The second largest annual number of grants and awards in its thirty-two year history has been distributed by The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education for 2021. Nine recipients received a total of $160,000, ranging from $30,000 to $5,000. The annual award ceremony that would have taken place at LEDucation was not held due to COVID restrictions, requiring notifying of award recipients by mail. This year’s grants and awards brought the Fund’s total distribution to $1.60 million since its formation.

The Nuckolls Fund, established in 1988, supports college-level lighting programs that enable students to learn, appreciate, and apply the fundamentals of lighting design, and to recognize the achievements of the late lighting designer and pioneer lighting educator, James L. Nuckolls. Submittals for financial support from the Fund’s programs are evaluated annually by The Fund’s Board of Directors.

Nuckolls Fund president Lee Waldron, FIALD, and president of Grenald Waldron Associates, in announcing this year’s award and grant recipients, recognized the generosity of the lighting community that makes it possible for the Fund to continue its financial support for the advancement of lighting education.“It has allowed a great number of schools to improve the ways they deal with new lighting technology, and the unique lighting requirements that contribute to the wellbeing for users of interior spaces,” Waldron said.

“The diversity of this year’s five Nuckolls Fund grants is evidence of the breadth of contemporary lighting knowledge development,” Waldron noted. Waldron and the Fund’s Board of Directors welcomed the initial participation by a member of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) for the winning $30,000 Nuckolls Fund grant to Morgan State University to pursue the topic, “Light in the Built Environment.” 

“Morgan State University’s Graduate Architecture Program will be the first HBCU to develop a graduate level transdisciplinary lighting class. The proposers pointed out that while the 106 HBCUs make up three percent of America’s colleges and universities, they are responsible for 25 percent of all African American graduates in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This Nuckolls Fund award is an important and needed knowledge resource within the lighting industry,” Waldron said.

Funded Proposals

$30,000 Nuckolls Fund Grants

  • Greg Guarnaccia, LC, LEED AP, IES and Edward Bartholomew, IALD, LC, LEED AP, IES will work with the graduate program director, Dr. Mohammad Gharipour, to develop “Light in the Built Environment,” for the Department of Graduate Built Environment Studies at Morgan State’s School of Architecture and Planning.
  • Linda Pollari, RA, Chair, Department of Architecture/Landscape/Interiors, Otis College of Art and Design, to develop “Online Modules for Existing Lighting Design Certificate Courses.”
  • Dorukalp Durmus, Ph.D., IES, IALD, Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University, for “Color Science Course for Architecture, Design and Engineering.”
  • Lyn Godley, AIA, IDA, IDEC, Associate Professor of Industrial Design, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering & Commerce, Thomas Jefferson University in conjunction with Jefferson Light Research, will establish the program, “Development of an Interdisciplinary Light and Health Curriculum.” 

$20,000 Nuckolls Fund Grant

  • Abimbola O. Asojo, Ph.D., AIA, IDEC, NCIDQ, Professor of Interior Design, College of Design, University of Minnesota, and Mary Guzowski, MA, Professor, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota, to create the program, “Expansion of the Lighting Design Minor.”\

$5,000 Student Achievement Awards:

Jonas Bellovin Scholar Achievement Award: Samantha Komber, Pennsylvania State University
Jules Horton International Student Achievement Award: Xiang Sun, Parsons School of Design
2021 Designers Lighting Forum of New York Student Achievement Awards: to Jackson Brogan, University of Colorado at Boulder State University; and to Akila Udage, RPI Lighting Research Center


Announcements of the 2022 Request for Proposals will be made 9/20/21. The deadline for receipt of applications for grants and awards for the 2022 Nuckolls Fund is 1/10/22. Distribution to winners will take place March 15-16, 2022, at LEDucation. For more information, visit, or Jeanne Clemente, Fund Administrator,

Winners of The 2021 Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education grants

  1. Greg Guarnaccia, Morgan State University 
  2. Edward Bartholomew, Morgan State University
  3. Linda Pollari, Otis College of Art and Design
  4. Dorukalp Durmus, Pennsylvania State University
  5. Lyn Godley, Thomas Jefferson University 
  6. Abimbola O. Asojo, University of Minnesota
  7. Mary Guzowski, University of Minnesota]