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OHSU Grad Students Honored As ARCS Scholars

The Portland Chapter of ARCS Foundation Inc. has awarded scholarships to 11 graduate students at Oregon Health & Science University.

The students - seven from the OHSU School of Medicine, two from the School of Nursing and two from the OGI School of Science & Engineering - were honored at ARCS Foundation's first Scholar Awards Luncheon Oct. 12 at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland.

All recipients are Ph.D. candidates at OHSU. Each scholarship is worth $5,000 per year for three years.

This year's ARCS scholars are:

* Kalmia Smith, a first-year graduate student in the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (PMCB), OHSU School of Medicine. She graduated in 2003 from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences. Her primary interests are in physiology and development.

* Paul Wille, a 2002 graduate of Whitman College, where he earned a bachelor's in chemistry-biology with honors. He is a member of a laboratory in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, OHSU School of Medicine, where he is studying herpes virus entry and immune evasion.

* Allison Terwilliger, a first-year Ph.D. student in the OHSU School of Nursing, received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Earlham College in 2000, a bachelor's in nursing degree from OHSU in 2003, and she expects a master's of public health degree from OHSU in December. Allison's interests revolve around elders with chronic diseases, particularly in symptom management and decision-making in the last year of life.

* Mhata Nili graduated cum laude from the University of Washington in 1996, earning a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. In the PMCB program, OHSU School of Medicine, she plans a course of study that will incorporate proteomics and signal transduction.

* Sidney Kuo is beginning his first year in the Neuroscience Graduate Program, OHSU School of Medicine. Prior to graduate school, he received his bachelor's degree in molecular biology from Pomona College. He is interested in how information is transferred between and within neurons and how this can be altered following certain types of activity.

* Trish Pruis received her bachelor's degree in biology and psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in December 2004. She is interested in how estrogen and exercise affect the brain and body, individually and together. She is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine, and hopes to earn her Ph.D.

* Chayne Piscitelli studied at Montana State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry in [YEAR], and is now in the PMCB program, OHSU School of Medicine. His interests are in structural biology and macromolecular X-ray crystallography.

* Ethan Beckley graduated from California State University, Chico, in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Beckley joined the OHSU Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine, in June 2004, and is conducting research on chronic stress, depression, and alcoholism.

* Tina Bloom received a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Kansas in 1995, and a master's degree in public health from OHSU in 2005. She is a National Institute of Nursing Research fellow in the OHSU School of Nursing doctoral program, and a research associate at the Center for Health Disparities Research, focusing primarily on collaborative domestic violence research with marginalized communities.

* Keri Vartanian attended University of Arizona Honors College from 1999 to 2003, majoring in biochemistry. She is entering her second year of Ph.D. studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, OGI School of Science & Engineering, with an emphasis on cardiovascular engineering.

* Tara White graduated from Fort Hayes State University in Kansas in 2005 with a bachelor's in physics. Her undergraduate research was performed in the area of laser spectroscopy. She is studying in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, OGI School of Science & Engineering.

ARCS Foundation grants for basic science education are the largest of any private membership organization in the U.S. The Portland-area chapter focuses on raising scholarship funds to help OHSU compete in recruiting the best and brightest Ph.D. candidates to the area. Statistics show that about 40 percent of graduate students remain in the communities where they study, which in turn could contribute to the economic vitality of the area.

ARCS - Achievement Rewards for College Scientists - is a nonprofit volunteer women's organization established in Los Angeles in 1958, and today has 14 chapters throughout the United States. ARCS Portland is the newest chapter, incorporated in 2004. The ARCS mission is "to provide scholarships to academically outstanding United States citizens studying to complete their degrees in science and technology." In the 2004-05 academic year, ARCS Foundation's 1,500-plus members awarded more than $3,826,523 to 46 schools.

For more information, contact or send inquiries to Portland Chapter ARCS, P.O. Box 2063, Portland, OR 97208-2063.


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