James M. Palmer Endowed Scholarship in Optical Sciences

James M. Palmer, teacher and mentor to a generation of OSC students, was a key figure in the formation of the bachelor's degree program in the late 1980s. Today, the ABET-accredited program is successful and well-established, with more than 200 students enrolled.

Palmer's research in sensor-system calibration significantly advanced the state of the art in that field. His interests reflected a broad base of knowledge and expertise, ranging from self-calibration and quantum-efficient detectors to radiometric properties of the moon to the design of a flawless Venus probe that monitored the atmosphere of that planet to investigate its greenhouse effect.

After Jim's death from chondrosarcoma in 2007, his family, friends, associates and former students contributed generously to a scholarship in his honor.


The Palmer Scholarship is available to third- through fifth-year undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Optical Sciences who are making satisfactory progress toward their degree, and who are are engaged in activities outside of their academic pursuits. Recipients should demonstrate an aptitude for optical engineering and be engaged in research. Preference may be given to students who demonstrate a need for financial assistance.

2021-2022: Jason Dylla, Alec Mitchell
2020-2021: Madeline Bergay and Dror Sapir
2019-2020: Steven Santaniello
2018-2019: Kira Purvin and Adriana Stohn
2017-2018: Karen Ward
2016-2017: Ryan Scott Bronson
2015-2016: Andrew Rocha
2014-2015: Benjamin Cromey
2013-2014: Oybek Kholiqov
2012-2013: Austin Wilson
2011-2012: Jeffrey Chia
2010-2011: Sean Keller
2009-2010: Jonathan Nation
2008-2009: Katia Shtyrkova
2007-2008: Joshua Wiersma