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Amal Killawi, a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers School of Social Work, is one of only 100 doctoral students in the U.S. and Canada who were selected to receive a prestigious $20,000 Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was nominated by P.E.O. Chapter AK of East Brunswick, New Jersey.  

Killawi graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in social work. She is a licensed clinical social worker, research fellow with The Family & Youth Institute, and scholar with the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding. She is well published academically and an invited speaker at both academic and community conferences. Killawi is also the recipient of the 2018 El-Hibri Foundation Advancing Inclusion Scholarship Award, among other research and leadership fellowships.

Killawi’s research interests focus on help-seeking behaviors and culturally sensitive health delivery for marginalized communities. Her Ph.D. research explores the help-seeking experiences of Muslim American women with sexual health concerns.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected for this award and eternally grateful to P.E.O. for granting me and so many women the opportunity to pursue our education and passion. I’m excited to be part of the P.E.O. community!”

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards program, established in 1991, provides substantial merit-based awards for women of the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university.

P.E.O. has been celebrating women helping women reach for the stars for more than 150 years. Since its inception in 1869, the nonprofit organization has helped more than 116,000* women pursue educational goals by providing over $383 million* in grants, scholarships, awards and loans. The Sisterhood also owns and supports Cottey College. Through membership, the P.E.O. Sisterhood has brought together more than a half a million women in the United States and Canada who are passionate about helping women advance through education, while supporting and motivating them. In addition to the educational philanthropies, the P.E.O. Sisterhood provides a framework of support and community for all members.

What started with a bond of friendship among seven women in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is now one of the oldest women’s organizations in North America with close to 6,000 chapters

To learn more about P.E.O., its powerful educational philanthropies and see stories of women who have benefited from the programs, visit