Congratulations to the 2021 Summer Award Winners!

Maretta McDonald and Evelyn Pruneda Named SWS ASA Minority Fellowship Program Awardees

SWS is proud to sponsor these two Minority Fellows in the 2021-2022 ASA MFP Cohort, 48. SWS Congratulates all of the 2021 – 2022 American Sociological Association (ASA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Fellows.

Please click HERE to see all the 2021-2022 ASA MFPs.

Maretta McDonald (Sociologists for Women in Society MFP)

Graduate Institution: Louisiana State University 

Maretta McDonald is a first-generation PhD candidate from Oakland, California, by way of Chicago. She earned her BA in criminal justice with a minor in sociology and her MS in applied sociology from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. She currently attends Louisiana State University pursuing her PhD in sociology with graduate minors in African and African American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. As a graduate instructor there, McDonald teaches classes in both sociology and African and African American studies. Her research interest areas include racial inequality, gender, family, criminology, and public policy. Prior to returning to college as a freshman, McDonald worked in Louisiana state government in the Department of Children and Family Services. Her dissertation, “Enforcing Child Support in the Deep South: An Intersectional Approach” uses mixed methods to examine how race, gender, class, and place matter in the outcomes of nonresident parents who are participants in the child support enforcement system. Her project takes particular interest in understanding whether child support enforcement professionals’ practices reproduce inequality across groups and the urban/rural divide. Her dissertation research is also funded by the ASA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant. McDonald’s work is published in edited volumes, news media, research blogs, and Sociological Perspectives. She also has a co-authored book forthcoming, The Sociology of Cardi B. McDonald uses her sociology training in the community and has collaborated on campus climate reports; provided an overview of the demographic change of disadvantaged neighborhoods in Baton Rouge from 1900 to 2017 for an urban renewal project; assembled an accessible history of the Black community of Baton Rouge from 1699 to 2020 for use by local educators and community organizations; and co-taught a college-level course in a women’s state correctional facility. In her spare time, she listens to music, dances, and spends time with her family and friends.


Evelyn Pruneda (Sociologists for Women in Society MFP)

Graduate Institution: University of California-Riverside

Evelyn Pruneda is a first-generation PhD candidate at the University of California-Riverside. Originally from California’s San Joaquin Valley, she earned her BA from Occidental College and her MA in public administration from California State University-Fresno. Her research interests include critical race and gender studies, labor studies, and environmental sociology. Pruneda’s dissertation uses feminist qualitative methods to examine the working conditions and lived experiences of women farmworkers in California’s rural San Joaquin Valley. Her research explores the political and social borders that shape and exacerbate multiple marginalized identities that impact women’s labor, family, and community lives. In this work, Pruneda provides a critical analysis of the experiences of women farmworkers in the valley as they navigate a history of labor exploitation, residential segregation, and increasingly, the effects of climate change, which directly impact the health and livelihood of farmworker communities. Prior to graduate school, Pruneda worked in the nonprofit sector doing college access work with high school students and their families in South Los Angeles and the Central Valley. Her work has been published in Research in Political Sociology and has been supported by the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) as well as various fellowships from the University of California-Riverside. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, photography, and spending time with her family.

To learn more about the ASA Minority Fellowship Program, please click HERE.

Thanks to Brittany Battle and Andrea Gómez Cervantes of Cohort 44, 2017-2018, who are the SWS-ASA MFP Liaisons. We will celebrate with Evelyn and Maretta at our 2021 Summer Meeting Awards Reception scheduled for Friday, July 9 between 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT.


Congratulations to the 2021 SWS Barbara Rosenblum Scholarship for the Study of Women and Cancer Winner

Trang Thu Đỗ

Photo of Trang Thu Đỗ

Sociologists for Women in Society is proud to announce the recipient of the 2021 Barbara Rosenblum Scholarship for the Study of Women and Cancer, Trang Thu Đỗ. Special thanks go to the 2021 Barbara Rosenblum Scholarship for the Study of Women and Cancer Subcommittee: Rebecca Hanson (Chair), Jean Elson, Gloria Gadsden, Tashelle Wright and Ana Porroche-Escudero. This scholarship was established with a bequest from Barbara Rosenblum, an active and longstanding SWS member, who died February 14, 1988 after a long battle with breast cancer. Colleagues, friends, and family made contributions to the fund in Barbara’s memory, and fundraising efforts continue to ensure that a $2500 scholarship can be offered every year. The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage doctoral research in sociology, anthropology, psychology, and related fields on women’s experience of breast cancer and other reproductive cancers and the prevention of these cancers. Another goal of the scholarship is to encourage scholars to make this type of research accessible to the public through speaking and publishing for lay audiences.

