Here you’ll find interesting information about the opportunities to attend conferences and internships related to gender, sexuality and feminist studies as well as information on the prizes offered to students for their feminist scholarship.


Further, be sure to check out the tab on all the amazing work GSFS alumni are doing out in the real world!

Drue Cortell Gensler ’57 Conference Grant

Overview: GSFS majors may wish to attend a national conference on any feminist or queer topic. The Drue Cortell Gensler ’57 Conference Grant is designed to support some of the expenses of attending and participating in a conference. The maximum reimbursement is $1000. Expenses are reimbursed or charged directly and must occur after your application is submitted.

Drue Cortell Gensler ’57 NWSA Conference Grant

Overview: The National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) is the primary academic conference in the field of feminist studies (see for more details). The conference is scheduled annually in November during the week before Thanksgiving. The Drue Cortell Gensler ’57 NWSA Conference Grant is designed to support the expenses of one GSFS major attending and participating in the NWSA; preference will be given to seniors and juniors. The maximum reimbursement is $1000. Expenses are reimbursed or charged directly and must occur after your application is submitted.

Drue Cortell Gensler ’57 Research Fund (for Senior Work)

Overview: The Drue Cortell Gensler ’57 Research Fund is designed to support expenses associated with senior work undertaken by GSFS majors. The maximum reimbursement is $1,500 (international travel) and $800 (domestic travel). Expenses are reimbursed or charged directly and must occur after your application is submitted.

Alison G. Fraker ’89 Essay Prize

Established in 1990 by Drue Cortell Gensler ‘57, Middlebury College trustee, this award honors the memory of Alison Gwen Fraker ‘89 (shown in a dance performance, at right), a much-beloved, vocally feminist student who was killed in a car accident a few weeks short of her graduation. The prize is awarded to a student whose essay on a topic specifically concerning women and gender studies is judged the best. It excludes senior theses.

Fraker Prize Recipients

  • 2023 Liza Obel-Omia ‘23 “The Importance of Gender in Elementary School Classrooms”
  • 2022 Rose Evans ‘22 “Support Group” (screenplay)
  • 2021 Megan Salmon ‘21 “My Take on Catharine MacKinnon” (podcast)
  • 2020 Grace Vedock ‘20: Policing the World  
  • 2019 Taite Shomo ‘21: “Romance”
  • 2018 Rebecca Wishne ‘20: “Motherhood and the Divine Mother: Rewriting Jewish Resistance as Biomidrash”
  • 1st prize for group project:  Kelsie Hoppes ‘19, Kisha Kalra ‘18, Lauren Schweppe ‘18, Toria Isquith ‘19, and Anna Novak ’19, Reproductive Health VT

    (Honorable Mention: Chandler Nemetz ‘18, “The Feminist Subversion of the Doll: Blurring boundaries of reality and fantasy.”
  • 2017 Gabriella Valdivieso ‘20: “The Lesbian Gaze in Carol
  • 2016 Juliana Dunn ‘19: “La Estética Fronteriza”
  • 2015 Marina R. DiMarco 15: “Ablism and the Chronic Knower: epistemic justice for illness and disability”
  • 2014 Anna Flinchbaugh ‘14: “Zine on Androgyny”
  • 2013 Carolyn Kahlenberg ‘14: “The ‘Macho’ Bracero?: A Study of Masculinity and Mexican Immigration from 1942-1964”

    (Honorable Mention:  India Kerz ’16)
  • 2012 Zaheena Rasheed ‘12: “Desperate Acts”
  • 2011 Colleen Carroll ‘11: “Continuity and Rupture: Community-building and domesticity in missionary China”
  • 2010 Julia Szabo ‘10: “Marriage Promotion in the Urban Ghetto:  Policy, Theory, Reality”
  • 2009 Hannah Rommer ‘09: “Castrati and Sexuality: Perspectives on Renaissance Aesthetics”
  • 2008 Kate Silbert ’08: “Real Human Bodies Viewing: ‘Real Human Bodies’ ”

