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Supporting College Scientists


Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) is an organization filled with smart, attractive, and intelligent women. The national foundation has raised and awarded millions of dollars for scholars in the areas of natural sciences, medicine, and engineering. There are 17 ARCS chapters across the nation. For the 2010-11 year, ARCS contributed $3,884,623 to students at 52 colleges and universities. Cumulatively, $78,645,569 has been raised between 1958 and 2011.


The San Diego chapter’s contributed funds of $7,187,000 have been awarded mostly to local graduate students. Schools receiving monetary awards include the Scripps Research Institute, San Diego State University, UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the University of San Diego.


For academic year 2011-12, the San Diego chapter will award $405,000 to 56 ARCS scholars, an amazing accomplishment by a determined group of selfless volunteers. The membership is a list of who’s who of San Diego women, many of whom have been successful in the professional worlds of business, medicine, law, and education. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their ARCS roles, and they all have strong roles to play. It’s worth pointing out that this attractive and elegant group of women could rest easily on their accomplishments and comforts. But, it’s not their way, and that’s a good thing for future scientists of America. To name only a few is to do injustice to others in the local organization, but this sparing list gives hints of the high quality of members. Among the many: Judy Bieler, Becki Etess, Barbara McColl, Karon Luce, Ann Hill, Betty Hubbard, Kimberly Miller, Ann Otterson, Marti Panarisi, Yolanda Walther-Meade, Gayle Wilson, Betty Beyster, Rita Atkinson, Lynn Gildred, Joy Frye, and Nancy Reed Gibson. All are as gracious as they are intelligent.


This year’s president is Robin Luby, for several decades a popular English teacher and a devoted supporter of SDSU. A recipient of prestigious awards, she and her husband Chuck Luby, a former president of the SDSU Alumni Association, recently pledged a gift to the SDSU Library, a reminder that ARCS members are generous and donate to substantial causes, including ARCS scholarships. They ask other individuals and corporations to give scholarships, but they ask themselves, also.


Robin is no aberration. Last year’s president, Candace Kohl, PhD, delivered a commencement address to UCSD graduating students this spring. Highly accomplished, she has been an encouraging presence for future scientists.


ARCS annual Fall Scholar Recognition Event will be held on Tuesday, November 8. It’s a great event during which the 2011-12 scholars will be celebrated. Their biographies are inspiring. An interesting aspect of this gathering is the pre-luncheon poster session where young scientists share their current research projects with guests.


ARCS has a wonderful story to tell. Scientist scholars are our nation’s future. They also carry ARCS’ legacy forward. (858/551-1060, www.arcsfoundation.org/sandiego)    DARLENE G. DAVIES 


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