Announcing the 2020 Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Winner: Carmela M. Roybal

Congratulations to the 2020 Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Winner: Carmela M. Roybal

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Photo of Carmela M. Roybal

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 of color scholars 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.

Carmela M. Roybal “Than Povi” is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of New Mexico. Her specialties include: medical sociology, bioethics, and public health with a focus on the study of race, gender, ethnicity, discrimination and health disparities. Her research uses intersectionality as a tool for examining racialized and gendered inequalities in health, with an emphasis on Indigenous peoples of the United States and globally.

Born and raised in New Mexico, land, culture, and language, are all an integral part of Carmela’s existence. Carmela calls Ohkay Owingeh (Land of the Strong) Pueblo and the Embudo Valley her home. In addition, she is a descendent of Sakonaekwaeku’i’e Owingeh, and the genízaros and Mexicanos of the Northern Rio Grande Valley.

Her dissertation, “Intersectionality and Lived Experiences of Inequality: Intergenerational Addiction, Opioid Use, and the Constrained Choices of Women Caregivers in Rural New Mexico,” is an intersectional knowledge project guided by attention to the simultaneity of structural inequalities, such as settler colonialism, structural racism, racialized capitalism, and heteropatriarchy, all of which shape women’s lives. Through a decolonial lens, her research will take an intersectional approach to understanding the health and social inequalities experienced by women living through an opioid epidemic. She examines the lived experience of Native American, Latina, and White women as they navigate a family addiction, constrained choices, and layers of overlapping inequalities in housing, employment and health. Through centering the voices of women, Carmela provides not only theoretical and empirical contributions to the racialized and gendered dynamics of oppression and resistance, but she also builds the foundation for policy change and action. It is her hope that this study also changes the conversation about the fundamental causes of childhood traumas, addiction, and opioid misuse and shapes solutions through equity-based policies and practices that center women’s lives.

Carmela intends on utilizing the funds and time the award will afford her to publish peer- reviewed papers, which will disseminate findings on women’s health, sociological research, and leadership roles as they pertain to gender. Her long-term career goal is to become a public scholar and a critical voice for Indigenous peoples. She hopes to bring awareness to women’s health for lasting change, cultural longevity, and community healing. She plans to develop innovative decolonial and antiracist interventions for mental health and addiction, specifically for marginalized populations, communities of color, and tribal peoples.

Kunda Wo’ha’/Special thanks to the Co-Chairs of the Sister to Sister Committee: Sasha R. Drummond-Lewis and LaTonya Trotter, and to the Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Subcommittee members, Tracy Ore and Melissa Abad.

Carmela wishes to extend Kunda Wo’ha/Special thanks to her children Esai C. Morales Roybal, Benjamin T. Morales Roybal, and Nizhoni T. Morales Roybal.

SWS will be honoring Carmela via a Virtual Awards Presentation. Pre-registration is required. Please click here to register for the Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Announcement taking place on July 16, 2020 at 1:00 pm Eastern Time. 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 You can also make a gift online, by clicking here.