Trang Thu Đỗ is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the Faculty of Arts, Monash University in Australia, pursuing her doctoral research on understanding the experiences of women living with breast cancer in Vietnam. She has experience as both a social researcher and practitioner for over ten years in Vietnam, her home country, where her work has focused on issues related to women’s health, gender, poverty, and social inequality. Her scholarly works have been published in internationally peer-reviewed and high impact journals, such as Social Science & MedicineHealth Sociology Review, and Sex Roles. Prior to coming to Australia, via her position at the Institute for Social Development Studies, Đỗ closely engaged with local civil society, government agencies, and development partners in shaping and delivering development policies and projects aimed to empower and improve the well-being of vulnerable groups, including ethnic minorities, rural low-income women, and sexual minorities.

In her present study, Đỗ explores the lived realities of breast cancer in Vietnam where the disease has become the most common cancer for women, claiming over 9,300 deaths in 2020. Her research illuminates how social and structural factors figure into how women patients and their families make sense of, approach, and manage this life-threatening disease. Đỗ followed cancer patients in the central region of Vietnam throughout their treatment journey and everyday life at different hospital, community, and peer support group settings. In her year-long ethnography, she also interviewed healthcare providers, family members of cancer patients, and laypeople to unfold the various aspects surrounding women’s construction of breast cancer understandings and care-seeking behaviors.

With insights from social science perspectives into the social burden of living with a pathological condition, her research addresses the current theoretical and empirical gap in relation to scholarship on cancer’s lived experiences in a developing country context. Her findings emphasize the need to attend to how the experiences of living with a chronic health problem for people in resource-constrained settings are shaped by and contribute to social and economic inequalities. Đỗ believes in the power of research to initiate and achieve positive social changes. By amplifying voices from underserved populations, she expects that her research could inform the design of socially and culturally appropriate care and more effective programs to improve the lives of women living with breast cancer in different parts of Vietnam, as well as in other under-resourced contexts.

SWS will honor Trang Thu Đỗ and all of our 2021 Summer Award recipients via a Virtual Awards Presentation. Our Awards Reception is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 9, 2021 between 6:00 pm EDT- 8:30 pm EDT. If you are interested in making a gift to support the Barbara Rosenblum Scholarship for the Study of Women and Cancer, please contact Barret Katuna, Executive Officer, at, or make a gift via this form


2021 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award Winners Announced

Jesse Kolber of the University of California, Davis is the 2021 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award Recipient

Jessica Yorks of the University of Connecticut is the 2021 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Honorable Mention Awardee

The Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award was established in 2005 to support first generation college students who began their academic careers in a community college, have faced significant obstacles, are committed to teaching, and mentoring other less privileged students, and exemplify Beth’s commitment to professional service and social justice work through activism. Beth B. Hess was a President of SWS and one of our mentoring award winners; she was also the President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) and Secretary Treasurer of the American Sociological Association (ASA).  These organizations join SWS in supporting the Beth B. Hess Scholar each year. Advanced graduate students in sociology at the dissertation writing stage are invited to apply. In 2021, the subcommittee (Sarah Bruch, Chair; Toni Calasanti, Myra Marx Ferree, Gul Marshall, Elizabeth Seton Mignacca, and Nancy Naples) faced the challenge of selecting the winner. When there is more than one exceptionally strong candidate, an Honorable Mention Awardee is also selected.

The scholarship carries a stipend of $18,000 from SWS with travel assistance, $500 from SWS and $300 from SSSP, to be used to support future academic meeting travel, as well as one-year memberships in SWS and SSSP. SSSP will celebrate the awardee at their Annual Meeting. Recognizing Beth B. Hess’s significant contributions to the ASA, ASA joins SWS and SSSP in supporting and celebrating the awardee. ASA provides an annual membership, complimentary meeting registration and a $500 travel award to off-set the cost of the next in-person ASA Annual Meeting.

Photo of Jesse Kolber

The subcommittee is thrilled to announce that the 2021 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award winner is Jesse Kolber. Jesse is a doctoral student advanced to candidacy at the University of California, Davis. Jesse is a transgender researcher who studies identity, perception, categorization, and boundaries. He found purpose and a path to his desired future through three years in community college before transferring to San Francisco State University where he earned his B.A. with honors in Psychology. Jesse’s graduate education was first in sexuality studies at San Francisco State University; then for his doctorate, he chose sociology at the University of California, Davis. In his application letter, Jesse explained the disciplinary transition as follows: “My shift from psychology to sexuality studies to sociology was a necessary trajectory, as my studies in identity, prejudice, and discrimination ultimately led me to inquire about large-scale social processes and structures.” Having collected and transcribed 75 in-depth interviews, Jesse is currently at the writing stage of his dissertation. His research focuses on the “construction and policing of gender categories and statuses in everyday interaction.” Building on the doing gender literature, it explores “social boundary-making between transgender and cisgender individuals” to find out the “underlying mechanisms of what it is to ‘know’ gender.”

