 1890-1930.”

This dissertation examines the ways Progressive Era female physicians labored to shape the medical and political geography of the Intermountain West. Denver produced a uniquely western urban environment ripe for female physicians to take the lead role in imagining, and then enacting, progressive and sometimes racially controversial public health policies.

• Tiffany Ball (English, women’s studies) COS. “Feminine Troubles.”

This project considers the importance of nonsexual forms of intimacy within a salient primary text — Rosamond Lehmann’s popular 1927 novel, “Dusty Answer.”

• Johnny Berona (Psychology), COS. “LGBTQ Identity, Gender Nonconformity, and Recurrent Suicide Risk.”

The proposed research will examine the role of LGBTQ identity and gender- nonconformity-based victimization and their effects on recurrent suicide risk to inform future interventions.

• Scott De Orio (history, women’s studies), COS. “The Politics of Sex Offenders in the United States since the 1960s.”

The dissertation investigates political and legal contests over sex offenders in the United States from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s.

• Nicole Golda (history, women’s studies), Graduate Research Fellowship.
“Exporting Manliness: The Transnational Worker, the Henry Ford Trade School, and the Gendered Dimensions of American Business.”

The dissertation utilizes metropolitan Detroit as a case study to investigate the middle-class reformers and business people who strived to educate immigrants and African Americans in the “American” way of life during the early 20th century. Golda argues that Americanizers tied notions of citizenship to ideas about the roles men and women should play in the nation.

• Jodi Greig (Slavic languages and literatures), COS. “The Queens of Lovetown: Michat Witkowski’s Lubiewo and the Historical Other.”

Part of the larger dissertation, this research is a chapter-length treatment of historicized sexualities in a novel that chronicles the sexual escapades of two aging cioty, or “queens.”

• Kathryn Holland (psychology, women’s studies), Graduate Research Fellowship. “University Sexual Assault Policies: An Examination of Changes, Communications, and Outcomes.”

Colleges across the United States are revising sexual harassment/assault policies to be in accordance with new guidance of Title IX. This project will examine the communication and implication of these policy changes.

• Joshua Hubbard (history, women’s studies), COS and Graduate Research Fellowship. “The Bodies Politic: Women, Children, and Bio Politics in Nationalist China.”

The dissertation examines the significance of women and children in Guomindang (Nationalist Party) nation-building efforts in China, 1927-37.

• Maria Jocson (psychology), Graduate Research Fellowship. “Experiences of Community Violence Exposure among Low-income Urban Mothers in the Philippines.”

The dissertation explores the experiences of community violence exposure among 20 low-income mothers residing in poor neighborhoods in Manila and will focus on its impact on mothers’ psychological well-being, parenting behaviors and resilience processes.

• Alison Joersz (anthropology), COS. “Discursive Politics of Gender in Haiti.”

This project analyzes face-to-face interactions within two Haitian development organizations. It focuses on the social circulation of gendered norms and the mobilization of gendered organizational strategies.

• Michelle Marie Johns (health behavior and health education), COS. “Constructing the Body: Young Women’s Body Esteem and Differences by Sexual Identity.”

This project investigates how young women’s sexual identities inform their perceptions of their bodies, specifically why sexual-minority women report better body esteem than heterosexual women.

• Gabriele Koch (anthropology) COS. “The Libidinal Economy of the Japanese Sex Industry: Sexual Politics and Female Labor.”

This dissertation is an ethnographic analysis of the mainstream Japanese commercial sex industry and the competing human rights movements that have formed around it.

• Alan LeBron (health behavior and health education), Graduate Research Fellowship. “Racialization of Latinas in a Border Community and Implications for Health following 9/11.”

This dissertation aims to understand the influence of post-9/11 immigration policies, immigration enforcement and sentiments toward immigrants on the everyday lives of Latina residents in southwest Detroit, with implications for their health and health behaviors.

• Yidi Li (women’s studies, psychology), Graduate Research Fellowship. “Advancing Women in STEM: Influence of Role Models on Female STEM Doctoral Students’ Academic Career Goals.”

