Designed to increase the number of women in tenured faculty positions at Cornell, as well as to support the work of faculty members whose research focuses on women, the Affinito-Stewart Grants program awards junior faculty members with up to $10,000 in research grants. These grants support new and existing projects, and they help faculty complete research that is necessary for successful tenure submission.
PCCW was founded by then-President Frank H. T. Rhodes with the guiding leadership of trustees Lilyan Affinito ’53 and Patricia Carry Stewart ’50. The Affinito-Stewart Grants program was established in 1990, and since then, more than $1.78 million has been awarded to 268 researchers at Cornell—including two recipients who have since advanced to deanships at Cornell: Kavita Bala, dean of the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, and Rachel Dunifon, the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean at the Cornell College of Human Ecology.
The program is a critical part of PCCW’s mission to advance Cornell University’s founding commitment to inclusion and gender equity in academic and professional fields.
The 2022 recipients and their research projects are:
- Alexandra Blackman, assistant professor, government: “Politicians' Strategic Response to Gender Quotas: How Party Recruitment Shapes Response”
- Nicole Buote, associate professor, small animal surgery: “Single Incision Robotic Cholecystectomy in a Cadaveric Dog Model”
- Colleen Carey, assistant professor, economics and public policy: “The Effects of Physicians’ Financial Transfers from Drug Firms on Prescribing of Physician-Administered Cancer Drugs”
- Julia Chang, assistant professor of Hispanic studies: “Able-Empire: Gender, Race, and Utility in Post-Disaster Spain”
- Mara Yue Du, assistant professor, history, and Himan Brown Faculty Fellow: “China: From a Nationless State to a Nation Defined by State”
- Jingyue Duan, assistant professor, animal science: “Identification of novel regulators of milk protein synthesis in dairy cattle experiencing heat stress”
- Amal El Ghazaly, assistant professor, electrical and computer engineering: “Highly Stretchable Pressure and Curvature Sensor for Soft Robots”
- Heather Feaga, assistant professor, microbiology: “Stalling ribosomes to speed up the search for new antibiotic targets”
- Kaitlin Gold, assistant professor, grape pathology, and Susan Eckert Lynch Faculty Fellow: “Plant Protection Sensing to Improve Agricultural Sustainability”
- Maha Haji, assistant professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering: “Design and Testing of a Sensor-Driven Automated Feed Distribution System for Offshore Aquaculture Farms”
- Meredith Holgerson, assistant professor, ecology and evolutionary biology: “Can aquatic plant management reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ponds?”
- Megan Holycross, assistant professor, earth and atmospheric sciences: “Probing the water contents of martian magmas with lithium”
- Zaneta Hong, assistant professor, landscape architecture: “Edible Ecologies: Understanding the degrees of interconnectivity in material systems and food supply chain”
- Suzanne Lettieri, assistant professor, architecture: “How To Engage: Methods, Early Education and Architecture Pedagogy”
- Qi Li, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering: “Mitigating environmental inequality in urban communities under extreme heat and air pollution events”
- Janet Loebach, the Evalyn Edwards Milman Assistant Professor in Child Development: “Playing Naturally: Examining differences in support for outdoor play diversity and quality in natural versus conventional playspaces”
- Sriramya Nair, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering: “Solving two problems at once: Upcycling of Plastics within Concrete”
- Casey Schmitt, assistant professor, history: “The Predatory Sea: Human Trafficking, Colonization, and Trade in the Greater Caribbean, 1570-1690”
- Daniela Scur, assistant professor, strategy and business economics: “Equality in corporate boards: evidence from the pipeline of female directors in India”
- Gili Vidan, assistant professor, information science: “Irreproducible: Understanding and Controlling the Digital Fake”
Funding proposals were reviewed and rated by the PCCW Grants committee and Cornell faculty members from across the university. The review process was guided by criteria that evaluated scholarly merit, research design, feasibility, and likely relevance to tenure promotion.