The American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded a 2016–17 Selected Professions Fellowship to Ana Orosco of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a master’s candidate in architecture at the LSU College of Art & Design.
Ana will use this $18,000 award to cover tuition fees, materials, and living expenses. The funds will also be a huge help as she spends the fall 2016 semester studying abroad in Rome.
“When I learned I had received the award, honestly, my eyes watered, and I went in search of the three women—LSU professors—who helped me succeed,” said Ana. “It is an honor and also a responsibility to receive this award. Women are poorly represented, underpaid, and left behind in countless fields. What AAUW is doing is amazing. Because of this generous award, I can summon more focus and strength to keep growing in my studies and career, while helping other women do the same.”
Orosco came to LSU with a background in visual arts. From a very young age, she has made a habit of donating her time to charities and participating in community meetings and activities. She is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS), and volunteers as a yoga instructor and at Habitat for Humanity through their Women Build Program.
“Architecture came as a more mature decision on a profession in which I could use what I had already learned to impact the world in a more feasible way,” said Ana of her decision to pursue a master’s degree in architecture. “The sense of belonging to a community comes with the responsibility of caring for it.”
Inspired by her architect aunt, Ana said she never perceived architecture as a masculine discipline.
“On the contrary, I grew up believing that this was a field dominated by independent and talented women who were conquering the world. When I actually started to work in an architecture office, reality proved to be a little different. I was the only woman in the company and from my experience, respect came from hard work, believing in myself, and treating my colleagues as equals.”
Ana’s research focuses on strategies to increase resilience and bring about social inclusion in urban coastal settings. As a graduate assistant in the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, Orosco explored these strategies and was exposed to design thinking at work in an interdisciplinary environment.
“The intersection of architecture and urban coastal planning is a specialty in the discipline that will allow me to use the set of skills I have been developing throughout the years while providing constant room for growth and improvement,” Ana shared.
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. Established in 1970 with a $25,000 grant from the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation, AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships originally focused on opening doors for women in the male-dominated fields of law and medicine. The program has since expanded to include science and technology because, while the demand for a technologically skilled workforce has grown, women remain underrepresented in these professions.
Former AAUW Selected Professions Fellows have made significant contributions to women’s lives in many areas, from mass-producing a low-cost incubator for infants in the developing world to researching new ways to detect breast cancer.
“AAUW is in the business of making sure that no doors are closed to women and girls, because we know that true innovation can only happen when everyone has a place at the table. We are proud to support women’s entry into underrepresented professions that will ultimately benefit society as whole,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW vice president of fellowships, grants, and global programs.
AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education, having awarded more than $100 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to 12,000 women from more than 140 countries since 1888. To find out more about this year’s exceptional class of awardees, visit the online directory and read AAUW’s announcement. To reach an award recipient, call 202.728.7602 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.
About LSU’s Master of Architecture Program
The LSU School of Architecture graduate program focuses on engaging students and faculty who share interests in design and the built environment. The backbone of the Master of Architecture program is the design studio, where students engage in the design education process. The graduate program integrates innovative design with technical, social, and practical concerns to address complex global conditions. Courses and studios focused on history, theory, sustainability, digital media, and community design provide the knowledge to concentrate on solving real-life problems in the built environment. Studio projects focus on spatial design, Louisiana coastal issues, and community design efforts. For more information, visit architecture.lsu.edu.