2024 P.E.O. Scholar Award Recipient, Rhiannon Schultz

Rhiannon Schultz, P.E.O. Scholar Award, 2024

(photo courtesy of Rhiannon Schultz)

Rhiannon Schultz, doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and On Tenure NSF GRFP Fellow, was one of 100 doctoral students chosen from 827 nominees to receive the 2024 P.E.O. Scholar Award. Local P.E.O. Chapter U, of Athens, sponsored Schultz for this highly competitive award.

Schultz’s research focuses on the health of critically endangered western lowland gorillas in captivity, whose main cause of death in zoos is heart disease. She uses data collected from observing and measuring nutrition, activity, and energy expenditure of male gorillas housed in U.S. zoos to craft models which can “identify discrepancies between the target nutrition established from wild diets and actual nutrient ingestion of captive populations that may have health implications.” These models make it possible to illuminate risk factors for disease.

“I am so grateful and humbled to have been nominated and selected for this award,” Schultz said. “Winning the P.E.O. Scholar Award not only means that I can include a larger number of gorillas and zoos in my study, but also that I will have invaluable support during the analysis and write-up phase of my dissertation. Becoming a P.E.O. Scholar recipient is a game-changer for my doctoral degree, and I am incredibly grateful to my advisory committee and local P.E.O. chapter for considering the merit of my work among that of so many excellent scholars.”

Established in 1991, the P.E.O. Scholar Awards “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 award recipients are selected based on their “high level of academic achievement and their potential for having a positive impact on society.”

P.E.O. Scholar Award. www.peointernational.org/educational-support/scholar-awards/. Accessed May 6, 2024.

The Graduate School aims to recruit, support, and honor graduate students with access to awards, fellowships, and scholarships. Opportunities for internal and external awards are listed on our website.



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