USF Joins Prestigious National Foundation to Support Science Studies

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 19, 2009) The University of South Florida has joined a select group of universities in creating a Tampa Bay chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, which supports the best and brightest emerging scientists in their education.


The creation of the Tampa Bay ARCS chapter adds USF to a list of 17 chapters across the United States. The mission of the new Tampa Bay chapter is to establish a scholarship fund to attract talented ARCS scholars to USF’s advanced-degree programs in marine science and cancer biology.


A kickoff reception for ARCS Foundation - Tampa Bay will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 10 in St. Petersburg at 400 Beach Drive.


“ARCS is an extremely prestigious national organization dedicated to advancing science in the United States,” said Mya Breitbart, an assistant professor in USF’s College of Marine Science and a former ARCS scholar. “Our USF graduate students are truly exceptional and there is no doubt in my mind that they will positively impact the future of science. Development of the Tampa Bay ARCS chapter will give us a competitive advantage in recruiting the best and brightest students to our graduate programs.”


The effort to create an ARCS chapter at USF began 18 months ago when President Judy Genshaft made the first contribution. Dermazone Solutions, a St. Petersburg-based company which a leader in the field of nanotechnology, has stepped up as a key sponsor of the Tampa Bay chapter and provided important volunteer services.


“We are committed to changing people’s lives through our life-science technologies, business opportunities and philanthropic efforts,” said Dermazone President Deborah Duffey. “When the opportunity presented itself to partner with the ARCS Foundation, we considered it a perfect marriage. What better way to support young scientists in our community than through ARCS? It’s a privilege and honor to support this organization.”


ARCS traces its roots to the international space race and was established in 1950s. After the launch of Sputnik, a group of 53 women philanthropic leaders committed to re-establishing U.S. technological leadership created a scholarship program for college students majoring in science and engineering.


The group has grown to more than 1,500 members, all volunteer leaders in their communities. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $61.7 million in nearly 12,000 annual awards to more than 7,800 undergraduate and graduate students.


For more information on the foundation, visit

The University of South Florida System is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The system offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. It has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.