Graduate Student Testimonials


Hacène Chaouch, Ph.D. 2011: Valedictorian of the fall 2011 graduate class

I first communicated with the Academic Programs office in 2008 while at the Institut d’Optique in Paris. I was very excited about joining the College of Optical Sciences, but I had absolutely no sense of how graduate education in the United States worked. The graduate adviser provided all the necessary information and support towards the completion of my Ph.D. degree in the best possible conditions.

On my first day, I decided to join the photonic telecommunication systems group under the supervision of Franko Kueppers, where I worked on high-bit-rate optical modulation formats and all-optical regenerative schemes. As part of our research program, the college gave me the unique chance to visit Germany twice, to work with the Deutsche Telekom Technology Center in summer of 2009 and the Darmstadt University of Technology in 2011.

Laura Coyle: Optics Ambassador, doctoral candidate in Jim H. Burge's lab

The College of Optical Sciences is truly a unique institution, not only characterized by academic and research excellence, but also by motivated students, engaging professors, and a far-reaching alumni network. I chose to attend because of the specialized classes, the state-of-the-art equipment in the labs, a faculty with industry experience and connections, and a thriving graduate student community — our intramural soccer team is poised to take the championship this year!

Margaret Dominguez: Optics Ambassador, Ph.D. student in the lab of professor Jim H. Burge

Being at OSC the past three years has been great. The program is fantastic, the staff makes you feel welcome and many professors at the College of Optical Sciences are the best in their fields. I know I am getting a quality education and experience every semester!

Bill Duncan, B.S. in OSE 2011: Optics Ambassador, Ph.D. student in the lab of professor Jim Schwiegerling

As an undergraduate, I traveled to Taiwan and was involved in research at the National Central University, with whom we have an exchange program. I also worked in two laboratories here, in remote sensing devices and optical telecommunications.

Graduate studies are a delight, with an awesome group of students, laboratories, faculty and classes that are all very accessible. Now a part of the Visual Optics Lab, my research is spread between ophthalmic devices and instrumentation, image processing, and optical testing and metrology.

Jed Hancock, Certificate 2008, M.S. 2009, Ph.D. 2012: Distance learning student, graduate valedictorian, business development manager at the Space Dynamics Laboratory

When I began taking graduate classes from the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona I was already working full time. The skills and knowledge I gained from the classes had an immediate impact on my job performance, enhancing my engineering and problem-solving capabilities. My Ph.D. has been a valuable asset to me and my company and has paid for itself over and over again. I will always be thankful for everything that I gained by being associated with the college.

Brittany Lynn, B.S. in OSE 2010: Optics Ambassador, Ph.D. student in the Peyghambarian lab

The undergraduate program at OSC provided me with the opportunity to pursue my dreams in a smaller, more personal setting than many of the other engineering departments on campus, while still offering facilities for exceptional training. My decision to remain at OSC for my graduate career revolved around a desire to take advantage of the field-leading professors and faculty gathered here, united in their desire to push the boundaries of research and educate the next generation of scientists.

Matt Risi: Ph.D. candidate in the lab of professor Arthur Gmitro

The College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona is recognized as one of the premier optics programs in the world, and in my experience the graduate program has lived up to that reputation. The wealth and breadth of research opportunities provided in-house is enriched by the strong ties between the college, industry, and other influential research institutions.

The faculty and community here are genuinely interested in the individual success of every student.

Photo of Margaret Dominguez by Chris Summitt,