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The Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation has played a vital role in sustaining and enhancing scientific study at the university through its generous support of graduate education and research in the STEM fields since 1973.

Beginning in 2012, the Chapter began awarding scholarships to Georgetown undergraduates, a move which further highlighted the central place of science in a liberal arts education. A steadfast partner to Georgetown, the Metropolitan Washington Chapter was inducted into the 1789 Society in 2015 for having exceeded $1 million in philanthropic giving to the university. The Chapter was formally recognized with an award and citation at the Spring Faculty Convocation Ceremony on March 31, 2015.

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2024-25 Awards Anchor

2024-25 Awards

2024-25 ARCS Chapter Scholars

The Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the ARCS Foundation has notified the Graduate School that it will once again support graduate education and research with three ARCS Chapter Scholar Awards for the 2024-25 academic year, each valued at $15,000. The competition for the separate 2024-25 ARCS Endowed Scholar Awards is closed.

  • Georgetown University is eligible to nominate three students for the Chapter Scholar Awards.
  • Funds may be applied toward stipend, tuition or research costs during the academic year of award.

Nominee Eligibility

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Full-time enrollment in an approved doctoral program
  • GPA of 3.5 or above

Applicants are selected without regard to race, gender, or religion.

To Apply

Students should apply to their graduate programs. PhD programs in Biology, Neuroscience, Tumor Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Chemistry, and Physics may nominate up to two students to the Graduate School for consideration.

The nomination packet requires the following items, collated as one PDF:

From the student:

  • a completed scholar application, including a statement of no more than two pages, single-spaced, describing their research and articulating how the funding would be beneficial to their progress

  • an unofficial copy of their transcript;

  • a current CV

From the program:

  • two letters of recommendation, one from the mentor and a second from either the Chair or the Director of Graduate Studies**

    **Please include in each letter both an assessment of the student’s academic work to date and a brief description of his or her research and its significance. Letters should be printed on University letterhead and addressed to Dean Sens.  

Submission and Review

Nominations should be collated as one complete PDF and submitted to Elizabeth George (erg51@georgetown.eduno later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

Nominations must be submitted by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or designated program staff.

The Graduate Research Steering Committee will select three institutional nominees to ARCS.

Guidelines on Proposed Use of ARCS funds

ARCS would prefer that funds be used to directly further the student’s research, such as funds to cover or defray purchase or use of specialized lab equipment and materials unique to their research or travel for field research (but not for a scientific meeting that the student would have attended anyway). The important thing to remember is that when ARCS asks a nominee to explain how their support will advance the student’s research, they want to hear about specific, tangible uses — things that the student will be able to do that otherwise would be difficult or impossible without their support. Some of the funds may still be allocated toward the student’s stipend support; but wherever possible, we recommend that a portion be targeted for direct research support. Identifying these differential uses for the $15,000 will require that the nomination include a simple budget.

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2023 Scholars Anchor

2023 Scholars

Ellen Jacobs Professional Headshot



Mars Foundation Scholar

Ellen Jacobs, Ph.D. candidate in Biology

Dissertation research: Bottlenose dolphins foraging with sponge tools in Shark Bay, Western Australia represent the best documented case of tool use in a wild cetacean, but precise mechanisms of the technique are not known. This research investigates whether dolphins modify echolocation use while sponging compared to similar foraging methods without sponge tools by combining behavioral, acoustic, and sound propagation modeling techniques.

Mentor: Dr. Janet Mann

Awarded for academic year 2023-24.

Zoe Malchiodi Professional Headshot

Matt Riddle Scholar

Zoe Malchiodi, Ph.D. candidate in Tumor Biology

Dissertation research: Investigating mechanisms of immune cell interactions in pancreatic cancer by utilizing high-throughput spatial technologies. This approach will provide insights on immune cell localization and identify new therapeutic targets to promote anti-tumor immune responses and immunotherapy efficacy in pancreatic cancer.

Mentor: Dr. Louis M. Weiner

Awarded for academic year 2023-2024.


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2022 Scholars Anchor

2022 Scholars

Devin Palmer

Mars Foundation Scholar
Devin Palmer, Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience

Dissertation research: Understanding the “road map” by which seizures spread in the brain. Using high spatial and temporal resolution methods to record, target and manipulate neuronal activity within defined regions of the brain to influence seizure initiation, propagation and cessation.

