Grace Berry Award Recipients: 2000-2016
2015 – 2016 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Ph.D. student, History, CGU
Elwing Gonzalez is a CGU doctoral student in history. She is currently writing her dissertation on the development of the Vietnamese refugee community of Los Angeles. Her general areas of focus in history are 20th century U.S., ethnicity and immigration, Los Angeles, and urban studies. She is also an 8th grade history teacher, visual artist, and mother of three wonderful boys.
2014 – 2015 Grace Berry Award Recipients
Ph.D. student, English, CGU
April Anderson is a doctoral candidate in the English department at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). Her dissertation focuses on ecocritical depictions of the sublime in poetry written by women in the United States. She completed her Master of Arts degree in Literature and Writing Studies at CSU San Marcos (CSUSM), where she currently teaches first-year composition. April also serves as a managing editor for Foothill: a journal of poetry and works as a senior writing consultant at CGU’s writing center.
Cultural Studies MA Program, CGU
Kwanda Ford is obtaining her Master’s degree in Cultural Studies with certificates in Africana Studies and Media Studies. Her research draws on the Black feminist tradition to study histories and popular culture representations of cross-racial feminist alliances. She has written on freedwoman’s narratives, film, Black diaspora popular culture, and critical food studies. Before relocating to Los Angeles, she earned a MS in Human Services Counseling and a BA in Liberal Arts from National-Louis University (Chicago).
Ph.D. student, Education, CGU
Tiffani Smith is a doctoral student in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University with a concentration in Higher Education/Student Affairs and Education Policy, Evaluation, and Reform. Tiffani teaches communication courses at community colleges and currently serves as the Office of Black Student Affairs Graduate Student Manager for Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership. Her research interests are influenced by critical race theory and black feminist studies and focus on access and equity, policy analysis, cultural studies, and art criticism. Her dissertation will focus on Black female, first generation college students’ experiences in higher education.
2013 – 2014 Grace Berry Award Recipients
Ph.D. student, Education / Africana Studies Certificate, CGU
Laureen Adams is a mother-scholar of two children. Her research interests include urban teacher training and resiliency, the schooling experiences of Black and Latino students, teacher and student relationships, and liberatory education. She has been working in urban education for the last 13 years as a teacher, teacher educator, and administrator, and is currently Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at an arts charter school in Pomona. Her dissertation explores teachers of Black and Latino students and their perception of care.
Ph.D. student, Political Science / Social Science Policy and Evaluation, CGU
Jeanine Kraybill is a doctoral candidate in political science at CGU. Her research addresses the recent doctrinal assessment by the Catholic Church of the Leadership Conference of Women Religions and the influence of religious elites/leaders on public opinion. Her larger interests are in politics and religion, gender politics, political behavior, public opinion, and political language/rhetoric. She has taught political science for over ten years, and has worked as a Congressional intern in Washington, DC and on political campaigns.
Ph.D. student, Education / Gender and Women’s Studies Certificate, CGU
Jess Valenzuela is a student in the School of Educational Studies at CGU and an alumna of
Pomona College. She is also a poet and community organizer, co-founding and working with the Immigrant Youth Coalition of the San Gabriel and San Gabriel Valley. Informed by a Black and Chicana praxis, her research addresses gender, sexuality, and immigration justice in higher education through an intersectionality lens. Her dissertation will focus on the academic experiences and identity development of undocuqueer youth.
2012 – 2013 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Lissette Davies Ward
Ph.D. student, Cultural Studies, CGU
Lisette works in Media Studies and Cultural Studies, focusing on representations of women in the media. Her dissertation is titled “The Cinderella Myth: Representations of Women in Love-Themed Reality TV and other Media Narratives.” She earned her M.A. in Comparative Literature at San Francisco State University; her thesis compared British and Italian novels by women that were written during the same time period. She holds a B.A. in Italian Cultural Studies with a minor in Art History from the UC Santa Barbara. Originally from the U.K., she has traveled extensively. She is currently teaching at Santa Barbara City College and DeVry University in Oxnard.
