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Release: April 25, 2000

(EDITORS: This corrects a release sent Monday, April 24 in which the students' dissertation titles were incorrectly attributed. Please replace the April 24 version with this one.)

Two UI graduate students receive $2,000 dissertation grants

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two University of Iowa graduate students, Beth Fisher in English and Bridgett Williams-Searle in history, were among 15 graduate students nationwide to win $2,000 Dissertation Grants from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WWNFF) for their work in women's studies.

Each year the foundation awards these grants for the continuing studies of 15 students studying women's lives, history, and literature. The foundation says it was the first to offer grants to encourage scholarship about women and that it is still the only national source of support in the field for graduate students who are completing their doctoral studies in preparation for careers as scholars and teachers.

Both Fisher and Williams-Searle agree that the grants will assist them greatly as they work toward completing their doctoral degrees.

"This award signifies that I'm writing a book that other scholars want to read," Williams-Searle said. "The grant provides a crucial boost of confidence as I move into the final year of writing and revision." Her dissertation is entitled "Resolving the Revolution: Households, Law, and the Structuring of Dependent Relations in the Early Republic, 1778-1828."

Fisher also says that she will be using the grant money for her work on her dissertation, "Fictions of Female Desire: Gender and Social Disorder in the Early Gilded Age Novel," to complete her primary research at libraries in New England.

The WWNFF is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to excellence in education since 1945 through the identification of critical needs and the development of effective national programs to address them. Its programs include fellowships for graduate study, professional development for teachers, educational opportunities for women and minorities, relating the academy to society, and national service.