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27 February 2023

Optica awards USD75,000 in scholarships to amplify Black scientists

The Amplify Scholarship is awarded annually to 10 Black undergraduate and master's level students

WASHINGTON – Optica Foundation announces 10 students selected as this year’s Amplify Scholarship winners. Launched in 2021, the merit and need-based scholarship is awarded annually to Black undergraduate and Master’s level students studying physics, math, engineering, optics and photonics.

“The Amplify Scholarship is among the many initiatives Optica has employed to cultivate and increase the number of Black scientists and engineers, Optica member of the review committee, Professor Dikande Alain Moise, University of Buea, Cameroon. “We are glad that African academic institutions are well represented among this year’s recipients of Amplify scholarship, and are excited for the future of our overall 10 scholars and what the future holds for them.”

The scholarship recipients are:

  1. Jane Akinyi, Multimedia University of Kenya, Kenya
  2. Ifeanyichukwu Godwin Ani, Federal University Gusau, Nigeria
  3. Camilla Costa, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  4. Letícia Marques Caviola Foiani, Federal University of ABC, Brazil
  5. Paula Kirya, University of California San Diego, USA
  6. Alain Marcel Dikande Simo, University of Buea, Cameroon
  7. Peter Mugaba Noertoft, Stanford University, USA
  8. Daniel Pimbi, Texas Tech University, USA
  9. Sabaa Khan Rasulkhan, Multimedia University of Kenya, Kenya
  10.  Adeyinka Yusuf, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany

In addition to the scholarships, recipients receive access to Optica’s global network of mentors and receive full financial support to attend Optica’s Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics.

Optica Corporate members Thorlabs, Meta along with 1993 society president Elsa Garmire and her partner Robert H. Russell are the lead donors joined by other past presidents, companies, and numerous members of the community. Garmire and Russell shared that their motivation for support was the need for students and early-career professionals, particularly those of color, to have access to recognition, training and community. For more information about this program visit:

Optica Foundation

Established in 2002, the Optica Foundation carries out charitable activities in support of the society’s student and early career members. We cultivate the next generation of leaders and innovators as they navigate advanced degree programs and become active members of research, engineering and business communities worldwide. The foundation also works to secure the endowments for Optica’s awards and honors programs. The foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. For more information, visit

About Optica

Optica, Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is the society dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in the field. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica's renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement. Discover more at:

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