The Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Scholarship


We invite applications for the 2024 Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Scholarship, formerly known as the Women of Color Dissertation Scholarship.

Esther Ngan-Ling Chow

Photo of Esther Ngan-Ling Chow

Professor Emeritus of Sociology at American University, Esther Ngan-Ling Chow, pioneered the analysis of the intersectionality of race, class, and gender in the lives of Asian American women.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Dr. Chow moved to the United States in 1966 to pursue her PhD in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Upon completing her PhD, she joined the faculty at American University where she taught and researched a range of topics that included the intersectionality of race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality; work and family; migration and globalization; feminist methodology and pedagogy; economy and society; and Chinese American studies. She was a pioneer in the intersectional investigation of Asian American women and Asian immigrant communities.

Dr. Chow’s service to the broader sociological community is prodigious. She chaired the Asia and Asian American Section of the American Sociological Association and Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society. She has also served on the editorial boards of Gender & Society, International Sociology, and Rose Series Monograph on Sociology and Social Policy.

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Dr. Chow has not only been at the forefront of the analysis of gender, work, family, and policy, but also brought attention to the relative lack of attention paid to Asian American women in feminist scholarship. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors for teaching and her pioneering work, including the SWS Feminist Activism Award (2008) and SWS Mentoring Award (2000) as well as the Jessie Bernard Award from the American Sociological Association. She has also been the recipient of numerous research grant awards from the National Institute of Mental Health, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation. Esther was a Fulbright New Century Scholar in 2004, an award she personally considered her highest honor.

Esther was deeply devoted to her family and passionate about making a difference. She founded the True Light Foundation—an organization aimed at reducing poverty and increasing educational opportunities for young women in rural China.


Mareyjoyce Green

Photo of Mareyjoyce Green

Professor Mareyjoyce Green, Associate Professor at Cleveland State University (CSU), known to most as Mareyjoyce, was an enormously influential figure in sociology whose work united the critical analyses of race and gender. Mareyjoyce was one of the founding faculty of CSU, and she served in the Sociology Department from 1966 until she retired in 2009. In 1978 she became the coordinator of the Women’s Comprehensive Program, and she was its director from 1992 until her retirement.

During her tenure at CSU, Mareyjoyce’s work profoundly affected the development of research on the status of women in society. In addition to serving as chair of Cleveland’s Women’s Equity Planning Project, a multi-organizational effort to assess and address the challenges women in the region faced, Mareyjoyce directed two noteworthy oral history projects, the Oral History of Ethnic Women and the Women of Fenn Project, that highlighted the contributions of women to the founding of Fenn College.

Mareyjoyce served as President of the Association of Black Sociologists and Vice President of Sociologists for Women in Society. In addition, she chaired the Minority Fellowship Program committee and the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and co-chaired the Committee on the Status of Women in Sociology for the American Sociological Association. She held the position of Treasurer of the North Central Sociological Association, Chair of its Committee on the Status of Women and Minorities, and several elected offices in the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Mareyjoyce’s success was all the more remarkable because of her humble beginnings. Raised on a small farm that lacked electricity and running water in East Texas with her seven siblings, Mareyjoyce graduated from high school at the age of 15 and earned a degree in sociology from Wiley College in 1947. After a brief, successful career as a modern dance performer, she returned her attention to sociology and received a master’s degree from Western Reserve University (now CWRU) in 1960.

Mareyjoyce’s work extended beyond the university. Her community service in Cleveland included Vice President of the Federation for Community Planning; member of the Monitoring Commission for School Desegregation and Community Relations, as well as numerous Board memberships, including the League of Women Voters, the YWCA, the Center for Families and Children, Goodwill Industries, St. Ann’s Foundation, League Park Center, and Women Space.

Mareyjoyce was equally committed to pioneering the development of educational programs. She founded CSU’s Women’s Comprehensive Program which lives on today as The Mareyjoyce Green Women’s Center and Women’s Studies Program. Mareyjoyce also co-founded the Push to Achievement Program with CSU colleague Dr. Roberta Steinbacher; it is the only program in Ohio that helps students receiving public assistance earn a baccalaureate degree.

