Engineering Doctoral Student Earns Scholarship

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A civil engineering doctoral student has earned a scholarship from the Philanthropic Educational Organization, a group dedicated to supporting high-achieving women pursuing doctorates.

Sadie Casillas is one of 150 doctoral students in the U.S. and Canada selected to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was sponsored by Chapter BH of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Casillas graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and is pursuing her doctorate at the U of A, focusing on asphalt emulsions and pavement recycling techniques.

Casillas said her passion for research began after a study-abroad experience in Stockholm, Sweden. Her work is centered on technologies that have the potential to significantly improve aging transportation infrastructure in the U.S.  Casillas has published numerous articles in nationally-recognized journals and has received several academic awards, including the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship.

Andrew Braham, associate professor of civil engineering and Casillas' adviser, said the award was well-deserved.

"With Sadie, any praise I give is an understatement. She is hard working, polite, articulate, and highly intelligent; the complete graduate student. The P.E.O. Scholar Award represents academic excellence and achievement, both of which Sadie displays on a daily basis."

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women in the United States and Canada pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university

Scholar Awards recipients are a select group of women chosen for their high level of academic achievement and their potential for having a positive impact on society.

The P.E.O. Sisterhood, founded January 21, 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College, is a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to supporting higher education for women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.


Travis Hefley, communications specialist
Department of Civil Engineering


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