2011 – 2012 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Ph.D. student, History, CGU
Elwing’s area of focus is 20th century U.S. history. Much of her research revolves around demographic changes and urban/suburban settlement in 20thcentury Los Angeles, with a focus on the development of ethnic enclaves. Elwing earned a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the UC Berkeley and an M.A. in history from Cal State LA. She has published and presented her research on the demographic changes in the San Gabriel Valley in the 20th century and is currently researching the settlement and development of Vietnamese refugee and Vietnamese American communities in Southern California. In addition to her studies, Elwing is in her ninth year of teaching 8th grade history in Glendale and is thoroughly enjoying raising three awesome little boys to appreciate the beautiful world around them and understand its intriguing history.
2010 – 2011 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Tracy L. Hawkins
Ph.D. student, Women’s Studies in Religion, CGU
Tracy received her BA in Religion from Anderson University and her MA from Claremont School of Theology. Her dissertation is entitled, “Facebook and Feminism: Re-learning Selfhood, Agency, and Activism in the Age of Social Media” and focuses on the way that feminist theories and action are changing and need to change in response to social networking technologies and Web 2.0 technologies. She has also been very involved with IWS, having served on the Steering Committee for three years, and with Women’s Studies events at The Claremont Colleges.
2009 – 2010 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Applied Women’s Studies MA Program, CGU
Keeonna completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies at California State University, San Bernardino, receiving the Outstanding Undergraduate in 2009 award. Her experience in the McNair Scholars Program, along with her personal experience in dealing with the prison system, has fueled her interest in conducting research about the true function of the prison system and the notion of punishment. Although the Applied Women’s Studies Program does not require a thesis, Keeonna plans on conducting research to investigate how other countries use the restorative justice model in their criminal justice systems. In addition to her academic endeavors, she has been actively involved in community efforts supporting the empowerment of women. She has volunteered with Planned Parenthood and was the founder and president of “Future Feminists of America” at CSUSB. She currently volunteers with A New Way of Life Reentry Project, a non-profit in Los Angeles that helps formerly incarcerated women transition back into the community and break the cycle of entrapment in the criminal justice system. Motivated by a commitment to make change in a world that has failed to understand the needs of women of color, she has begun work on a documentary film that will explore the impact of the war on drugs on women of color. These activities bring together her academic and activist work, a dream fulfilled!
2008 – 2009 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Hye Kyjung Park
Ph.D. student, Religion, CGU
Originally from Korea, Hey Kyjung Park received her B.A in Christian Studies from Ewha Womans University in Seoul. She has an M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary and an M.A.B.L from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is studying Hebrew Bible and teaches classes about Hebrew Bible at several seminaries. She is a library assistant at The Center for Process Studies at CST and is working on the Center’s Korea Project. Her interests include the biblical interpretations of form criticism and feminist criticism, biblical history related to the ancient times and postmodern thought.
2007 – 2008 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Marla Marla Ettenberg
MFA, Art, CGU
Marla uses photography and video in her work. She came to CGU from the University of New Orleans, an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina who had lost nearly everything she had. Facing difficulties funding her CGU education, Marla returned to New Orleans, but was unable to adequately resume her work there due to the devastation. Her work has been shown in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Boston, Providence, and Savannah.
2006 – 2007 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Ph.D. student, Public Policy and Political Economy, CGU
Eunju’s interest in women’s political roles traces back to her college years at Ewha Women’s University, a prestigious women’s college in Korea that encouraged women’s leadership. Witnessing political developments in Korea in the 90s led her to study elections in developing countries at UCLA. Her own experience of the challenges of combining motherhood and career has shaped her research interests at CGU. Her comparative research addresses the role of women legislators in the field of social welfare policy in 30 countries, as well as the U.S. She hopes that her research will contribute to real world change benefiting women. The award is made possible by a generous donation from Pomona alumna Margarita Horner in honor of Grace Berry, the founder of the Pomona Valley chapter of the American Association of University Women.
