Graduate Division

ARCS Scholar Awards

Section 1

Overview

ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation, Inc. advances science and technology in the United States by providing financial awards to academically outstanding U.S. citizens studying to complete degrees in science, engineering and medical research. It is ARCS Foundation's belief that support of STEM education is essential to U.S. economic growth and technological competitiveness, and helps to ensure continued U.S. leadership in global innovation, health and quality of life.

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 Scholar will receive a $5,000 stipend during the current academic year and, contingent upon continued satisfactory academic progress, will receive an additional $5,000 the following academic year. ARCS funding is in addition to existing support and may not be used as a substitute for other university support. 

Each school holds its own competition and selects its recipients of 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

$5,000 stipend per year for two years.

Eligibility

Each school holds its own competition and makes the final selection of its scholars who meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Must have achieved a graduate level UC GPA of 3.5 or better through Spring 2018 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 by the deadline below, to include the following:

  • A completed ARCS Foundation Scholar Award Nomination form
  • 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.

Deadline

The 2018-2019 competition is closed.

Contact Information

Gina Anzivino
ARCS Program Coordinator
Graduate Division
(949) 824-8120

ARCS

About the ARCS Foundation

ARCS Foundation, Inc. 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 in top-rated programs at leading U.S. universities. Since its founding in 1958, ARCS Foundation has awarded more than $100 million to over 10,000 ARCS Scholars. ARCS Scholars have gone on to positions of leadership and distinction across academia, industry and government. Nine out of 10 ARCS Scholars work in their sponsored fields - sharing knowledge, developing technologies, launching startup companies, and inspring youth to pursue the challenge of study and careers in STEM fields.

ARCS 2018-2019 Scholars

Maryam Asghari

Maryam Asghari

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine, 2017
  • B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran, 2015

Research

Science and engineering of energy conversion, Renewable energy

Advisor

Dr. Jack Brouwer

Biography

Maryam is a graduate student and National Science Foundation GRFP Fellow in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UCI.  While an undergraduate at the University of Tehran, she developed her interest in renewable energy.  Her research aims at a more sustainable, efficient power generation and clean environment.  Maryam’s recent work focuses on integration of highly efficient, zero emission Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technologies with cooling and dehumidification systems.  She is DECADE (Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience) STEM co-chair and Legislative Director for the Association of Graduate Students, where she follows her passion to make changes in minorities’ lives and advocate for graduate students’ rights.

Brianna Craver

Brianna Craver

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Biotechnology, UC Irvine, 2016
  • B.S., Cellular & Developmental Biology, CSU Fullerton, 2011

 

Research

The role of inflammation in promoting the onset of rare blood cancers

Advisor

Dr. Angela Fleischman

Biography

Brianna received her B.S. in Cellular and Developmental Biology from California State University, Fullerton in 2011.  She was selected for CSU Fullerton’s first cohort of CIRM-funded Bridges to Stem Cell Researchers, which gave her the opportunity to continue in the stem cell field as a research associate at UCI for the next three years.  She received her M.S. in Biotechnology from UCI in 2016.  Brianna’s Ph.D. research is focused on the role of inflammation in promoting the onset of rare blood cancers.  This year, she was awarded the Stanley Behrens Outstanding Student Fellowship of 2018.  In her free time, Brianna enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking, and running.

Gianna Fote

Gianna Fote

Degrees

  • M.D., Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, UC Irvine, 2023 expected
  • B.S., Intensive Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Yale University, 2014

Research

Neurodegenerative disease

Advisor

Dr. Joan Steffan, Dr. Leslie Thompson

Biography

Gianna graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in Intensive Biology in 2014, and matriculated to UC Irvine to pursue her M.D./Ph.D.  Gianna hopes to become a neurologist and basic science researcher, working towards cures for neurodegenerative diseases.  She currently researches how these devastating diseases might be caused by impaired degradation of cellular waste.  Gianna maintains her clinical skills by volunteering at free clinics, and enjoys sharing her passion for her work with scientists, patients, and the public.  When she is not in the lab or clinic, Gianna enjoys surfing and competing with the UCI club water polo team.

Rachel Gurlin

Daniel Gardner

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Informatics, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.A., Social Science-Medicine, Science & Technology Studies, UC Irvine, 2015
  • B.A., Anthropology, Humboldt State University, 2013

Research

How cultural values and assumptions materialize in the design of digital media and games

Advisor

Dr. Josh Tanenbaum, Dr. Bonnie Nardi

Biography

Dan has a background in Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies, with a B.A. and M.A. respectively.  Broadly, he is concerned with examining the ways that cultural values and systems of authority materialize in the design of digital media and games, and how we can improve the inclusivity of games and media.  He is committed to teaching in support of long term goals of becoming a professor, and was an i3 Teaching Fellow in 2017 and research advisor in 2018, and is a UCI Pedagogical Fellow for 2018.  Dan has also served as the Informatics Diversity Ambassador for the 2017-2018 academic year, and served as a board member for the Informatics Grad Student Association (IGSA) from 2015-2018; the last year as its president.