Mentor: Dr. Patrick Forcelli

Awarded for academic year 2022-23.


Danaher Corporation Scholar
Micaila Curtis, Ph.D. candidate in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Dissertation research: Investigating pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers in the world, by combining apelin endothelial signaling pathway, pancreas-on-a-chip technology, and extracellular vesicles — three important and relatively new areas of research — in hopes to bring better intervention and detection methods to clinical practice. 

Mentor: Dr. Amrita Cheema

Awarded for academic year 2022-2023.


Chapter Scholar
Jordan Tanen, Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry

Dissertation research: Developing high-sensitivity analytical techniques for quantitative trace fluorine detection in complex environmental and biological samples, to enable quantification of any fluorine-containing molecule without the need for standards specific to that compound; offering a general approach for trace-level quantitative mapping of fluorochemical bio- and environmental transformations.

Mentor: Dr. Kaveh Jorabchi

Awarded for academic year 2022-23.


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2021 Scholars Anchor

2021 Scholars

Devin Palmer

Chapter Scholar
Devin Palmer, Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience

Dissertation research: Understanding the “road map” by which seizures spread in the brain. Using high spatial and temporal resolution methods to record, target and manipulate neuronal activity within defined regions of the brain to influence seizure initiation, propagation and cessation.

Mentor: Dr. Patrick Forcelli

Awarded for academic year 2021-2022.

Raneen Rahhal

Chapter Scholar
Raneen Rahhal, Ph.D. candidate in Tumor Biology

Dissertation research: Integrating high-throughput and spatial technologies to discover interactions between tumors cells and the microenvironment that promote metastasis. This new discovery approach will illuminate our understanding of tumor evolution and has the potential to identify new drug targets for the treatment of patients with metastatic cancer.

Mentor: Dr. Gray Pearson

Awarded for academic year 2021-2022.

Joel Swanson

Chapter Scholar
Joel Swanson, Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry

Dissertation research: The europium chalcogenides (EuO, EuS, EuSe and EuTe) are intrinsic magnetic semiconductors that have highly coupled magnetic, electronic and optical properties. Investigation of this coupling on the nanoscale is key to the integration of exciting properties such as spin filtering and magnetoresistance into the next generation of electronics.

Mentor: Dr. Sarah Stoll

Awarded for academic year 2021-22.

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2020 Scholars and Fellows Anchor

2020 Scholars and Fellows

Photo of Megan Barefoot

Chapter Scholar
Megan Barefoot, M.D./Ph.D. candidate in Tumor Biology

Dissertation research: Optimizing liquid biopsy technology to trace the origins of cell-free DNA using tissue- and cell-type specific methylation patterns. How to use these advancements to better understand disease and toxicities at a cellular level, specifically to determine the onset and time course of liver damage from reperfusion injury after liver transplant.

Mentor: Dr. Anton Wellstein

Awarded for academic year 2020-2021.



Photo of Daniel O'Brien

Endowment Fellow
Daniel O’Brien, Ph.D. candidate in Physics

Dissertation research: Utilizing micro-scale fabrication techniques to design and develop novel medical devices for biomarker sensing in non-invasively sampled human interstitial fluid.

Mentor: Dr. Mak Paranjape

Awarded for academic year 2020-2021 (Endowment Fellow) and 2019-20 (Chapter Scholar).



Photo of Nicole Wagner

Endowment Fellow
Nicole Wagner, Ph.D. candidate in Biology

Dissertation research: Using a combination of wet-lab work and bioinformatics to study the survival mechanisms of primitive microbial life in a perennially frozen, methane-rich Antarctic lake, which serves as an analog for the icy moons in the outer reaches of our solar system.

Mentor: Dr. Sarah Stewart Johnson

Awarded for academic year 2020-21.


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ARCS Scholars, 2008-2019 Anchor

ARCS Scholars, 2008-2019

Photo of Andrew Kelly

Chapter Scholar
Andrew Kelly, Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry

Dissertation research: Using supramolecular chemistry to investigate binding interactions involving halogens and organometallic synthesis, as well as researching catalysis for the synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant compounds.