In line with his research, Jesse is committed to teaching and social justice activism and has taught and mentored students at a community college. Jesse describes “engaging racial-, gender-, sexuality-based inequalities” through teaching and supporting community college students as one of his career goals. His trans and non-binary advocacy has made an impact at the City College of San Francisco, a community college, where he continues to teach. Jesse has received awards from Harvey Milk Democratic Club and the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco.

The subcommittee strongly believes that Jesse’s research, activism, teaching, and mentoring capture what the Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship stands for. We are pleased to give this award to Jesse and look forward to his continuing commitment to social justice and dedication to making an impact with his work within and outside of the academy.

Photo of Jessica Yorks

The selection subcommittee recognizes Jessica Yorks with the 2021 Honorable Mention. Jessica’s early life experience was shaped by growing up in Appalachia with a single mom facing significant economic hardship and in a place scholars refer to as an “educational desert” — a geographic area with no institutions of higher education within sixty miles.  A first-generation student, Jessica earned her A.A. Degree while working full time and driving an hour each way back and forth to Harrisburg Area Community College.  The experience provided a difficult, but necessary, foundation for her to transfer to Millersville University in Pennsylvania.  There, Jessica found a “refuge” in sociology that also helped her to “connect my experiences to larger forces in a meaningful way.” Her writing engages the gender dimensions of social mobility and aspirations for financial stability in a time of extreme precarity. Her connection to her family remains strong and losing her grandmother to COVID this year has meant both a loss of emotional encouragement and a need for her economic contributions to handle funeral costs.

Jessica is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut completing a dissertation that takes a life history approach to examine the transition to adulthood and the pursuit of economic stability for other residents of education deserts.  She has completed her interviews and her advisor expects her to complete her writing in the coming year. Independently, she has already taught 13 courses, consistently winning awards for her exceptional teaching. She not only mentors first-gen students directly but blogs on the issues facing those who want education but are far removed from the means of accessing it. Her significant scholarship, teaching, service, and mentorship demonstrate a commitment to social justice and represent the “pay-it-forward” spirit of the Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award.

SWS will honor Jesse Kolber and Jessica Yorks and all our 2021 Summer Award recipients via a Virtual Awards Presentation. Our Awards Reception is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 9, 2021 between 6:00 pm EDT- 8:30 pm EDT and more information will be shared via the SWS Virtual Meeting Platform.

SSSP will honor Jesse Kolber and Jessica Yorks at the upcoming SSSP Virtual Annual Meeting. The Virtual Awards Ceremony is scheduled for August 5 from 4:45 pm – 6:00 pm EDT. Details will be shared with those who register for the 2021 SSSP Virtual Annual Meeting.

If you are interested in making a gift to support the Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship, please contact Barret Katuna, Executive Officer, at, or make a gift via this form

Click HERE for the PDF of this announcement.

Link to Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Section of SWS Website where you can learn more about the scholarship and see past winners.


Congratulations to the 2021 Summer SWS Social Actions Initiative Award (SAIA) Winners!

Lauren C. Garcia

Jessennya Hernandez

Bahar Aldanmaz

In 2016, SWS Council approved the Social Action Committee’s (SAC) proposal to support more direct social action of SWS members. The Social Actions Initiative Awards (SAIA) provide a way for the SAC to directly support and encourage the social activism of SWS members. Awards are given out twice per year on a competitive basis until funds run out. The social actions represented by this initiative are central to advancing the mission of SWS. Current SWS members can apply for funding up to $1,000 to support broadly defined social action initiatives (e.g., advocacy, public education, organizing, movement-building) that also support the mission of SWS. Special thanks go to the Social Actions Initiative Award Subcommittee: Kris De Welde (Chair), Kristy Kelly, Rosalind Kichler, Kira Escovar, and Heather Hlvaka.


