The Edith and Frances Mulhall Achilles Memorial Fund generously provides graduate fellowship grants for outstanding alumnae. The application and selection process is overseen by the Fellowship Committee of the Alumnae Association of Barnard College (AABC). Finalists are assessed on academic excellence, quality of references, and postgraduate goals, among other criteria. The following five alumnae are the recipients of the 2017 Edith and Frances Mulhall Achilles Memorial Fellowships for Graduate Study.



Gabrielle Borenstein is a second-year PhD candidate in anthropology at Cornell University. Her research explores how the material world influences social, political, and economic life. In her dissertation, she discusses these relationships in the context of Bronze Age communities in the ancient Near East. Her research relies on archaeological data that she has gathered herself in Armenia as well as from collections in Georgia and Turkey. During her time in Armenia, she worked with local populations through the Aragats Foundation, establishing an archaeology summer camp for teenage girls.




An incoming JD candidate at Yale Law School, Sarah Levine has spent two years as an empirical research fellow at Stanford Law School, combining machine learning, statistics, and policy analysis to evaluate workers’ rights in high-hazard industries. Recently, as a part of a small research team led by Professor Alison Morantz, she developed algorithms to predict injuries in underground coal mines based on patterns on violations. Her other projects have included a crowd-sourced map of worldwide coral reef conditions and an open-source 3D map of her hometown, Jersey City, N.J.




Rachel Susser is a candidate for a master’s degree in music in flute performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London. A major in computer science and music technology at Barnard, she also studied flute through the lesson exchange program with the Manhattan School of Music. Her current research explores the use of alternative performance practices as a means to subvert racial, colonial, class, gender, and other hierarchies perpetuated by classical music discourse. Later this year, she will direct two cross-disciplinary performance pieces that experiment with space, audience interaction, bodily involvement, and audiovisual technology.




As a PhD candidate in neurobiology and behavior at Columbia University, Josephine McGowan focuses on the underlying biological basis of stress resilience. During the last three years, her research has demonstrated the potential to administer pharmaceuticals before stress in a vaccine-like fashion in order to prevent stress-induced psychiatric disorders. Her doctoral thesis focuses on the mechanisms in the brain that are involved in stress resilience and the development of mental illness. As a first-generation college student of Hispanic background, she hopes to engage in outreach to encourage more women and minorities to become leaders in science.




Caroline Gleason is a second-year PhD candidate in cancer biology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her thesis focuses on cellular senescence, a state where cells are alive but permanently growth-arrested. She is working to understand what regulates a cell’s decision to become senescent and how this information can be used to halt the growth of cancer cells. She is also involved in science outreach, mentoring young scientists and working to encourage science literacy in the general public.