Students pursuing a career in optics and photonics will benefit from the generosity of California-based photonics company Lumentum.

The endowed scholarship begun by Lumentum is open to undergraduate and graduate students, and is intended to foster “a more diverse learning and working environment,” according to a news release. In addition to underrepresented students, the scholarships prioritize returning students or students with a gap in their education. It’s made possible by a $30,000 commitment, broken down into $6,000 annual contributions over the five years.

Chuwanda Thigpen, Lumentum’s chief talent and diversity officer, elaborates.

“It’s been a discussion over a series of years,” Thigpen said. “We want to make sure we’re increasing the talent pipeline and creating opportunities for representation.”

There’s a natural partnership between Lumentum and CREOL. Lumentum produces high-performance commercial lasers found around the world at manufacturers of automobiles, semiconductor chips, mobile phones and personal computers. Developing and calibrating lasers is a cornerstone of a CREOL education.

Thigpen said Lumentum recognizes that not every graduate will make their way to Lumentum, but it’s enough that the company can play a part in addressing a shortage in skilled workers in this niche area.

CREOL Dean David Hagan, Ph.D., offers his thanks to Lumentum for investing in the future workforce of optics and photonics.

“We are grateful for community partners who recognize the excellence of our instruction and choose to provide critical financial support to our students,” he said.