Two Maine educators have won Guggenheim fellowships, joining an elite group of 181 scholars, artists and scientists from North America.

Kristen R. Ghodsee, a gender and women’s studies professor from Bowdoin College, and Catherine Besteman, a professor of anthropology at Colby College, received word of their fellowships this week.

According to the foundation, nearly 3,000 people applied. Fellowships are awarded based on prior achievement and “exceptional promise,” according to a Guggenheim press release.

Besterman will study “An unexpected life: Somalis, Mainers, and the new global normal.”

Ghodsee will study “State socialist women’s organizations reconsidered: The committee of the Bulgarian women’s movement and African feminisms, 1965-1990.”