University of Arizona Grad Student Wins P.E.O. Scholarship

Zoë Wilbur, a graduate student in planetary science at the University of Arizona, has been named a winner of the P.E.O. Scholar Award for the next academic year. The award, a $20,000 scholarship, is given each year by the women’s philanthropic organization to students who are making significant contributions to their field of study.

Wilbur’s research advances our knowledge of the processes that shaped the planetary bodies in our solar system. She studies the structural composition of meteorites and lunar rocks, including some of the rocks collected by the Apollo 15 and 17 moon missions conducted before she was born! She served as an intern and a temporary lab manager at the NASA Johnson Space Center where the lunar samples are housed. Collaborating with the Smithsonian Institution, she collects and integrates analyses of rare meteorites and lunar samples completed at the Smithsonian and at universities around the U.S. Wilbur co-edits a website fostering public engagement in the study of meteorites. She received her undergraduate B.S. in geology from the University of Nevada and expects to receive her doctorate from the University of Arizona next spring.

Wilbur was sponsored by P.E.O. Chapter FF, whose members reside in SaddleBrooke, Oro Valley, and Tucson. One hundred Scholar Awards are granted each year to students in the U.S. and Canada who show the greatest potential to contribute to their academic field, their communities, and the world. This year there were 825 nominees submitted to the Review Committee that grants the awards. Since its inception in 1991, the P.E.O. Scholar Award has given $36 million to more than 3,000 graduate students. This is the Tucson P.E.O. Chapter’s seventh successful candidate in 11 consecutive years of nominations.

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