The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education has announced the funding of four grants this year totaling $52,500. The announcement was made at the Fund's annual luncheon, held May 9 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, during Lightfair International.
Two of the grants--each for $20,000 and each payable over a two-year period--were given in support of the expansion of an existing lighting program. One went to the University of Nebraska for development of the design component of its architectural engineering lighting curriculum. According to the University, the lighting faculty does not have significant experience in lighting design, and they will use the grant to work with three established lighting designers on the development of a curriculum that will be responsive to the needs of the lighting design community. The program will draw on the professional experience of the lighting designers, using real design problems from their portfolios.
The second $20,000 grant was awarded to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's (RPI) Lighting Research Center (LRC) to research, develop, initiate, and evaluate "Light and Health," a new course within the Master of Science in Lighting program. The course will consolidate current research and information on the influence of light on people's physical and psychological well being. According to LRC, no course is currently available within a university lighting program to teach how the visual and non-visual effects of light entering the eye can improve quality of life.
The Nuckolls Fund awarded the Edison Price Fellowship Grant in the amount of $7,500 to Ruth Beals, a member of the interior design faculty at the Ringling School of Art and Design. The grant will enable Beals to work over the summer at Osram Sylvania's Lightpoint Training Center. She will learn about the color rendering index, assist with new courses, and will visit RPI's Lighting Research Center to learn about their new color accuracy index. The Edison Price Fellowship Grant, awarded in 2000 for the second time, was conceived as a way to enable individual educators to expand their own lighting education.
The fourth grant, for $5,000, was given to the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP) to enable it to undertake a pilot program to evaluate the establishment of an intern Lighting Certified (LC) program for students. Last year, the Nuckolls Fund made a grant to help NCQLP undertake a study of how to proceed. This year's grant will enable the implementation of the study on a trial basis.
The Nuckolls Fund has made grants in support of existing lighting programs since 1989. In 2000, the Fund had hoped to also support an introductory lighting program at a college or university that does not have, or has only minimal, lighting design courses. However, the board of directors did not feel that the proposals for the introductory grant were sufficiently well developed to justify funding. Jeffrey Milham, president of the Nuckolls Fund, says, "We were not surprised to find a lack of suitable proposals in the introductory category, since the lead time to develop this type of response was short. However, we remain committed to supporting beginning programs, and now that the word is out, we expect to receive fundable proposals in the future."
The Nuckolls Fund was established in 1988 in memory of lighting designer and educator Jim Nuckolls. Its mission is to support educational programs that provide students with an understanding of lighting and the possibility of a career in the lighting community.