Eustace L. Dereniak Family and Friends Endowed Scholarship in Optical Sciences

This scholarship was founded as a tribute to Professor Eustace (Stace) L. Dereniak for tirelessly dedicating his life to teaching and advancing excellence in optical sciences. 

Stace received his B.A. from Michigan Technological University and an M.S. from the University of Michigan. He then worked in the aerospace industry on projects related to space optics before enrolling in a promising new optics program at the University of Arizona (UA). After completing his doctorate in 1976, the College of Optical Sciences became home base for this remarkable professor and researcher. He was also influential role in the development of the college’s undergraduate program and was awarded the College of Optical Sciences Award of Distinction for Undergraduate Teaching in 2006  

Stace published nearly 100 papers and five books, and received two patents. A Fellow in both OSA and SPIE – Eustace received from OSA the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal for his outstanding contributions to science and engineering education in 2010. Then in 2012, he served as SPIE president, making him the first OSC alumnus for such distinction. In 2013, he received the UA Alumnus of the Year award. 

This scholarship was established through the generosity of many former students and friends as well as his wife, Barbara and daughters, Teresa and Andreana. 


The scholarship supports junior undergraduate students at the College of Optical Sciences pursuing a degree in the field of Optical Engineering. The candidates must have a 3.25 GPA or better with a 3.5 GPA in core optics courses. The recipient must be a U.S. citizen.

Photo by Margy Green.

2021-2022: Madeline Bergay, Jason Dyla, Avalon McLeod
2020-2021: Avalon McLeod and Christer Everly
2019-2020: Christer Everly and Zackary Hatfiled
2018-2019: Zackary Hatfiled and Anthony Smith
2017-2018: Jilian Nguyen and Anthony Smith
2016-2017: Jared Hout and Jilian Nguyen
2015-2016: Jared Hout