2022 Chow Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the 2022 Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Winner: Katherine Maldonado Fabela, and Honorable Mention Recipients: Karina Santellano and Carieta Thomas!

Sociologists for Women in Society first established the Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship at its annual meeting in February 2007. The primary purposes of the scholarship are: (1) To offer support to women and non-binary scholars of color who are from underrepresented groups and are studying concerns that women of color face domestically and/or internationally and (2) To increase the network and participation of students and professionals of color in SWS and beyond. The award is named after Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green to acknowledge the contributions of these two SWS members who played an integral role in making SWS more inclusive of women of color. The awardee receives an $18,000 scholarship and a $500 travel stipend for the SWS 2022 Summer Meeting and SWS 2023 Winter Meeting. The Honorable Mention Awardees will each receive a $1,750 scholarship. 

Special thanks to the Co-Chairs of the Sister to Sister Committee: Esther Hernández-Medina and Pallavi Banerjee and the Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Subcommittee Members: Alexia Angton, Elizabeth Hughes, Kristy Kelly, and Marisa Salinas. 

Katherine Maldonado Fabela 

Katherine Maldonado Fabela is a mother of three from South Central Los Angeles, and a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include medical sociology, inequalities, critical criminology, and visual methodology. She earned her B.A. in Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. While at UCLA, Katherine conducted research as a McNair research fellow on gang-affiliated mothers’ resistance through education. She received her Master’s degree in Sociology at UC Riverside where she examined the ways gang affiliated women experience institutional violence and developed a conceptual model on life course criminalization. She continues this line of work in her dissertation by examining the experiences of Chicana mothers with intersectional stigmatized statuses in the carceral system, specifically the Child Welfare system. The investigation centers the multi-institutional violence that mothers navigate via child welfare, how it affects their mental health, and the ways they resist and heal from multiple forms of criminalization through system- impacted motherwork.Throughout her dissertation the experiences of families after child welfare involvement underscore the complex interactions of social, psychological, and biological dimensions of health and healing. 

Katherine is a Pre-Doctoral Ford Foundation Fellow, American Sociology Association Minority Fellow and American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education fellow. Her research has been funded and recognized by grants including Abolitionist Teaching Network grant, Women’s Health, Gender and empowerment grant, among others. Katherine’s research has been published in the Journal of Critical Criminology, Aztlan Journal of Chicana/o Studies as well as multiple book chapters. She has been invited to speak to international audiences at the European University Institute, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and the United Nations about gang-affiliated women’s experiences and hopes to develop collective care models through policy. In other collaborative projects, as a research assistant, Katherine explored and testified on behalf of asylum seekers, and continues to explore the impacts of the immigration regime on Latinx families’ health.  

In addition to her research, Katherine is also involved with activist organizations where she supports formerly incarcerated and system impacted students and mothers. She provides workshops to community members, mothers, and incarcerated youth where she aims to build a prison to education pipeline and organizes with system-impacted families involved in CPS. Katherine’s scholar activism is grounded in trauma-informed, healing-centered practices that push for collective health. Katherine hopes that her research, teaching, advocacy, and passion for social justice can push for abolition and also support mothers in crisis in ways that center healing for themselves, their children, and communities. The short-term goal of publishing her dissertation into a book forms part of her larger commitment to the decriminalization of mental health for mothers living within criminalized poor communities, while also complicating understandings of gendered criminalization, intergenerational health disparities, and resistance in system-impacted families. 

Karina Santellano

Karina Santellano is a first-generation college student and Chicana PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a certificate in Latino/a studies from Duke University. Karina is an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) Graduate Fellow, a Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Fellowship recipient, and most recently an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellowship recipient.

Karina’s desire to study Latinx life through an intersectionality framework is shaped by her own life as a low-income Chicana raised by immigrant parents in San Diego, California. In her dissertation, Karina is examining upwardly mobile Latinx populations and cultural life through the site of Latinx owned and inspired coffee shops in the Southern California region. She examines how race/ethnicity, gender, motherhood status, and class shape coffee shop owners’ entrepreneurial pathways and experiences particularly during the pandemic. 

In addition to writing peer-reviewed articles about later-generation Latinx entrepreneurship and Latinx consumerism, Karina plans to write stories based on her research on Latina coffee shop owners for local journalistic outlets. She would love to write on the roles of imperialism, colonialism, anti-indigeneity, and capitalism in the history of coffee to show readers how everyday products have landed on our kitchen tables. Similarly, she would love to write journalistic stories on the lives of U.S. born Latinas in the specialty coffee industry and the importance of transnational and ancestral ties to their businesses. In doing so, Karina could incorporate some of the photography she shares on her research Instagram (@Latinxcafecitos) and amplify the powerful stories of Latina entrepreneurs as they weather the racialized and gendered impacts of the pandemic. You can learn more about Latinx-inspired coffee shops through her research Instagram: @Latinxcafecitos.

Carieta Thomas

Carieta Thomas (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of Calgary. She received a JD from New England Law|Boston with a specialization in immigration law, an MA in Pan African Studies from Syracuse University, and a BA in International Relations and Africana Studies from Agnes Scott College. Carieta has been an immigrant since the age of two, when her family moved from Guyana to the British Virgin Islands and then again to the U.S., where they fell out of status. Having attended a high school with students from 50 different countries, Carieta began to grapple with the particular struggles that Black immigrants face. She then became involved in refugee resettlement, post-conflict resolution, and later interned with legal aid organizations in immigration law. As such, Carieta’s research is a culmination of her educational background and lived experiences. 

Her research examines the role pre-employment screening is playing in the management of undocumented Caribbean care workers within the labour force in the U.S. and Canada. Specifically, it explores the location of undocumented women from the Caribbean within the context of increased surveillance in the labour market. The study investigates these issues on three levels: the responses of undocumented women from the Caribbean to these approaches in employment screening (micro); the role of individual employers and employment agencies in deploying technologies that screen workers based on immigrant status (meso); and Canadian and U.S. immigration policies/regulations (macro). The Caribbean women at the center of the study are at the intersections of being low-wage, racialized women with precarious immigrant status. It is especially important to tell their stories because not doing so will result in incomplete policy advocacy and further marginalizes the people doing the much needed and important labour of caregiving. 

Carieta’s research and career goals are geared toward illuminating the stories of Black immigrants. In the short term she hopes to expand her current study to include undocumented care workers from countries in Western Africa who, like women from the Caribbean, have come to fill spaces in the global care work regime. She would also like to explore care work training programs in the Caribbean geared toward migrating to the U.S. and Canada, including possible policy changes that could expand visa options for care workers. Longer-term, her research plans include exploring the three-step and multi-step migration paths of Caribbean immigrants, the high rates of deportation among Black immigrants, and return migration.

SWS will honor Katherine Maldonado Fabela, Karina Santellano, Carieta Thomas and all our 2022 Summer Award recipients during our Awards Banquet which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 7 from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm in the Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 515B. 

If you are interested in making a gift to support the Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship, please contact Barret Katuna, Executive Officer, at swseo.barretkatuna@outlook.com, or make a gift via this form: