The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has awarded Leandra Zarnow, a doctoral candidate in history and feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara, a 2009 Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies and a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.
Zarnow, who received her master's and bachelor's degrees from Smith College in Massachusetts, is one of only seven Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellows selected during a nationwide competition. Now in its 35th year, the fellowship program supports the final year of dissertation writing for doctoral candidates in the humanities and social sciences whose work addresses topics of women and gender in interdisciplinary and original ways.
Zarnow's work, "Bella Abzug and the Promise of Progressive Change in Cold War United States," is the first comprehensive biography of the pioneering congresswoman, and documents her most notable achievements during the period from the 1940's to the 1970's.
"I am grateful for and humbled by receiving the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies and the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship," said Zarnow. "The purpose of these awards is to honor promising scholarship in women's studies and in ethical or religious studies. That the Woodrow Wilson Foundation believes my political biography of Bella Abzug speaks to such broad ranging audiences encourages me anew to engage in interdisciplinary work."
Funded by the Ford Foundation, the Hans Rosenhaupt Memorial Endowment, and private donors, the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies is the only national program supporting doctoral work on women's and gendered issues. Since its inception in 1974, the program has supported over 500 doctoral students in various fields, many of whom currently serve on the faculties at major research institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and UC Berkeley. The roster includes a Pulitzer Prize winner, two MacArthur Fellows, eight Guggenheim Fellows, and several Fulbright Fellows.