Mentor: Dr. Timothy Warren

Awarded for academic year 2019-20.



Photo of Alyssa King
Chapter Scholar
Alyssa King, Ph.D. candidate in Biology

Dissertation research: Using genetic tools to determine the role of non-coding, regulatory RNA, RsaD in Staphylococcus aureas virulence, specifically how RsaD contributes to the development of multicellular communities during infection.

Mentor: Dr. Shaun Brinsmade

Awarded for academic year 2019-20.



Photo of Sean MacAvaney

Endowment Fellow
Sean MacAvaney, Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science

Dissertation research: Using modern machine-learning techniques to improve information-retrieval systems, including those that answer complex questions; systems that find relevant medical literature to support physicians; and systems that can identify those suffering from mental illnesses, by analyzing social media activity to provide early support.

Mentor: Dr. Nazli Goharian

Awarded for academic year 2019-20.



Photo of Adam Caccavano

Forster Family Foundation Scholar
Adam Caccavano, Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience

Dissertation research: How hypocampal activity, which is critical for memory consolidation, is impaired in Alzheimer’s disease. Investigating the neuronal microcircuitry with the tools of electrophysiology, calcium imaging, and computational modeling.

Mentor: Dr. Stefano Vicini

Awarded for academic year 2018-19.



Photo of Matthew Hansen

Chapter Scholar
Matthew Hansen, Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry

Dissertation research: The use of Raman spectroscopy to investigate the fundamental properties of zinc oxide nanorods (ZnO) to better understand now the structure of ZnO nanomaterials influences its physical properties, and to study facet-specific reactivity of the material. 

Mentor: Dr. Jong-In Hahm

Awarded for academic year 2018-19.



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Gladi Mathews Memorial Scholar
Evan Gardner, Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry

Dissertation research: The development of novel catalytic systems for the sustainable production of ammonia from abundant dinitrogen as well as electrocatalytic ammonia oxidation systems for efficient fuel cells in energy applications.

Mentor: Dr. Timothy Warren

Awarded for academic year 2017-18.



Photo of Marina Solomos


Forster Family Foundation Scholar,  Danaher Corporation Scholar & Chapter Scholar
Marina Solomos, Ph.D. (Chemistry, 2018)

Dissertation: Phase Control of Diphenylureas Through Co-Crystallization and Template-Directed Methods

Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Swift

Awarded for academic years 2015-16 (Forster Scholar), 2016-17 (Danaher Corporation Scholar), and 2017-18 (Chapter Scholar).



Photo of Teresa Duncan

Patricia Smith Memorial Scholar & Chapter Scholar 
Teresa Duncan, Ph.D. (Chemistry, 2017)

Dissertation: Hydrogels and Organogels from Partially Hydrolyzed Poly(vinyl acetates) and Boron-based Crosslinkers: Development, Characterization, and Application to the Conservation of Art

Mentor: Dr. Richard Weiss

Awarded for academic years 2014-15 (Chapter Scholar), 2015-16 (Chapter Scholar) and 2016-17 (Patricia Smith Memorial Scholar).



Photo of Erika Raven

Laytham Scholar
Erika Raven, Ph.D. (Neuroscience, 2017)

Dissertation: Reproducibility and Use of Myelin Imaging Methods for the Study of Adolescent Brain Development

Mentor: Dr. John VanMeter / Dr. Jeff Duyn (NIH)

Awarded for academic year 2016-17.



Photo of Laura C. Erickson

Noama Wheeler Scholar
Laura C. Erickson, Ph.D. (Neuroscience, 2016)

Dissertation: Examinations of Audiovisual Speech Processes, the McGurk Effect and the Heteromodal Superior Temporal Sulcus in the Human Brain Across Numerous Approaches

Mentors: Dr. Josef Rauschecker and Dr. Peter Turkeltaub

Awarded for academic year 2015-16.



Photo of Kyle Shattuck


Chapter Scholar
Kyle Shattuck, Ph.D. (Neuroscience, 2016)

Dissertation: Investigating the Cholinergic Regulation of Human Learning and Memory using Functional Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Mentor: Dr. John W. VanMeter

Awarded for academic year 2015-16.



