MWC Co-President
Danielle Robinson
MWC Co-President
Patty Sparrell
President's Statement
Dear MWC Members:

The 2018-19 ARCS year is rapidly coming to a close. The past year has been very busy with many causes for celebration as well as opportunities to improve as we go forward.

Thank you to all who have donated your time, talent and treasures to support the scholars at our five partner universities. Advancing research in the STEM fields is as critical to the global leadership of the USA today as it was 51 years ago when the Metro Washington Chapter was chartered. This year’s 19 Ph.D. and 6 Undergrad scholars are doing amazing research; many members were able to experience this first hand when visiting our 5 partner universities this Spring. 

The Spring Member Meeting was well attended; thank you to Susan Trice and Jane Riddle for arranging. The outgoing Board members were recognized and the incoming Board members were inaugurated. Danielle Robinson and I (Co-Presidents) look forward to working with the 2019-20 Board members listed later in the newsletter.

The outgoing and incoming Board members met late May to review the 2018-19 year and set priorities for 2019-20. After a very productive discussion we committed to the following for 2019-20:
  • Continuing to maintain strong relations with our 5 partner universities and scholars
  • Improving existing member engagement and retention
  • Growing new membership by organizing mini events to attract new members
  • Ensuring adequate preparation time for events while including all committee members
  • Identifying donors in new market areas (e.g. civil, healthcare, environmental); not necessarily all large corporate donors
  • Retaining and reconnecting with existing donors
  • Having fun!

We also encourage all to register for the ARCS National All Members Conference, “Exploring New Frontiers in Science,” scheduled September 18-21 in Portland, Oregon. The program is fantastic; the west coast is beautiful in the fall!

We are looking forward to this coming year. I hope to see you all renew your membership and identify which of the many committees you’d like to participate on. Membership enrollment information is included in this newsletter. Working together we can have fun while being very successful!

Please do not hesitate to call/write if you have questions or suggestions for next year. Your thoughts and ideas are always welcome!!

Patty & Danielle
Many Thanks to These MWC Members
Thank you's go to so many MWC Members! Let me highlight just a few:
  • Miriam Swydan Erickson and Anne Wingo for planning terrific scholar visits to our 5 partner universities;
  • Miriam Swydan Erickson, Jane Riddle, & Susan Trice for planning & hosting the 2018-19 membership meetings;
  • Special thanks go to the Board members that completed position terms this year: 
  • Susan Trice and Melissa Rhodes (Co-VP Activities),
  • Carolyn Racich and Rebecca McNeilly (Co-VP Membership),
  • Kristen Smith (Treasurer),
  • Amy Mykityshyn (Administration),
  • Michelle Bailey (Secretary), and
  • 5 Directors at Large – Holly Coyne, Lynn Dillon, Virginia Lukasik, Doris Pierson, and Beth Parker
MWC Endowment Scholars 2019-20
Sean MacAvaney
Georgetown University
MWC Endowment Scholar,
Computer Science
Elizabeth Paul
University of Maryland
MWC Endowment Scholar, Physics
The ARCS Washington Metropolitan Chapter is pleased to announce that two Endowment Scholars have been selected for the 2019-20 academic year. The Endowment Scholar Selection committee chose Ms. Elizabeth Paul, University of Maryland, and Mr. Sean MacAvaney, Georgetown University. Ms. Paul is majoring in Physics and her research is in the area of controlled fusion. The over-all goal is to build an electricity-generating reactor that is based on nuclear fusion, the process that powers the sun. Mr. MacAvaney is majoring in Computer Science and his research is focused on improving systems that find information by using modern machine learning techniques. He is also working on systems that find medical literature that supports specific case reports to save physicians time and improve patient outcomes.