Paul Kirth

Paul Kirth

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Computer Science, CSU Northridge, 2016
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, UCLA, 2005

Research

System security and compilers

Advisor

Dr. Michael Franz

Biography

Paul's main research interests are in system security and compilers, with a focus on compiler based security.  His current work focuses on securing the boundaries between safe and unsafe programming languages.  At CSU Northridge, Paul's master's research was focused on improving the efficiency of network communications and on detecting network neutrality violations.  He studied Civil Engineering at UCLA and was a practicing engineer before pursing his academic interest in computing.  Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs, cooking, hiking, and Jiu-Jitsu.

 

Jesse Kreger

Jesse Kreger

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Mathematics, UC Irvine, 2021 expected
  • M.S., Mathematics, UC Irvine, 2017
  • B.A., Mathematics, Occidental College, 2015

Research

 Mathematical models in evolutionary biology

Advisor

Dr. Natalia Komarova, Dr. Dominik Wodarz

Biography

Jesse is a Math Ph.D. student developing advanced mathematical models to study topics in evolutionary biology.  He has made significant progress on projects related to the evolutionary progression and drug resistant properties of viruses and cancer. Jesse has worked at positions promoting math in the community, including as a student researcher at UCLA and as a tutor at the Huntington Learning Center. At UCI, Jesse has been awarded department fellowships and earned a M.S. in math in 2017. He is active in the department and serves as the co-coordinator of the graduate student mentor program as well as the captain of many Mathlete intramural sports teams.  He also volunteers for multiple outreach programs such as UCI Math Circle, UCI Math CEO, and MathCounts.  In the spring he received the Outstanding Contributions to the Department award as just a second-year graduate student.

Annika Nelson

Annika Nelson

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Biological Sciences, UC Irvine, 2018
  • B.A., Biology, Oberlin College, 2015

Research

How climate change affects species interactions

Advisor

Dr. Kailen Mooney

Biography

Annika graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio) in 2015. During college she studied ant ecology in the Entomology Department at Texas A&M University (NSF-REU program; mentor: Micky Eubanks) and at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL; mentor: Kailen Mooney).  For her dissertation work at UC Irvine, she uses field experiments and demographic models to study how climate change and biodiversity loss affect species interactions.  Annika has also worked to represent diverse graduate student perspectives as a member of a faculty search committee at UCI and the RMBL Diversity Committee.  With the goal of promoting a public appreciation for biodiversity and the natural world, Annika has worked as a teaching assistant at UCI, contributed to K-12 education programs in Irvine, and shared her research with public citizens touring RMBL.  After completing her Ph.D., Annika hopes to work as a university researcher and educator to conduct innovative research and to encourage others, especially minority students and women, to become engaged in scientific inquiry and discovery.
Alexandra Perebikovsky

Alexandra Perebikovsky

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Physics, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • B.S., Physics, UC Irvine, 2016

Research

Microfluidics, stem cells

Advisor

Dr. Marc Madou

Biography

Alexandra heads the CD microfluidics and stem cell research teams in UCI’s BioMEMS laboratory.  Alexandra’s doctoral research focuses on using MEMS techniques for diagnostics and to develop smart stem cell scaffolds for regenerative medicine.  While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, Alexandra received several UROP and SURP grants, and a multi-disciplinary design fellowship to develop point-of-care systems that would replace traditional biomedical labs in remote, resource poor environments.  She is a member of Women in Physics, an Artiman Beta fellow, has been a mentor for the Gifted Student Association, and has volunteered as a judge at several science fairs, hoping to inspire participation of younger students in STEM fields.

Melissa Thone

Melissa Thone

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, UC Irvine, 2016
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Communications, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2014

Research

Personalized medicine/therapeutics

Advisor

Dr. Young Jik Kwon

Biography

Melissa graduate summa cum laude from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2014 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.  She joined the Bio-Therapeutics Engineering Laboratory at UC Irvine to pursue her Ph.D. in designing personalized therapeutics for cancer and was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in her first year.  She also contributes to the UCI community as a Competitive Edge and DECADE Plus mentor, and in leadership roles including DECADE Education Chair and President of the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Graduate Student Association.  In her free time, Melissa enjoys playing intramural sports, volunteering, and studying Spanish.

Rachel Waymack

Rachel Waymack

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Developmental & Cellular Biology, UC Irvine, 2021 expected
  • B.S., Neuroscience, minor in Biochemistry, College of William and Mary, 2016

Research

Gene expression during early development, immune responses

Advisor

Dr. Zeba Wunderlich

Biography

Rachel completed her undergraduate study at the College of William and Mary, where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Biochemistry.  At William and Mary, she excelled academically, qualifying for the Dean’s list every semester, receiving three merit-based scholarships, and being elected into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  During this time, Rachel also fostered a passion for community service and tutoring, commitments she has continued in graduate school.  Her research interests focus on proper control of gene expression during early development and immune responses.  Rachel’s current project focuses on regulating gene expression during embryonic development in fruit flies.

Check out the full list of past ARCS scholars here