The American Association of University Women recently awarded Sunshine Yin ’13 the Selected Professions Fellowship to support her work in the area of intellectual property law. The fellowship, which includes an $18,000 award, is given annually in areas where women’s participation has traditionally been low, such as law, medicine, architecture, engineering and mathematics.

During her fellowship year, Yin plans to explore the cross-section between law and culture to understand how different societies conceive of the ownership of ideas and how these conceptions impact technological and cultural advancement. Her goal is to apply this research to develop practical solutions for improving U.S. intellectual property governance in the digital age.

In the fall, she will be studying international and comparative intellectual property at Queen Mary School of Law in London.

A supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review, Yin has written on patent law, copyright law, trade secrets, and innovation policy. She is the author of several case comments, including one on business method patents that was cited in a petition for writ for certiorari, granted by the Supreme Court. (Wildtangent, Inc. v. Ultramercial, LLC). Yin is also involved with the Harvard Law and Entrepreneurship Project and is a research assistant for Professor Jeannie Suk ’02.

Born in China, Yin moved to the U.S. at the age of seven and grew up in Madison, Miss. She received her B.A. from Princeton University in English and spent two years at Bain & Company before coming to HLS.

Former Selected Professions Fellows have made significant contributions to women’s lives in a number of areas, from working to mass-produce a low-cost incubator for infants in the developing world to researching new ways to detect breast cancer.

“Women have made impressive gains in the historically male fields of law and medicine. In some ways, we would like to think that AAUW played a role in those impressive gains with the awarding of fellowships and grants that made it possible for so many women to enter law schools and medical schools,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW director of fellowships, grants, and international programs. “We need the contributions of women to create a competitive and balanced workforce. After all, you can’t shut out half of the population — it’s not good for anyone.”

AAUW is one of the largest sources of funding for graduate education for women. Since 1888, AAUW has provided more than $90 million to 11,000 fellows and grantees.  The organization has more than 150,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 700 college and university partners.

To find out more about this year’s class of awardees, visit the online directory.