APRIL 2020
Apart ... while remaining together!

           CO-PRESIDENTS' MESSAGE      
Dear ARCS NCC members,

This newsletter is coming to you at a time of great concern and uncertainty for our members and our families, ARCS Scholars and their loved ones, our university partners and all those who work at those great institutions, and for our country and the world as a whole. While communities are being disrupted by a situation never seen before, there is hope in how people are reaching out and coming together in support and compassion for one another. There are heroes all around, particularly among science researchers, first responders and medical providers. We, in ARCS, are so very proud of the ARCS Scholar Alums whose work is making an impact -- and rarely have we seen public appreciation for the voice of scientists more clearly than over these recent days. 

While important to us, we know that at this time we all have much more on our minds than ARCS. Take care of yourselves and those  dearest to you.  


We hope that this newsletter and other ARCS communications will help keep us connected with each other and remind us of the incredible importance of our mission. Our shared commitment to young science scholars -- with our financial awards along with our care and support -- matters more right now than ever. We will get through this very difficult time; we will keep looking forward; we will continue to build off of our solid legacy of 50 years; and we will be ready in the Fall to honor our past half century and launch our next exciting chapter!

Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you -- and please send along any ideas you have to help all of us stay connected as we remain apart.

Be well, stay safe, and take good care!

-Chris Simpson Brent & Jo Whitehouse
The importance of our ARCS mission
and the value of ARCS Scholars for the good of the world
is more evident now than ever.
ARCS NCC has cancelled the Symposium on April 27. We are working on ways to post materials on our website in order to showcase Scholars' work to our members, funders, and corporate sponsors.
Science matters!

Our mission of supporting science, engineering and medical research scholars has never been more important. Allocations letters have gone out to our six academic partners with total awards  for next year's scholar cohort holding steady at $1 Million+. As you are aware, we are now in a challenging environment for fundraising -- and we are behind where we need to be at this time, with only three months to go until the end of the ARCS fiscal year.

While there is uncertainty for all of us, it is especially so for young scholars. We are needed more than ever to help support their commitment to science during this unsettled time. If you haven't yet made your annual gift to the Scholar Awards Fund, please donate online using the button below (or, if you prefer, mail a check to the ARCS office at PO Box 29405, San Francisco, CA 94129-0405). If you have already given, but are in a position to make an additional donation to help us meet our goal and to support the next generation of brilliant scientists and researchers, please consider doing so. They are doing invaluable work and the world needs them! 

Development Co-VPs Molly Hauser, Linda Millard  & Susan Mooradian

Note: We would be happy, whenever the time is right, to meet to discuss
structuring  a major gift or legacy gift to ARCS NCC.
(although we know we need to be flexible given these uncertain times)

The "poster" above includes a picture from the February General Membership Meeting of Jane Gardner and Chris Brent leading an enthusiastic brainstorming session about our ARCS NCC 50th Birthday plans. To contribute ideas and suggestions -- or to join the 50th leadership team -- please get in touch with Jane ( and Chris (
As we approach our 50th this coming year, we invite you to share your fond memories of ARCS: from what inspired you to join; to friendships you have made; to recollections of scholars, field trips, lectures and events; to what most excites you about being an ARCS member today. We'd like to hear your stories, and to stay connected during this time when are self-isolating. It does not need to be a fully developed story, but just a starting point as we begin to highlight all that is wonderfully ARCS.
 Please email to Noelle Filippenko (

Invitations have gone out to 10 women to join the "Class of 2020." All were enthusiastically approved by the New Member Selection Committee and by the Board. This is our third consecutive year with a double-digit new member class size --
exciting news as we grow and invigorate our Chapter!
We have been communicating with each of our six university partners as well as directly to our 2019-20 ARCS Scholar cohort. We stand in support of all of them in this challenging and uncertain time. Our university letter was forwarded to all members last week, and is also attached at the bottom of this newsletter (in case you missed it). 
Some of you have asked about what is happening at the universities and what information is being made available by our university partners about COVID-19. Below are a couple of links for each of our partner schools, as a representation of what they are making generally available. It is just a sample, so for more information and current news, please continue to search online.    

San Francisco State University:
Stanford University:
University of California (UC System):

UC Berkeley:
UC Davis:
UC Santa Cruz:

Anne Thorson, ARCS member & Clinical Professor of  Medicine, Cardiology
Associate Director, UCSF Center for Prevention of Heart and Vascular Disease

We checked in with Anne, and she suggested these two additional sources for current information on COVID-19, along with our NCC university partner sites noted above. We are exploring potential dates for a virtual educational salon with Anne in the coming weeks, as we seek to stay abreast of pertinent information and recommendations from the medical community.  
SF Department of Health:  --  provides local, daily updates 
Johns Hopkins:   -- includes an interactive map link
(Note: JHU is also an ARCS university partner)

Almost 50 ARCS members and guests gathered at the Town & Country Club in San Francisco. In the spirit of Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”), beads, fake money, and sparkly hats were provided free of charge.

Jo Whitehouse announced that ARCS alum Jessica Meir, PhD, NASA astronaut and ocean biologist, was inducted into the National ARCS Hall of Fame (click here). She encouraged everyone to check it out!

Chris Brent and Jane Gardner teamed up to present initial thinking on how to celebrate “our incredible legacy and exciting future – with pizzazz”. They outlined opportunities to celebrate our mission, communicate our impact, identify and reconnect with alumni, increase visibility among Northern California business and thought leaders, and inspire more investments from more donors for more support of scholars! Their main theme for execution: TEAMWORK – focused on celebrating our members, our ARCS Scholars and university partners, our mission and our community. They invited and received ideas from the audience. Bottom line: it's a huge milestone for ARCS NCC!

