Current Metropolitan Washington Chapter Scholars

2018 - 19 Scholars

ARCS Foundation Metropolitan Washington is honored to present awards to these outstanding scholars chosen by the scholar selection committees at our five universities for the 2018 - 19  academic year.  Our partner universities are Georgetown UniversityJohns Hopkins University, The George Washington UniversityUniversity of Maryland, and University of Virginia.  Our graduate scholars receive $15,000 a year.  Our undergraduate scholars receive $5,000 dollars a year.

 

Georgetown University Scholars

Graduate Scholars, $15,000 Award 

Adam Caccavano

Forster Family Foundation Scholar 

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Neuroscience 
  • Research into how hippocampal network activity, which is critical for memory consolidation, that is impaired in Alzheimer's disease.  Investigating the neuronal micorcircuitry with the tools of electrophysiology, calcium imaging, and computational modeling. 

 

 

Matthew Hansen
  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry
  • Research using Raman Spectroscopy to investigate the fundamental properties of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods to better understand how the structure of ZnO nanomaterials influences their physical properities, and to study the facet-specific reactivity of the materials. 
George Washington University Scholars

Graduate Scholars, $15,000 Award

Mason Molesky

Patricia & Duncan Sparrell Scholar 

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science
  • Research project focuses on the security of the Internet of Thing (IoT) devices or what most people know as smart devices such as the Amazon Echo or a Fitbit or even a smart toaster.  Most IoT devices are developed without security in mind and thus become easily exploited after consumers purchase these devices which then get used in malicious and criminal activities.  The research goal is to better secure these devices from the initial design and attempts to mitigate and resolve security after these devices are already active in the market. 
Jenna Osborn

McNichols Family Foundation Scholar 

  • 2nd Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • Research utilizing microbubbles and nanodroplets in ultrasound applications, such as cancer imaging, targeted drug delivery and improved stem cell growth in tissue engineering, and bone/cartilage regeneration. 
James Ridenour
  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry
  • Research in fundamental actinide materials (uranium) for study as model and/or interesting compounds for light-enhancing up conversion properties, with focuses on uranium-rare earth bimetallic materials and nuclear waste relevant chemistry. 
Johns Hopkins University Scholars

Graduate Scholars, $15,000 Award 

Quigly Dragotakes
  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate on Molecular Immunology & Microbiolgy 
  • Research on the ability of melanized fungi to fix inorganic, environmental carbon.  Utilizing modern technology to confirm fungi are capable carbon fixation and to elucidate the molecular pathway responsible for this phenomenon. 
John Jamieson

Jean Boek Scholar

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
  • Research uses human induced pluripotent stem cells to model blood-brain barrier function, examining fundamental cell-cell interactions in healthy and diseased states. 
Macauley Breault

Paul Wright Memorial Scholar 

  • 2nd Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering
  • Research dynamic control in the central nervous system as it pertains to: 1) developing a tractable model of the dorsal horn circultry to better understand the mechanisms of chronic pain control and 2) identifying networks of non-motor regions that modulate motor control. 
Michelle Karl

MWC Endowment Scholar 

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry & Biomolecular Engineering
  • Research utilizing three-dimensional substrates and mammalian cancer cells to study physiologically relevant cell behavior and signaling pathways in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, focusing on the steps in the metastasis, which are validated in clinically-relevant in vivo models. 

 

Undergraduate Scholar, $5,000 Award 

Samuel G. Price

Lana and Michael Yarymovych Scholar

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Undergraduate Student in Materials Science and Engineering 
  • Research in metallurgy using a process known as liquid metal dealloying, which involves the selective dissolution of alloy components in another molten metal to alter the microstructure of the original alloy.  This can be used to create novel porous structures.

 

 

    

University of Maryland Scholars

Graduate Scholars, $15,000 Award 

Zachary Eldredge
  • 2nd Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Physics
  • Research at the Joint Center for Quantum Information & Computer Science involving theoretical research working at the interface of quantum optics, atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, and quantum information science. 
Elaine Petro

Lockheed Martin Scholar

  • 2nd Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Aerospace Engineering
  • Research 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. 
Matthew Thum
  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Analysis of the mechanism of activation living polymerization techniques.  Better mechanistic understanding will allow for improved polymerization efficiency and broad substrate selection leading to the preparation of more environmentally friendly and structurally diverse polymer architectures. 

Undergraduate Scholars, $5,000 Award 

Madeline R. Caracappa

Lockheed Martin Scholar

  • 2nd Year Scholar
  • Undergraduate in Aerospace Engineering
  • Research in the Maryland Space Grant Consortium Weather Balloon Payload Project to construct a test set-up that gathers readings from a number of sensors to gain a better understanding of the atmosphere. 
Elizabeth McFarland

Lockheed Martin Scholar

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Undergraduate in Aerospace Engineering
  • Development of a Robotic Handlens by LED testing, research, and analsis for the Advanced Multispectral Infrared Microimager (AMIM).  The wavelength coverage has wide applicability for the detection of minerals and ice.  These efforts will advance the maturity of a compact, low-mass, low-power instrument that will play a key role in the data collection and scientific return from future landed planetary science missions.   
Julia Mittelstadt

Lockheed Martin Scholar

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Undergraduate in Aerospace Engineering
  • Aerospace engineering research in electric and gasoline-powered rotorary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft to determine performance, efficiency and vehicle control under the same mass, speed and propeller-size conditions with applications in unmanned air vehicles (drones). 
Haley Patel

Lockheed Martin Scholar

  • 2nd Year Scholar
  • Undergraduate Scholar in Aerospace Engineering
  • Non-equilibrium plasma treatment using dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) produces oxidizing species, which have strong anti-pathogen properties and provide fast and effective disinfection.  
Charis Smith

Lockheed Martin Scholar

  • 1st Year Scholar 
  • Undergraduate in Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Research in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), an array of configurable logic blocks (CLBs) that can be connected together to form digital circuits; addressing FPGA requirements, code development, high speed interfaces, debugging, and system integration.  
University of Virginia

Graduate Scholars, $15,000 Award

 

Sebastian Giudice
  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering 
  • Research in traumatic brain injury using a combination of experimental and computational approaches, including performing experiments to quantify brain deformation during severe head rotation and creating sophisticated, patient-specific brain computational models that forge a link between brain mechanics and clincial outcomes. 
Josh Hinkle

Danaher Scholar

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry
  • Research emphasizes the integration of novel mass spectrometric methologies with an immobilized enzymes reactor to characterize complex or membrane embedded proteins.  This work has applications in therapeutic antibody characterization as well as bacterial serotype determiantion. 
Lauren Russell

Mars Foundation Scholar 

  • 2nd Year Scholar
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical Engineering
  • Research uses tissue engineering and biomaterials approaches with the junction of neuroscience and sterm cell biology to investigate the effect(s) biomaterial properties, such as the stiffness and topography, have on the regeneration of glial cells in the brain. 

Undergraduate Scholars, $5,000 Award 

Dominic J. Pinnisi

Clark Construction Scholar

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Undergraduate in Aerospace Engineering & Physics
  • Research in Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics (UNTC), using scanning electron microscopy and x-ray diffractometry to analyze characteristics and properties of ceramics that are oxidized at ultra-high temperaturs. 
Matthew J. Stromberg

Aerospace Scholar

  • 1st Year Scholar
  • Undergraduate in Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Research in water quality and antibiotic resistence, using algal digestion of emerging contaminants to remove antibiotics and endocrine disruptors from water.