Overview

The National ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation, Inc., is a unique, nonprofit, national volunteer organization of women dedicated to providing scholarships to academically outstanding U.S. citizens studying to complete their degrees in science, medicine and engineering, thereby contributing to the worldwide advancement of science and technology.

ARCS Scholar Awards are intended to recognize and reward UC Irvine's most academically superior doctoral students exhibiting outstanding promise as scientists, researchers and leaders.  Each recipient will receive a $7,500 stipend during the current academic year and, contingent upon continued satisfactory academic progress, will receive an additional $7,500 the following academic year. ARCS funding is in addition to existing support and may not be used as a substitute for other university support. 

Beginning in 2014-15, the ARCS Foundation is partnering with the Roche Foundation to reward outstanding graduate life science students at universities across the United States. The Roche/ARCS Scholar Award Program will support Ph.D. candidates in the life sciences, which includes the study of medically relevant fields including the scientific study of living organisms, such as microorganisms, animals and human beings, as well as related work in chemistry, computer sciences, engineering and materials sciences that could eventually be applied towards the study of living organisms.

Each school holds its own competition and selects its recipients of ARCS Scholar Awards and Roche/ARCS Scholar Awards. UCI is required to abide by ARCS criteria in making selections without regard to race, color, creed or gender and in the administration of allocated funds.

Award Info

$7,500 stipend per year for ARCS Scholars; $5,000 per year for Roche/ARCS Scholars.

Eligibility

Each school holds its own competition and makes the final selection of its scholars who meet the following minimum criteria (criteria for Roche/ARCS Scholars may vary):

  • Must have achieved a graduate level UC GPA of 3.7 or better through Spring 2014 quarter.
  • Must have have completed at least two years of graduate study, with at least two years remaining before degree completion.
  • Must be making satisfactory progress toward their degree goal.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must have identified their individual area of research interest and be willing to prepare a poster board of their research for display at the awards dinner.
  • Must have exhibited excellent interpersonal and leadership abilities during their academic program.

Application Process

Students should check with their schools for internal deadlines and procedures before submitting any materials.  Schools submit their selected scholar packets to Graduate Division, to include the following:

  • A completed UCI ARCS Foundation Scholar Award Nomination
  • A completed Student Biographical Profile with a 100-word student bio
  • A current CV
  • A statement by the awardee of no more than 2-3 pages in length, describing their research project, progress to date, and plan for completion
  • A confidential evaluation of the student by their faculty advisor (multiple letters are acceptable)
  • Letters from the program advisor, department chair, and associate dean

The selection process will include a personal interview; each student must be able and willing to speak articulately about their career goals and research.

Contact Information:

Gina Anzivino
UCI-ARCS Program Coordinator
Graduate Division
120 Aldrich Hall, UC Irvine
Irvine CA, 92697-3180
(949) 824-8120
fax (949) 824-9096

Deadline

The 2014-15 competition is closed.

About the ARCS Foundation

ARCS logoARCS 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 54 of the nation's leading research universities. Since 1958, the organization has awarded more than $87 million to more than 8,900 students.  ARCS Scholars have produced thousands of research publications and patents, secured $1.5 billion+ in grant funding, started more than 1,800 science related companies and played a significant role in teaching and mentoring young people in the STEM pipeline.

 

 

ARCS 2012-2014 Scholars

Kyle Benson

Kyle Benson

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, 2016 expected
  • B.S., Computer Science, University of Delaware, 2011

Research

Networks and Distributed Systems

Advisor: Nalini Venkatasubramanian

Biography

Kyle, a Computer Science Ph.D. student and NSF GRFP Honorable Mention, researches resilient pervasive sensing platforms leveraging low-cost internet-connected devices.  His current project, the Safe Community Awareness and Alerting Network that he led development on during the SmartAmerica Challenge, aims to enable a safe resilient community through pervasive technology affordable by disadvantaged populations.  Kyle received his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware, where he was awarded the Quantum Leap Innovations Outstanding Senior Award for his simulation of the Quake-Catcher Network.  In his free time he enjoys running on the beach, cooking new foods, and various outdoor activities.

