College of Education and Human Development

Institute of Child Development

Two ICD doctoral students win prestigious PEO Scholar Awards

Sarah Gillespie and Hopewell Hodges, both PhD candidates in developmental psychology and clinical science in the Institute of Child Development, are two of 100 students within the U.S. and Canada selected to receive a prestigious $25,000 PEO Scholar Award from the PEO Sisterhood. 

Sarah Gillespie
Gillespie is a 2017 cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she was an Academic All- America athlete in track and field, among other honors. She has authored 27 articles in prestigious scientific journals, including the American Psychologist and Child Development. Her PhD research focuses on ethnic-racial identity development as a universal resilience factor that helps adolescents understand themselves and their history, feel a sense of belonging within their communities, and connect with people from diverse backgrounds. Her dissertation involved a natural experiment of a new ethnic studies curriculum, which boosted ethnic-racial identity development, positive attitudes toward diversity, and civic engagement among ninth graders who took the class. 

Hopewell Hodges
Hodges earned a BA in English cum laude at Yale University in 2018 and was awarded the Roosevelt L. Thompson Prize for public service and moral leadership. She received a master’s degree in religion and literature from Yale in 2020 that focused on community resilience practices after collective trauma, receiving full funding for this degree through the Institute of Sacred Music, along with two awards for excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship.

She has been an author on 22 published scientific articles, serving as lead author on three of these. In addition to working toward licensure as a pediatric trauma therapist, she conducts community-engaged, culturally responsive research on positive development in children exposed to adversity, working with communities to amplify children’s connections to the resources that promote their resilience.

The PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Scholar Awards program, established in 1991, provides substantial merit-based awards for women of the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university.


Photo of Sarah Gillespie and Hopewell Hodges

Sarah Gillespie and Hopewell Hodges

Photo of Sarah Gillespie and Hopewell Hodges