Aug 16, 2011

Dr. Laura M. Puaca Awarded AAUW Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship

Dr. Laura Puaca(Newport News, Va.) Christopher Newport University Assistant Professor of History Dr. Laura M. Puaca has been awarded a 2011-12 American Association of University Women (AAUW) postdoctoral research leave fellowship. Dating to 1888, the AAUW fellowship program is one of the oldest and most prestigious sources of funding for female academics. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence, the quality and originality of project design, and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions or fields of research. Dr. Puaca is one of 11 postdoctoral fellows selected nationally by the AAUW in 2011.

The award is designed to help support one year of academic leave during which time Dr. Puaca will complete her book manuscript, Searching for Scientific Womanpower: Technocratic Feminism and the National Security State, 1940-1980. Her project traces the origins of contemporary feminist interest in science in the U.S. to the Second World War and early Cold War years. Specifically, she examines how female scientists and engineers employed national security rhetoric in an effort to expand opportunities for themselves and other women, as well as the problems and possibilities they encountered in doing so. By uncovering this hidden history of female activism in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) fields, she sheds new light on the history of American feminism, the history of the national security state and the complicated relationship between the two.

Dr. Puaca earned her PhD in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is also a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers University, and the recipient of numerous national awards including the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies, the Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for Research Related to Education, and the Schlesinger Library Dissertation Grant from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.  She joined the CNU faculty in 2008.

A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences, including the Luter School of Business. CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.

Media Contact:
Lori Jacobs
Director of Public Relations

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