Distinguished Judy Donnelly

Minorities and Women in OSA

Meet this female fellow

Judy Donnelly

Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT
OSA member since: 2007
OSA fellow since: 2013

Professional/Personal Highlights:

I've been teaching physics and technology at a community college for nearly 35 years. During that time I developed an associate degree program for photonics technicians, which allowed me to learn a lot about laser technology in a very short time. I had to develop several courses to meet industry needs and design and stock the labs to teach them. I learned that the optics/photonics community is a very generous and supportive so I feel like I have a large team behind me. I've also worked with the New England Board of Higher Education on many projects supported by the Advanced Technological Education program of the National Science Foundation (NSF-ATE). Initially we developed curriculum and materials and provided faculty professional development for teachers who wanted to start teaching optics and photonics. Since 2006 we've been creating problem based learning "Challenges" based on actual problems faced by industry and helping teachers learn how to use them in the classroom.

What is your advice for balancing one’s professional and personal life?
All I can say to this is (now that my kids are grown and moved away) I never regretted any time I spent with my children. I'm very fortunate that my career allowed me the luxury of spending after school and summer time with them when they were young and that I could bring them to my workplace so they knew what I did when we were apart. I was also fortunate that my husband also had the flexibility to spend time with the kids and take them to visit his classes as well- they were very well educated children! Our supper-time conversations included physics, psychology and (the game they invented as teens) words with Latin roots.
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