2005 – 2006 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Ph.D. student, School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, CGU
Although Stacy’s undergrad work in family and child psychology at Azusa Pacific University focused on marriage and family therapy, Stacy chose to pursue a career in social psychological research, engaging in work that could have an impact on the community. Her interest in research with real-world applications led her to CGU. One of her projects, conducted through CMC’s Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children, examines the new California Paid Family Leave (CPFL) program. The first such program in the nation, CPFL provides up to six weeks of partially paid leave for working caregivers and new parents. This study investigates whether CPFL can minimize post-partum depression and increase mother-infant bonding by extending a mother’s time with her newborn. This project had the potential to shape policy and improve the well being of new mothers and their infants.
2004 – 2005 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Ph.D. student, Applied Social Psychology, CGU
Michèle earned a B.A. with a double major in Psychology and Sociology and Applied Social Relations from Eastern Connecticut State University in 1999, and a M.A. in Applied Social Psychology from CGU in 2002. Her dissertation research examines the interactive effect of perceived control over one’s health, anxiety over getting a mammogram, and cancer susceptibility perceptions on women’s decisions to be screened for breast cancer. To study these interrelationships, Michèle has partnered with Inland Empire Health Plan to administer an intervention of her own design to lower-income women in the greater San Bernardino and Riverside areas. The intervention works to encourage women to obtain mammograms by influencing their control perceptions, and by teaching them anxiety-reduction techniques that can be performed while getting a mammogram.
2003 – 2004 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Ph.D. student, Social Psychology Program, CGU
Bettina Casad has a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Women Studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in Psychology from CGU. Her dissertation research focuses on explicit and implicit attitudes toward individuals who violate race and gender role stereotypes. She is a co-investigator with Amy Marcus-Newhall and Suzanne Thompson on the project, “When Stereotypes Collide: The Working Mother Subtype,” and is also conducting research on stereotypes of women in politics. She is currently Adjunct Professor at Cerritos College where she teaches Social Psychology. Bettina plans to teach and conduct research at a four-year institution.
2002 – 2003 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Ph.D. student, Education, CGU
Michelle will use the award to conduct research for her dissertation, Maclovio Rojas: A Narrative Study of Community, Education and Gender Dynamics. Maclovio Rojas is an autonomous community settlement along the San Diego-Tijuana border. Residents have created a community-owned infrastructure, constructing a school, a women’s center, housing and a cultural center; they have also organized to resist the intrusion of maquiladoras. Michelle’s research examines the community’s struggle for autonomy in the face of the threat of intrusion from global capital, as well as the gender dynamics of the community. Michelle has a B.A. from UCLA and an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia; she taught in a bilingual elementary school for three years before beginning her work at CGU. She has been involved in Danza Azteca, and is a founding member of Incite! Los Angeles: Women of Color Against Violence.
2001 – 2002 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Ph.D. student, Women’s Studies in Religion and M.F.A. candidate, Art, CGU
Marie has many talents. She is a teacher, playwright, director, filmmaker, poet, novelist, performer, artist and social activist. Her M.F.A. show, “The Big O: Stories and Artifacts from the Site of Female Orgasm,” was exhibited in the CGU Art Department in November 2002. She has written and performed two full length one woman shows, Ballistic Femme and Blessed Virgin, both of which she premiered in Los Angeles. She has published five plays in her Life Story Projects series, among other productions. In her plays, she has worked with incest survivors, political prisoners, prostitutes and maximum security prisoners. She has published a volume of poetry, I Am Your Daughter, Not Your Lover, and she has also written a novel. She has been artist in residence at the L.A. Downtown Women’s Center, and at a maximum security prison in Wyoming, where she wrote and directed a play with an all inmate cast.
2000 – 2001 Grace Berry Award Recipient
Mary Ellen Dello Stritto
Ph.D. student, Psychology, CGU
Mary Ellen’s research examines the impact on women of media images of female sexuality, focusing on women’s own interpretations of those images. She is investigating how women perceive such images, how these images affect women, and whether they shape women’s experiences of their own sexuality. Ms. Dello Stritto completed her dissertation and applied for teaching positions in Psychology and in Women’s Studies. IWS (now IFC) hosted a lunch presentation on her work in April, 2001.