Hello ARCS Metro Washington Chapter (MWC) Members,

I hope you all are enjoying the cooler fall temperatures and the beautiful colors. MWC finished off the summer with a trip to the John Hopkins University Wilmer Eye Institute. The research topics discussed by various ARCS scholars were very exciting. Many of our chapter's members were able to practice their "eye surgery" techniques under the tutelage of ARCS/MWC member, Dr. Shameema Sikdr. I decided I will stick to sewing dresses; much easier than sewing an eye!!

Fall Meeting: The Fall Meeting and Social hosted by Amy and Mark Mykityshyn was a big success! We had wonderful weather, a great turnout, and I had the honor of announcing the MWC 2017-18 ARCS Light honoree: Lynn Dillon. It is a very well-deserved honor! Lynn has been a very active member and leader in our chapter! Thanks to Karen Finkbiner and other former ARCS Lights for selecting this year's honoree.

Scholar Awards Reception (SAR): University Relations Chair, Claudia Benack, with special help from Danielle Robinson, Carolyn Racich, and Alice Laning, again hosted a very successful SAR at the National Academy of Science. Thank you ladies! Not only did we hear about very interesting research being conducted by our 14 Ph.D. and 6 undergraduate scholars; we also heard from Dr. John S. Langford, President-Elect, AIAA. The night's highlight was hearing about research in space from our keynote speaker, Dr. John Mather, Nobel Laureate and NASA Senior Project Scientist. The students, ARCS members, and donor guests were in awe!

Membership Report: Our membership levels are stable to slightly declining over the last few years. To maintain our current support level of scholars I ask each of you to reach out to friends you think would like to join ARCS. The mission is very relevant and the friendship opportunities are many!! Any member of the Board, as well as Membership Co-chairs Danielle Robinson and Carolyn Racich, will gladly speak with any potential members and "spread the word." Thanks to Skyler for planning an interesting tour for new members and from the MWC Board to Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. Special thanks to Hillwood Docent and Past MWC President Sally Burns for leading the group on the tour.

Donor Update: In addition, if you know of a company, a foundation, or an individual you think would be a potential donor, let any Board member or Development Chair, Lorraine Nordlinger, know. Her committee is always looking for new opportunities. In addition, Lorraine’s committee has simplified the “giving” process this year. Read more about it in the Development article.

Cookie Class: Finishing up the month of October was Fall Cookie Decorating hosted at Doris Pierson's house, with a decorating lesson taught by Membership Co-chair, Danielle Robinson. A fun time was had by all - thank you, Doris and Danielle!

Cocktail Class: Thanks to Melissa Rhoads and Skyler Potter for shaking it up and planning the fall cocktail class.

Upcoming Events: In response to member feedback, the Winter Meeting ( Thursday, February 22) will be another social event - brush off your “trivial pursuit” skills, gather your team, and prepare for a stimulating night!

We will be celebrating our chapter’s 50th Anniversary during the April All Member Conference at the Willard ( April 25 - 28). We will again be recognizing a STEM leader with the Eagle Award. Also, Jane Riddle is compiling a history of our chapter – if you have any pictures or memorabilia, let Jane know!

I thank you all for your ongoing support of our chapter's activities. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Holiday Party on Sunday, December 10th, at the Chevy Chase Club. The party is hosted by Marie Carr and her committee and is always a special event.


Patricia T. Sparrell
ARCS Foundation, Metro Washington Chapter
Development News
We have listened to you, our members, and refreshed our member donor and contribution levels accordingly. We have maintained last year's member donation and recognition levels (Platinum/Gold/Silver/Bronze/Friends of ARCS). In addition, I am pleased to announce MWC will include the running total of your generous donations for each fiscal year rather than tying them to specific events. Your total will include contributions made as a part of "Giving Tuesday," the Year-End-Appeal, and the Spring Celebration and Eagle Award Dinner, along with any other time you would like to make a much-appreciated gift to ARCS/MWC. As an example, if you give $250 on Giving Tuesday, $250 for the Year-End-Appeal, and $500 for the Spring Celebration, this will bring your donation total level up to the Friends of ARCS level ($1,000 donation), receiving recognition and 2 event tickets for the Spring Celebration.
Lauren Russell, MWC Fall Featured Scholar
5th year Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Virginia, Danaher Scholar, Lauren Russell, is the MWC fall featured scholar. Her research project addresses designing a biomaterial for growth and differentiation of neural stem cells into oligodendrocytes. Oligodendrocytes are the cells responsible for generating the myelin sheath, an insulating layer around neurons essential for fast and efficient neuronal communications. This is the cell type that is initially damaged in diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Lauren's research has led her to the development of a new drug currently under review at the FDA.
The MWC Scholar Awards Reception was a
Special Night for All!
Claudia Benack
Vice President, University Relations
ARCS/MWC celebrated Scholarship and Innovation at a special evening at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on October 12, 2017. At the awards ceremony in the beautiful and historic NAS building, twenty graduate and undergraduate fellows from five area ARCS/MWC Partner Universities were welcomed into the elite ARCS Scholar Community to the applause of ARCS/MWC members, guests, donors, corporate executives, and venture capitalists. For those attending, one could feel hopeful about the future of U.S. science. To read more click here.
Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh Selected for Membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame
Metro Washington Scholar Alum
Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO, and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based ASTER Labs, Inc., has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame. A 2002-04 ARCS Scholar funded by ARCS/MWC, Dr. Sheikh holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland. Read more about Dr. Sheikh

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