Simon’s Chagan Sanathu ’24S (MBA) awarded AAUW Selected Fellowship

Simon’s Chagan Sanathu ’24S (MBA) awarded AAUW Selected Fellowship

December 4, 2023 | By Bret Ellington

Chagan Sanathu, a second-year MBA student at Simon Business School, has been awarded the prestigious American Association of University Women (AAUW) Selected Professions Fellowship. This marks a significant milestone for both Sanathu and Simon, as it is the first time in a decade that a student from the School has been awarded this esteemed fellowship.

"I am honored to have received this award,” said Sanathu. “Not only does getting a financial award like this minimize some of my student debt, but it has also enabled me to participate in activities such as an international immersion to South Africa through Simon, which typically is an out-of-pocket cost. Additionally, Sanathu praised the vast network of incredible women alumni from AAUW, which has been instrumental in developing her own professional network.

Since 1888, AAUW has been a key supporter of women's graduate education, having awarded over $135 million to 13,000 women, breaking barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields. The Selected Professions Fellowships are aimed at women pursuing full-time courses in designated degree programs where women's participation has historically been low. These programs include architecture, computer/information sciences, engineering, mathematics/statistics, law, and business administration.

Originally from India, Chagan Sanathu immigrated to the US in 2008 and moved to Rochester from Berkeley, Calif., where she says she and her husband call home. She is currently pursuing a STEM designated MBA, focusing on strategy with a finance minor. When asked about her plans after graduation, Sanathu expressed her commitment to returning to California.

“I’m currently focus on pursuing a full-time role in the Los Angeles area. I’m specifically interested in working on sustainability, social impact, and corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives,” she said. 

Sanathu described the application process for the Fellowship Award as “seamless,” and was consistent with her own long-held values. 
“Like my career prior to Simon, my entire application was focused on how this award will not only support my academic goals but also enable me to continue to support and promote socio-economic upward mobility for diverse, underrepresented communities,” she said. 

Part of the process included identifying three references—professors and a former supervisor—who could give a holistic view of her personal, professional, and academic experiences. She was also tasked with writing essays on her professional and academic goals and even creating a budget for the potential award money.  

About the Selected Professions Fellowships and AAUW

The AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships were established in 1970 with a focus on opening doors for women in male-dominated fields like law and medicine. Over time, the focus expanded to include science and technology to address the growing demand for a technologically skilled workforce without proportional representation by women.

The American Association of University Women has a rich history of supporting women's education for more than 130 years. From funding the education of countless women in various fields to advocating for gender equity through legislative efforts, AAUW has played a pivotal role in shaping the progress of women in the United States.

As AAUW continues its commitment to investing in world-changing women through fellowships and grants, Chagan Sanathu stands as a testament to the organization's mission of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in various fields. Her success not only celebrates her individual achievements but also contributes to the ongoing fight for gender equity that organizations like AAUW champion.

Bret Ellington

Bret Ellington is a senior copywriter and content creator for the Simon Business School Marketing Department.

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