U.S. Army Capt. John E. Tipton Graduate Student Endowed Scholarship in Optical Sciences

The U.S. Army Captain John E. Tipton Graduate Student Endowed Scholarship in Optical Sciences is awarded to promising graduate students pursuing an education in optical sciences 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


This scholarship is available to a first-year graduate student at the College of Optical Sciences. In addition to demonstrating academic excellence, applicants should display commitment to scholarship, involvement in extracurricular activities and interests beyond science and technology.


Zac Chen

Nicholas Brar

Yuanxin Guan

Manav Shah

Wenhua He

Sean Ashley

Jason Meyer

Bradley Collier