The P.E.O. Record July-August 2022 (public)


SUPPORTING Our Scholars AND NOMINEES by Terry Northcutt, P.E.O. Scholar Awards Board of Trustees

P.E.O. projects are different from other scholarship, grant and award programs. In P.E.O. we provide financial support through our philanthropies, but we also take personal interest in those who are recipients and those whom we nominate or recommend. This makes our organization special. When several local chapters were asked how they support their Scholar recipients and their Scholar nominees, they responded with wonderful examples. Here is what they said:

Two stories that chapters provided, in their own words, represent the personalized care and concern P.E.O. chapters share with these scholars. “Our Scholar recipient last year is pursuing an academic specialty like that of my Ph.D. college professor niece. After the academic year had finished, I introduced them to one another where they discovered they had much in common. My niece, more advanced in her career, was able to provide pointers and networking connections to our Scholar. It’s such a small world but it was a win-win for everyone and so easy for me to do.” And… “One of our scholars, who is now a P.E.O. member, did not receive the Scholar Award the first time she went through the process. Our Scholar Award chair called her and encouraged her to reapply. The potential Scholar was tired and very busy that day and said she did not think she would try again. Our chair encouraged her and said, ‘well, why not think about it another day and you may feel differently.’ The doctoral candidate did think about it later, tried again, and won! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” What a wonderful opportunity we have as P.E.O. members to affect the lives of women who are pursuing doctoral degrees. Not only do we provide the opportunity for them to receive a generous grant, but we introduce them to an organization that highly values women’s education in addition to offering loving concern and support. How will your chapter support your Scholars and Scholar nominees in the future?

We keep in touch via emails and cards at various holidays. “We sent holiday cards to the nominees and our winner. These were signed by all sisters who were at our December meeting. The chapter will send Valentine’s cards in February.” “I send cards of support, phone calls to check in, offer support where it is welcomed.” “We try to attend their Ph.D. publication events and graduation.” “We give our candidate a small holiday gift such as a gift certificate or a winter scarf along with a card from our whole chapter.” “As chapter Scholar Awards chair, I rotate the card sending ‘assignment’ to different committee members to give them some ownership and to give the recipients a greater feeling of broader support. We send cards or emails on the average of once every 6-8 weeks, including holidays and birthdays.” “When we found out our nominee was selected, and that she was leaving the country to continue her research, we gave her a gift to remember us.”

We ask our nominees if they would be willing to present a program at a chapter meeting or if they could attend a social. We support them through the application process. “I keep our nominee in the loop via email as the process unfolds, explaining each step of the way and what she can expect going forward.” “After the nomination letter has been submitted, I let her know what to expect from the P.E.O. International Executive Office.” “I cheer her on through the application process and show the chapter’s confidence and belief in her, while validating the time she is investing in the application process.” We consider them as potential P.E.O. members. “I recommend them to chapters in the cities to which they are moving.”

“I find that recipients and nominees are supportive of and are grateful to P.E.O.”


THE P.E.O. RECORD | July–August 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

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