Current Scholars

Generous Donors Contributed over $4.5 Million to Support 274 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.

Anthony Alberti
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • Research interest: developing "reduced-order models" for the simulation of radiation diffusion kinetics.
Timothy Bates
  • The Joan and Bill Bailey Scholar
  • Given by Joan and Bill Bailey
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences
  • Research interest: developing a novel treatment for tuberculosis using a unique variety of antibodies found in alpacas.
Lindsay Benage
  • The James R. Kuse Family Foundation Scholar
  • Given by the Kuse Foundation
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Research interest: the effect of implantable passive mechanisms on the neuromechanics of various pathological human states and animal models.
Michael Boller
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Members
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Research interest: explores reserve generation within utility-scale power systems.
Sean Boulanger
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Science - Chemistry
  • Research interest: explores the structure-function relationships of biomolecules and novel materials that are potential targets in biomedicine using ultrafast spectroscopy.
Erik Burlingame
  • The Julie and Wayne Drinkward Scholar
  • Given by Julie and Wayne Drinkward
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Research interest: structural mechanics of molecular signaling in the brain as a means to improve rational drug design.
Brenda Cisneros
  • The Thomas J. Hammond Scholar
  • Given by Cheryl Legate Hammond
  • OSU, College of Pharmacy
  • Research interest: proposing a biosynthetic pathway for the production of Cyanobacterin, a cyanobacterial compound with algaecidal and herbicidal properties. 
Daniel Elson
  • The Gretchen Sturm and Judy Lanfri/ Cascadia Scholar
  • Given by Gretchen Sturm, Judy Lanfri, and an anonymous donor
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Research interest: developing targeted anticancer therapeutics that focuses on identifying novel drugs that target breast and lung cancers which currently lack effective therapeutics.
Christine Ghetu
  • The Sue Hitselberger and Pat Reser Scholar
  • Given by Sue Hitselberger and Pat Reser
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Research Interest: using passive samplers to study the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment, in order to better understand exposure risks and aid in remediation planning.
Deborah Glosser
  • The Christiansen Family Trust Scholar
  • Given by the Christiansen Family Trust
  • OSU, College of Engineering - School of Civil and Construction Engineering
  • Research Interest: thermodynamic modeling and related code development and data analysis to better understand reactions in, and the structure and performance of, cementitious materials. She is especially interested in understanding how the replacement of cement by re-purposed fossil energy waste products can create high performance cement materials while reducing the environmental impact of cement production and fossil energy waste.
Kyle Gustafson
  • The Fairway Fund ARCS Endowed Scholar
  • Given by Susan and George Swindells Endowment
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Research Interest: analyzes biomarkers, isolated from bodily fluids via dielectrophoresis, to detect cancer at early stages.
Charles Heller
  • The Bechen Family Foundation Scholar
  • Given by the Bechen Family Foundation
  • OHSU, School of Medicine
  • Research Interest: the effect of behavioral state on auditory processing in the hope of improving current auditory prosthetics.
David Jacobs
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OHSU, School of Medicine
  • Research Interest: neural underpinnings of reward seeking when a risk of punishment is present. This work aims to model and understand a critical aspect of decision making that is altered in psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and addiction. 
Dakota Kliamovich
  • The Bettsy and Wally Preble Scholar
  • Given by Bettsy and Wally Preble
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Research Interest: understanding the neural circuitry and prefrontal-limbic control of responses to trauma in childhood and early adolescence, with the goal of identifying factors that may confer a susceptibility or resistance to the later development of psychiatric conditions and substance use problems.
Jennifer Leaf
  • The Jarvis/McGrath Scholar
  • Given by Anne & Peter Jarvis and Suzanne & Bernie McGrath
  • OSU, College of Engineering - Mechanical, Industrial, & Manufacturing Engineering
  • Research Interest: developing methods to measure resilience in multi-robot systems, in order to assess and predict how well they can perform in uncertain and dynamic environments.
Mollie Marr
  • The Award for Development of Research Scientists Scholar
  • Given by Dianne Rodway & John Becker and Adrianne & Lee Peterson
  • OHSU, School of Medicine - Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Research Interest: examines maternal psychological stress during pregnancy as a potential mechanism for the intergenerational transmission of childhood trauma.
Danielle Mathieson
  • The Quinsey Family Foundation Scholar
  • Given by Jean and Ralph Quinsey
  • OHSU, School of Medicine
  • Research Interest: studying how neurons and glial cells respond to injury in order to understand how the injury signals are spread across the nervous system.
Katie McConnell
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Research Interest: tracking shifts in the tropical coral microbiome over time-- a microbial community linked to coral health, whose diversity can be altered by global warming, pollution and overfishing.
Andrew Morris
  • The Florence and Mike Nudelman Scholar
  • Given by a friend
  • UO, Department of Biology
  • Research Interest: the effect of soil microbes on greenhouse gas emissions to improve managment of soil ecosystems.
Martijn Oostrom
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Science - Department of Mathematics
  • Research Interest: researching various topics in mathematical biology, including genetics and using partial differential equations to create models for wildlife populations.
Elizabeth Schuyler
  • The ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter Scholar Award
  • Given by ARCS Foundation Oregon Members
  • OSU, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Research Interest: understanding how wildlife respond to multiple and interacting management techniques, as well as natural disturbances.
Clayton Sodergren
  • The Nancy and Dodd Fischer ARCS Foundation Oregon Scholar (OSU Matched Endowment)
  • Given by Nancy and Dodd Fischer
  • OSU, College of Forestry
  • Research Interest: post-fire forest recovery and succession in order to better predict future conditions under a changing climate.
Thi Troung
  • The Pacific Scholar
  • Given by Elisabeth and Peter Lyon
  • OSU, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Research Interest: studies the geochemistry of rocks from oceanic island chains (such as Hawaii) to identify the sources and origin of intraplate volcanism.
Second Year Scholars

Our 23 second year scholars represent a broad range of scientific interests.  They also represent our chapter's commitment to continually seek new academic partners.

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.
First Year Scholars

We welcome our 26 first year scholars. We look forward to meeting them at the Scholar Picnic in September.

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.