The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education marked the twenty-eighth year since its founding by surpassing one million dollars in grants and awards to institutions and individuals in North America. This year’s distribution of $60,000, $40,000 in grants and $20,000 in awards, brought the total to $1,055,000 for the development and implementation of lighting instructional programs.

“When a foundation to support lighting education in memory of Jim Nuckolls was first introduced by Lesley Wheel, she never could have imagined that one day we would have presented the sum of $1,055,000 in grants and awards,” says Nuckolls Fund president, Jeffrey A. Milham. “When we give a grant to allow an educator to create a new course in lighting, it is never possible to determine how many students are eventually affected by that grant”, Milham says. “Typically, the course continues beyond the grant period,” he adds. Colleges and universities have been recipients of $730,000 to develop and expand lighting design education. Instructors in lighting have received $170,000 to improve their teaching ability. Students who have shown outstanding performance in an academic lighting design program have received a total of $155,000.

This year’s winners that were selected from proposals received and evaluated by the Fund’s Board of Directors include one $20,000 grant, two $10,000 grants, and four $5,000 awards.<

  • Lesley Wheel Introductory Lighting Program Grant was awarded to the University of Texas at San Antonio for Jae Yong Suk, Ph.D. to develop and deliver a new course in lighting design for upper level undergraduate students in both architecture and interior design programs.
  • A $10,000 Edison Price Fellowship Grant was awarded to Elif Tural, Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, who will pursue a summer internship with the lighting design firm Oculus Light Studio in Los Angeles.
  • A second $10,000 Edison Price Fellowship Grant was awarded to Nam-Kyu Park, Ph.D. from the University of Florida, who will pursue a summer internship with the lighting design firm Francis Krahe & Associates in Los Angeles.
  • The $5,000 Jonas Bellovin Scholar Achievement Award was given to Rohan Nagare from RPI’s Lighting Research Center.
  • The $5,000 Jules Horton International Student Achievement Award was presented to Fatema Almajed, who is from Bahrain, now a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
  • One $5,000 Designers Lighting Forum of New York Student Achievement Award was given to Michael Kuhlenengel from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
  • A second $5,000 Designers Lighting Forum of New York Student Achievement Award was given to Madeline Halpern from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“I’m so proud of The Nuckolls Fund’s commitment to lighting education,” says Paul Gregory, founder and president of Focus Lighting, and a Nuckolls Fund Board member. “It is the only organization I know of that has given such a substantial amount of resources to improve and develop architectural lighting design education,” Gregory states.

Fund president Milham reaffirms the goal to support the development and expansion of programs in architectural lighting design education in North America. ”In 2019, the Fund will be celebrating its 30th year in operation, and the board is actively involved in making a long-term strategic plan for the future of the Fund,” Milham says.

Milham advises that all Fund-sponsored educational materials posted on the Internet are available free to anyone, worldwide. “Please visit The Nuckolls Fund’s website at It has become a major new resource for lighting instruction.”

Applications for 2018 Nuckolls fund grants are due February 9, 2018. Details can be found on