The Martha Chickering Fellowship was established in 1994 through a fundraising campaign conducted by the Chickering Fellowship Committee, which was comprised of Berkeley Social Welfare alumni from the Classes of the 1930s.
Martha Chickering is a distinguished alumna of UC Berkeley and the School of Social Welfare. She first graduated from Berkeley in 1910, the same year she served as President of the Associated Women Students of UC. She returned in 1928 to enroll in the newly accredited social services certificate program in the Department of Economics at Berkeley, the precursor to the School of Social Welfare MSW Program. In 1932 she became the program's director.
In 1936, Martha received her Ph.D. in economics from Berkeley. She was appointed Assistant Professor in Berkeley's Curriculum in Social Service the same year. In 1939 she became the Director of the California State Department of Social Welfare and served in that capacity for six years. Professor Martha Chickering was inducted into the California Social Work Hall of Distinction in 2003.
The Martha Chickering Fellowship supports MSW students who plan on pursuing careers serving children and families in need.