Kinesiology doctoral student receives $15,000 National Philanthropic Education Organization Scholar Award

June 5, 2019


Hailey ParryKinesiology doctoral student Hailey Parry was recently tapped as a winner of the National Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O.) Scholar Award.

“We are so proud of Hailey!” said Director of the School of Kinesiology, Mary Rudisill, Ph.D. “Hailey was selected as one of the 150 women out of 945 nominees to receive the PEO Scholar Award for the 2019-2020 academic year. Even more exciting, she will receive $15,000 for this award.”

Parry’s research examines the mitochondria and respiration of birds, particularly those that inhabit areas affected by the recent wildfires in California over the past year. She is investigating the differences between migratory and non-migratory birds to see how they adapt to the environment.

“Birds exchange 100 percent of the oxygen they inhale, and exhale 100 percent of the air used, whereas humans exchange gases with a fraction of the air inhaled and exhaled. This is where the idea of a canary in a coal mine came from. Birds respond to toxins in the air much faster than humans do, and therefore provide an excellent model to test how air quality stresses an organism,” explained Parry. “We think that the local birds of wild fire areas will be better adapted to the impaired air quality conditions than the migratory birds. The results of this research will continue to provide us information on how climate change is affecting the environment around all living species.”

Parry is a doctoral student in the Muscle Biochemistry Laboratory directed by Andreas Kavazis, Ph.D. The lab’s research focuses on mitochondrial function, respiration, and adaptation during various energy states, including reproduction, lactation, resting, and exercised states.

Scholar Award recipients are sponsored by a P.E.O. chapter that plays a meaningful part in “their” student’s life. Parry was nominated by the Alabama Chapter of the P.E.O. Members are committed to helping women pursue higher education.

P.E.O. was founded in 1869 in Iowa and has grown to more than 225,000 members in chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, with headquarters in Des Moines, IA. The mission is promoting educational opportunities for women and “women helping women reach the stars.”