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Sanjukta Chaudhuri receives prestigious American Association of University Women fellowship

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty member Dr. Sanjukta Chaudhuri, assistant professor of economics, is one of 89 scholars in the nation to receive an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women.

With this prestigious fellowship (which last year was awarded to just 9 percent of those who applied), Chaudhuri joins the ranks of awardees who include scholars from Harvard, Columbia and Duke universities.

"I am elated to receive this fellowship to further my scholarship and publication goals," Chaudhuri said.

Chaudhuri will spend the summer analyzing data and finalizing a paper on issues of gender inequality, gender gaps in infant and child mortality, and demographic implications of female mortality disadvantage in India.

"India's population is characterized by millions of missing girls," Chaudhuri said. "Sons are considered more valuable offspring than daughters; consequently, female children may suffer from significant health, morbidity and, most importantly, mortality disadvantage."

This research can contribute to overcoming the lack of understanding of gender issues in India, which arises from sheer lack of data, especially in developing countries, Chaudhuri said.

Although Chaudhuri's home department is economics, she is an active affiliate member of the women's studies program.

"Sanjukta's teaching and research show a deep commitment to women's issues," said Dr. Theresa Kemp, director of women's studies. "Our students are very fortunate to be able to work with her. She definitely deserves this honor and support."

Since joining the UW-Eau Claire faculty in 2008, Chaudhuri has taught feminist and diversity courses and led faculty-student collaborative research projects with many female students, particularly nontraditional students, single mothers and students of color.

"In my teaching, I strive to use an interdisciplinary approach that enables students to perceive the course as an awareness-building and empowering experience," Chaudhuri said.

Dr. Patricia A. Kleine, UW-Eau Claire provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, noted that prestigious national fellowships like those offered by AAUW stimulate faculty research and scholarship and, ultimately, enrich students' learning experiences.

"UW-Eau Claire recognizes attention to global issues as one of its highest priorities in its ongoing mission of excellence," Kleine said. "In this spirit, we value Dr. Chaudhuri's research activity in gender inequities and the new perspectives it ultimately provides to our students — and we are delighted that she is included among the select group to receive this fellowship."