UACES Facebook Arkansas entomology student earns $15,000 PEO Scholar Award
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Arkansas entomology student earns $15,000 PEO Scholar Award

By Sarah Cato
U of A System Division of Agriculture
April 17, 2019 

Fast facts

  • Entomology Ph.D. candidate Hillary Fischer earns Scholar Award from Philanthropic Education Organization
  • Award amount is $15,000 

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Three years of dedication, academic excellence and ambition have earned University of Arkansas entomology graduate student Hillary Fischer the $15,000 Scholar Award from the Philanthropic Education Organization.


The PEO Scholar Awards were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. The PEO said its Scholar Award recipients are a select group of women chosen for their high level of academic achievement and their potential for having a positive impact on society. 

Fischer, an entomology Ph.D. candidate, is one of 150 award winners selected from more than 900 nominees. Fischer said her competition was no walk in the park. 

“I am thrilled to receive this award from the PEO,” Fischer said. “I know I was up against some pretty amazing women who are all working hard on their doctorates. To be chosen as a recipient of the Scholar Award is very humbling.” 

Fischer said she planned to use the award money to further her research efforts. 

“This money will go a long way in supporting my research,” she said. “It will allow me to explore research avenues that were otherwise cost-prohibitive. It will also allow me to hire a student worker, which can have a dual benefit of accomplishing more work as well as mentoring a young scientist.” 

Her adviser, Fiona Goggin, professor of entomology for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, said Fischer’s accomplishments reflect her personality.

“I am very proud of Hillary,” she said. “The PEO Scholar Award is the direct result of her strong initiative, follow-through and creativity. It is unusual for graduate students to obtain competitive funding for their own research, and this award is a testament to Hillary’s professional maturity.” 

Fischer said the women of the PEO Fayetteville chapter which nominated her provided encouragement and support during the rigorous application process. 

“I think the PEO Sisterhood is an amazing organization,” she said. “I was nominated for this award by the members of Chapter BU here in Fayetteville, and they are truly an outstanding group of women. Winning this award is even better because they get recognized as well.” 

Fischer is the first Scholar Award recipient from the Fayetteville chapter. Her scholarly pursuits and passion for service both in and outside of the academic environment led to her selection. 

“Hillary is a remarkable woman who immediately impressed our entire membership,” said chapter president Priscilla Kumpe. “We’re proud she’ll be able to use the award towards her research and education.” 

The PEO Sisterhood, founded in 1869 at Iowa Wesleyan College, is a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to supporting higher education for women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United Stated and Canada, with nearly 250,000 active members. 

For more information on entomology graduate studies, visit


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses. 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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