Smriti Kattel for her paper “Sex Trafficking in Nepal: Myth and Discourse.”
Many WGS faculty members, myself included, have been fortunate enough to have Smriti as a student. We have been impressed with the clarity of her thought and writing and with her deep understanding of important issues.

In her paper, Smriti examines the evolution, strengths and shortcomings of the discourse around sex slavery in Nepal. She considers, for instance, the United Nations definition of sex trafficking, and how it has actually hampered efforts to fight this global problem. She then explores the causes of sex trafficking, which “can be summarized as globalization’s exacerbation of long-standing gender and ethnic discrimination.” She looks at the ways in which the discourses about sex trafficking have and have not changed how we conceptualize the vulnerability, the acquisition, the movement and the exploitation of victims and brothels. Those who wish to do good in the world need analyses like Smriti’s to guide action. Intellectual work such as Smriti’s is priceless.

Smriti Kattel(Below Right)  Alessandra “Sasha” Goodfriend (Below Left)


Alessandra Goodfriend for her work in organizing and in documenting the Take Back the Night March. This was an event simultaneously healing and empowering and effective as political action. It brought together a community and it changed the world.

Two years ago Harvard historian Laurel Smith Ulrich helped us to honor our Sarah Joanne Davis Award winners.  She is the author of the phrase, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,” and of a book by that name as well. In her talk and in her book she points out that one can make history in two senses. The actions themselves can create a change. But so many times the memory of those actions is lost. History as memory is not made. Sasha has made history in both senses. The documentation of this rally and march will live on to inspire and assist others into the future.

Amazingly, Sasha has done all this and much more in only the first half of her college years at Boston University!



Shantel Mendez
Honorable Mention
Cultural Commentary
WS 340 Women, Race, and Gender in Media







2010 – 2011 Sarah Joanne Davis Scholarship Recipients

Lisa Dukart, Sarah Joanne Davis Award Recipient, wrote “activism and awareness come in many forms, but for me, writing has always been the best way to get my message across.”  Lisa has used her writing to draw attention to the lives of women here and abroad, to explore problems and potential solutions, and to celebrate women who have accomplished great things. Her writings in the BU Quad, an independent online magazine run by BU students, have tackled microfinance in Ghana, the unequal respect and attention given to women athletes, women in Afghanistan, and the representation of women in the media, among other topics.  In some of her pieces, Lisa has covered events sponsored by the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, and her reporting has been not only accurate, but illuminating.


SJD Ceremony

Left to Right: WGS Professor Diane Balser, Associate Dean Susan Jackson, SJD Recipient Jess Bartlett, WGS Program Director Deborah Belle, Lorna Forecast (Sarah Joanne Davis’s Sister), WGS Professor Barbara Gottfried, and WGS Professor Carrie Preston


Jess Bartlett, Sarah Joanne Davis Recipient, herself puts it, “we must take our insights with us when we leave the classroom and live them out in our daily lives.  We must talk to the people closest to us (and the ones who aren’t, too) about our work.  We have to have the courage to speak up against sexism and homophobia, and the patience to explain.” Jessie has been an active board member of the Women’s Resource Center and co-founder in the Fall of 2010 of Q, a queer activist collective that holds weekly discussions and supports a local high school’s gay – straight alliance.

2009 – 2010 Recipients

Lolly Spindler, Hispanic Language and Literatures
“The Boston University Women’s Resource Center Lending Library: A History”

Jackie Catcher, Political Science,
Project: Teen Voice, Inc. Editorial Mentor Editorial Assistant

Karen Choucrallah, Communication,
Performance Piece ‘The Mouse’

Marisa Proto, English,
‘Can Criticism Ever Become Activism?: “Feminism and intersectionality” Panel Summary and Reflection’

Brianna Reed, Philosophy,
‘Emerge MA’

sjd 09 10 winners and finalists
Sarah Joanne Davis Recipients and Finalists: (L to R) Marisa Proto, Lolly Spindler, Jackie Catcher & Karen Choucrallah, not pictured Brianna Reed.

In the spring of 2010, we organized a party for our 5 finalists and invited Ms. Lana Forecast, the late Sarah Joanne Davis’ sister (below 2nd from right). Ms. Forecast brought her daughter and a friend along and said a few words about her late sister. The two winners were: Lolly Spindler whose paper explained initiating and creating a comprehensive library for the Boston University Women’s Resource Center, and Jackie Catcher, whose paper reviewed her accomplishments as an Editorial Assistant and Editorial Mentoring for Teen Voices Magazine. The three runner ups for the SJD Award included: Marisa Proto, Karen Choucrallah, and Brianna Reed.

SJD group photo


Carrie Chiusano, COM – Communications
Mackenzie Welch, English

Awarded for their work in creating the Women’s Resource Center


Heather Foley, Pol Science,
Rachel Fletcher, COM – Journalism,
“Our Bodies, Our Orgasms?”


Tessa Benau, Psych,
“Interpretation of a Problem: An Analysis of the History of Theoretical Research on Poor Women”
Megan Campbell, Pol Science,
“Safe, Rare and Legal: A Cross-National Study of Abortion Rates and Rolicy”


Shiwali Patel, IR,
“War and Rape: The Situations in the Former Yugoslavia and Kashmir”
Laura Cote, Psych,
“Finding a Voice: Empowerment through Feminist Literature”


Julia Gefter , Psych,
“Economic Inequality: Effective Organizing and Self-Enlightenment”
Lisa Morris, Psych,
“Child Abuse and Sexuality Development: A Historical Perspective”