Nan Wu

Nan Wu

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Biological Science – Cellular and Molecular, California State University – East Bay, 2008

Research

Molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis

Advisor: Dr. Christopher Hughes

Biography

Nan Wu graduated Cum Laude with her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from CSU, East Bay in just 3 years.  Following her graduation in 2008 she applied her knowledge in molecular biomedicine at Cholestech, Inc., helping patients with cardiovascular diseases.  Nan returned to basic research, her true passion, in her doctoral research with Dr. Christopher Hughes at UC, Irvine.  Her primary interest is molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, particularly in pathological conditions such as cancer and ischemic diseases.  She is currently studying the significance of endothelial expression of transcription factor Slug in sprouting angiogenesis.  Nan also enjoys teaching.  In 2012, she volunteered with a NGO to teach high school biology in rural Tanzania.  Since moving to Irvine, she has judged the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair, mentored undergraduates during the school year, and mentored for the UCI Cancer Research Youth Science Fellowship program this past summer.

Sumner Norman

Sumner Norman

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, 2012

Research

Dynamics and Controls

Advisor: Dr. David J. Reinkensmeyer

Biography

Sumner L. Norman received a B.S. degree in Mechanical engineering from the University of Utah in 2012.  He graduated with honors and the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Designation award.  Sumner received the Graduate Research Fellowship award from the National Science Foundation, and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine.  His current research investigates the use of a brain computer interface (BCI) as a control channel for neurorehabilitation robotics primarily used in stroke and spinal cord injury therapy.  Current projects include the discrimination of novel brain states tied directly to motor engagement in stroke patients, and the development of a low-cost BCI for in-home therapy.

Thomas Baker

Thomas Baker

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Irvine, 2018 expected
  • M.S., Physics, California State University, Long Beach, 2012
  • B.S., Physics, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2009

Research

Density Functional Theory

Advisor: Dr. Kieron Burke

Biography

I am a third-year physics Ph.D. student using Density Matrix Renormalization Group to study exact conditions in Density Functional Theory, which is used for quantum calculations.  I earned a B.S. in Physics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a M.S. in Physics from the California State University, Long Beach in 2012 on the Dean’s List.  I solved a 200-year old problem, the bead on a hoop, and won four first-place speaking awards.  I am currently serving as the 2014-2015 American Physical Society Far West Section Student Representative and help facilitate an annual GRE Boot Camp.

Roche/ARCS Foundation Scholars 2014-2017

Caitlin Regan

Caitlin Regan

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Bioengineering – mechanical track, California Institute of Technology, 2012

Research

Computational and experimental biophotonics

Research: Dr. Bernard Choi

Biography

Caitlin graduated with Honors from the California Institute of Technology in 2012 with a B.S. in Bioengineering specializing in Mechanics.  She is continuing her graduate education in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, as an IGERT fellow working in the Microvascular Imaging Laboratory at Beckman Laser Institute.  Caitlin’s research focuses on measurements of blood flow using a new technique called photothermal laser speckle imaging.  This technique perturbs the motion of blood cells by adding energy with a pulsed laser in order to enhance the visualization of subsurface vasculature.  In her spare time, Caitlin has a student leadership position as a graduate housing assistant, and enjoys outdoor activities including swimming, hiking, biking and playing tennis.

Zachariah Reagh

Zachariah Reagh

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Neurobiology & Behavior, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012
  • B.A., Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012

Research

Neurobiological basis of memory

Advisor: Dr. Michael Yassa

Biography

I was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama.  I graduated with two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012, becoming the first in my immediate family to obtain a bachelor’s degree and earning several departmental research awards.  Continuing my interest in neuroscience, I am now pursuing a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior with an emphasis on learning and memory.  I am the recipient of an NSF graduate fellowship, and have published seven papers as a rising third year graduate student.  Outside of my joyously busy research life, I am lucky to share my time cooking, biking, traveling, and adventuring with my wonderful fiancée and dogs.

Elyse Van Spyk

Elyse Van Spyk

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2011

Research

The role of the circadian clock in skin

Advisor: Dr. Bogi Andersen

Biography

I obtained by B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior with honors from UCD in 2011.  From 2011-2012, I was a laboratory manager/technician for the Chief of Surgical Research at the VA Hospital of Northern California.  In 2012 I joined UCI’s CMB graduate program.  I am currently a NSF GRFP fellow in the laboratory of Bogi Andersen in Biological Chemistry.  My research is centered around investigating the mechanisms and physiological consequences of food-induced entrainment of the circadian clock in the skin.  This project will provide novel insights into the relationship between post-prandial signaling and skin immune function, including protein against pathogens and wound healing.  Apart from experiments, I truly enjoy mentoring undergraduates, high school students and first year graduate students.

