MArch student Billi Ugbode wins AAUW fellowship

Student News:

MArch student, Billi Ugbode, was recently notified of her acceptance to receive the AAUW selected professions scholarship. Winners could win anywhere from $5,000 to $18,000 in scholarship funds. Billi was awarded the maximum amount and plans to use it to create a “stellar” thesis project.

Founded in 1881, The American Association of University Women’s is one of the world’s largest sources of funding for graduate women, due to the generosity and legacy of generations of AAUW members. The AAUW’s goal is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. The Selected Professions Fellowships program was established in 1970 to support women in graduate and professional degree programs in fields where female participation is traditionally low; this includes the practice of architecture, computer/information science, engineering, and mathematics/statistics.

Billi commented on how highly the foundation regards mentorship, admitting that many of the required essays were interested in applicant’s desires to mentor or be mentored within these fields. When prompted to provide information on her commitment to the education and equity for women in the profession, she writes,

I would like to someday publish a book—‘girl architect’ (working title). In it I would compile all my findings over the years, of the lives of  women in my field who daily inspire me—women who are not ‘Starchitects’ but nonetheless, affect great change —women like my great aunt Stella Nsolo-Ugbode—who was the first Nigerian female architect.  I would also include my journey in this book because I believe that in illustrating—with real world examples—the heights that young women can aspire to and indeed attain, the more of a reality these goals will become to women and girls everywhere. While I never got to meet my great aunt Stella, the stories of how she acquired her education (at a time when Nigeria was going through a civil war) and how she later traveled to the United Kingdom,—leaving everything she knew behind, to attend the Birmingham School of Architecture, and how she ultimately attained her license to practice—these stories are no less an inspiration to me…

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