Stanford Optical Society

  • 2013-2014 Executive Board
  • Exploratorium After Dark with the Berkeley PhotoBears
  • 2013 OSA Chapter Award
  • Bay Area Science Festival
  • Hike at Jasper Ridge
  • Networking dinner
  • SUPR 2014 group photo
  • Bay Area Science Festival
  • I've had a great experience connecting and becoming friends with other optics researchers in the Stanford Optical Society, a student chapter of OSA and SPIE. After serving as the program chair of the fifth-annual Stanford University Photonics Retreat (SUPR), a friend jokingly told me I should run for president. After conferring with Cathy Jan, a friend who helped immensely during the planning and running of SUPR the previous year, we decided to run together as co-presidents. We were elected in May 2013, served for one year, and had a great time leading one of the most active graduate student groups on the Stanford campus.

    Student Chapter Excellence Award Finalist Presentation

    OSA Annual Student Leadership Conference, Orlando, FL, October 2013.


    Optics by its very nature is an interdisciplinary field, spanning many departments such as Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, Physics, Bioengineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, Biology, and even Medicine. The Stanford Optical Society was formed in 1992 and revived in 2004 to serve this diverse community, facilitating interaction between graduate students and postdocs who are normally separated by disciplinary and physical boundaries at Stanford. We run social events, invite academic and industry speakers for seminars, engage children and adults alike during our outreach events, and organize and run a yearly photonics retreat. This student organization strives to serve the professional and community needs of its graduate students, and it has been a privilege for me to serve in this organization.

    Tasks completed

    As co-president, I was responsible for the leadership of the society as well as functioning as a pro re nata organizer and/or volunteer at all of our events. This included:

    Skills gained

    Lessons learned


    Leading the Stanford Optical Society as Co-President has given me valuable experience managing a volunteer student organization. I have made many wonderful connections with professionals inside and outside of Stanford. I've also realized that I find working with a great team of people extremely rewarding. As I look ahead beyond my time at Stanford, I see myself engaging with and giving back to the community, both within my future workplace and through my membership with professional societies.

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