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Eight students receive ARCS awards

August 23, 2006

Photo of ARCS recipient Julia BarfieldEight SF State science and math graduate students expect to achieve more in the lab and classroom this year thanks to the Northern California chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Inc. Four biology majors, two physics majors, a chemistry major and a mathematics major will receive $7,500 each at a luncheon in October. Criteria for the awards include a GPA of more than 3.5, financial need and excellence and initiative in the classroom as well as in research.

"I am extremely grateful to receive this [award]," wrote biology major Jennifer Jacobs from the bamboo and rain forests in southeastern Peru, where she is conducting field research. With some of the money she saved on this year's tuition and expenses, she was able to employ a Peruvian field assistant. Jacobs is comparing communities of ground-dwelling beetles in contrasting environments and plans a career in tropical biology and conservation research.

The other biology students who received ARCS awards are Julia Barfield, Tara Cornelisse and Elizabeth Moore. Barfield is studying the effects of environmental stress on the endangered giant kangaroo rat. Cornelisse is researching the status of the tiger beetle in San Francisco Bay Area habitat. Moore's research involves changes in physiology of intertidal crabs in response to heat and cold stress.

Photo of ARCS recipient Liliana LopezThe ARCS support will allow Kimberly Holmes Seashore, a mother of two, to pursue her master's degree in math without the time restrictions she'd have if she had to hold down a job at the same time. Her research efforts are dedicated to improving mathematics education in urban schools. A high school math teacher in San Francisco for seven years, Seashore has also assisted in the professional development of K-12 math teachers.

Two of this year's ARCS recipients, Russell Jensen and Liliana Lopez, were the first persons in their immediate families to earn bachelor's degrees. Jensen's research in the area of biochemistry examines the regulation mechanisms in and role of nitric oxide in diseases like cancer and diabetes. Lopez's research involves searches for and study of data on particular binary star systems via materials collected by the Hubble Space Telescope.

In physics, Jack Young's research concentrates on photonics. Aisha Hunte is applying her research toward a career as a medical physicist pertaining to cancer treatments.

Each year the ARCS Foundation presents awards to about 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. Scholarship recipients are selected by faculty at each of these institutions. SF State, the only university in the California State University system that receives ARCS Foundation funding, competes for these awards with several distinguished Northern California institutions including Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley.

-- Denize Springer

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