Published: May 10, 2021

The Department of Women and Gender Studies offers several scholarships and awards to our students each year. The recipients are chosen by our faculty, to honor exceptional students for their academic work, campus activism, and service to the department. We are pleased to present this year's deserving awardees:

Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award

ArnoldThe Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award is named in honor of a CU Boulder alumna, and professor emerita of CU's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Dr. Arnold was a long-time supporter of Women and Gender Studies, the former faculty director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Resource Center, a frequent guest at our commencement and award events, and she generously endowed five student scholarships to support students in journalism, education, women and gender studies, and LGBTQ studies.

This award is a very special one for our department, usually given to a single graduating women and gender studies student to recognize them for outstanding leadership and service to women and gender studies. It is awarded to someone that the faculty and staff have admired for their commitment to the program, and for whom there may not yet have been any formal recognition through one of our scholarships or award nominations. This year, the faculty were led to honor two graduating students, each of whom display the character, compassion and leadership of Dr. Arnold herself: Adriana Colon and Emily McIntyre.

Adriana Paulette Colon

Adriana Colon, WGST Class of 2021Adriana Paulette Colon is graduating with a degree in Women and Gender Studies and the LGBTQ Studies Certificate. Adri has been a leader on campus social justice issues, including her work on abortion access with the Brazen Project and her work with Gender Justice League on issues ranging from voter education to gender pronouns to decolonization. In Gender Justice League, she has often taken on leadership roles: keeping the group on track during planning meetings, lending organizational structure to our initiatives, and attending to the details large and small that make our projects a success. Dr. Kristie Soares presented this award, and remarked "I was honored to be able to work with her on what I think is from very powerful research on the decolonial impacts of the social media presence of representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez."

Emily McIntyre

Emily McIntyre, WGST Class of 2021Emily McIntyre, who has graduated with a degree in Women and Gender Studies, came to CU for her junior year after 2 years in Community College. She was nervous about whether she would be academically well prepared for CU, and concerned about making this space her own. Despite the challenges of COVID, she has done spectacularly on both fronts. This student has also built an intellectual community here, in the Department of Women and Gender Studies. When she joined the Gender Justice League this academic year, she immediately took a leadership role. She has been integral to recording podcasts and posting social justice messaging on Instagram, and also helping to host the famous Tiny Mic conversations. In presenting this award to Emily, Dr. Samira Mehta shared, "[Emily] has defined my experience here - every semester I've taught here I got to teach her, and I'm going to miss her so much in the fall."

Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Scholarship

Buchanan Grace Johnson has been awarded this year's Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Scholarship, which honors a student who demonstrates a commitment towards social justice and who may be the first generation in their family to attend college. It is given in honor of the first African American female graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, who earned a degree in 1918.

Jean Dubofsky Scholarship

Dubofsky Lillian Drevno has been chosen to receive this year's Jean Dubofsky Scholarship, given in honor of the first woman justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. This award is given to a Women and Gender studies major and is based on academic record, education and career goals, community and campus service, and a demonstrated commitment to raising awareness of and combating oppression in all its forms.

Andermarch Cicogna Scholarship

Dr. Valerio FermeKelila Fitch Cook has been awarded this year's Andermarch Cicogna Scholarship, which provides scholarship support to undergraduate students majoring in women and gender studies and/or Italian, in acknowledgement of the two women for whom the award is named, in the spirit of compassion, understanding, social justice, and academic pursuit. Established by former CU professors Valerio Ferme, and his spouse, Giorgio Corda, in honor of their mothers, they shared that "this scholarship is about making sure we continue to provide resources outside of the traditional funding streams so that we can allow students who come from less-privileged backgrounds the opportunity to have a transformative education, so that they can then make a transformation in society themselves, because we certainly need some of that moving forward."


S. Antoinette Bigelow Scholarship

BigelowFour students were chosen to receive this year's S. Antoinette Bigelow Scholarship: Lillian Drevno, Kelila Fitch Cook, Jasmine Rayos, and Katherine Storm. This scholarship is a relatively new and special one. Originally created in 1929 and funded in the 1940s, it was given in honor of Bigelow, who was well-loved by the students and served as the dean of women at CU. Originally awarded to "one or more girls attending the university," it is now given annually to deserving WGST majors. This is just the second time our department's committee is selecting the recipients, and we are thrilled to honor four of our WGST majors with this award, in recognition of their strong academic performances and dedication to the WGST community throughout their course of study. We look forward to hearing more about the achievements of these scholarship recipients, as they complete their studies at CU.

Women and Gender Studies Creative Activism Award

The Women and Gender Studies Creative Activism award recognizes outstanding undergraduate creative works that raise awareness around issues of equity, such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender identity. It is designed to help foster an inclusive and welcoming campus climate for students of all backgrounds and those historically underrepresented at the university. Students from across campus are invited to submit creative works for consideration by a committee of faculty, staff, and students from our department.  This year, it so happens that all of the recipients are WGST students, many of whom are graduating with the Class of 2021.

 The Intersection of Sexual Trauma and Rediscovering Pleasure.

The first recipient of this award is a group from our senior colloquium class, for their collaborative activist project: “Mutant: The Intersection of Sexual Trauma and Rediscovering Pleasure."  Winning group members are Brooklyn Martin, Isabella Martinez, Leah Steiner, Nina Patterson, Kelea Reed, and Taylor Turbyne Lambert.  They came together in the creation and decoration of a translucent human body sculpture, using images, textiles, objects, and text to explore themes of authentic sexuality, vulnerability, feeling safe in the body, and eroticism after experience of sexual violence. Each person crafted a different part of the body, decorating the outside and the inside as well, to represent more private aspects of an individual's stories. The sculpture was displayed at community partner organization the Colorado Women’s Center.

Holding Cell by Shar Steiman

This year’s second award goes to Shar Steiman, whose poetry was also featured during our graduation ceremony, for his spoken word poetry piece: “Holding Cell." Shar describes this work as “addressing the criminalization placed onto transgender, gender non-conforming, queer and BIPOC bodies. It investigates the impacts of the prison industrial system. This poem embodies love and empathy for moving through these challenging topics.” A special note that this poem was also chosen to receive the Evan Wolfson Prize in LGBTQ Studies. Please click below to view Shar's poem in its entirety.