Left to Right: Photos of Lauren C. Garcia, Jessennya Hernandez and Bahar Aldanmaz

Lauren C. Garcia (she/her) is a doctoral student at the University of Virginia and a Graduate Student Affiliate at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill. She completed her Master’s thesis at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020 on the digital communication strategies of white supremacist groups, and the way platforms and algorithmic bias contribute to the spread of their ideas. In addition to her academic work, she is heavily involved in solidarity and mutual aid efforts in the city of Richmond, Virginia. She has worked alongside other students to create several community-centered projects, including a multi-organization annual winter drive, political education symposia, and the Race, Space, Place Initiative’s annual unConference. Her work has been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education and featured by WordPress Discover. Under the umbrella of the Race Space Place Initiative, Lauren proposed a collaborative learning community, called The WERKshop: A Collaborative Learning Community, by and for first-generation femme graduate students of color where participants can prioritize their research interests around race, queer theory, platforms, and digital communication.

Jessennya Hernandez (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department and teaches in the Gender and Women Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a working class, first generation college graduate, and first generation born in the U.S. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her dissertation research explores how queer and feminist brown and Latinx artists and creatives in greater Los Angeles (LA) produce transnational counterspaces and alternative forms of knowledge through embodied political practices. Tending to the quotidian and everyday life, she focuses on how these networks of queer brown artists and creatives redefine their and their communities’ lives beyond survival and envision a transnational feminist future. As a scholar-activist, she, along with other brown and Black queer women and femmes, co-founded Feed The Block, a grassroots mutual aid collective based on abolitionist and transformative justice practice. The collective provides monthly food and meal distributions; collects and distributes funds to those in emergencies and facing housing insecurity; and distributes bus passes and gift cards to houseless folks. The Social Actions Initiative award will fund a political education workshop focused on training those in the community who want to work and organize as members in the mutual aid collective. The workshop centers critical texts and practices that inform the mutual aid tradition such as Black Radical Politics and Decolonization. Along with building the collective’s membership, the workshop will be established as a reoccurring series for the general community to engage, learn, and discuss these theories and practices together in a local and non-institutional setting. This financial support will help foster the community engagement and power that is necessary for building alternative, autonomous, and sustainable networks of knowing, acting, and living that counter structures of harm. If you would like to learn more about the grassroots mutual aid collective, Feed the Block, located in southern California, or donate to help support, please follow this link

Bahar Aldanmaz (she/her) is a Sociology Ph.D. student at Boston University as a Fulbright scholar. Bahar is interested in gender, sexualities, menstruation, inequalities, immigration, and how these intersect. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Koç University and an M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Bahar is also the co-founder of the We Need to Talk Association (Konuşmamız Gerek Derneği), the first and only organization in Turkey that addresses period poverty and the menstruation stigma, widespread problems in Turkey. Their goal is to “challenge period poverty and period stigma structurally.”  The We Need to Talk Association’s mission is to challenge period poverty and period stigma structurally. They have three target groups: seasonal agricultural workers, refugees, and children going to school in remote rural areas. They organize field projects and provide our target groups sanitary products that would last them for either an academic semester or a harvest season. As proposed by Bahar, the SAIA helped to fund “a virtual event on May 28, 2021 -Menstrual Hygiene Day… [as a] global gathering for stakeholders and beneficiaries. The goal of this event was to officially submit a manifesto/communique to UN Women/UNFPA with inputs from stakeholders working against period poverty and menstrual care beneficiaries. They hope with this event they will be able to increase the available funding opportunities for menstruation researchers, enhance the visibility of period poverty in policymakers’ agenda, and design a holistic action plan for menstrual care for all.

SWS will be honoring Lauren C. Garcia, Jessennya Hernandez, and Bahar Aldanmaz via a Virtual Awards Celebration scheduled to take place later this summer at a time to be announced. At that time, the Social Action Committee Chair, Kris De Welde will also highlight the next funding cycle deadline of October 1, 2021, that will then be accepting applications. If you are interested in making a gift to support the Social Actions Initiative Award, please contact Barret Katuna, Executive Officer, at, or make a gift via this form: or make a gift via this form


Congratulations to the 2021 Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Winner, Roxanna Villalobos and 2021 Honorable Mention Awardees, Kristina Fullerton Rico and Emilia Cordero Oceguera

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.

Special thanks to the Co-Chairs of the Sister to Sister Committee: LaTonya J. Trotter and Esther Hernández-Medina and the Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Subcommittee Members: Jennifer James and Adelle Monteblanco.

Photo of Roxanna Villalobos

Roxanna Villalobos (she/hers/ella) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department pursuing a designated emphasis in Latin American and Latinx Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Feminist Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2012 and her Master of Arts in Gender & Cultural Studies from Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts in 2015. She identifies as a Latina with roots in El Salvador and California’s Central Valley. Roxanna grew up in Parlier, California, a small rural town in the heart of California that is home to a predominantly Latinx community of immigrant farmworkers. She’s the proud daughter of a single immigrant mother who has worked as a campesina (farmworker) for over thirty years.

