Scholarships and Prizes

Eleanor M. & Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Scholarship for Single Mothers

This scholarship includes in-state tuition and a book allowance. The application is made available annually during the spring semester, with a deadline of May 1. Recipients are notified in July or August.


  • You must be a woman who is a single-parent head of household with one or more dependent children.
  • Preference is given to undergraduate students who:
    • have followed a non-traditional educational track;
    • have financial need;
    • are in good academic standing with at least 12 credits at college/university level;
    • are Rhode Island residents;
    • have declared a major or minor in Gender and Women’s Studies.

The Eleanor M. Carlson Trust Scholarship

The scholarship amount is determined by the funds generated by the endowment.


  • You must be a major or minor in Gender and Women’s Studies who has completed 24 undergraduate credits in any subject.
  • By the time of the award, you must have completed two Gender and Women’s Studies courses, one of which with a GWS designation.
  • Preference is given to students who demonstrate:
    • high academic achievement;
    • participation in community and/or campus service;
    • financial need.

Recipients are notified in early summer. Recipients of the Carlson Endowed Scholarship for Single Mothers are not eligible for the Carlson Trust Scholarship.

Dorothy Donnelly Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a major or minor in Gender and Women’s Studies based on a combination of academic excellence, community, campus service and financial need.

“Mother” Jones Scholarship

The endowment for this scholarship was established by Patricia Farnes, M.D., and increased by the bequest of Lucile Farnes. Award amounts may vary from year to year, depending on the funds generated by the endowment.


  • You must be a major or minor in Gender and Women’s Studies who has completed at least two Gender and Women’s Studies courses, one of which with a GWS designation, by the time of the award.
  • Selection is based on financial need as determined by rankings from the Financial Aid Office. Among students who are equally needy, academic excellence will be the determining factor in the selection.

Applications are announced in March and available here. The scholarship is also announced in The Good Five Cent Cigar. Recipients are notified in June.

Dana Shugar Memorial Scholarship

The Dana Shugar Memorial Scholarship was established by Dr. Sam and Shirley Shugar in memory of their daughter, Dana R. Shugar (1961-2000), a professor of English and Gender and Women’s Studies. Recipients are selected each spring, by the English Department (even years) or Gender and Women’s Studies Program (odd years).

Patricia Farnes Essay Contest

The Gender and Women’s Studies Program offers a prize for an outstanding paper on any topic of feminist scholarship. Three finalists are selected by a panel of judges from the Gender and Women’s Studies Advisory Committee. The 1st place prize is $100 and a certificate; 2nd and 3rd place receive Honorable Mention certificates.


  • Papers may be submitted by students or nominated by any faculty member. Each student may submit only one paper. Faculty may nominate up to three papers each.
  • Submissions may be critical, theoretical, analytical, or interpretive, but the subject matter must be approached from a feminist perspective and must follow a standard academic format (e.g. MLA, APA, Turabian, etc.)
  • Essays should be written without assuming that readers are familiar with particular methodologies or with the works being discussed. Therefore, essays originally written for a course may require revision for a generally educated and interested audience, but without any specific knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Essays will be judged on strength of argument, clarity of writing, use of evidence, and original thinking.
  • Submissions should be 1,200 to 3,000 words long, which is approximately 5-10 pages (given one-inch margins and using 10 or 12 point type). Shorter or longer papers will be disqualified automatically.
  • Essays should include full documentation of all sources and a reference list.
  • If the essay has been submitted elsewhere, please include information on previous submissions (e.g. the course for which the paper was prepared and the context of its preparation, the publication for which the essay was written).
  • Include your name, local address, telephone number, and word count on the cover page. Your name should appear only on the cover page, which will be removed for anonymous judging. Please number all pages after the cover page.

The prize-winners will be notified in June.