The Optical Society believes that every individual in the optics and photonics field is entitled to a work or research environment that is safe and inclusive. That’s why OSA develops programs and initiatives that support a more diverse profession.
In the course of my career, I came out as a transgender woman. The transition was not easy, but going to networking events offered by OSA have helped me to get a better feel for navigating the professional world as a transwoman and increased my confidence in the person that I am today.
OSA Student Member Kimmy Cushman, SUNY Oneonta, USA, shares her perspective on why diversity is important in not only optics and photonics, but in science in general.
1993 OSA President and OSA Fellow Elsa Garmire, Dartmouth College, looks back on the path that led her to having Charles Townes as her advisor in graduate school.
Ajanta Barh, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, shares the story of how one professor encouraged her to get into the field of optics.
OSA Student member Joshua Burrow, University of Dayton, USA, likes engineering new things on the spot to problem solve.
Watch More OSA Stories
When I first became an OSA member, there were very few female members at the time. This was when the women’s movement was in full swing and those who believed in it went out of their way to make new opportunities available for women. It was through scientists I met through OSA that I received recommendation letters that helped me to ultimately become a tenured, full-time professor.