Clayton Elder

Clayton Elder

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Environmental Science, Oklahoma State University, 2011

Research

Biogeochemistry, Isotope Geochemistry, Climate Change

Advisor: Dr. Claudia Czimczik

Biography

My fascination with nature and desire to learn motivate my curiosity for scientific research and in everyday life.  I hold a B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences from Oklahoma State University.  I have learned the skills of a successful Earth Science researcher during my undergraduate and graduate tenure and cultivated a long-term goal of becoming a global climate research professor.  My current project at UCI aims to quantify the magnitude and sources of arctic greenhouse gas emissions.  To educate the next generation, I serve as a board member for the K-12 science education and outreach program, Climate Literacy Empowerment and Inquiry.

Kristine Dahl Arquero

Kristine Dahl Arquero

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • M.S.Ed., Science Education, City University of New York – Lehman College, 2010
  • B.S., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2008

Research

Atmospheric Chemistry

Advisor: Dr. Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts

Biography

I earned my B.S. with honors in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. After college I taught high school chemistry in the South Bronx for three years while earning my M.S.in science education at the City University of New York, Lehman College.  Currently I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Irvine in the Finlayson-Pitts group.  My work focuses on elucidating the kinetics and mechanisms of new particle formation and growth of atmospheric particles.  Most recently I was awarded the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.  I have a passion for mentorship and education of young women, which influences both my personal and professional goals.

Jed Brubaker

Jed Brubaker

Degrees:

  • PhD, Information and Computer Sciences, UCI, 2015 expected
  • M.A., Communication, Culture and Technology, Georgetown University, 2009
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Utah, 2004

Research

Social computing and human computer interaction

Advisor: Dr. Gillian R. Hayes

Biography

Jed Brubaker is a PhD candidate in the department of Informatics where he researches the design of identity-related technologies and the experiences they enable. His dissertation focuses on our “digital afterlives” and how to improve the management of accounts and personal data after we die. Brubaker’s research has received a best paper award and numerous honorable mentions, and he was named UCI’s Most Promising Future Faculty Member for 2013. Brubaker earned his M.A. at Georgetown University in Communication, Culture and Technology, and previously graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Utah.

Suzanne Klaus

Suzanne Klaus

Degrees:

  • M.D., School of Medicine, UCI, 2017 expected
  • Ph.D., Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, UCI, 2015 expected
  • B.S., Biochemistry, University of Iowa

Research

Role of Neutrophils in Salmonella Infection

Advisor:  Dr. Manuela Raffatellu

Biography

Suzi graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.S in Biochemistry and taught high school in American Samoa as an Americorps volunteer before joining UCI's Medical Scientist Training Program in 2009. Suzi's Ph.D. research focuses on neutrophil recruitment and function during Salmonella infection. Specifically, she is interested in characterizing intestinal neutrophil populations and understanding their role in expression of antimicrobial proteins during Salmonella infection. Suzi is interested in continuing her research in immunology and caring for patients with autoimmune or immunodeficient disorders. Suzi is also part of the leadership team of an ultrasound research study that screens high school and college athletes for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Her non-scientific interests include biking, kayaking, playing tennis, and singing.

Maria Inez Falcon

Maria Inez Falcon

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Neuroscience (in progress)
  • B.S., in biomedical engineering

Research

Physiological mechanisms subjacent to motor recovery after stroke

Advisor: Dr. Ana Solodkin

Biography

Inez completed her bachelors in biomedical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology before entering the Neuroscience PhD program at UCI.  She has worked in research labs at Georgia Tech and Emory studying locomotion and peripheral nerve injury, and is currently performing her thesis work in the Brain Circuits Lab with a focus on motor recovery after stroke.  Inez plans to pursue a career in neurorehabilitation research.  She is also a teaching assistant for multiple courses, including head TA for the freshman biology course, having completed the HHMI training program.  In her spare time, she enjoys running and baking.

Cynthia Northrup

Cynthia Northrup

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Mathematics, University of California, Irvine, expected 2014
  • M.S., Mathematics, University of California, Irvine, 2010.
  • B.A., Mathematics, California State University, Northridge, 2006.

Research

Mathematical Foundations and Set Theory

Advisor:  Dr. Martin Zeman

Biography

Cynthia obtained her bachelor’s in Mathematics from CSU Northridge while working with the diverse students of Los Angeles public schools in NSF’s GK-12 program.  Currently, she divides her time between research, teaching, and outreach.  Her research uses an iteration of Radin Forcing to force a model in which the Diamond property fails.  As the 2013-2014 Pedagogical Fellow for the mathematics department, she developed and ran the TA training for the math department’s incoming graduate students.  Outside academia, Cynthia trains in Olympic-style weightlifting and won the 2012 Strongest Anteater competition.

