Current Scholars

2020/2021 ARCS Foundation Oregon Scholars

2020/2021 ARCS Foundation Oregon Scholars

Generous Donors Contributed over $5 Million to Support 301 Scholars Since 2005

ARCS Foundation Oregon is honored to present awards to these outstanding scholars chosen by the scholar selection committees at Oregon Health & Science University,  Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.

The ARCS Foundation Scholar Award is $18,000, payable over three years at $6,000 per year, with each award presented in the fall at the annual Scholar Awards Luncheon "Recognizing Genius."

Meet our 2018-2019 ARCS Scholars
Photo courtesy of Andie Petkus
Third Year Scholars

Our 23 third year scholars have reached their final year of funding from ARCS Foundation. Many have at least one to three more years before they complete their PhD programs.  We will stay in touch, and we look forward to attending their dissertation defenses. We maintain contact with all of our alumni scholars and follow their progress throughout their careers, celebrating their achievements and publicizing their work.

Hannah Bates
  • The UO Chemistry Scholar
  • Given by an anonymous donor
  • UO, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Research Interest: organic and transition metal chemistry; environmental/green chemistry.
Michael Berry
  • The Hewitt Family ARCS Foundation Oregon Scholar Award Endowed Fund (OHSU Matched Endowment)
  • Given by Sharon & Henry Hewitt
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Research Interest: pathology of the retina and novel therapeutics for treating, preventing, or delaying diseases of the eye.
Katie Blise
  • The Rubinstein/Ames Scholar
  • Given by Deanne & Dick Rubinstein and Kathleen & Robert Ames
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Biomedical Engineering
  • Research Interest: create and apply computational tools to develop precision therapies to treat cancer.
Emerson Christie
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter 10th Anniversary Fund Scholar
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences - Environmental and Molecular Toxicology
  • Research interest:
Mary Davis
  • The Giesy Family ARCS Foundation Oregon Scholar Award Endowed Fund (OHSU Matched Endowment)
  • Given by Barbara Giesy
  • OHSU, School of Nursing
  • Research Interest: heart failure.
Brian Erickson
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Research Interest: conservation social science (psychology), mental models, conservation behaviors, decision making.
Thomas Fernandez
  • The Harrison/Ridgley Scholar
  • Given by Janis & Bob Harrison and Marilyn & Bob Ridgley
  • OHSU, School of Medicine
  • Research Interest: G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), drug delivery, drug discovery, structure activity relationships
Justina Freilich
  • The Connie L. and Carl J. Clark Scholar
  • Given by Connie L. & Carl J. Clark
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • Research Interest: novel materials and methods for radiation detection and shielding.
Gregory Hamersky
  • The Branford/Bernhardt & Cameron Scholar
  • Given by Julie Branford & Terry Bernhardt and Lyn & Charlie Cameron
  • OHSU, School of Medicine
  • Research Interest: electrophysiology, auditory system, cephalopods.
Jesse Howe
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Science
  • Research Interest: structure, function and dynamics of proteins and protein complexes, single molecule fluoresence,
Jennifer Jahncke
  • The Susan and William Smith Family Trust Scholar
  • Given by Susan & William Smith
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Research Interest: deficits in neuronal wiring and communication in mental illness
Sunil Joshi
  • The Dyess Family ARCS Foundation Oregon Scholar Award Endowed Fund (OHSU Matched Endowment)
  • Given by Kirby & Carl Dyess
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Knight Cancer Institute
  • Research Interest: investigating the role of tumor microenvironment in driving drug resistance.
Tanya Laird
  • The Ditz/Halvorsen Scholar
  • Given by Gigi & David Ditz and Karen & Frank Halvorsen
  • OSU, College of Engineering - School of Civil and Construction Engineering
  • Research Interest: various aspects of engineering education including engineering cognition, and the attitudes, experiences and needs of engineering students and recent engineering graduates.
Jesse Laney
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Science - Department of Integrative Biology
  • Research Interest: assessing changes in structure, distribution, and energy flow in communities of terrestrial vertabrates as they respond to ecological changes in climate and land-cover across elevations and through time.
Amy Leatherwood
  • The Joseph-Murray Scholar
  • Given by Kate Joseph and Tom Murray
  • OHSU, School of Nursing
  • Research Interest: cancer survivorship.
Meredith Leung
  • The Meigs Family Scholar
  • Given by Laurie McDonald Meigs
  • OSU, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Research Interest: the impact on climate change  - SLR on coastal hazards and the efficiency of counter measures.
Ian Morrell
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Forestry (Wood Science and Engineering), College of Engineering (Civil and Construction Engineering)
  • Research Interest: tall wood structures, connections, hybrid structures.
Ashley Pica
  • The Cunningham/Weaver Scholar
  • Given by Lara & Mike Cunningham and Anne & Scott Weaver
  • OSU, College of Science
  • Research Interest: dynamics and limits of nuclear stability.
Anna Simpson
  • The Bergen/Kern Scholar
  • Given by Marilyn Bergen and Michael & Kris Kern
  • OSU, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Research Interest: turbulence and mixing at the glacier-ocean interface.
Jeremea Songco
  • The Caron & Larry Ogg Endowed Scholar
  • Given by Caron & Larry Ogg
  • UO, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Research Interest: understanding the relationship between the brain and behavior through breaking down neural networks involved in complex tasks.
Marie Tosa
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Research Interest: quantifying the effects of land-use on biodiversity, especially concerning small mammalian carnivores, in the Oregon Cascades.
Erik Wislinsky
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Engineering, School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering
  • Research Interest: nanotechnology, polymers within nanotechnology, materials.
Alexander You
  • The Karen Irons Medicis Scholar
  • Given by Diane & Dick Alexander
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Robotics
  • Research Interest: limbed robotics/human robot interaction.
Second Year Scholars

