ARCS® Foundation Northern California Chapter (NCC) is a dedicated group of Bay Area women focused on securing America’s leadership in science by granting awards to top scholars pursuing graduate studies in the sciences, technology, engineering, math and medical research at six Northern California universities.
Every dollar contributed to an ARCS Foundation Scholar Awards Fund goes to students selected by their universities for their merit, their research and their potential. The impact is profound: ARCS Scholars appreciate our belief in them as much as the financial help we provide. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the Chapter distributed $1,025,000 to 79 scholars.
In our era of rapid technological, economic and environmental change, the need to support U.S. students studying in STEM fields has never been greater. More than 97% of current U.S. government funding for STEM research supports scientists at later stages of their careers, when research projects are on the verge of completion. ARCS Foundation invests at the seed stage, taking the risk and believing in the work of young scientists so that discoveries not yet made may come to fruition.
In the Numbers
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ARCS Foundation NCC is one of 15 ARCS Foundation Chapters nationwide, operating independently. Founded on October 22, 1970, the Chapter attracted concerned community leaders who were responding to the challenge of the “space race” and embraced the mission of advancing science and technology in the United States. Today ARCS carries on as an organization run entirely by women who recognize this country’s most critical competitiveness issue – the serious shortage of American scientists and engineers – and have voluntarily taken the initiative to try to solve it. Our challenge now is achieving breakthroughs in biotechnology, regenerative medicine, and clean energy to secure our country’s future. ARCS members know that our mission of investing in innovation and research is important to our country’s economic success as well as our global technological leadership. Our answer remains the same: by supporting brilliant young scientists, we are investing directly in the future of America.
Heather Shaddox, University of California, Santa Cruz
“I am thrilled, honored and very appreciative to be selected as a recipient of this generous ARCS Award. I am a first-generation college student without familial support to pursue higher education. I am interested in slow offshore earthquakes and in using seismology to detect and study oceanic internal gravity waves. The former is important for seismic hazard and the latter is very new research and key for climate models.”
Vera Belaia, University of California, Berkeley
“As an undergraduate, I researched climate-change-related shifts of precipitation patterns to help update the Maryland State Highway Administration’s requirements for roadway designs. This experience … opened my eyes to the kind of large scale, real world problems that environmental engineering research can solve. I am excited to continue my involvement in the field of environmental engineering, and more specifically environmental fluid mechanics and hydrology, as I work towards my PhD at Berkeley by using numerical methods to research sea level rise. Your support has made this step in my research career and my move to California possible.”
Van Le, San Francisco State University
“Please know that your financial support really made a difference in my study as it allowed me to afford the necessary upgrade to my computer system to transition to the online platform and continue my educational research in collaboration with my instructors to completion … I successfully defended my thesis and completed my Masters program on 7/27/2020. I am looking forward to continuing my research in the biomedical field and working to help in the fight against infectious diseases.”
Peter Sariano, University of California, Davis
“I just wanted to reach out during these difficult times to let you know how impactful the ARCS [award] has been for the productivity of my research. Before the lab was put on lockdown due to the shelter in place, I was able to perform one final experiment that supports my hypothesis that breast cancer may be able to prevent monocytes from killing the tumor. This experiment would not have been possible without your support, and when I am able to get back into the lab once the Covid-19 situation becomes contained, I will continue working hard to expand on these results. The outcome of this study may reveal new therapeutic targets for treating breast cancer.”
Lauren Lahey, Stanford University
“As an ARCS scholar, I have been given gifts that are precious to all scientists: financial means, intellectual flexibility, and, of course, time. These resources are what have allowed me to investigate the scientific matters that I am passionate about investigating. Without the ARCS award, I would have spent a minimum of two months preparing fellowship applications to procure my own funding. Instead, I was able to perform the experiments that were crucial to solving the many puzzling aspects of my research questions.”
Manuela Richter, University of California, San Francisco
“It is an honor to receive this ARCS recognition, to meet others equally passionate about STEM, and most of all to be able to continue contributing to science in the field I love. With this award, I am able to cover basic expenses during my time as a graduate student, allowing me to dedicate myself fully to my research. Additionally, ARCS is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other scholars and donors who share my excitement for science and education. Thank you, again, for your generosity.”