Keep the U.S. scientifically competitive
ARCS Pittsburgh Board Brief:

February - March, 2017

Our cumulative donations to scholars at CMU and Pitt exceeds $1.7 Million.  Thank you to all of our women-philanthropist members! Thank you to our corporate supporters!  Thank you to the largest private 100% women philanthropist volunteer organization!
Learn through our Educational Programs:
Dr. Lanie Francis, oncologist/hematologist and founder/program director of Wellness and Integrative Oncology at UPMC CancerCenter, spoke to a large crowd at the University Club, University of Pittsburgh in March.  Dr. Francis is an innovator and great story-teller, sharing personal experiences in a deeply meaningful way as she described developing and expanding her integrative oncology program at UPMC.
(Photograph by Cayla Zahoran and Michael Fornataro).
Enjoy our Scholars:  Mrs. Virginia Schatz, a retired ARCS member and recipient of CMU's Andrew Carnegie Society Award for her support of the university spanning over 70 years, chats with ARCS Scholar, Tim Bartholomew.  Mrs. Schatz said she attends ARCS events to get to speak with the scholars. Throughout the year, we have many opportunities for casual interactions with our scholars and at times we hear brief lectures on their research.
Achieve the Mission: Linda Burke, Membership Chair, describing the benefits of ARCS membership and the ARCS Mission: advancing science and technology in the United States by providing financial awards to academically outstanding U.S. citizens studying to complete degrees in science, engineering and medical research.  We are a community of women philanthropists who believe in keeping the U.S. scientifically competitive.

Scholar Celebration April 4, 2017 6PM  at the Grand Hall of the Priory.
1. Meet and learn from our scholars!!! See their interests, awards, and research (Click here).
2. Learn from our Guest Speaker:  Dr. Deborah Lange, CMU College of Engineering (Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research) is this year's recipient of the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania Metcalf Award, the highest award given recognizing engineers who make outstanding contributions.  She is also responsible for the advancement of environmental initiatives on CMU's campus. She is a tireless leader in encouraging future generations of engineers. 
3.  Bid during our Live Auction: Gilded Age Gourmet Dinner with a concert provided by our talented Scholars at Mansions on Fifth.
Go  to our website now to register for the event just days away (click here)!
Educational Programs

The February field trip to see the unique and celebrated 25 murals of Maxo Vanka (called the Diega Rivera of Pittsburgh) awed us all.  Another one of Pittsburgh's Best Kept Secrets can be found inside the  Croatian St. Nicholas Church on a hilltop in Millvale.  When Vanka completed the first set of murals in 1941, Time Magazine hailed them as one of the few distinguished sets of church murals in the U.S.  And, "No innocuous, run-of-the-mine church art these but powerful social documents, portray abhorrence of war and social injustices."  With extensive restoration and new state-of-the-art lighting, people from around the world are now visiting to see them and their universal messages.  Our hosts, Anna Doering (Managing Director) and Diane Novosel (Docent), provided the story of the artist, the church, and the murals.   Rikke Foulke, (Conservator) explained the science and technology behind her and her team's restoration.  Many of the murals had been damaged over the years due to water seepage and earlier restoration practices even furthered the damage.   Additionally, restoration of these types of murals is rare in the United States.  Thus, she and her team used techniques and innovations not used anywhere else.  They sought consultation with experts as far as Florence, Italy and used new conservation techniques such as the application of nanoparticles. They have shared this unique restoration at international conferences and  their continued work remains of great interest in the field of art restoration. For more information,  