We are deeply indebted to the entire selection committee for its time and effort! Special thanks to Mr. Joe Alexander as Chair! Many thanks to Sally Burns, Holly Coyne, Sharon Gross, Melissa Rhoads, Toni Schierling & Kristen Smith for serving on the committee. Because of the expertise and technical knowledge of each member, we are ensured that we are nominating candidates worthy of being named our ARCS Endowment Scholars.
MWC Featured Scholar
Elaine Petro, Ph.D.
Aerospace Engineering
University of Maryland
Elaine Petro is the 2018-2019 Lockheed Martin Scholar and second year ARCS/MWC Scholar. Dr. Petro studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. Her research is in theoretical modeling and design of a water propelled plasma thruster for in-space propulsion applications such as low-cost orbit maintenance and deep space exploration missions.

Elaine graduated with her Ph.D. in May 2019. Next step will be a one year post-doc at the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space Propulsion Lab. Following her post-doc, Elaine will start her tenure track position at Cornell in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering July 2020. 

Elaine hopes to come back to ARCS one day, but this time as a member.
Message from Andi Purple
National ARCS Foundation President
Update on AMC in Portland, Oregon
The annual All Members Conference (AMC) will be held September 18-21, 2019 at The Nines Hotel in Portland, Oregon.  Portland was named by Trip Advisor as one of “20 Best Girlfriend Getaways You Can Take Without a Passport.” What a great site for renewing friendships with your ARCS girlfriends and exploring this beautiful city that sits at the Columbia and Willamette rivers in the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood. The schedule is planned around the theme Exploring New Frontiers in Science and includes many educational and scientific speakers, panels, and tours. If whale watching is on your bucket list, plan on staying over through Sunday, the 22 nd when an all-day tour (Whales and Marine Science on the Oregon Coast) is offered, traveling up the Pacific Coast to see an old lighthouse and look for whale sightings! 

I encourage Metro Washington Chapter members to consider “paying back” Oregon Chapter members for their support of the 2018 AMC held in Washington, D.C. Registration is open on the member website, .
ARCS Light 2018-19
Congratulation so our fabulous ARCS Light Susan Trice! Thank you for your time, your energy and your devotion to MWC! You are a true gift!
Join the National ARCS IS Committee
Send Email To:
The IS Committee is looking forward to a great year next year assisting chapters with the website. If you are interested in volunteering please notify . We are planning training sessions for this fall to acquaint new (and returning) website administrators with website functionality and look forward to helping all chapters increase their use of the website.
The committee has openings for new members. The committee meets about 8 times per year via webex to discuss current projects and the state of the website. We also have several members who rotate doing first line help for the organization. There is no prerequisite for committee membership, just an interest in the website and finding out how it works. Training is available. Working with the IS Committee is a great way to get involved in the national organization. Please consider joining! - Every Little Bit Helps
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!
Save the Date 2019-20 Events
Metro Washington Chapter Events

  • Friday, 9/6, Fall Membership Meet @ Westwood Country Club, Vienna, VA (evening).

  • Wednesday, 10/23, Scholar Awards Reception @ National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. (evening)

  • Sunday, 12/8, Annual Holiday Party @ Chevy Chase Country Club, Chevy Chase, MD. (evening)
National ARCS Foundation All Member Conference 2019

  • September 18-21st, AMC, Portland Oregon
  • The Nines Hotel!
  • Patrick Phillips - Exploring the Frontiers of Aging
  • National Primate Research Center Tour & Panel
  • Bonus Events: Wine Tasting & Whale Watching

Dues are Due!
Please Pay Dues by July 15th
Please renew your membership in MWC by July 15th. If you have any questions or need help, contact:

Susan Trice & Michelle Bailey
Co-Vice Presidents of Membership
ARCS Foundation, Metro Washington Chapter  or 703-475-6406  or 757-713-6532
MWC takes part in Vera Rubin Symposium
Georgetown University
MWC Leaders Rebecca McNeilly, Elli Nesbitt, and Patty Sparrell facilitated a discussion at the Vera Rubin Symposium at Georgetown University. Discussion focused on issues facing educators, researchers and industry working to increase the participation of girls and women in STEM.
MWC Board of Directors 2019-20
Welcome to the MWC Board!

  • 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
  • VP 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
P.O. Box 60868
10221 River Road
Potomac, MD 20859-0868