Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Kaufman, on Senate Floor, Recognizes Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS)

October 22, 2009

Mr. KAUFMAN. Mr. President, I have spoken many times about the need for a renewed investment in scientific research and development. This includes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics--or, as we say, STEM--education.

As a former engineer, I also know how important it is that research and innovation is fostered through both public and private investments. Over the years, many wonderful private organizations have been formed to promote STEM education. One of the very best is the national Achievement Rewards for College Scientists--or ARCS--Foundation, which is an excellent example of the type of investment I believe our country needs to make.

ARCS was created in 1958 by a group of women in Los Angeles following the launch of Sputnik. Like many people at that time, the women saw a need to support American technological and scientific advancement, and they decided to create a scholarship program for students to pursue degrees in science, medicine, and engineering.

Today, the all-volunteer, all-women organization has grown to 14 chapters with a national membership of over 1,500. Thanks to the efforts of the dedicated women of the ARCS Foundation, nationally more than 13,000 scholarships have been awarded since the organization's inception.

All ARCS recipients are U.S. citizens who have superior academic records and proven abilities in scientific research and development. They are recommended and selected by the deans and departmental chairs at universities that have been approved by the ARCS Foundation.

This year, the local Metropolitan Washington Chapter of ARCS awarded 20 scholarships to Ph.D. candidates and two scholarships to undergraduates:

Ilana Goldberg, Monique Koppel, and Eric Patterson from Georgetown University.

Brenton Duffy, Anna Korovina, Yi Jin, Jessica Stolee, and Bennett Walker from the George Washington University.

Marcin Balicki, Stephanie Wilson Fraley, Eatai Roth, Bridget Wildt, and Bryan Benson from Johns Hopkins University.

Brendan Casey, Stefanie Sherrill, Nathan Siwak, Seth Thomas, and Natalie Salaets from the University of Maryland.

Theresa Bankston, Thomas Bliss, Ori Fox, and Rebecca Salomon from the University of Virginia.

Scholarships were funded through contributions from ARCS members, Washington-area corporations and foundations, and various fundraising events. One hundred percent of all funds went directly to the scholars who received $15,000 at the graduate level and $5,000 at the undergraduate level. This year, several Washington-area corporate and foundation sponsors provided funding for full scholarships, including Lockheed Martin, American Council on Technology/Industry Advisory Council, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bristol-Myers Squibb, General Dynamics, Mars Foundation, McNichols Foundation, and Raytheon.

None of these scholarships would be possible without the dedicated women of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of ARCS. Betty Polutchko, the chapter's president, has worked tirelessly for the Foundation since she joined the local Washington chapter in 1992. Her leadership during her 2-year tenure has enabled the scholars to thrive.

I recently had the honor of meeting this incredible group of scholars and learning about the fascinating research they are conducting. These students are discovering new ways for delivering pharmaceuticals and other medical treatments, inventing processes to reduce carbon dioxide and other pollutants, engineering aerospace systems, creating microsurgical robots, and much, much more.

They are, without a doubt, the future of our Nation's leadership in science and technology, helping us to solve medical and environmental dilemmas and creating new products and systems that will continue to improve our lives and create new jobs.

Engineers and scientists have always been the world's problem solvers. They helped us to land on the moon during the space race, the period when ARCS was founded. The foundation saw the need to foster the scientific and engineering potential of our Nation then, and they continue to do so today.

The silver lining in today's financial crisis is the opportunity to shift our priorities in many positive ways. As America continues on its path toward economic recovery, we must inspire our students to address the extraordinary challenges facing our country and the world. What better way to encourage and promote this than through programs such as ARCS. I know that, when given the opportunity, a new generation of engineers and scientists will step up to meet these challenges. Indeed, they already are.

Congratulations to the 2009-2010 ARCS Metropolitan Washington scholarship recipients.            

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