James C. Wyant Graduate Student Scholarship in Optical Sciences

James C. Wyant is a professor emeritus at the College of Optical Sciences, where he served as director from 1999 to 2005 and founding dean from 2005 to 2012. He received a B.S. in physics from Case Western Reserve University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in optics from the University of Rochester. 

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; a fellow of the OSA, SPIE and the Optical Society of India; an honorary member of the Optical Society of Korea; and former editor-in-chief of the OSA journal Applied Optics. He also served as president of SPIE in 1986 and OSA in 2010. 

For his technical work, Wyant received OSA's Joseph Fraunhofer Award and SPIE's Gold Medal, Technology Achievement Award and Chandra S. Vikram Award. 

He co-founded WYKO Corp. and served as its president and board chairman from 1984 to 1997. He also co-founded 4D Technology and serves as its board chairman. For his entrepreneurial achievements, Wyant received the Arizona Innovator of the Year Product Award, the Tom Brown Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award, the University of Arizona Technology Innovation Award, the Arizona Technology Council William F. McWhortor Award, the University of Rochester College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Case Alumni Association Gold Medal Award. 

He was the major advisor of 34 Ph.D. and 25 M.S. students throughout his 40 plus years of teaching.

This scholarship was established by faculty, alumni and colleagues at the College of Optical Sciences with deep respect and sincere appreciation for James C. Wyant’s unyielding commitment to inspire and educate students in optical sciences. 

Photo credit: Jacob Chinn/UA Alumni Association


The James C. Wyant Scholarship is open to talented students worldwide, and selection will be based on academic excellence. This FoTO (Friends of Tucson Optics) scholarship is to be awarded to an exceptional first-year graduate student.​



Isabella Aguilera Cuenca

Emory Jenkins

Feiyi Shen

Kevin Laverty

James Wood

Yanqi Zhang

Kyle Van Gorkon

Yufeng Yan