    (Honorable Mention: Emily Asher ’09)
  • 2007 C. Mateal Lavaas ’07: “To the Moon and Back: Gender Construction in Children’s Literature”
  • 2006 Piya Kashyap ‘07: “A Journey Back”
  • 2005 Liz Lyon ’06: “From Each According to Her Perceived Ability:  An Experimental Study of Seller Discrimination in the Mao-orabilia Market at the New Silk Alley”

    (Honorable Mentions: Natalie Wolfram ’06 & Caitlyn Olson ’08
  • 2004 Sarah Beth Tomeo ’04
  • 2002 Alyssa Lloyd ’04 & Kate Spector ’04
  • 2003 Margot Simpson ’03

The Drue Cortell Gensler ’57 Prize

Established in 1990 by Drue Cortell Gensler ‘57, a Middlebury College trustee, this prize goes to the student with the best senior project—thesis, performance, or creative work—on a topic concerning women and gender studies.

Gensler Prize Recipients

  • 2020 Maria Bobbitt-Chertock “Ghosts of the Trauma Murderess”
  • 2019 Erin Hoynes “‘Where Flower Stems Are Taller Than Trees’: Encounters with Subaltern Cartobiographies” [Traditional]
  • 2019 Nell Sather “Contra Dance, Queerness, and Rurality: (En)Countering Metronormativity in the Montpelier Grange” [Creative]
  • 2018 Rebecca Brown “A Heaven on Earth?” Gender, Human-Wildlife Conflict, and Environmental Vulnerabilities in Bengal’s Sundarbans Delta”
  • 2017 Sarah Champ “A Feminist Resignification on Postpartum Depression”
  • 2016 Maddie Orcutt “Reconsidering the Red Dot: Mapping the Possibilities for Restorative Justice in Middlebury’s Policy Against SMDVS
  • 2015 Alexandra Strott “Driving Myself Crazy: A Feminist Meditation on Panic and Embodiment”
  • 2014 Joanna Georgakas “Scigrrrl” Zine
  • 2013 Emily Pedowitz “PTSD in Women Veterans: Violence, Femininity & the Denial of Mental Healthcare”
  • 2012 Caitlin Rose Willis ‘12 “Letting It All Go Straight to My Hips”
  • 2010 Molly McGowan Farber “Divergent Discourses in Egypt’s Twentieth-Century Feminist Movement”
  • 2009 Christine Bachman “Grabbing Madonna’s Crotch: Queering Gender, Sexuality, Race, Class and Age”
  • 2008 Alison Glassie “Love Your Mother”
  • 2007 Noor Puthawala “Inventing Marriage: ‘Tradition’ in Indian and Diasporic Cinemas”
  • 2006 Maureen O’Brien “Women Playing Women: The Secret Power of the Musumeyaku in the All-Female Takarazuka Revue Company”
  • 2005 Stephanie Morales ‘05 “Four Women or ‘I Guess They’d Rather I Strip for A Living’:  The Politics of Hairbraiding”.  
  • 2004 Lila Buckley “The Newborn Kingdom:  Voices of Urban Chinese Women and the Politics of Reproduction”
  • 2003 Margaret Aleles
  • 2002 Laura Bloom, John Kent
  • 2001 Amanda Cecil, Lisa Engelstein “A Feminist Approach to Bioethics”
  • 2000 Elizabeth Young
  • 1999 Nicole Lanthier, Stephanie Saldana
  • 1998 Sarah Edson, Pratima Sipahimalani
  • 1997 Karen Francolla
  • 1996 Gretchen Elias
  • 1995 Carolina Clutz, Katherine Berry, Evelyn Holley
  • 1994 Gretchen Anderson “Sylvia Plath and the Language of Female Eroticism”
  • Cynthia Coe, Iffath Sharif “Beyond Survival:  The Role of Credit in Rural Women’s Socio-Economic Development”
  • 1993 Rosemarie Recchia, Jeffrey Spencer “Teaching Old Mosques New Tricks:  Modernization, Political Islam, and the ‘Woman Question’ in Algeria and Tunisia”
  • 1992 Wendy Staats, Sarah Woodard
  • 1991 Erica Sasaki, Andrea Schaefer
  • 1990 Tracey Gallin, Jessica Lindert