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Student Chapter Leadership Workshop

The Optics + Photonics 2010 Student Chapter Leadership Workshop was the largest one ever with 155 students from 27 countries! The 9th annual two-day workshop began early Saturday morning at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina.

SPIE Student Chapter leadership workshop speaker Alaina Levine (Quantum Success Solutions) offered practical advice about the care and feeding of careers in science during the day-long training on Saturday. Levine reminded students that perception is reality, when it comes to reputation, and had practical advice on how to prepare for an interview, tips for making a presentation, and more -- everything for a "laser-sharp" career.

Sunday morning, students and early career professionals heard perspectives on career paths from three panelists of differing backgrounds, who offered common-sense guidance aimed at helping attendees make decisions for their future. Panelists included SPIE 2010 President-Elect Katarina Svanberg, Chief Oncologist at Lund Univ. Hospital. She spoke about the difficulties, yet rewards, of changing careers. Svanberg started her career as a history teacher, and then decided to follow her passion to be a doctor. "You must have courage in yourself, motivation, and initiative," she said.

Lisa Tsufura works in industry as the Marketing Director for CVI Melles Griot. She urged attendees to "love what you do. Find your life's passion and pursue it!"

Noah Finkelstein is an associate professor of physics at the Univ. of Colorado at Boulder and conducts research is in physics education. He says students should take advantage of fellowships and grants to get their foot in the door. Although he's been in the academia world most of his professional life, he noted that "if you don't switch careers once, you're not trying hard enough."

The morning's activities concluded with lunch and a talk by Prof. Finkelstein, entitled Scholarly Approaches to Education: the Role of Physicists in Education.

See photos from the workshop and keep up-to-date on future student events by following our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Leadership Workshop Day 1
By Invitation Only - All Chapter members welcome
8:30 Breakfast and Workshop Check-in
9:00 Welcome and Overview

Opening remarks and a look at what SPIE and Student Services can do for you. Plus, future directions for the student program.

9:30 Optics Improv
  Get to know the other students and start building a team.
10:15 Break
10:30 Personal Professional Leadership - The Skills You Need for a Laser-Sharp Career
  Alaina G. Levine, Quantum Success Solutions
12:00 Welcome from SPIE Leadership
  Dr. Ralph James, 2010 SPIE President
12:15 Group Photo
12:30 Lunch
1:30 From Student to Professional

Prof. Jannick Rolland, University of Rochester

2:15 Break
2:30 Leadership in Organizations Part 1: From Fundraising to Fun-raising
  Alaina G. Levine, Quantum Success Solutions
3:40 Break
3:55 Leadership in Organizations Part 2: Teambuilding principles
  Alaina G. Levine, Quantum Success Solutions
4:55 Wrap-Up
  Reminders for Chapter Exhibitors and Officer Travel Grant Winners

Leadership Workshop Day 2
Open to All Students
9:00 Panel Discussion: Career Choices in Optics and Photonics
  Gain valuable insight into careers in optics/photonics at this panel discussion featuring representatives from academia, industry, and government.
  • Dr. Katarina Svanberg, Lund University
  • Ms. Lisa Tsufura, CVI Melles Griot
  • Prof. Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado, Boulder
10:30 Break-Out Sessions
  Professional Development Skills (Carlsbad Room)
  • Excellence in Industrial Relations: Strategies for Chapter Success, Alaina G. Levine, Quantum Success Solutions
  • Un-conference - Education and Regional Conference Organization
  Professional Development Skills (Cardiff Room)
  • Communication Skills for the Real World, Mr. Thomas Tongue, Zomega Terahertz Corporation
  • Publishing without Perishing: Mapping Your Future, Checking Your Pulse, Dr. Zakya Kafafi, NSF
12:30 Keynote Luncheon
  Prof. Noah Finkelstein, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, speaks on Scholarly Approaches to Education: the Role of Physicists in Education