This dissertation will assess the source, nature and degree of influence of role models on female STEM doctoral students’ career aspirations for pursuing academic jobs. It will also examine racial/ethnic and nationality differences.

• Jessica Lowen (anthropology), Graduate Research Fellowship. “Women’s Missionary Labor in the American Sex Industry.”

This dissertation will investigate a national movement of women leading faith-based nonprofits to build what they call “authentic relationships” with women who work at strip clubs, pornography conventions and solicitation sites.

• Courtney McCluney (psychology), Graduate Research Fellowship. “Perceptions of Workplace Discrimination among Women of Color.”

The dissertation will investigate perceived discrimination among ethnic minority women through longitudinal, survey and experimental methods.

• Austin McCoy (history), COS. “The Hard Core Unemployed, Breadwinners, and Hardened Criminals: The Problem of Black Labor, Black Masculinity, and the Urban Crisis, 1967-81.”

This project interrogates the relationship between perceptions of black masculinity and activist and policy responses to deindustrialization in Detroit between 1967 and 1974.

• Lamia Moghnieh (English language and literature, Judaic studies), COS.
“Feminist Activism for a Society Free from Violence: Producing Nonviolent Bodies and Households in Lebanon.”

This project examines local feminists’ struggle to protect women from domestic violence and marital rape in Lebanon.

• Alyssa Mouton, (health behavior and health education), Graduate Research Fellowship. “UN Commission on the Status of Women: Gender and Advocacy.”

The dissertation will examine the yearly meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which focuses on gender equality and the advancement of women.

• Sandhya Narayanan (anthropology), Graduate Student Research Fellowship.
“The Gender of Language Socialization in the Southern Peruvian Andes.”

This project will investigate the construction and reproduction of gendered subject positions through child language socialization practices among trilingual Quechua-Aymara-Spanish speakers in Puno, Peru.

• Dahlia Petrus (Modern Middle Eastern and North African studies), COS.
“‘Becky from Babylon’ and Other Arab Women in the American Imagination.”

This project will examine textual and visual forms of representations of Arab/Middle Eastern women in the American imagination within available archival material.

• Timeka Williams (communication studies), COS. “The Black Woman that Media Built: Interpretation, Spirituality, and Scripts for Black Womanhood.”

This study explores the ways that black women interpret their faith-infused media landscape (secular media and media with a particular spiritual message) and use those inferences to define the gender roles appropriate for black womanhood.

• Jennifer Zdroik (sport management), Graduate Research Fellowship.
“Women’s Perceptions of Position Attainment in Professional Sport Organizations.”

The proposed research seeks to explore how the power relationships and organizational structures in professional sports organizations influence how men and women utilize their networks to advance to leadership positions.

IRWG fosters collaboration and furthers the research of all U-M faculty members and graduate students who use the lens of women and gender to pursue their studies. For information about graduate funding opportunities see:



  1. Jacqueline Antonovich
    on March 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    As this year’s recipient of the Boyd/Williams Fellowship for Research on Women and Work, I just wanted to say how grateful I am for IRWG’s support. Thanks to their generosity, I will be able to make my first dissertation research trip to Denver this summer. Having the support of IRWG is a validating experience and I am proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.

  2. Timeka Williams
    on March 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I am honored to receive the Community of Scholars Fellowship for Spring/Summer 2014. It is especially humbling to be recognized for the kind of work that not only has an impact on my discipline, but that also carries a broader significance for black women. The fact that the IWRG makes this bountiful investment into graduate student researchers is a testament to their belief in the value of our contributions. And that is exactly the kind of encouragement that young scholars like myself, who dare to analyze the implications of gender in our research, really need.

  3. Joshau Hubbard
    on March 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I’m so grateful for this funding from IRWG! The Community of Scholars fellowship and the IRWG Research Grant will support the development of my dissertation prospectus over the coming months. Through these programs, IRWG will partially fund my visits to archives in China, Taiwan, and Japan, in addition to allowing me to take part in the interdisciplinary scholarly exchanges that will be invaluable to the development of my project. Thanks so much, IRWG!

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