John E. Tipton Scholarship in Optical Sciences

The John E. Tipton Undergraduate Student Scholarship in Optical Sciences is an annual award to promising undergraduate students pursuing an education in optical sciences or optical engineering at the University of Arizona.   

This scholarship was named for John E. Tipton by Sean McCafferty, Tucson ophthalmologist and OSC graduate student, whom he never met but was inspired by Tipton’s dedication, determination, leadership and selflessness – all requirements for a life of service. This award is intended to inspire students to also view their careers as an opportunity to serve their community, their country and the world while introducing and perfecting optical technologies that will help change lives for the better.

Recipients of this scholarship demonstrate diverse engineering interests as well as talents for creative and innovative thinking. They are extraordinary students who embrace an enduring spirit of inquiry, discovery and responsibility. 

Born into a military family, John Tipton served in the Middle East during the Gulf War and died in combat in 2004. He earned commendations that included a Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal and the Valorous Unit Award. He left behind two children, who were ages two and four at the time of his death; his wife, Susie; and countless family members and friends.

My son was not only a hero to his family members, but he was also a hero to the rest of the world.

- Dwight Tipton, father of Capt. John E. Tipton


The Tipton Scholarship is available to outstanding undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrating a need for financial assistance. Incoming freshman who received a minimum 3.4 GPA from their respective high schools are also eligible.

The following are recipients in Optical Sciences. A similar award is offered by the UA College of Engineering.

  • 2017-2018: Joshua Paul McDonald
  • 2013-2014: Lee Johnson, Daniel Millstone, Travis Sawyer, Zachary Walker and Kaitlyn Williams
  • 2012-2013: Dale Karas, Jason Meyer, Lajos Pelikan, Janelle Pilar and Zachary Walker
  • 2011-2012: Noel Eloriaga, Dale Karas, Sergio Landeros, Edgar Madril and Nicholas Neuenfeldt
  • 2010-2011: Victor Densmore, Noel Eloriaga, Alexander Miles, Nicholas Neuenfeldt and Lena Wolfe
  • 2009-2010: Noel Eloriaga, Carlin Kartchner, Brittany Lynn, Taylor Sorensen and Javier Yanez
  • 2008-2009: Andrey Alenin, Matthew Bergkoetter, Brittany Lynn, Katia Shtyrkova and Matthias Whitney