ARCS Foundation contributions to UCSC pass $1 million with 2004-05 scholarships for seven top students

At the annual awards luncheon of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation in San Francisco this week, participants from the University of California, Santa Cruz, will have special cause for celebration. Since 1976, the ARCS Foundation's Northern California Chapter has given more than $1 million in scholarships to UCSC students. This year, seven UCSC students each won $10,000 scholarships from the foundation.

The ARCS Foundation, founded in 1958, is a national organization that provides scholarships and fellowships for the country's most promising students in science, medicine, and engineering. The foundation's Northern California Chapter is one of the leading private sources of annual student awards to the UCSC campus.

"The ARCS Foundation has provided incredible support over the years for the training of scientists and engineers," said David Kliger, dean of physical and biological sciences at UCSC.

The Northern California Chapter will honor the 2004-05 ARCS Scholars at its annual scholarship awards luncheon on Thursday, November 4, at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. The luncheon speaker and honored guest will be Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias.

This year's ARCS scholars at UCSC represent the Science Communication Program and the Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Mathematics. The scholars and their interests are as follows:

. Vincent Bonini is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics. His thesis research addresses important aspects of the mathematical theory of classic and quantum relativity, with applications in physics and cosmology.

. Tonya Clayton has a background in geology and oceanography and is now enrolled in the Science Communication Program. She wants to be a science writer to help provide greater public access to scientific information and encourage informed decision making.

. Cynthia Hays is pursuing a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology. Her research on marine algae along the California coast aims to answer fundamental questions in ecology.

. Jessica Marshall has a background in chemical engineering and is now enrolled in the Science Communication Program. She plans to work as a science writer to improve public understanding of science and its context in society.

. Sarah Martell is pursuing a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics. She is using telescopes at the Lick and Keck Observatories to study very old stars in globular clusters, and she is developing software to analyze the spectroscopic data gathered by the telescopes. Her work will help scientists understand how stars evolve.

. Jonathan Panttaja is a Ph.D. candidate in computer science. He is studying an important class of computationally intractable problems known as constraint-satisfaction problems. His work has broad applications in computer science and artificial intelligence.

. Nicole Winter is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry. She does computational simulations of molecular dynamics to better understand the microscopic dynamics of chemical reactions in liquids.

The Northern California Chapter of the ARCS Foundation is one of 14 chapters nationwide. Since its founding in 1971, the chapter has raised over $10.4 million for 1,811 scholars attending seven northern California universities. Additional information about the foundation is available on the web at