Honors 63 ARCS Scholars

San Francisco, CA — Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, Northern California Chapter held its 45th annual Scholar Awards Luncheon on Thursday October 29, 2015 in the Grand Ballroom of The Fairmont, San Francisco, showcasing the myriad accomplishments of outstanding students pursuing advanced degrees in science, engineering and medical research.

Supporting young scientists at the seed stage of their work,most often at the doctoral level, ARCS fulfills an essential funding need during early career phases that are rarely served by traditional funding sources. As stated in The Wall Street Journal, the number of science and engineering grant recipients younger than 36 fell to 3% in 2010, from 18% in 1983.

ARCS Foundation Northern California Chapter President Susan Mooradian

Image Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

The 2015 ARCS Award recipients represent 6 Northern California universities: Stanford University, San Francisco State University, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz and San Francisco (UCSF). A list of this year’s award recipients and their research fields may be found here.

“ARCS Foundation’s funding role at the seed stage makes an extraordinary difference in the lives of young and promising scientists,” says Susan Mooradian, President of ARCS Foundation Northern California Chapter.

“Our ARCS Scholars often share how their research focus would not have been possible without the timely support the award offers. Many scholars would have had to forgo the purchase of necessary research materials or opportunities to present at academic conferences that offer much needed visibility to their work.

ARCS Foundation is here to play a catalytic role in the innovation that young scientists bring to our economy, and to our world.”

Chaired by ARCS Foundation Member and supporter Deborah Mann, this year’s event featured an onstage “conversation” with ARCS Scholars Kathleen Sokolowsky (Stanford University), Brad Hobson (UC Davis) and Elizabeth Devitt (UC Santa Cruz.) Each discussed the essential role that the ARCS Award has had on their work.

Unlike other awards directed principally to the doctoral level of study, the ARCS Award may be used for expenses other than tuition. While the majority of Award monies fund research and lab expenses, ARCS Awards have also enabled women and men with young children to meet basic living and childcare expenses.

Some say that had family obligations forced them to find a second or third job, their research may have been delayed or concluded.

ARCS Foundation events like the Scholar Awards Luncheon also provide a locus for science-supporting constituencies to convene and discuss ways to increase private sector participation in basic research funding.Deborah Mann notes,

“The event welcomed a number of recognized Bay Area philanthropists to engage with representatives from academia, venture capital, finance and industry who are also seeking to advance support of science at the seed stage.”

The event’s keynote speaker, former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, is the leader of the Lincoln Project, an initiative of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to advocate for the importance of public colleges and universities and to devise strategies to fill the gap created by progressive disinvestment in public higher education by government. An internationally distinguished physicist who is notable for his commitment to diversity and equity in the academic community, Birgeneau was previously Dean of the School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spent 25 years on the faculty. He is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and other scholarly societies.

As all administrative expenses are underwritten by ARCS Foundation’s all-volunteer membership, 100% of donations to scholar awards are disbursed directly to scholar awards.

About ARCS® Foundation: ARCS Foundation is a national nonprofit volunteer women’s organization that promotes American competitiveness by supporting talented U.S. citizens working to complete degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and health disciplines at the nation’s leading research colleges and universities. Since 1958, the organization has awarded more than $96 million to more than 9,000 students. ARCS Scholars have produced thousands of research publications and patents, secured billions in grant funding, started science related companies, and played a significant role in teaching and mentoring young people in the STEM pipeline. More at www.arcsfoundation.org

Founded in 1970, the Northern California Chapter of ARCS Foundation has raised $18 million for 2,455 scholars representing the highest nationally ranked departments of science, engineering and medical research in Northern California’s universities. For the 2015-2016 academic year, $717,000 was awarded by the chapter to 63 scholars from six universities: Stanford University, San Francisco State University, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz and San Francisco (UCSF).

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