2016 arcs students
Left to right: Miklos Zoller, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Orianna DeMasi, Computer Science; Brianna Haining, Plant Biology; Audrey Ford, Mechanical Engineering; Willie Reese, Material Sciences & Engineering; Samantha Dixon, Physics; Ouwei Wang, Microbiology.
Robert J. Birgeneau
UC Berkeley Chancellor Emeritus Robert J. Birgeneau

Seven Berkeley doctoral students traded in lab coats for formal wear to attend the 45th Annual Scholar Awards Luncheon of ARCS on October 29, 2015. The Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation supports fellowships in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and medicine — with 12 such scholars supported at Berkeley this year.

The gala recognition, held at the Westin-St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, featured a procession of the 2014-15 scholars led by officials of their campuses: UC Berkeley, Davis, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz; San Francisco State; and Stanford. Associate Dean Susan Muller, a professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, represented Berkeley’s Graduate Division.

Event highlights included a live interview of three Bay Area fellowship recipients who discussed the critical role of early funding in enabling their research. The keynote speaker, eminent physicist and UC Berkeley Chancellor Emeritus Robert J. Birgeneau, spoke of his ongoing involvement in national initiatives to increase public and private investment in basic science research at U.S. universities.

An on-the-spot fundraising pitch raised $100,000 within 10 minutes from those present. Overall, the Northern California Chapter of ARCS — one of 17 chapters nation-wide, all powered exclusively by women volunteers – has awarded more than $2.2 million to nearly 300 doctoral students at Berkeley to date.