Our 26 second year scholars represent a broad range of scientific interests.  They also represent our chapter's commitment to continually seek new academic partners.

Rachel Aber
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar
  • Given by ARCS Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Science - Integrative Biology
  • Research interest: disease ecology and conservation biology.
Sweta Adhikary
  • OHSU Department of Radiation Medicine Award
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Neuroscience
  • Research interest: study receptor, cellular, and circuit level adaptions following chronic opioid treatment and withdrawal using electrophysiology and optical techniques.
Cara Appel
  • The Silver/OSU/ ARCS Foundation Oregon University Matched Endowment
  • Given by Barbara & Philip Silver
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Science - Wildlife Science, Fisheries and Wildlife Department
  • Research interest: wildlife community dynamics in forests of the Pacific Northwest, using passive monitoring and deep learning technologies.
Dawn Barlow
  • Goodwin Scholar Award
  • Given by Sheila & Mike Goodwin
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Science - Marine Mammal Institute, Fisheries and Wildlife Department
  • Research interest: marine ecology, specifically the ecology and conservation of marine mammals, and how human activity impacts marine mammals and the ecosystems they are part of.
Novella Bates
  • Harold Schnitzer Scholar Award
  • Given by Arlene Schnitzer
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Biomedical Engineering
  • Research interest: determining the role of coagulation factor FX11 in medical device induced thrombosis.
Danny Bejan
  • Silver Endowed Scholar Award
  • Given by Barbara & Philip Silver
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Program Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
  • Research interest: chemical biology, organic synthesis, pharmacology, nanotechnology, drug development, drug delivery, molecular biology.
Sylvie Bindas
  • Swindells/OHSU/ARCS Foundation Oregon University Matched Endowment
  • Given by Susie & George Swindells
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Research interest: learning and decision-making, interactions between emotion and learning.
Christine Breckenridge
  • Emmerson/OSU/ARCS Foundation Oregon University Matched Endowment
  • Given by Ann & Ron Emmerson
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • Research interest: control and verification of robotic systems, machine learning, autonomous robots.
Adrienne Chan
  • Anderson Family/OSU/ARCS Foundation Oregon University Matched Endowment
  • Given by Jamie & Michael Anderson
  • OSU, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences - Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry
  • Research interest: benthic ecology and sediment biogeochemistry.
Mack Cullison
  • The Jill Josselyn Endowed Award
  • Given by Jill Josselyn Estate
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Nuclear Science Engineering
  • Research interest: safer nuclear reactors.
Amelia Culp
  • Ragen, Nugent, Haigwood Award
  • Given by Lee & Ron Ragen, Sharon & Mike Nugent and Nancy Haigwood
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Neuroscience
  • Research interest: learning and decision making.
Maya Feezell
  • The Mary Martin Rosenberg Endowed Award
  • Given by the Mary Martin Rosenberg Estate
  • OSU, College of Science - Integrative Biology
  • Research interest: community interactions in marine intertidal communities, and how these relationships will be affected by the various stressors imposed by climate change.
Heather Foote
  • ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Oregon Members
  • UO, Department of Biology
  • Research interest: understanding how important developmental processes evolved.
Makayla Freitas
  • Vaux Scholar Award
  • Given by Missy Vaux Hall
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Research interest: structural biology, biophysics, signal transduction, ion-channels, protein-protein interactions.
Nathan Gardner
  • Lynn & Steve Pratt Scholar Award
  • Given by Lynn & Steve Pratt
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Mechanical, Industrial, & Manufacturing Engineering
  • Research interest: fluid and thermal sciences.
Lara Jacobs
  • ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Forestry - Forest Ecosystems & Society
  • Research interest: spatial behaviors and impacts of outdoor recreationists in tribal areas and National and State parks.
Stephen Kristy
  • ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Research interest: energy related applications such as storage and atypical fuel synthesis processes with practical applications.
Sophia Lambert
  • Yoo Scholar Award
  • Given by Anne & Jung Yoo
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Research interest: circadian biology, stress and affect, addiction, gut-brain axis.
M. Kelsey Lane
  • Ogg/OSU/ARCS Foundation Oregon University Matched Endowment
  • Given by Caron & Larry Ogg
  • OSU, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences - Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry
  • Research interest: planktic foraminifera off the Oregon coast and the North Pacific and their microbial interactions, particularly, exploring if the microbiome of foraminifera is species-specific.
Brittany Lasher
  • ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Science - Biochemistry/Biophysics
  • Research interest: develop and utilize computational tools to gain insight into biological processes.
Julie Liu
  • Sally & Cecil Drinkward Scholar Award
  • Given by Sally Anne & Cecil Drinkward
  • OSU, College of Engineering - School of Civil and Construction Engineering
  • Research interest: developing numerical models to simulate the behavior of tall mass timber buildings in fire.
Eve Lowenstein
  • Lindgren Family Scholar Award
  • Given by Marilyn & John Lindgren
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Program Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
  • Research interest: develop technology to better understand the genetic dysregulation in neurodevelopmental diseases.
Michelle Palumbo
  • Brodie Roberts Cunningham Memorial Scholar Award
  • Given by Lynn & Steve Pratt
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Research interest: studying the neuro-modulatory systems of schizophrenia using more accurate animal models of developmental disorders.
Alexa Pullicin
  • ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Science - Food Science and Technology Department
  • Research interest: psychophysics, food chemistry, human taste perception and sensory evaluation.
Sierra Smith
  • OHSU ARCS Scholar Award
  • Given by Joan Foley & Per Jarnberg and Jane & Joe Gray
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Neuroscience
  • Research interest: molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and how understanding these mechanisms can be used to further disease therapies.
Augie Witkowski
  • Anderson Family/UO/ARCS Foundation University Matched Endowment
  • Given by Jamie & Michael Anderson
  • UO, Department of Chemistry - Inorganic/Organometallic Chemistry; Materials Chemistry
  • Research interest: inorganic and materials chemistry, specifically novel catalysts and structures.
First year Scholars