Photo of Bryce Yoshimura

Chapter Scholar
Bryce Yoshimura, Ph.D. (Physics, 2016)

Dissertation: Theoretical studies for experimental implementation of quantum computing with trapped ions

Mentor: Dr. James Freerick

Awarded for academic years 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16.



Photo of Marguerite Brown

General Dynamics Scholar & Chapter Scholar
Marguerite Brown, M.S. (Physics, 2015)

Studied liquid crystalline ordering under confinement, using microtubules as a model liquid crystal within microfluidic chambers to provide insight into how liquid crystals order within geometries smaller than their persistence length. 

Mentor: Dr. Daniel L. Blair

Awarded for academic years 2012-13 (General Dynamics) and 2013-14 (Chapter).



Photo of Patrick Cox


Chapter Scholar
Patrick Cox, Ph.D. (Neuroscience, 2017) 

Dissertation: The Effects of Extensive Single Task and Dual Task Training on the Neural Bases of Visual Objec Categorization: Escaping the Frontal Bottleneck

Mentor: Dr. Maximilian Riesenhuber

Awarded for academic year 2014-15.



Photo of Ilana Grace Goldberg


Chapter Scholar
Ilana Grace Goldberg, Ph.D. (Chemistry, 2011)

Dissertation: Directed Crystal Growth and Solid-State Analysis of the Secondary Explosives RDX and HMX

Mentor: Dr. Jennifer A. Swift

Awarded for academic years 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11.



Photo of Augusta (Hofstead-Duffy) Levendorf


Chapter Scholar
Augusta (Hofstead-Duffy) Levendorf, Ph.D. (Chemistry, 2013)

Dissertation: Exploring the Structure-Activity Relationship of Platinum and Platinum-based Electro-catalysts for the Methanol Electro-oxidation

Mentor: Dr. YuYe Tong

Awarded for academic year 2012-13.



Photo of Monique Koppel


Chapter Scholar
Monique Koppel, Ph.D. (Chemistry, 2014)

Dissertation: Metal and Non-Metal Catalyzed Beta-Alkylation of Secondary Alcohols: Scope and Mechanism

Mentor: Dr. Bahram Moasser

Awarded for academic years 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12.



Photo of Eric Patterson

Chapter Scholar
Eric Patterson, Ph.D. (Biology, 2012)

Dissertation: Ecological and Life History Factors Influence Habitat and Tool Use in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.)

Mentor: Dr. Janet Mann

Awarded for academic years 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12.



Photo of Katy Sherlach

Chapter Scholar
Katy Sherlach, Ph.D. (Chemistry, 2014)

Dissertation: Assessing Antimalarial Cidality in Plasmodium falciparum Parasites

Mentor: Dr. Paul D. Roepe

Awarded for academic year, 2011-12.



Photo of Casey Shuptrine

Chapter Scholar
Casey Shuptrine, Ph.D. (Tumor Biology, 2015)

Dissertation: The Molecular Determinants of Tumor Cell Modulation of Immune Selection

Mentors: Dr. Louis M. Weiner and Dr. Anton Wellstein

Awarded for academic year 2014-15.




Photo of Steven Spangenberg

Chapter Scholar
Steven Spangenberg, M.S. (Chemistry, 2015)

Conducted research in solid state organic chemistry to elucidate the dehydration mechanism(s) of crystalline hydrates, and how doping effects can be used to rationally tailor the physical properties of these materials.

Mentor: Dr. Jennifer A. Swift 

Awarded for academic year 2014-15.


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Mars Foundation Scholar & Chapter Scholar
Theodore (Trey) Picou III, Ph.D. (Biology, 2017)

Dissertation: The Hydrodynamic Model of Giardia lamblia Attachment

Mentor: Dr. Heidi Elmendorf

Awarded for academic years 2012-13 (Mars Foundation) and 2013-14 (Chapter).



Photo of Amanda Zirzow

Chapter Scholar
Amanda Zirzow, Ph.D. candidate in Biology (Withdrawn, 2013)

Dissertation research: The use of a high-throughput genetic screen to study cellular and sub-cellular mechanics of pathogenic yeast to target genes for potent therapeutics.

