ARCS Light Award

2022-2023 Oregon ARCS Light Recipient

The ARCS Light Award is a distinctive honor awarded to a member who has given the highest quality of long-term service to ARCS Foundation and its misson of advancing science in America. Each year, the Oregon Chapter selects one ARCS Light recipient. These unsung heroes are honored at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting and at the ARCS Foundation All Member Conference.


Julie Branford

Julie has contributed her energy, leadership and organizational experience to the Oregon ARCS chapter since she joined in 2014. Julie became a member after attending an annual scholar luncheon and being wowed by the scholar speaker. (That scholar speaker was Julie Maxon, who now has her own lab at Knight Cancer Center, OHSU.)  Thank goodness Julie became an ARCS member and jumped right in. Julie’s first role was as Board Secretary. After that, for three years, she was chair or co-chair of our annual fundraising luncheon. She remains of a member of that committee to this day.

She was Chapter Co- President or President for three years from July 2018 through July 2021. She was president when our chapter hosted the All Members Conference for National ARCS here in Portland.

Challenges arose while Julie was president. One of our members wrote this when nominating Julie for this award: “Life threw two big curveballs in rapid succession – COVID and her husband’s terminal illness. Without missing a beat, Julie led us through the unprecedented change of the pandemic. She remained extremely professional, positive, and forward thinking despite upheaval of normal operations and the heavy heart of losing a spouse.” 

 Julie learned determination from her father was an anesthesiologist and from her mother who learned to live with Parkinson’s disease.

Julie has deep knowledge from her many years of experience as a seasoned and honored leader of other non-profit organizations. She also brings to ARCS skills and knowledge from her career in Human Resources.

Since being president, Julie launched a Visioning Committee for our chapter, then served on the Strategic Implementation Committee to put in place several decisions, including the decision to hire an Executive Director. Julie was part of the Search and Screen Committee and continues to provide wise counsel in the transition from a volunteer- run board to a shared leadership board with an ED.

This past year she served on several of our Oregon committees, including Governance. She also chaired the Governance Committee for National ARCS and has been a National board member representing the Council of Presidents.

These titles are only part of the woman and member that Julie is. Besides being a leader and worker bee, she is open about her passion for the ARCS mission, she is collaborative, and she delights in the success of our scholars.

Congratulations to Julie!

ARCS Light Recipients 

Diane Alexander
Aletha Anderson
Jamie Anderson
Kathleen Ames
Julie Drinkward
Nancy Fischer
Joan Foley
Sharon Hewitt
Anne Jarvis
Kate Joseph
Jean Josephson
Mary Ann Lockwood
Caron Ogg
Lee Ragen
Ellen Richardson
Barbara Silver
Leslie Workman