ARCS Foundation, Metro Washington Chapter (MWC) Winter Newsletter 2020
MWC Co-President
Danielle Robinson
MWC Co-President
Patty Sparrell
President's Statement
Dear MWC Members:

We are in the midst of a challenging time for our region and country as we all react and adjust to the fluid and evolving realities of the COVID-19 outbreak. The ARCS MWC leadership is regarding the ongoing pandemic with the utmost caution and, consistent with the latest scientific guidance, will be keeping the well-being of our members and scholars at the forefront of all decisions. More details will be provided below.

We would be remiss however, if we did not start by mentioning the  fantastic Winter Meeting  organized by Alice Laning at the Army Navy Club honoring the 2019 ARCS National Alumni Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Peter McDonnell , MWC scholar of 1981. We had a record turnout of over 70 people! Again, apologies to those we could not accommodate because we reached the maximum capacity level at the facility. Dr. McDonnell’s comments were not only inspiring but also grateful. The presence of many of our current scholars was an added treat. A scholar joined every table, sharing their stories and getting to know the ARCS members. Truly a very special night!!  A video of Dr. McDonnell’s presentation is available below along with photos.

Unfortunately, the spread of the coronavirus is affecting everyone around the world and MWC is no exception. After careful consideration, we have developed the following plan for our Spring events. These decisions were not made lightly and we ask for your support as we adjust accordingly:

•  All Spring University visits have been cancelled . University Relations Co-VPs, Anne Wingo and Miriam Erickson, are working through rescheduling plans post-summer.  

• T he  May 1st Eagle Dinner Event  will not take place as originally planned. We are identifying alternative approaches to raise funds for the 2021-22 scholar year. We are considering holding an online silent auction and conducting a virtual “Fund a Scholar” drive, as well as other ideas. We have contacted Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director, and indicated we still want to recognize him with an Eagle Award sometime in the future; date to be determined. If you have ideas or suggestions, please give us a call or send us a note - all ideas are welcome!  

•  May 12th Field Trip to Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute  - Elli Nesbitt has arranged for us to tour the Front Royal animal research center hosted by the 2019 MWC Fall SAR speaker and ARCS Scholar Alum, Dr. Steven Monfort. We will decide whether to proceed in early May. If we tour as planned, we will provide details then about signing up. If we defer the trip, we will reschedule to a later date.

•  May 21st Spring Member Meeting  – at this time, we are proceeding with the original plan of holding the event at the Belle Haven Country Club. We will assess the situation and finalize plans later in April.

•  April and May Board meetings  – will be held remotely. We have instituted “dial-in” capabilities the last two years; our successful experiences will serve us well in the near term.

•  Individual care  – Please follow the directions from the CDC as this situation progresses. If any member needs assistance getting food or supplies due to self-quarantine or avoiding social contact, please contact us and an “ARCS Door Dash” will be arranged. 
This is a very challenging time for us all but, by working together and maintaining healthy practices, we can support ourselves, our ARCS friends, and future scholars.
Patty Sparrell ((908) 391-6240) and Danielle Robinson ((703) 650-8526)
MWC Winter Featured Scholars
Avery E. Baumann - JHU
1st Year ARCS/MWC Chapter Scholar
PhD Candidate, Chemistry
Avery's research focuses on developing lithium-sulfur battery materials. Avery is part of the Thoi Research Group. She also mentors local elementary school students in STEM and works with ChemDNA, a student organization that focuses on broadening diversity in STEM.
Emily E. Fisler - UMD
1st Year ARCS/MWC Chapter Scholar
PhD Candidate, Aerospace Engineering
Emily's research is on lithium-sulfur batteries used by electric takeoff and landing aircraft. Emily was inspired to study aerospace engineering by her grandfather who worked in developing the RTGs (power system) used in the Voyager spacecraft.
MWC in Pictures
Holiday Party!

Click Here to read a report on the Holiday Party from Marie Carr. MWC offers a big hug, thank you, and shout out to Laura Hoernig, who single-handedly created the fabulous atmosphere, transporting us back to the 1920's, and to Elli Nesbitt who captured it all on film.
Endowment Fund Update
Jane Riddle, Endowment Treasurer
The ARCS MWC Endowment fund did very well during our last fiscal year and as a result we have been able to award three Endowment Awards for the 2020-21 academic year. This tremendous growth was made possible through several generous member donations and an anonymous Matching Challenge Gift of $15,000! In addition to matching the challenge, we also received a wonderful memorial gift of over $16,000 from Beulah Bateman’s family foundation . Beulah’s daughter, Peggy Stevenson, shared with me how much ARCS meant to her mom and how she cherished her many ARCS memories. Many thanks to the Bateman Family Foundation, our Anonymous Donor, and all our member donors!

The Endowment Scholar Selection Committee did another wonderful job with this year’s selections. Special thanks to Mr. Joe Alexande r for chairing the committee, Mr. Matt Riddle for his continued service, and our newest committee member Ms. Adrienne Bourque . Adrienne is the Deputy Program Director of Artillery Systems at BAE Systems and she holds a BSME from CalTech and a MSME from Santa Clara University and we are so lucky to have her on the team. Our three 2020-21 Endowment Scholars are Nicole Wagner, Biology, and Daniel O’Brian, Physics, both from Georgetown University, and Alexandra Rindone, Engineering, from Johns Hopkins University. Congratulations to all!

