Texas Tech University

Faculty Member Awarded AAUW American Fellowship

Rachel Kiwior

August 30, 2022

Dr. Virginia E. Whealton

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) awards a fellowship to a SOM faculty member.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is pleased to award a 2022-23 American Fellowship to Virginia E. Whealton, Ph.D. Whealton is an Assistant Professor of Musicology in the School of Music at the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts at Texas Tech University. “These fellowships are so competitive that I had counted myself out. I called up my family right away to tell them the good news. After seeing me work long and stressful hours throughout the pandemic, it's been a joy for them to have something to celebrate. I am thrilled to have this support to write the book I need to advance in my career,” said Whealton. “This grant came at a unique moment for me. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on nineteenth-century Parisian musicians. When the pandemic struck, I did not know when or if I'd be able to continue the research needed to transform my dissertation into a book, since that requires examining rare archival sources in Europe.

I did, however, I have a side project going on the Myers family and music collectorship in my adopted hometown of Norfolk, Virginia in the early nineteenth century. I realized that this Norfolk research might be a more promising and compelling project than my Parisian work. After all, there are so many books on music in Paris, but none on music in Norfolk! Thanks to the Myers, I'm able to examine concepts of musical citizenship, regional loyalty, American ambition, and Jewish identity in the first decades after the American Revolution. In many ways, those issues are still with us today.”

Whealton is one of seventeen women holding the postdoctoral research leave fellowship in the AAUW's American Fellowship program for the 2022-2023 academic year. She is currently in her second term as Secretary-Treasurer of the Southwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society, is an affiliated faculty with the Department of History and the Women's and Gender Studies program at Texas Tech, and is a 2021 recipient of the Professing Excellence Award at Texas Tech University.

"I've learned that making major shifts in my work can be scary and risky, but it's worth it. Through this grant, I'm not just writing a book—I'm branching out into public humanities, engaged scholarship, and digital humanities scholarship. I am excited to be able to have this work inform my teaching at Texas Tech,” said Whealton.

AAUW is one of the world's leading supporters of graduate women's education: Over the past 134 years, it has provided more than $135 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 women from 150 countries. AAUW is proud to be one of the nation's largest educational funders for women of color.

For the 2022-23 academic year, AAUW is awarding an unprecedented $6 million through seven fellowships and grants programs to more than 320 scholars, research projects and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls.

“We are thrilled to be able to increase our support to so many deserving women,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW's Chief Executive Officer. “Our fellows and grantees have changed the face of leadership nationally and globally for over a century, and we know that this year's awardees will continue to make significant contributions to their fields and society.”

American Fellowships, AAUW's largest funding program, began in 1888, making them one of the world's oldest and most competitive fellowship programs exclusively for women. These fellowships support scholars who are completing doctoral dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research or finishing research for publication.

Applications for AAUW's fellowship and grants open August 1 each year. Deadlines vary by program. To find out more about this year's exceptional class of awardees, visit the online directory.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. 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 members. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.