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Optica Foundation Announces a $10,000 Scholarship for Women in Optics

Date Announced: 26 Jan 2022

200 women scholars worldwide to be recognized over the next ten years for a total disbursement of $2M in scholarships.

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Optica Foundation announces the Optica Women Scholars. The program provides visibility, community, and resources for 20 women annually via financial support of US$10,000. Additionally, they will receive professional development resources from the society, including membership and mentorship. By 2030, 200 scholarships will be awarded, creating a global network of women in the field.

“When I entered the field of optics, women as peers or role models were a real rarity,” said Janet Fender, 1997 Optica President. “I worked hard at achieving a successful career, but my life was far from balanced. I wonder how many talented women may have left our field because they didn’t have the support of their peers or know women as role models. My husband and I dreamed of a scholarship program for women in optics. The Optica Foundation embraced that dream, engaged the optics community and created a remarkable program to enable a future substantial network of women connecting and supporting each other while building successful and fulfilling careers in optics and photonics.”

The ten-year scholarship fund of US$2M+ was established with the contributions of ten US$100,000 donors and a US$1M match from the foundation. Hong Liu, Distinguished Engineer, Google LLC rallied industry support which includes contributions from II-VI Incorporated; Corning Incorporated; Google LLC; Meta Platforms, Inc.; Innolight Technology USA Inc; Intel Corporation; NeoPhotonics Corp; and Source Photonics.

The individual contributors are Janet Fender & John Otten III and Elizabeth A. Rogan, Optica CEO. Additional contributions from the community were collected, including Edmund Optics; Ursula Gibson, 2018 Optica President; Joseph Goodman, 1992 Optica President; Marvell Semiconductor Inc; Eric Van Stryland, 2006 Optica President; and James Wyant, 2010 Optica President.

“The foundation looks to recognize and nurture fresh talent and bright ideas,” said Chad Stark, Optica Foundation Executive Director. “The adept and ingenious women assisted through this scholarship will drive tomorrow’s discoveries. The enthusiastic commitment from the community to fund this US$2M investment is exceptional.”

The scholarship is awarded based on need, academic performance and demonstrated potential. Candidates are undergraduate and graduate-level students who identify as women. The program will accept applications from 9 February - 15 March. Learn more at optica.org/womenscholars.

Source: Optica Foundation


Becky Bosco
Optica Foundation

E-mail: BBosco@Optica.org

Web Site: www.optica.org

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