The March lecture by Dr. Francis, oncologist/director of the Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program at UPMC,  described this innovation that she began in 2013. One feature of the program debuted In October 2016: the opening of the state-of-the-art Wellness Suite at the UPMC CancerCenter, integrating conventional cancer care with supervised mind-body therapies.  Already the lives of cancer patients, and their families, are being positively affected with this holistic approach. She has said: "Integrative Oncology addresses the mind, body and spirit of cancer patients. Our program utilizes symptom directed and evidence based guidelines in the context of conventional cancer care. A subspecialty consult service is the clinical framework of the program. Additional elements include exposure, educational and engagement initiatives for patients, caregivers, staff and the larger community of UPMC. Our research  focuses on comprehensive and technology-based strategies to  address and improve outcomes in Integrative Oncology. Our Wellness Suite provides oncology wellness consultation and integrative services such as acupuncture, yoga therapy and mindful meditation."   All  ARCS members and their guests were fully engaged in her story of how she, an oncologist whose mother had recently died of cancer, decided to devote her professional expertise to bringing a more holistic approach to treating cancer. We especially thank Denise Mieszkowski, University of Pittsburgh/UPMC Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, for arranging ARCS Pittsburgh to learn from Dr. Francis.  For more information 412.864.6722 or
March ARCS Board Meeting Highlights:
  • Finances: Current financials will likely be in line with budget once the processing of new pledges and memberships has been completed. Planning for the Future: A large portion of the board meeting was devoted to exploring the impact on fundraising and membership should we decide to increase the amount of our scholar awards.  The awards ($15,000 over three years), have not increased since the first scholar award in 2004.  Our university partners have expressed differing points of view which leads us to consider having different awards programs.  Between this meeting and our June 15, 2017 board meeting (at which the new board members will be present), we will continue to gather information from our university partners and our donors that will enable us to determine if we need to make any changes to our Scholar Awards Program.
  • Fund Development: Our drop in new awards for this fall 2017-2018 is in large part due to the ending of the corporate awards that we have been so fortunate to have these past three years.  Our 3 Roche/ARCS scholars and our Lockheed Martin scholar are all completing their 3 year awards this June. To maintain 15 awards at CMU and to get Pitt up to 15 will require corporate support. We are awaiting responses from two corporate contacts and we are excited about a third which shows some interesting partnership possibilities.  
  • The ARCS website continues to expand. Please be sure to check it out: and click on the Pittsburgh Chapter.
  • Events:  Thank you Victoria Wellstead-Murphy, Educational Program Chair, for her behind-the-scenes creation of our fantastic educational programs throughout the year.  Also, thank you to Bev Elliott (Chair), Karen Meck, and Debbie Beck for creating our Scholar Celebration this year with "fun" at the forefront!
  • Scholar Relations Committee has been organizing the scholars for our annual Scholar Celebration, April 4, 2017 at the Grand Hall of the Priory. Enhanced "Scholar Bios" with photos have been completed and sent to all donor-members so they could get to know the scholars prior to the event. The bios include personal interests and awards/recognition making this very interesting reading! Click here to read the bios.
Be sure to join us at the new Frick Environmental Center May 19, 10AM to noon. Recently opened, the new Center is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge (it supports its own needs for water and energy) as well as the LEED Platinum standards for energy efficiency.  It is considered a "living laboratory" and it is beautiful and comfortable.
Updates - Mark your Calendar:
  • April 4, 2017 Tuesday evening, the Grand Hall at the Priory.  Scholar Celebration. Online registration: click here
  • April 13, 2017 Thursday Luncheon at Penn State hosted by Penn State and our last three Penn State Scholars.  We will miss their areas of research and enthusiasm for ARCS!
  • May18, 2017, 5:00-6:30PM, Annual meeting for all members, The Villages of Shadyside Clubhouse100 Denniston Street 15206.  Vote on new board members, have input into priorities for the next year, and more. You'll receive a Paperless Post invitation.
  • May 19, 2017, Friday, 10AM-noon, tour of the new Frick Environmental Center.  You'll receive a Paperless Post invitation.
  • June 15, 2017, Thursday, 8:30AM-10:30AM Board Meeting of the outgoing, incoming, and continuing board members.  An extended session will be used for planning for any changes to the Scholar Awards program.
  • June 18, Sunday, 6PM Mansions on Fifth, "Gilded Age Gourmet Dining and Concert by ARCS Scholars."  Auctioned at our Scholar Celebration, April 4.
  • ANYTIME: don't forget to contact Leslie Dunn, Scholar Relations Chair, anytime you have cultural/sports/event tickets that you cannot use and would like to share with our scholars. Her email:
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ARCS Pittsburgh · P.O. Box 9117 · Pittsburgh, PA 15224 · USA

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