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ARCS Foundation scholarships support ten UCSC graduate students

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ten UC Santa Cruz graduate students have received scholarships worth a total of $100,000 from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation for the 2006-07 academic year. The Northern California chapter of the ARCS Foundation is the most generous provider of annual private awards to the UCSC campus and has provided more than $1 million in scholarships to UCSC graduate students.

This year's ARCS scholars will be recognized at the annual ARCS Foundation Luncheon in San Francisco on Wednesday, October 25. The featured speaker will be Susan Desmond-Hellmann, president of product development at Genentech.

The ARCS Foundation, founded in 1958, is a national organization that provides scholarships and fellowships for the country's most promising science, medical, and engineering students. This year's ARCS scholars at UCSC represent the Science Communication Program and the Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Computer Engineering; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Mathematics; Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology; Ocean Sciences; and Physics. The scholars and their interests are as follows:

Cyrus Bazeghi is pursuing a Ph.D. in computer engineering, focusing on complexity analysis of computer architectures. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer engineering at UCSC, worked for seven years in Silicon Valley, and has been a lecturer at UCSC since 2001.

Cecily Chun is in the final year of her Ph.D. program in ocean sciences. A marine geochemist studying ancient oceans, she is working to understand how the oceans have responded to past changes in Earth's climate.

Andrea Gottlieb, a second-year graduate student in mathematics, earned a B.A. in mathematics and sociology at UCSC. Her research interests include the representation theory of finite groups. She also has a passion for teaching and is working on solution guides to several undergraduate textbooks.

Brittany Grayson, a graduate student in the Science Communication Program, earned a B.A. in ecology, evolutionary, and population biology, with minors in English and history, at Purdue University. She aspires to communicate scientific concepts lucidly and engagingly to the public.

Stacy Harvey, a graduate student in molecular, cell, and developmental biology, is studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell division. Her work relates to the biology of cancer and may lead to new targets for anticancer drugs.

Matt Johnson, a graduate student in physics, is studying the theory of inflation, a postulated epoch of exponentially accelerated expansion in the early universe. He serves as head teaching assistant in the Physics Department and received the Marilyn Stevens award for service in 2005.

John Mason, a graduate student in physics, is studying theoretical principles in particle physics that will be tested when the Large Hadron Collider begins operations in 2007.

Jennifer O'Leary, a graduate student in marine ecology, is studying fisheries and resource management issues in coastal Kenya. After graduate school, she plans to focus on international fisheries management and conservation.

Jay Strader is pursuing a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics. His research focuses on globular clusters, dense concentrations of stars that are among the oldest objects in the universe.

Sarah Williams, a graduate student in the Science Communication Program, has a B.A. in biology from Johns Hopkins University. She has done research on mitochondrial membrane proteins and worked as an intern on the National Public Radio program Living on Earth.

Since its founding in 1970, the Northern California chapter of the ARCS Foundation has provided support for more than 1,900 scholars attending six universities in Northern California. Additional information about the foundation is available on the web at