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

Catherine Klesner, a graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona, has been named a winner of the P.E.O. Scholar Award for the next academic year. The $15,000 scholarship is given each year by the women’s philanthropic organization to students who are making significant contributions to their field of study. Klesner is an expert in identifying ancient clay pottery and lead-glazed ceramics, especially those carried out of China along the Silk Road trading route during the 7th and 8th centuries and similar ceramics found in Kazakhstan. She is pioneering the connection between Chinese, Islamic, and Byzantine ceramics and their peoples’ trade and cultures during that time. This past year, Klesner has been in Athens conducting research on Byzantine ceramics on a Fulbright Research Fellowship. Originally from Ohio, Klesner received her undergraduate B.A. from Grinnell College and expects to receive her doctorate from the University of Arizona next May.

You can find P.E.O. at,, @PEOInternational on Instagram, and @PEOSisterhood on Twitter.