ARCS Foundation scholarships support seven outstanding graduate students at UCSC

Seven UC Santa Cruz graduate students have received $10,000 scholarships from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation for the 2003-04 academic year. The Northern California chapter of the ARCS Foundation is the most generous provider of annual student awards to the UCSC campus.

The ARCS Foundation, founded in 1958, is a national organization that provides scholarships and fellowships for the country's most promising science, medical, and engineering students. This year's ARCS scholars at UCSC represent the Science Communication Program and the Departments of Computer Science, Environmental Toxicology, Mathematics, Ocean Sciences, and Physics. The scholars and their interests are as follows:

. Frank Black is pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental toxicology. He is interested in the effects of pollutants in aquatic environments and is currently investigating the factors affecting the movement and toxicity of mercury in the environment. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, he received several grants to support his senior thesis research on volcanic soils in Ecuador and Costa Rica.

. Sarah Cunningham is working toward a Ph.D. in mathematics, focusing on the representation theory of finite groups. She earned her B.A. at UC Berkeley, where she received the Dorthea Klumpke-Roberts prize for exceptional scholarship in mathematics. Cunningham spends her summers teaching mathematics to underprivileged eighth-graders in San Francisco in a program called Aim High.

. Quinn Eastman earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Yale University and spent years doing laboratory research in areas such as lymphocyte development and DNA repair. He is now enrolled in the Science Communication Program and hopes to write for a newspaper or news weekly with a national audience.

. Erik Kramer is pursuing a Ph.D. in physics with an emphasis in high-energy physics. His research addresses fundamental questions about elementary particles that relate to how the early universe evolved. Kramer also attended UCSC as an undergraduate, earning a B.S. in physics.

. Esther Landhuis earned a Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard University and is now enrolled in the Science Communication Program. She studied gene regulation in the developing immune system, and also wrote for Harvard Medical School publications.

. Elena Nilsen is working toward a Ph.D. in ocean sciences and marine geochemistry, focusing on nutrient dynamics and human impacts on coastal ecosystems. She also serves as a science consultant for elementary school teachers and administrators in Salinas.

. Adam Siepel has five years of professional experience in software development and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science with an emphasis on bioinformatics. He is interested in mathematical models of molecular evolution and their application to problems of practical importance to genomic science, such as identifying genes in the human genome.

Since its founding in 1970, the Northern California chapter of the ARCS Foundation has provided support for more than 1,700 scholars attending seven universities in Northern California. Additional information about the foundation is available on the web at