The Utah Chapter of the national ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation celebrated its 10th Anniversary on Wednesday, October 17th at their Scholar Awards Luncheon which was held at the University of Utah Moran Eye Center. Current Chapter President Sue Dintelman conducted the program which included welcoming remarks from Dr. Randall J. Olson, CEO of the John A. Moran Eye Center, and Dr. Richard B. Brown, Dean of the College of Engineering. Both Dr. Olson and Dr. Brown gave reports on the excellent progress their programs have made and the contributions ARCS Scholars have made in their research, service, treatment of patients, and collaboration with colleagues.
The student speakers were 2017-2018 ARCS Scholars Samual Sprawls and Bradley Jacobsen. Sam is a second-year PhD student who came to the University of Utah after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and physics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is majoring in Materials Science and Engineering, with the goal of advancing his career in renewable energy photovoltaics (PV), a term which describes the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry.
Dr. Bradley Jacobsen is currently an ophthalmology resident at the Moran Eye Center. He earned his Medical Degree at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and completed his intern year in general surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. He is currently focused on the retina—specifically on researching alternative treatment for patients with retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer most common in children. Brad founded the International Ultrasound Project, which uses medical students to teach ultrasound and conduct research in Mwanza, Tanzania. He also received a $60,000 John Tu grant to initiate what has now become an integrated medical education course at a Mwanza medical school.
ARCS Chapter President Sue Dintelman and Vice President of Scholar Outreach Dr. Anne Erickson then presented the 2018-2019 ARCS Scholar Awards to the following:
Anna Deleray is pursuing a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering. She plans to research biomaterials and therapeutics. Anna completed her BS in chemical and biochemical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Before coming to Utah, she conducted protein engineering and biosensor design research at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her ARCS Scholar Award is funded by Dr. Cecelia H. Foxley, former Utah Commissioner of Higher Education and founding President of the ARCS Foundation—Utah Chapter, in honor of the partnership between Engineering Dean Brown, Granite School District Superintendent Martin Bates, and Dr. Stacy K. Firth who developed the high school engineering class so students would be better prepared when they enrolled in college.
Bram Hunt is a first-year doctoral student in biomedical engineering. His research is in cardiac electrophysiology and biophysics. He hopes to solve problems of reliability in medicine using machine learning and automation. He received his BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of New Mexico. Before coming to Utah, Bram worked at Sandia National Laboratories in the Microelectromechanical Systems Department developing testing systems and software for national security applications. His ARCS Scholar Award is funded by the Utah Chapter members.
Anthony Yin is pursuing a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering with research focused on biomaterials and bone cements. Anthony graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering with a biomechanics minor from the University of Florida. He served as an intern at Alcon, where he performed research on the manufacturing process of a new intraocular lens, and Exactech, where he focused on product development of an orthopedic ankle implant and the necessary instruments for its successful surgical application. His ARCS Scholar Award is funded by the Utah Chapter members.
Dr. Ariana Levin completed her BS in biology at Stony Brook University where she received many awards. She then earned her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College with honors in service and distinctions in ophthalmology and geriatric medicine. She also completed an Area of Concentration at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where she focused on treatments for retinoblastoma. Her research has provided a better understand of the long-term effects of modern chemotherapy approaches for retinoblastoma. She is currently exploring research related to synthetic intraocular lenses, used to replace the eye’s natural lens, and surgical planning. Her ARCS Scholar Award is funded by the Mark and Kathie Miller Foundation in honor of Moran CEO Dr. Randall Olson.
Closing remarks were given by Dr. Michael Good, University of Utah Sr. VP for Health Sciences, CEO of U of U Health, and Dean of the School of Medicine. Before coming to Utah, Dr. Good served 34 years in faculty and administrative roles at the University of Florida. He is well known in the anesthesiology community for his innovative, interdisciplinary work with physicians and engineers to develop the Human Patient Simulator, a sophisticated teaching technology used worldwide in health care education programs. Dr. Good was very complimentary with his comments about the ARCS Utah Chapter and their contributions to the ARCS Scholars. He also complimented the University of Utah for its national visibility and stature, and indicated that he wants to continue to advance the institution’s reputation.