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UW Student Receives National P.E.O. Scholar Award

May 8, 2014 — Katherine Kitchen Andren of Powell, a clinical psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Wyoming, is one of 85 doctoral students nationwide selected to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood.

She was sponsored by P.E.O. Chapter P in Powell. The P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) program was established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing doctoral degrees at accredited colleges or universities.

"The faculty and quality of clinical and research training in UW’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral program are truly wonderful,” Kitchen Andren says. “My mentor, Dr. Christine McKibbin, is an extraordinary person, researcher, professor and clinical supervisor. She has supported me in every way possible throughout my graduate training, and I feel extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work with and learn from her. I also immensely appreciate the P.E.O. organization for selecting me for a Scholar Award.”

McKibbin says Kitchen Andren is interested in working with older adults, particularly those in rural areas.

“I was impressed with her depth of maturity, understanding of aging issues, and breadth of knowledge about older adults, as well as her ability to express her experiences in writing,” she says, adding that Kitchen Andren assisted her on a Wyoming Community Mental Health Center focus group study. They traveled throughout the state to learn what rural mental health services providers and rural residents with serious mental illness thought were important factors influencing physical health, potential obesity, diabetes and risk for cardiovascular disease.

Kitchen Andren launched her own research program to understand what rural older adults know about depression; what factors would help or prevent them from seeking treatment should they become depressed; and where they anticipated seeking treatment. She learned that many early older adults intend to seek services in the primary care sector and view clergy as important vehicles to treatment.

She received a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont., where she graduated in 2009 and received the college’s prestigious President’s Cup, the college’s highest graduating senior award.

Kitchen Andren is a fifth-year clinical psychology doctoral student and will graduate with her Ph.D. in 2015. She is the daughter of Mark and Sandra Kitchen of Powell, and a third-generation P.E.O. member.

The P.E.O Sisterhood, founded in 1869 at Iowa Wesleyan College, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is a philanthropic educational organization that provides increased opportunities for higher education to women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter million active members. 

Katherine Kitchen Andren received a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood.

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