Undergraduate Awards

The Helen Power Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Award for Scholarship and Service

Helen Power graduated from the University of Chicago (1955) and earned a master's (1964) and doctoral degree (1966) in English from Washington University. She was a lecturer in the English department at Washington University and served as the Women and Gender Studies program's Coordinator for ten years. Helen's insight and passion for women's studies ensured that the program flourished and continues to do so. She played an important role in initiating the Stiritz Endowed Chair in Women and Gender Studies and assisted in raising funds for the matching grant to provide continued support and development of the program. As Coordinator, she negotiated with the administration for expanded resources, additional faculty, and recognition of the program's contributions to the university and to its students and faculty.  Her work as a teacher has benefited students in the United States and abroad, where she taught courses in Iran and Afghanistan and with the University of Pittsburgh's Semester-at-Sea program.  Helen Power has made critically important contributions to the Women and Gender Studies Program, to the lives of the students and faculty who have known her, and to Washington University. She has been an exemplary citizen of the University in her teaching, her collegiality, and her service.

This award is made annually to a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major. Candidates are nominated, on the basis of scholarly record and service, by program advisors.  Selection is made by a committee within the Program. The award is presented annually at the graduating seniors' luncheon in May.

Amount of award: $500

Past Recipients of the Helen Power Award

2007 - Kristi Nigh

2008 - Shaina Goodman and Rachel Gartner

2009 - Paige Sweet

2010 - Lauren Weiss

2011 - Dan Woznica

2012 - Ashley Brosius

2013 - Trish Yeh and Laura Dietrich

2014 - Vinita Chaudhry and Louisa Kornblatt

2015 - Mackenzie Findlay and Lily Jacobi

2016 - Kara Skjoldager

2017 - Katie Chew

2018 - Olivia Beres and Carly Wolfer

2019 - Alyssa Hunt

2020 - Theaivin Yousef

2021 - Dahlia Lehman

2022-Dani Sarraf

Social Justice Award

The WGSS Social Justice Award honors a WGSS senior with a record of  activism in exposing inequality, empowering disadvantaged communities, and fostering social change.

2018 - Jaime Swank and Mohammed Alshamsi

2019 - Nathaniel Bernstein and Jaime Swank

2020 - Emily Getzoff, Alia Nahra,  and Jeri Wright

2021 - Siddhi Vora

2022-Julia Birnbach and Gracie Kaul

Amount of award: $250

Andrea Biggs Undergraduate Research Award

Andrea Biggs (1960-1981) was an independent spirit who advocated tirelessly for women's rights, whether creating the first anti-prom at her high school or enthusiastically fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment later in life. In that spirit, this prize is for the promotion of undergraduate research that focuses on issues relating to gender, dedicated in loving memory to Andrea's spirit, in the hopes of further nurturing that same spirit in others.

The Andrea Biggs Undergraduate Research Award is available to all undergraduate students who are interested in conducting original research projects in the area of gender studies.

Amount of award: $4000

We request that summer award recipients not participate in any summer employment or summer school. If you are awarded funding from other sources (e.g. Pfizer, HHMI, Mellon Mays) you may accept the funding of only one source.

We also request that each student receiving an award apply to present his or her work at the fall Undergraduate Research Symposium and submit a 300-word abstract in WUURD, the Washington University Undergraduate Research Digest. As an alternative to the summary, you are invited to submit your work for one of WUURD’s feature articles.

The complete application should include the information sheet, mentor nomination form, current transcript, and a 2-3 page proposal which outlines the central question or issue  to be investigated during work on the project, including a discussion of the methods to be used, a short review of the literature, a brief bibliography, and whether or not IRB approval is necessary.  

Download application and nomination form

Email all materials to:  Barbara Baumgartner at bbaumgar@wustl.edu

Finally, the faculty mentor needs to write a short recommendation that includes the details of the proposed research and the justification for this award.  This letter should be emailed directly to Dr. Baumgartner. 

Applications are due by April 1

Questions regarding this award should be directed to the office at research@wustl.edu

Recipients of the Andrea Biggs Award

2006 Kristi Nigh, "What Would Sex Education from the Left Look Like?"

2007 Rachel Gartner, "A Comprehensive Sexual Education, Health, Empowerment Program to Be Instituted at the Women's Institute of Secondary Education and Research (WISER) in Muhuru Bay, Kenya"

2008  Paige Sweet, "Lessons from the Delegacia: Brazil's All Female Police Stations and their Applications to Culturally Competent Services in the United States"

2009 Bobby Harvey, "The Involvement of Men in Service Provision for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence: A Survey of Contemporary Thought"

2010  Dan Woznica, "Reading Robert R.: The Production of Knowledge About America's First AIDS Patient"

2011  Ashley Brosius, "Understanding the Impact of Sex and Gender on Legal Proceedings and Outcomes: A Case Study at the St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court"

2012  Elizabeth Handschy, "Lesbians with Eating Disorders: Reworking Heteronormative Understandings to Include Alternative Sexualitites"

2013 Louisa Kornblatt, "Court Literacy:  How Petitioners Weave Their Narratives of Abuse Through the Domestic Violence Court"

2014 Christy Marx, "Barriers to Access: An Analysis of Obstacles to Obtaining Services for Bosnian Immigrant Victims/Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence in St. Louis"

2015  Emily Alves, "There's Just Something Missing:  Barriers to Immigrant Afro-Latinas in Domestic Violence Shelters and the Court System"

2016  Bianca Jahnavi, "Racialized Systems: "South Asian Battered Women and Accessing Support"

2017 Sally Rifkin, "Cultivating Identity: Black Women and Alternative Food in St. Louis "

2018 Elise Hu

2019 Monica Unzueta

2020 Award not given due to Covid19 constraints

2021 Emma Kelly, "Multi-Level Mayhem:  A Research Proposal on the Gendered Nature of Multi-level Marketing" and Dani Saraf, "Prioritizing the Care of Those Missing and Exploited:  An Evaluation of the Intersection of Sex Trafficking and Health in St. Louis"

2022 Brigid Hosmer