In 2009, she was recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives for her civic accomplishments, and she was honored again that same year when CSU renamed the Women’s Center as The Mareyjoyce Green Women’s Center. In 2019, we mourned her passing while celebrating her life.


All applications are due no later than April 1, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET.

Submit applications through the SWS Member Portal. You do not need to be an SWS member to apply for this award, but you need to use the portal.

Sister to Sister Committee Co-Chairs: Pallavi Banerjee and LaToya Council
Application Reviewers: Christobel Asiedu, Erika Busse Cardena, Lisa Covington, Mahala Stewart
Liaison for Applicants: Katherine Maldonado Fabela

Please email Pallavi Banerjee, or LaToya Council, at with questions.  

Scholarship Purpose

Sociologists for Women in Society has worked hard to build a coalition of women scholars who share concerns about the status of women both domestically and internationally or transnationally. In keeping with that mission, SWS established a Women of Color Scholarship at its annual meeting in February 2007. The primary purposes of the scholarship are:. In keeping with that mission, SWS established a Women of Color 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 or transnationally. In keeping with that mission, SWS established a Women of Color Scholarship at its annual meeting in February 2007. The primary purposes of the scholarship are:.
  2. To increase the network and participation of students and professionals of color in SWS and beyond.

Selection Criteria

  • Student must identify as a woman or non-binary scholar of color from a racial/ethnic group facing racial discrimination in the United States.
  • Dissertation must be sociologically relevant scholarship that addresses the concerns of women of color, domestically and/transnationally or internationally.
  • Student must be in the early stages of writing a dissertation.
  • Student must be “All But Dissertation” (ABD) by the time the term of the award begins. (Must be certified by the student’s advisor or Graduate Director)
  • Applicant must demonstrate a financial need for the award.
  • Domestic and international students are eligible to apply. (U.S. citizenship is not required to be eligible for this award).

Student Application Process

Complete application packets should be submitted via the SWS Membership Portal: where there is an Awards Submission Form. Please address any questions to the Sister to Sister Committee Co-Chairs, Esther Hernández-Medina and Pallavi Banerjee at

Each packet must include:

  • A two-page (double-spaced, 12 point font) personal statement that details short and long term career and research goals. The statement must also state which racial/ethnic group(s) the applicant represents.
  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation addressing the content and quality of the student’s work and progress in the program. One of these letters must be from the Graduate Director or Dissertation Advisor who must address the financial need of the applicant, as well as certify the date on which the applicant became or will become ABD. Please have letter writers email the letters directly to Letter writers should include “Chow-Green Award” in the subject heading of their email.
  • Proposal (not to exceed 5 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font) for the dissertation research which outlines:
    • Purpose of research
    • Work to be accomplished through scholarship sponsorship
    • Time line for completing dissertation
  • All of these documents (with the exception of the letters of recommendation) must be combined into one PDF file and submitted via the Awards Submission form that can be accessed at: You do not need to be an SWS Member to submit, but you do need to create a profile in the system.  

Responsibilities of Recipient

  • Attend the Summer and Winter Meetings (2024-2025). Free registration and a $500 stipend to be used toward travel will be available to the winner for this purpose.
  • Submit a brief report (3 pages max) on the work completed during the scholarship year, no later than 1 month after the end of the award period. This report should be emailed to the SWS Executive Officer at


The winner will receive an $18,000 scholarship (for the academic year), a certificate, and SWS membership for one year. In addition the recipient will receive free registration for both the Summer and Winter Meetings, along with an additional $500 grant to enable attendance at the Summer Meeting and Winter Meeting provided in the form of a reimbursement. The $18,000 is disbursed at the Summer Meeting ($9,000) and at the Winter Meeting ($9,000). If the winner would like for the SWS Executive Office to book travel, the winner can contact the Executive Officer and the travel arrangements will be made out of the $500 travel grant money.