Impact of Giving

These are the stories of the individuals and foundations who help advance Chicago medicine and science through their vision and philanthropy.

Emily Bethea, recipient of an ARCS scholarship

Donor Stories

Impacting Science and Medicine

For third-year Pritzker School of Medicine student Emily Bethea, realizing that some patients are diagnosed with colon cancer well after it has progressed to an incurable stage prompted her to pursue clinical research. The fact that many of these patients were never screened for cancer is heartbreaking, she says. Her solution: virtual colonoscopies.

“This non-invasive outpatient procedure could be another venue for screening, possibly targeting the population of patients that may fear the optical or more invasive colonoscopy, but may agree to a virtual screening,” she says.

Bethea has been able to continue her research in this area due in part to a $10,000 scholarship she’s received for the past two years from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, Inc. The foundation’s mission is to reward the finest science, engineering, technology, and medical research students around the country with unrestricted funds.

“As one of the premier schools in the United States, the University of Chicago is clearly the type of institution we choose to partner with,” says Sue Dindia, president of the ARCS Chicago Chapter. “Because these are merit awards, we expect that the candidates are truly the best in their areas of study.”

Focusing on Preventive care 
Bethea’s research has been recognized and awarded the Joseph B. Kirsner Research Award for Excellence at Pritzker’s 2008 Summer Research Program Symposium. She is also first author on “Comparison of Polyp Size and Volume in CT Colonography: Implications for Follow Up CTC,” which was published in the American Journal of Roentgenology in 2009.

“I wanted to research a topic that readily correlated to patient practice and also focused on preventive care,” Bethea says. “It’s really nice to have the financial support, and the scholarship has connected me to a great group of women.”

Comprising more than 2,000 members in 17 chapters across the U.S., the ARCS Foundation is a 100 percent volunteer, women’s organization. Administrative expenses are covered by the members’ dues, so all of the award money raised goes directly to scholarships.

Established in 1958 by a group of Los Angeles women in response to the Russian launch of Sputnik, the ARCS Foundation sought to revitalize the science and technology infrastructure that was briefly overshadowed by that historic event.

“Many today have commented that we are in the midst of another Sputnik-like crisis in the U.S. with our declining dominance in the sciences and technology,” says Dindia. “Through our long-standing commitment to science and technology education (over $72 million has been awarded nationally since 1958), ARCS is a significant leader in encouraging scientific and technological research and achievement.”

A partnership that stretches 30 years
Since the beginning of the Chicago chapter’s relationship with the school over 30 years ago, ARCS has provided more than $700,000 in financial awards to scholars at the University of Chicago and the Pritzker School of Medicine.

“We are honored to be a partner of the University of Chicago, an institution with a long history of excellence in many fields, but especially those in which we share a common dedication to science, technology, and medicine,” adds Dindia.

Among past recipients of the scholarship is Dr. Holly J. Humphrey, Dean for Medical Education at the Pritzker School of Medicine, who received the award in 1982.

Do You Have A
Story To Share?

We invite you to share your legacy or stories of how the University of Chicago Medicine helped you or others through its world-class clinical care, medical education, and scientific breakthroughs.

Submit Stories