Jacqueline (Jacque) Kocer, an UNM Anthropology doctoral student, is being honored with a  2021-22 American Fellowship by The American Association of University Women (AAUW).

As one of the world’s oldest leading supporters of graduate women’s education, AAUW is dedicated to empowering women of all ages through research, education, and advocacy. In 2021, the AAUW awarded a total of $5 million for the 2021-22 school year through fellowships and grants as well as other programs that promote education and equity for women and girls.

“I am honored to be a recipient of the AAUW Dissertation Fellowship, an organization that advocates for women and girls,” said Kocer. “The AAUW fights for gender equity in the workforce and in academia removing barriers and biases that stand in our way. While in graduate school, I became the mother of two amazing girls and this fellowship has allowed me to better balance family life and my dissertation work.”

Kocer’s award-winning research focused on the study of stylistic design and compositional analyses using various microscopy techniques. Specifically, she examines the group ‘Gallina’ for her dissertation research.

“The Gallina people occupied the highlands about 70 km north and east of Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico between about A.D. 1100-1300.  They created and used tools and ceramic containers distinct to the region at the time,” Kocer explained.

Her work is not stopping here, after graduating, Kocer plans to teach Archaeology at a tribal college and promote the presence of Native American women in academia and cultural resource centers.

For these reasons, Kocer has also incorporated The Gallina Research Institute for Indigenous Technology (GRIIT), a nonprofit for Native American youth and college students. Indigenous-managed archaeological research and training program, GRIIT, promotes Indigenous sovereignty over cultural and natural resources while preserving New Mexico’s vast heritage.

As the CEO of GRIIT, Kocer is also working to fund collaborative projects that are geared towards Native Women and girls.

“These efforts are in line with those of the AAUW and funding from this organization will help me accomplish my career and non-profit goals,” she concluded.