We welcome our 27 first year scholars. We usually meet our first year scholars at the Scholar Picnic in September, but this year we will be meeting them on Zoom this Fall.

Ashley Anderson
  • The OHSU School of Medicine Scholar Award
  • Given by Sharon Anderson
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Program in Biomedical Sciences
  • Research interest: genetics & cancer cell biology
Esther Bass
  • The Fischer/OSU/ARCS Foundation Oregon University Matched Endowment
  • Given by Nancy & Dodd Fischer
  • OSU, College of Forestry - Wood Science & Engineering
  • Research interest: timber earthquake engineering, sustainable engineering, implementing computer science technologies to the mass timber industry
Teva Bracha
  • The Julie & Bill Headley and Adrianne & Lee Peterson Scholar Award
  • Given by Julie & Bill Headley and Adrianne & Lee Peterson
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Research interest: molecular mechanisms of development & homeostasis in neurons
Karleigh Bradbury
  • The Susan and William Smith Family Trust Scholar Award
  • Given by Susan & Bill Smith
  • UO, Department of Human Physiology
  • Research interest: exercise and environmental physiology, cardiopulmonary physiology, sex differences
Lena Breuer
  • The Walsh Construction Co. Scholar Award
  • Given by Walsh Construction Co.
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Civil and Construction Engineering
  • Research interest: traffic pyschology - combining transportation engineering and planning with human factors engineering; studying how the US transportation network can be retrofitted for more fluid transit services, and how can we make transit the preferred mode of travel
Alejandra Castellano
  • The Jill V. Josselyn Endowed Scholar Award in Engineering
  • Given by the Jill V. Josselyn Estate
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Mechancial, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
  • Research interest: thermal and fluid dynamics
Amy Chan
  • The Joan & Bill Bailey Scholar Award
  • Given by Joan & Bill Bailey
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Research interest: neurobiology of drug addiction and sex as a biological variable
Kayla Clements
  • The Christiansen Family Trust Scholar Award
  • Given by Christiansen Family Trust
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • Research interest: radiation transport and reactor physics, computational science for nuclear applications
Nick D'Antona
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • UO, Department of Chemistry
  • Research interest: renewable energy
Kim Engeln
  • The Fairway Fund ARCS Endowed Scholar Award
  • Given by Susan & George Swindells
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Research interest: drug craving & relapse, neuroplasticity
Amy Glen
  • The Ashford/Jarvis Scholar Award
  • Given by Meleah & Scott Ashford and Anne & Peter Jarvis
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Research interest: computational methods for drug repurposing, bioinformatics, machine learning, graph algorithms
Krista Habing
  • The Wallace & Elizabeth Preble Scholar Award
  • Given by Bettsy & Wally Preble
  • OHSU, School of Medcine - Biomedical Engineering
  • Research interest: tissue engineering
Felisha Imholt
  • The Jill V. Josselyn Endowed Scholar Award in Science
  • Given by the Jill V. Josselyn Estate
  • OSU, College of Science - Biochemistry & Biophysics
  • Research interest: structural biolgoy, protein signaling, regeneration
Jordan Jimmie
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences -Biological & Ecological Engineering
  • Research interest: hydrologic modeling; Tribal water law and policy; Indian water rights settlements; groundwater-surface water interaction; hydrolic instrumentation
Shanjida Khan
  • The Wayne & Julie Drinkward Scholar Award
  • Given by Julie & Wayne Drinkward
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Biomedical Engineering
  • Research interest: retina scanning, line-field Optical Coherence Tomography
Lindsay Millward
  • The Sue Hitselberger & Pat Reser Scholar Award
  • Given by Sue Hitselberger & Pat Reser
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences - Fisheries & Wildlife
  • Research interest: bighorn sheep community ecology, connectivity, disease ecology
Michelle Ozaki
  • The Bechen Family Foundation Scholar Award
  • Given by Missy & Peter Bechen through Bechen Family Foundation
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Moelcular & Cellular Biosciences
  • Research interest: liver metastatic niche in young women's breast cancer
Kalika Pai
  • The Jill V. Josselyn/UO/ARCS Foundation Oregon Univerity Matched Endowment
  • Given by Jill V. Josselyn Estate
  • UO, Department of Chemistry
  • Research interest: physical chemistry & spectroscopy
Gilia Patterson
  • The UO Biology Scholar Award
  • Given by Anonymous Donor
  • UO, Department of Biology
  • Research interest: understanding how evolution works at the level of the genome using new statistical methods and simulations
Margaret Redick
  • The Thomas J. Hammond Scholar Award
  • Given by Cheryl Hammond
  • OSU, College of Pharmacy - Medicinal Chemistry
  • Research interest: natural products/medicinal chemistry
Bryce Rogers
  • The Jean & Richard Josephsen/OSU/ARCS Foundation Oregon Univerity Matched Endowment
  • Given by Jean & Richard Josephsen
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Biological Engineering
  • Research interest: complex symptoms & computational methods in biology & phychology
Diana Ruggiero
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by the ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences - Botany & Plan Pathology
  • Research interest: plant development, applying computational techniques and approaches to plant science research
Michael Sieler
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by the ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Science - Microbiology
  • Research interest: microbiome
Kyle Smith
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by the ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Science - Chemistry
  • Research interest: using metal organic frameworks to advance the field of forensic detection
Brooklyne Thompson
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by the ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Research interest: catalysis & transient kynetics
Olivia Williams
  • The Elisabeth & Peter Lyon Scholar Award
  • Given by Elisabeth & Peter Lyon
  • OSU, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences - Geology
  • Research interest: paleoclimate, stable isotope geochemistry, glacial chemistry and ice cores
Rachel Wofford
  • The Sue & Bernie McGrath/OSU/ARCS Foundation Oregon University Matched Endowment
  • Given by Sue & Bernie McGrath
  • OSU, College of Science - Mathematics
  • Research interest: applied mathematics, mathematical modeling, applications of mathematics to the field of computer science