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Two doctoral students receive Ford Fellowships

Monique Pipkin and Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu have been selected to receive 2021 Ford Foundation Fellowships. Pipkin, a doctoral student in ecology and evolutionary biology, received a predoctoral competition fellowship, and Adwetewa-Badu, a doctoral candidate in English language and literature, received a dissertation competition fellowship.

Monique Pipkin

Honorable mentions were awarded to nine additional Cornell graduate students: Alexia Alkadi-Barbaro, Anthonia Carter, Stephanie Fuchs, Jalen Harris, Joseph Miranda, Stephanie Preising, Jehan Roberson, Jessica Rodriguez and Brandon Williams.

The 2021 predoctoral fellowships will provide funding of $27,000 per year for three years to a total of 76 students, and the dissertation fellowship will provide $28,000 in funding for one year to 38 students writing and defending their dissertations. All recipients are invited to attend the Conference of Ford Fellows.

“With this fellowship, I will have the freedom to not only focus on my research about iridescence but continue my endeavors in creating a more inclusive and diverse STEM culture, specifically as it pertains to fieldwork,” said Pipkin.

In addition to studying the physiological drivers and behavioral outcomes of feather coloration in birds, Pipkin co-authored a paper published in Nature about safer fieldwork that has reached thousands of scientists across the country.

“I feel honored and grateful to have been selected as a fellow and to connect with previous fellows,” she said.

Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu

Adwetewa-Badu similarly expressed excitement toward becoming part of the Ford Fellows network. She will have the opportunity to join peers invested in diversity and equity in higher education, which she describes as “important to both my work and the way I navigate through academia.”

As a dissertation completion fellowship recipient, she intends to use the funding to support complete focus on her dissertation, “Literary Intimacies: The Making of Global Anglophone Poetry, 1960-1980,” and digital poetry lab. Her research examines post-1960s poetry and poetics, comparative Black studies, world literature and the digital humanities to foreground social relations, formations and the mediums that influence those relationships in world literature.

“Receiving this fellowship has signaled to me that scholars in my field see and believe in the potential of my project and the impact it will have in my field through both my research interests and my desire to engage more deeply with communities I write about and for,” she said. “I am immensely grateful.”       

The 2021 Ford Foundation Fellowship Program is administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and aims to increase the diversity of college and university faculties.

Katya Hrichak is a communications assistant in the Graduate School.

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