Drawing inspiration from her own background, Roxanna’s research explores the gender and racial subjectivities of working-class Latina girls living and working in rural, farm-working communities in California’s Central Valley. Through this research, Roxanna employs a transnational feminist approach to examine how discourses of rural girlhood reveal nation-making projects of modernity, imperialism, and settler-colonialism, seeking to understand how rural girls of color in the U.S. navigate these discourses in their place-making practices and spatial mobility trajectories. As a feminist qualitative researcher, her research is interdisciplinary at its core, drawing from various fields such as Black and Xicana/Latina intersectional feminist theory, feminist geography, critical girlhood studies, immigration/migration studies, rural sociology, and Latinx sociology.

Through her dissertation research, Roxanna aspires to uplift, understand, and learn from rural women and girls of color within the U.S. and across a transnational context. Outside of school, she loves to watch films of all genres with her partner. Roxanna also loves cuddling with her two cats, Melón y Uvas aka The Fruits, on the couch with some ice cream in hand. When she feels adventurous, she likes to explore new cuisines, visit spooky landmarks, explore national state parks, and travel to new places.

Photo of Kristina Fullerton Rico

Kristina Fullerton Rico (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her binational, ethnographic research focuses on the experiences of unauthorized immigrants and their families who are physically divided –– due to the tightening Mexico–U.S. border –– but digitally close thanks to cheaper, more accessible communication technologies. Kristina’s Master’s thesis found that mothers with children on either side of the border use technology to forge bonds of “digital siblinghood” between siblings who have never met. Her dissertation uses a feminist, intersectional perspective to study the experiences of older adults who are aging while undocumented. With a focus on gendered and racialized processes, this project examines how individuals cope with social exclusion, isolation, and uncertainty, as well as sources of social support for older immigrants in the United States and for older return migrants in Mexico.

If Kristina had to sum up the key takeaways from her research in just a few lines, she would explain that most migrants who are undocumented hope to adjust their status in order to be able to return to their communities of origin without having to leave the United States for good. In short, unauthorized immigrants are not just afraid of being deported; they also fear not being able to see the people they love — in both of their home countries — again.

Kristina’s work is inspired, in part, by her own experiences as a Mexican immigrant with strong transnational bonds. By studying unauthorized migration using a transnational perspective, she hopes to help shift discourse from “right to stay” policy recommendations to arguing for the right to migrate more freely, a privilege that U.S. citizenship largely bestows.

Photo of Emilia Cordero Oceguera

Emilia Cordero Oceguera (ella/she/her) is a PhD student in Sociology at North Carolina State University. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and an M.A in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Emilia’s research focuses on the connections among agriculture, food practices, and everyday acts of resistance. She uses intersectionality as a lens to look at the experience of migrant farmworker communities in the U.S. She is specially interested in the ways an intersectional perspective can help shift monolithic views within U.S. academia.

Her dissertation looks at the everyday food and agricultural labor of Mexican migrant farmworker mothers in North Carolina and how they enact resistance to intersectional oppression in their everyday life. Emilia’s research will provide nuance to the portrayal of the migrant farmworker experience in the U.S. by focusing on the everyday lives of farmworker women who are mothers, whose labor within the food industry is undervalued and invisibilized, and whose bodies are racialized within an ethnically hostile context. Emilia is interested in the ways feminist methodologies, like photovoice, can help social researchers create significant connections with their research collaborators and build durable paths towards social justice.

Emilia is from Mexico City and in her journey as a feminist sociologist she looks forward to creating bridges between Mexico and the U.S. Her focus on community-based research also encourages her to pursue connections among academia and grass-roots organizations.

As a woman who lives her life across borders, Emilia is committed to pursuing the well-being and dignity of disenfranchised migrant communities.

SWS will be honoring Roxanna Villalobos, Kristina Fullerton Rico and Emilia Cordero Oceguera, and Kristina Fullerton Rico via a Virtual Awards Presentation on July 7, 2021, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT. Pre-registration is required via this link:

SWS will also honor Roxanna Villalobos, Kristina Fullerton Rico, Emilia Cordero Oceguera and all our 2021 Summer Award recipients via a Virtual Awards Presentation. Our Awards Reception is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 9, 2021, between 6:00 pm EDT- 8:30 pm EDT and more information will be shared via the SWS Virtual Meeting Platform.

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.