Esther Ajayi-Lowo (MA '18, PhD '21)

Ph.D. in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies

Esther Ajayi-Lowo headshot

December 2021 — DENTON — Esther Ajayi-Lowo is receiving her Ph.D. in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies this December.

After working for more than a decade on human rights and development in Nigeria, Esther came to TWU in 2015 to pursue her master’s degree.

Six years and two degrees later, she has earned countless fellowships, scholarships and awards for her research, which focuses on health and reproductive justice for Black women. Her dissertation, “Decolonizing Childbirth: Women, Traditional Birth Attendants and Reproductive Justice in Nigeria,” explores the significance of indigenous birthing knowledge in Nigeria and its connection to the experiences of Black women in the U.S. 

Among her many awards are the American Association of University Women’s International Fellowship, the Social Science Research Council's International Dissertation Research Fellowship, and the Philanthropic Educational Organization’s International Peace Scholarship. In addition to her research, she led campus-wide advocacy events and educational workshops centered on social and reproductive justice issues.

Esther Ajayi-Lowo's family at the TWU library fountain

Her achievements have been hard-fought and hard-won. As a full-time student and mother of three, she often juggled scholarly work with graduate teaching assistantships while also engaging in leadership and community service projects. 

Through education, research and advocacy, Esther has given a voice to marginalized women. As of August 2021, she is already working as a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor at Spelman College in Atlanta. 

Esther exemplifies TWU's mission of empowering women through leadership and education, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.

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Anna Ryan

Page last updated 10:16 AM, December 6, 2021