Peyton Paulick

Peyton Paulick

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, UCI 2014 (expected)
  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering, UCI 2011
  • B.S., Bioengineering with a minor in Spanish Studies UCSD, 2009

Research

Medical devices, hearing technology

Advisor: Dr. Mark Bachman

Biography

Peyton Paulick is beginning her fifth year of the doctoral program in Biomedical Engineering at UCI. She received her bachelors’ degrees in Bioengineering and Spanish at UCSD. Her research is focused on the development of medical devices and assistive healthcare monitoring technologies. Specifically, her PhD work is developing on a non-invasive auditory prosthesis. Peyton recently was awarded the Whitaker Foundation International Fellowship and the NIH Center for Hearing Research Training Grant. Peyton completed her Whitaker grant at Ludwig Maximilians Universität München in Germany developing an assistive device to measure the human pupil light reflex. In her spare time Peyton enjoys traveling, yoga, and photography.

Sarkis Babikian

Sarkis Babikian

Degrees:

  • PhD, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UCI, in progress
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UCI, 2011
  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Damascus, 2008

Research

Integrated devices for Point-of-Care diagnostics and health monitoring.

Advisor: Dr. Mark Bachman

Biography

Sarkis is in his third year of the doctoral program in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UCI. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at University of Damascus and graduated with honors. In his PhD work Sarkis is developing integration technology to realize next generation Point-of-Care testing devices and wearable flexible health monitoring and drug delivery systems. His research is focused on developing methods to integrate microfluidics, optics and electronics for signal detection and micro actuation on flexible and stretchable substrates.  In his spare time he enjoys road biking and traveling.

Samuel Hallman

Samuel Hallman

Degrees:

  • PhD, Computer Science, UCI, 2015 expected
  • B.S., Computer Science, UCI, 2009

Research

Computer vision.

Advisor:  Charless Fowlkes

Biography

Sam received a B.S. degree in computer science from the University of California, Irvine in 2009. He returned as a PhD student in 2010 and has since been studying computer vision under Professor Charless Fowlkes, with whom he had originally worked as an undergraduate beginning in the summer of 2008. His main interests are in image segmentation and object recognition, with a focus on applications to biological image analysis.

Matthew Dawson

Matthew Dawson

Degrees:

  • Atmospheric Chemistry, UCI, Ph.D., 2014 expected
  • Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, B.S., 2009
  • Chemistry, Community College of Allegheny County, 2006

Research

New particle formation from methanesulfonic acid, amines and water in the atmosphere.

Advisor:  B.J. Finlayson-Pitts

Biography

Matthew is a doctoral student in the School of Physical Sciences and holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.  In his current laboratory experiments, he is looking to understand the fundamental chemistry of how aerosol particles form and grow in the atmosphere. The mechanisms involved in new particle formation currently are not well understood and his research is aimed at being able to accurately predict particle formation and growth from gas-phase precursors. This is crucial in the efforts to model their effects on human health, visibility and climate change. He believes that atmospheric aerosol chemistry is an exciting field with many open questions and can be approached from a variety of perspectives including theoretical modeling, field measurements and laboratory experiments.  Matthew's long-term goal is to continue to conduct research in this field and to broaden his research background to include some of these other approaches.

Virginia Liu

Virginia Liu

Degrees:

  • MD/PhD, Medicine/Anatomy & Neurobiology, UCI, PhD Summer 2013
  • B.S., Biochemistry, UCLA, 2006

Research

Dense-array electroencephalography (dEEG) application to acute stroke. 

Advisor:  Steven Cramer

Biography

After graduating from the UCLA College Honors Program in 2006 with a B.S. in Biochemistry, Virginia conducted translational research in the Heart Lung and Blood Institute as an NIH Intramural Research Training Award fellow.  In 2008, she joined the UCI Medical Scientist Training Program and currently investigates dense-array electroencephalography (dEEG) application to acute stroke.  She hopes the synergy of clinical training with neuroimaging research will allow her contribute to therapy development and early intervention in neurological diseases. Her clinical career interest is in neurointerventional radiology and her hope is to further healthcare options with human-based neuroscience research. Virginia's  passion is integrating arts in medicine to improve quality of hospital stay, physician-patient communication, and emotional health of patients and staff.  To achieve this goal, she is the founder and director of the MEDleys A Cappella and Chamber Ensemble, and was Co-Editor in Chief of the PLEXUS journal.  Additionally, she serves as VP of Hospital Programming for the Music to Healnon-profit.  In her free time, Virginia enjoys dancing and volunteering at a student-run clinic in rural Mexico with the Flying Samaritans

Andrew Newman

Andrew Newman

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biological Science, UCI, Fall 2013
  • B.S., Genetics, University of Wisconsin, 2006

Research

The process of angiogenesis in tumors.