One final note on our current fund performance. Just like all of our 401k's, our endowment portfolio has been negatively effected by the bear market we are experiencing. I have spoken to our fund managers at Morgan Stanley and we are holding enough cash to cover the three new awards and we paid the balance of our 2019-20 awards prior to the downturn so we do not anticipate any shortages. While our goal of reaching a market value of $1 million dollars may not happen as soon as I hoped, we will come through this in the long run.
MWC Foundation Donor Scholars
ARCS/MWC is grateful to the corporations, foundations, and individual donors who make the scholar awards possible. This month, we highlight three named scholars whose awards are directly tied to three of our foundation donors. We thank the donors for their partnership and commitment to these impressive scholars.
Emily K. Lo

1st Year Scholar
PhD Candidate, Biomedical Engineering

JCM Foundation Scholar
Daniel N. O'Brien

1st Year Scholar
PhD Candidate, Physics

Forster Family Foundation Scholar 
Jeannette Gonzales Rodriguez

1st Year Scholar
PhD Candidate, Biomedical Engineering

McNichols Family Foundation Scholar
Scholar Awards Reception
The 2020 Scholar Awards Reception will be October 22nd at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.
ARCS Holiday Party
December 13, 2020
Gather your gowns and fluff your masque feathers!

ARCS is hosting a Venetian Carnival Grand Masquerade Ball

Sunday, December 13th
Chevy Chase Country Club
Featuring the Cheek to Cheek musicians, delicious food, gifts, and glamour!

Members and Guests Welcome
Welcome to New MWC Members!
Yvonne Chen

Yvonne has a Doctor of Optometry degree from SUNY College of Optometry and did her residency at West Los Angeles Veteran's Administration Medical Center. She was sponsored by Jane Riddle.
Bonnie Hayter

Bonnie has a degree from Penn State University and is a new non-resident member living in Waymart, PA. She founded Integrated Systems Solutions and was sponsored by Mary Jo Ruane.
Julie Hohl

Julie put her degree in biology from UVA to work at the National Cancer Institute and a pharmaceutical company. She looks forward to volunteering for MWC. She was sponsored by Jane Riddle
Angela Olsen

Angela is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College, a Master of Science from Catholic University of America, and a Juris Doctor from American University, Washington College of Law. She was sponsored by Rebecca McNeilly.
Amanda Ulmer

Amanda has a long history of working in the health industry and is aware of the importance of continued advancement in all areas of medical science to improve lifestyle and programs. She lives in South Abington, PA, and is a non-resident member sponsored by Mary Jo Ruane.
Membership Co-Chairs Susan & Michelle

Thanks to Susan and Michelle and our great hostesses for planning all the "coffee house" events this year. If you are interested in hosting in the fall please reach out.

A Million Thanks to Our Donors!
MWC gratefully acknowledges our corporate and foundation donors who share our vision of advancing science and technology in the United States at our 5 partner universities: Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, The George Washington University, University of Maryland, and the University of Virginia.
We appreciate these donors and their support for our scholars!

Danaher Corporation
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Estate of George and Arlene Hesse
JCM Foundation
Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Family Foundation
The Mars Foundation
The Mulford Family
The Forster Family Foundation
Clark Construction Group,LLC
The Hoernig Family Fund
The Sweetser Foundation
The Marilyn T. and David R. Heebner Foundation
Shell Oil Company Matching Gifts Foundation

*Donations listed are for the period 7/1/2018 to 9/15/2019 - Every Little Bit Helps
Help MWC when you Shop!
Did you know Amazon will donate to MWC when you shop? Contact Kristen Bloschock at to learn more and she can help you sign up! Every little bit helps!
MWC Board of Directors 2019-20
MWC Board 2019-20

  • Co-Presidents: Danielle Robinson & Patty Sparrell
  • Secretary: Karen Finkbiner
  • Treasurer: Silvija Strikis
  • Co-VPs of Activities: Marie Carr & Mary Jo Ruane
  • VP of Administration: Sarah Doverspike
  • Co-VPs of Communications: Elli Nesbitt & Ashley Rehr
  • VP of Development: Kristen Bloschock
  • VP of Finance: Sharon Gross
  • Co-VPs of Membership: Michelle Bailey & Susan Trice
  • Co-VPs of University Relations: Miriam Erickson & Anne Wingo
  • Members at Large: Lynn Dillion, Rebecca McNeilly, Nita Hoernig, Beth Parker, and Doris Pierson

Also serving in Leadership positions:
  • Endowment; Jane Riddle
  • Assistant Treasurer: Marlene Bekey
  • Heartline: Beth Parker
  • Newsletter Editor: Elli Nesbitt
  • MWC Photographer: Elli Nesbitt
P.O. Box 60868
10221 River Road
Potomac, MD 20859-0868