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President's Spring 2024 Letter

Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

This has been a busy “semester” for the Phoenix Chapter of ARCS.

January was busy reviewing scholar applications then matching with donors. That is always the best part of the year. It feels as if you really get to know the scholars, or at least their names, by the time the Awards dinner rolls around.

On Valentine’s Day we had a terrific site visit in Tucson at U of Arizona, the first in a few years.

They rolled out the red carpet for sure. A group of scholars presented their work via a Three Minute Talk using Power Point slides.  Not to be outdone by the scholars, a group of six professors followed the scholars’ example and did their own presentations highlighting programs they want to be included in the mix for future scholars and funding. Five were encouraged to complete the ARCS program application. Of those five, four submitted their application for approval. The Chapter overwhelmingly approved the four programs in Environmental Science, Nutritional Science & Wellness, Speech, Language & Hearing, and Electrical & Computer Engineering. National has approved the first three and tabled Electrical & Computer Engineering at this time.

Not to be outdone, NAU is also presenting a program in Astronomy for approval May 23.

Following the trip to Tucson, our next field trip was to the Amazon Fullfillment Center in Goodyear. Robots and human beings working together to deliver the goods!

We had an informative visit to the City of Phoenix Recycle Center,  It is an amazing operation and I think everyone came away with ideas of how to be better stewards of our planet with use and reuse.

We lost our dear friend and member, Betty Van Denburgh this spring. She was an avid and constant supporter of ARCS. We also said good-bye to our friend Carol Craig at the end of 2023. Both will be missed.

The last field trip of the year is to North Mountain Brewery in Phoenix to learn how beer is made… and taste. When I was in school, we regularly took the “short tour” at Coors in Golden, Colorado and went directly to tasting room.

Our Awards Dinner, ably chaired by Patti Tucker and Nancy Rink, was another winner. Back at The Camby Hotel, it was a lovely venue with room for more diners. Next year we need to work on that part and fill the room. The scholar poster presentations were all abuzz and the scholars seemed to enjoy the entire evening. Dr. Rita Sattler gave the keynote talking about mentoring, which she knows well as she is currently mentoring an ARCS scholar from ASU at Barrow Neurological Institute.

As I wrap up my two years as President, I am overwhelmed by the scholars, delighted to get to know the university staff and proud of our funding of 53 students next year. I set lofty goals for myself and the Chapter and admit not all were completed. I am, however, determined to continue on the path I have set out in working to build the Phoenix Chapter into a visible and well-oiled machine providing funding and fun to our scholars and members.

See the photos HERE