Mentor: Dr. Anne G. Rosenwald

Awarded for academic year 2013-14.


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ARCS Scholar Awardees, 1975-2007 Anchor

ARCS Scholar Awardees, 1975-2007

ARCS Scholar Awardees, 1975-2007
Scholar Degree Academic Year of Award(s)
Brendan L. Brelsford, Ph.D. Physics, 2011 2007-08, 2008-09
Leah B. Casabianca, Ph.D. Chemistry, 2008 2006-07, 2007-08
Kristen P. Bloschock, Ph.D. Physics, 2007 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07
Scott T. Mough, Ph.D. Chemistry, 2011 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06
Amanda M. Munson, Ph.D. Biology, 2005 2002-03, 2003-04
Ryan E. Sours, Ph.D. Chemistry, 2004 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03
Catherine T. Santal 2000-01
Dianne M. Snow 1999-00
Hugh D. Moulding, Ph.D. Neuroscience, 2002 1999-00
David J. Abdallah, Ph.D. Chemistry, 2000 1999-00
Marie L. Sandrock, Ph.D. Chemistry, 2000 1998-99
Eric M. Hernandez, Ph.D. Neuroscience, 2004 1998-99
Kristopher J. Bough, Ph.D. Biology, 1999 1998-99
Michael J. Pishvaian, Ph.D. Anatomy, 2001 1997-98
Petra S. Buc, M.S. Biology, 1991 1997-98
Jordan D. Stockton, Ph.D. Chemistry, 2001 1996-97
Jason W. Allen, Ph.D. Neuroscience, 2000 1996-97
Richard E. Frye, Ph.D. Physics, 1998 1995-96
Brian T. Rasley, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1998 1995-96
Kenneth R. McGaffin, Ph.D. Tumor Biology, 1999 1995-96
Michael A. Hickey, M.S. Biology, 1997 1995-96
Michael G. Espey, Ph.D. Biology, 1995 1994-95
Lilee Cuff, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1995 1994-95
Anthony C. Tradico 1993-94
James J. Doherty, Ph.D. Biology, 1994 1993-94
Kent C. New, Ph.D. Microbiology, 1998 1992-93, 1993-94
Diana C. Glick, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1995 1992-93
Julianne C. Clifford, Ph.D. Biology, 1994 1992-93
Rita A. Ward, Ph.D. Biology, 1993 1991-92
Thomas C. Waidner, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1992 1991-92
Jonathan Kil 1991-92
Brent T. Harris, Ph.D. Pharmacology, 1995 1990-91
Stephen J. Gaudet, Ph.D. Biology, 1991 1990-91
Eefei Chen, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1993 1990-91
Ann M. McDermott, Ph.D. Biology, 1991 1989-90
James F. Kirby, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1993 1989-90
Constance Knauer, Ph.D. Chemistry, 2000 1988-89
Sunita V. Cooke, Ph.D. Biology, 1991 1988-89
Wendy I. White, Ph.D. Biology, 1989 1987-88
David M. Northrop, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1991 1987-88
Nancy L. Morris, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1989 1986-87
Mary E. Hooker, Ph.D. Biology, 1987 1986-87
Richard J. Cohen, M.S. Physics, 1986 1985-86
Bruce J. Acken, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1987 1983-84
John W. Wolf, Ph.D. Physics, 1988 1984-85
Jeri A. Boose, Ph.D. Biology, 1986 1984-85
James A. Warshaw, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1987 1983-84
Christopher E. Killian, Ph.D. Biology, 1985 1983-84
Geraldine M. Franklin 1982-83
Stephen C. Chalberg, Ph.D. Chemistry, 1983 1981-82
John A. Ives-Halperin, Ph.D. Biology, 1985 1980-81
Francis J. Hornicek, Ph.D. Physics, 1983 1980-81, 1982-83
John M. Hackney, Ph.D. Biology, 1984 1979-80
Michael M. Kornbluth 1978-79
Andrea C. Hall, Ph.D. Biology, 1981 1978-79
James R. Waterman, M.S. Physics, 1980 1977-78
Suzanne E. Ziska, Ph.D. Biology, 1984 1977-78
James F. Garvey 1977-78
Elizabeth Hepler 1975-76
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