Advisor:  Christopher Hughes

Biography

With a B.S. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Andrew has focused his efforts on studying the process of angiogenesis in tumors. He is interested in studying the intercellular signaling pathways between cancerous and non-cancerous cells within the tumor microenvironment that regulate new blood vessel growth and tumor development. As part of this work he and his colleagues have identified a number of extracellular matrix proteins critical to new blood vessel formation and are now focusing on the role of Wnt5a in blood vessel maturation. Upon completion of his PhD work, Andrew would like to continue with research in the field of cancer biology and hopes to aid in the development of complex in vitro systems that will improve cancer drug screening. When not conducting research, he can be found playing flag football, basketball and softball. An avid sports fan of all Chicago sports teams, Andrew enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, biking and relaxing at the beach. 

Melinda Simon

Melinda Simon

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, UCI, 2014 expected
  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, UCI, 2014 expected
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, 2007

Research

Stem cell research.  

Advisor:  Abraham Lee

Biography

Melinda is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at UCI with an interest in developing microfabricated devices to further the capabilities of stem cell research.  More specifically, she is working to develop a device to analyze genetic information from individual neural stem cells for a large number of cells. This information will be used to identify genes important to the differentiation of these cells, and may allow for the development of sorting strategies to obtain more homogeneous populations of neural stem cells with a certain fate potential.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and trying new recipes. 

Annie Vogel-Cierna

Annie Vogel-Cierna

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biological Sciences, UCI, 2014 expected
  • B.S., Biotechnology and Psychology, North Dakota State University, 2008

Research

Neuron-specific nucleosome remodeling complex in regulating transcription subserving long-term memory formation. 

Advisor:  Marcelo Wood

Biography

Annie is pursuing her PhD in Dr. Marcelo Wood's laboratory, where her thesis project focuses on the role of a neuron-specific nucleosome remodeling complex in regulating transcription subserving long-term memory formation. Her interest in studying learning and memory began when her grandmother developed Alzheimer's disease. She understands how critically important long-term memory is for both our daily function and defining ourselves as individuals. She completed her undergraduate degree with double majors in Biotechnology and Psychology from North Dakota State University. Annie's long-term goal is to one day run her own laboratory as a principle investigator. In addition to her dedication to scientific training she is also passionate about long distance running.  Since entering graduate school she has completed four marathons and three ultra marathons (50k).  She has used the training for these events as both a form of stress relief and meditation. Currently, Annie is training to run the Tucson Marathon in December with the intent of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in April, 2013.

Mona Wood

Mona Wood

Degrees:

  • M.D., School of Medicine, UCI, 2016 expected
  • PhD, Chemistry, UCI, 2014 expected
  • PhD, Chemistry, UCI, 2014 expected

Research

Application of computational biophysics methods towards the development of clinical treatments.

Advisor:  Douglas Tobias

Biography

Mona completed a B.S. Chem degree from the University of Michigan, where she majored in chemistry, biochemistry and French and wrote honors theses in chemistry and biochemistry. Mona joined the MD/PhD program in 2008 and is pursuing her PhD in chemistry with Professor Douglas Tobias.  Her current research uses computational biophysics and cell biology methods to study an ion channel that is involved in the immune system and cancer.  Insights gained about channel structure are applied towards development of drugs that modulate channel behavior. These drugs have the potential to be useful in treating allergies or cancer. Her long-term goal is to continue in this general line of investigation as a physician scientist involved in patient care and research.  Mona has published two peer-reviewed articles, presented at the National MD/PhD Conference and received a summer fellowship from Lawrence Livermore National Lab. She cofounded the translational medicine journal club and co-chairs the MSTP Distinguished Lecture Series. She enjoys traveling and has studied in France and volunteered in India.

ARCS 2011-2013 Scholars

Previous ARCS Recipients

ARCS Scholars