Awards and Funding Opportunities
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ASU Scholars Celebrated by Phoenix Chapter of the ARCS Foundation

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By Angie Mitchell on October 19, 2021

At their October 8 Scholar Dinner, the Phoenix Chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS)  Foundation brought together doctoral students from all three of Arizona’s state institutions who received the 2021-2022 ARCS Award as well as the chapter members and donors who sponsor these outstanding scholar researchers.

Second year ARCS Scholar Angela Oill had been looking forward to the opportunity to thank her ARCS donor face-to-face. “It meant a lot to me to finally meet my donor in person. Through our conversations, I learned why she was interested in my work and why she wanted to support me and my research. It is inspiring to know that someone is excited about the work I do,” Oill stated.

ASU’s ARCS Scholars had a chance to share their research with fellow recipients and community members during a poster session at the start of the event. This session was followed by a formal dinner where the chapter recognized each scholar with a medal and certificate. Scholars in attendance had an opportunity to share directly with the Foundation members and some of their own benefactors exactly what the funding has meant for them and how it has impacted their ability to successfully work toward their doctoral degrees.

Oill, an Evolutionary Biology PhD student, said that in addition to enjoying meeting chapter members at the event, “It was also nice to meet the scholars from the other universities and learn about the great research being done by the other scholars in the state.”

Established in 1975, the Phoenix Chapter of the ARCS Foundation has partnered with ASU since 1977 to support graduate students conducting research in select STEM areas. Over 46 years the Chapter has provided $6,625,750 to in support of 1052 outstanding graduate students. This year ASU has 17 of the Chapter’s 46 ARCS Scholars.

When asked about the personal impact of this award, Neuroscience PhD scholar Sara Knowles says, "Receiving this award really has changed my day to day life. It has removed most of the financial stress associated with graduate school and gives me some financial independence. I am excited to say that I will graduate my PhD with undergraduate loans completely paid off! This is a huge weight off my shoulders and allows me to start saving for my future." 

Vice Provost and Dean Elizabeth Wentz attended the dinner in support of these scholars and appreciation of the valuable relationship with the ARCS Foundation. Wentz shares “The Graduate College is incredibly grateful to the Phoenix ARCS Chapter for over 40 years of providing the Acheivement Reward for College Scientists to ASU graduate students providing them this unique national distinction as well as financial support for them to succeed in their research and studies.”

About the ARCS awards

The Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) awards unrestricted funding to talented scholars at more than 50 top American research universities. The ASU ARCS award provides $8,500 per academic year to each recipient of this competitive award.