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

April 16, 2015
head portrait of woman
Karren Lewis received a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. (Courtesy Photo)

Laramie High School graduate Karren Lewis, who is attending the University of Washington School of Medicine through the University of Wyoming WWAMI medical education program, is among 85 doctoral students nationwide selected to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood.

WWAMI -- which stands for the participating states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho -- trains physicians, many of whom practice in Wyoming and other northwestern states.

“As a WWAMI student, I plan to return to Wyoming to complete my commitment to the state and then try to expand my work to have an international focus,” Lewis says. “International women’s health is my passion, and I hope with my training in both medicine and public health, I can work to develop programs that improve women’s health and training in underserved areas.”

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

Chapter AI of Laramie sponsored Lewis. She thanks the local chapter for helping her to complete her scholarship application, and she is grateful for chapter member Carolyn Abernethy, who wrote her nomination.

“This scholarship is truly an honor and helps to motivate me to continue to work hard to pursue my dreams to improve international women’s health,” Lewis says. “Pursuing my medical degree has been an amazing journey, and I am fortunate to have people across Wyoming and the nation helping to make my dreams a reality.”

A third-year medical student, Lewis will graduate in 2017 with a Doctor of Medicine and a Master of Public Health.

She is a 2010 graduate of Michigan State University, where she was selected as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Social Sciences and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key. A 2006 Laramie High School graduate, she is the daughter of Randy and Lorrie Lewis of Logan, Utah.

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. The organization has approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter million active members.

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