Development Update: Susan Pelosi and Jo Whitehouse teamed up to present two “TAKE HOME MESSAGES”: 1) Dues support only 28% of our operations; remainder comes from SAC ticket sales, sponsorships of the SAC and Symposium, and interest; 2) The $1M for Scholars comes from member donations (35%), non-member donations (17.5%), Foundations (15%), and Corporations (7.5%), plus 25% (approximately $259K) from our endowments. 

The meeting ended with a delightful presentation by one of our inspiring Scholars, Katie Waddle, Department of Mathematics, SFSU. Our thanks to Venetta Rohal for making all the arrangements for this meeting and for the optional lunch that followed.

If you missed our General Meeting on Feb 25, you missed seeing a rising star! Caitlin (“Katie”) Waddle is a mathematician currently earning her Masters at San Francisco State University and well on her way to her doctorate and becoming a Professor of Mathematics.

Background: Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at the University of Chicago; Masters in Education at Stanford University; taught math in public schools in San Francisco for 8 years.

Presentation: Katie gave an informative and inspiring presentation that included a lesson on intersecting lines and nodes as well as some of her personal passions. She was patient with us as we tried to capture the nodes of intersecting lines. She encouraged us to keep trying. Both are qualities of an amazing teacher. She ended with sincere thanks to ARCS for investing in her – and the future…

Personal Goals: doing bold and exciting math research, developing an inquiry-based teaching practice, and building an inclusive and humane community of math scholars that believes in the math ability of all people.

What’s Next?: Katie has already been accepted to 12 of the 17 PhD program to which she applied – some with extra funding and fellowships.

Like we said – a rising star!!
Chair Deborah Mann and her committee have diligently been considering options and contingencies for the SAC 2020, given the times in which we find ourselves. They made the tough, but appropriate, decision that our chapter's major 50th birthday celebration will be postponed from November 2020 until Fall 2021.  In the meantime, alternative ways to honor the 2020-2021 ARCS Scholars, as well as raise operational and scholar award funds which are key elements of the SAC, are being evaluated and developed. The stellar SAC 2020 committee, which will remain in place for SAC 2021 includes: Ellie Bingham, Chris Simpson Brent, Donna Miller Casey, Barbara Glynn, Leah Hearst, Katy Hope, Gretchen Kimball, Jill Kramer, Kendra Kramlich, Linda Millard, Nancy Mueller, Elaine Oldham, Susan Pelosi, Merrill Randol, Libby Tyree-Taylor, Jo Whitehouse, and Barbara Wolfe, with support provided by Deborah Greenwood. In the meantime, many on the committee have volunteered to help with alternative fund raising plans for 2020-21.
More information to come in the weeks ahead!

Amita Gupta

Amita is a PhD candidate in Stanford's Department of Chemical Engineering. Her work at Stanford is particularly timely as her research is focused on novel anti-virals and inhibitors to viral infection.  Her work -- and appreciation -- is best conveyed in her own words.  Below is an excerpt from her October 2019 letter thanking ARCS and Dana & Robert Emery, the donors of her named scholar award.

"Over the past four years, my research has focused on using chemical and genetic approaches to design the next generation of antiviral drugs. The ARCS fellowship will provide invaluable support for 1 year for the continuation of my thesis project which uniquely involves collaborations between labs in the departments of chemical engineering, genetics and virology. My current projects include (a) mapping novel antiviral and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of action of a commonly used class of drugs, (b) characterizing new inhibitors of a cellular enzyme involved in nucleotide metabolism and (c) testing these inhibitors in models of viral infection. I am especially passionate about these projects given their potential implications on human health and their interdisciplinary nature. I’d like to contribute to [the] emergent chapters in therapeutics and technologies and am grateful for foundations like ARCS and donors like you to make these dreams possible for me!  Thanks so much!"  

* The Scholar Symposium scheduled for April 27 has been cancelled.

** All committee and Board meetings are being held via video or teleconference until further notice.

*** Alternative plans for our May 20th Annual Meeting are being explored.
Please stay tuned.
Remember to check out our website on a regular basis -- 
It's a great source of information, inspiration and access for members
and the community at large. Bookmark it now!
We at ARCS want you to know that we are thinking of our university partners as we all try to adjust to a changed world, and would like to join those who are reaching out in support of students who may have unexpected needs as a result of the pandemic. We know that getting through graduate school is a challenge even in calmer times, and the uncertainties will probably grow for the foreseeable future. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help any ARCS scholar who finds him- or herself in extraordinary circumstances. We will do whatever we can to assist (contact Jane Gardner or Nancy Mancini).
We also know that your immediate priority is the continuance of teaching and research operations in this unprecedented environment, and want to minimize any requirements on our end that complicate your lives. In that spirit, and because physical convenings are obviously no longer allowed, we have cancelled the Symposium scheduled for April. We are working on ways to post on our website the content the scholars have already provided, so we can still showcase their work to our members, funders, and corporate sponsors.
As this crisis unfolds and scientists and front-line medical personnel are working around the clock to save as many lives as possible, we are prouder than ever to support the next generation of science leaders at your university. We will be contacting current ARCS Scholars directly in the near future, and will copy you on that correspondence. Meanwhile, please share our message with others at your university who work with ARCS Scholars.
Thank you for everything you do and again, let us know if we can help.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
ARCS Foundation Northern California Chapter · PO Box 29405 · 1008 General Kennedy Ave, Suite 202 · San Francisco, CA 94129-0405 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp