Public Release: 

RIT scientist organizes second international symposium on 'Global Women of Light'

Program is part of the Optical Society's meeting Sept. 17

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology associate professor Jie Qiao is collaborating with the Optical Society (OSA) Foundation to host the second annual symposium for women in optics and photonics.

The free Global Women of Light Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 in Washington, D.C., as part of the Frontiers in Optics OSA Conference. Keynote speaker Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of OSA, The Optical Society, will present "Advancing Women in Optics."

Panel and round-table discussions will also center on the theme "Collectively Advancing Women Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship." Panelists include Aleksandra Boskovic, director, Corning Corp.; Dominique Dagenais, director, U.S. National Science Foundation; Frederica Darema, director, Air Force Office of Scientific Research; Susan O'Keefe, vice president, Edmund Optics; and Ursula Keller, professor, ETH Zürich.

Qiao, associate professor in RIT's Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, focuses her research on ultrafast-laser-based photonics and optics fabrication, and optical metrology. She leads a team of students from all levels and mentors two female Ph.D. students. Qiao is also founder and chair of WiSTEE Connect, a professional association with an international membership that promotes women's career growth through mentorship and leadership.

Qiao and the OSA Foundation organized the first Global Women of Light Symposium at the centennial OSA conference held last year in Rochester. The event was attended by 100 individuals from 25 countries and 80 institutions. Attendees from China, France and Pakistan have since started WiSTEE Connect chapters, Qiao said.

"The goal of the second Global Women of Light Symposium is to continue building a strong network among women across academia, industry and government, and to cooperatively establish strategies to advance women's leadership across career ranks," she said.

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Registration for Global Women of Light is free. A limited number of travel grants are available by submitting a form to info@wisteeconnect.org. Registration to the OSA Frontier in Optics conference is not required to attend Global Women of Light.

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