Each year, the program awards student achievement in the area of gender studies.

The Sylvia Clavan Prize:  An Award for an Academic Project in Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, or Feminist Theories

Award Categories

Awards are given in three different areas: a written research project, a creative work project (for ex., a video, a series of paintings, a series of poems, etc.), and a service or activist project that produces an academic paper.  Projects may be team projects. If, in any given year, the nominees are especially strong, more than one award may be given in each category. Depending on entries, it is also possible that awards may not be given in each category every year.


Nominated projects should come out of work done in Gender Studies cross-listed courses and should reflect a thoughtful and sophisticated engagement with gender issues. Nominated students do not need to be Gender Studies minors, and they can be at any level in their studies.  Projects must be completed to be considered for an award.

Women of Purpose Award

The mission statement of Saint Joseph’s University asserts that “Saint Joseph’s University educates for a higher purpose: students are expected to improve the common good by utilizing their skills and knowledge to promote tolerance, compassion and social justice. The Saint Joseph’s learning experience is structured to . . . engage students with important social concerns – both domestic and international – and prepare them to lead as informed citizens, socially responsive professionals and active community members.” Marian Wright Edelman noted that “service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.”  The purpose of the Gender Studies Program Women of Purpose Award is to honor women who early in their education at Saint Joseph’s embody and enact a passionate commitment to work with and on behalf of others.  Though young, these women have already learned one of life’s most important lessons, that each of us, through our actions, can make a difference.

Trailblazer Award

The Trailblazer Award honors undergraduate female students at Saint Joseph’s University who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of study.  It recognizes women who have excelled academically at Saint Joseph’s, making significant progress towards achieving future career success.  Trailblazers are academic stars in the classroom and academic leaders in their major and college.  The Trailblazer Award is intended specifically to recognize women students who have chosen majors and careers that traditionally have not attracted large numbers of women.  Serving as role models, their success should ease the way for other women.