Heather Switzer, planning, governance, and globalization doctoral student in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech, has been named an American Association of University Women American Dissertation Fellow.

The American Association of University Women has been supporting women scholars since 1888. Switzer, of Blacksburg, is one of 97 fellows who will divide a total of $4.4 million in awards. Switzer is also a women's studies graduate certificate program student. Her dissertation focuses on the gendered effects of globalization and development on identity and social role formation among indigenous Maasai schoolgirls in rural Kenya, Africa.

Switzer received both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in English from Virginia Tech.