The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu
Section Menu

WGSS Awards and Scholarships


WGSS in Action

Karen Lederer

This award was established in honor of Karen Lederer who graduated with a WGSS (then Women’s Studies) certificate/minor in 1981, and worked as an undergraduate advisor in the department from 1986-2020.

This award is for a current WGSS undergraduate major or minor (student has to be a declared or official WGSS major or minor) who was inspired by their studies in WGSS to do projects in the real world. The award can be for a current or planned activist project, job or internship or other activities that promote social justice. Preference for students with financial need.

Applications have opened!

Dr. Alex Deschamps Student Award

Dr. Alex Deschamps

This award is established in honor of Dr. Alex Deschamps, a vital and vibrant faculty member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst community. She joined the faculty of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies in 1995, before moving to the Commonwealth Honors College as a full-time Associate Dean in the fall of 2018. 

This award is for current UMass students doing work preferably but not exclusively on black feminisms or women of color feminisms. The work could be related to current or planned coursework, internships, jobs, or activist projects.  

Applications are open on Academic Works (Use "Deschamps" in the search) - Please note that you must be a declared major or minor. 



The Ann Ferguson Scholarship Award through the Community Foundation is for students living in Hampshire, Franklin or Hampden County.  The award is for undergraduates who have declared as a major or minor and graduate students accepted into the Certificate in Feminist Studies in WGSS at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Joyce A. Berkman Award

The Joyce A. Berkman Award for Outstanding Graduate Feminist Scholarhip is presented annually by the Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies in honor of Joyce Avrech Berkman, feminist teacher, activist, History Department faculty for 48 years (1965-2013), and co-founder of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies.   

Essay submissions may be on any topic that falls under the broad rubric of feminist scholarship.  Prize-winning essays will exhibit clarity, originality, and ambition.  Submissions may not exceed 25 double-spaced pages (including notes and references).   


  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in or have completed the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies
  • Submissions must be unpublished essays, originally composed (or started in some form) in a WGSS graduate level course
  • Only one submission per applicant will be accepted; applicants may not receive the Joyce A. Berkman award more than once.

Submission Instructions:

  • Complete a separate cover page with the following information:
    • Name
    • Department
    • Year in which you Certificate in Feminist Studies was awarded or in which you were admitted
    • Full title of your essay
    • WGSS course (title, course, instructor) for which the essay was originally written

      Submission deadline for 2022 will be announced in early 2022.   Complete submissions should be sent to:   Please put "Joyce Berkman Award" in the subject line of the email.  

See our Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies page for lots of information about the certificate.   Email Linda with questions!