Distinguished Leslie Kolodziejski

Minorities and Women in OSA

Meet this female fellow

Leslie A. Kolodziejski

Dept. of Elec. Eng. and Comp. Sci., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
OSA member since: 1991
OSA Fellow since: 2011

Professional/Personal Highlights:

The highlight of my professional career is the opportunity, and significant responsibility, to supervise and guide the research of young graduate students at MIT. I enjoy supporting their intellectual and technical growth. I feel great pride regarding their accomplishments, whether the accomplishment is a successful experiment (or understanding an experiment that was not successful), a noteworthy publication or successful presentation at a conference, or the achievement of their graduate degree. My personal highlights are my two children; I love being in their life and I love them being in my life.

What is your advice for balancing one’s professional and personal life?

I think it is important to recognize that one’s professional life and personal life are equally important and that together they have a natural ebb and flow. To me, this means that throughout one’s life professional demands may take priority at some point, and then there are also personal demands that will take priority during other periods. A person needs to appreciate that each demand must be nurtured, supported, and given the attention that is needed, but to balance the degree of attention over time. If, for example, a personal demand is taking top priority, I take the time and attention to deal with the demand, while not feeling undue stress or pressure that other demands are being neglected. I allow my attention to various demands to follow the “ebb and flow” recognizing that over time all demands will be dealt with accordingly and, hopefully, in a manner that is not stressful, and is found to be rational and satisfying.

Do you have suggestions for how female scientists support each other’s careers and development?

In science and engineering, there are still many occasions for a woman to be in situations where they are an underrepresented minority. For that reason, women need to continually support one another whenever possible, either by finding time to be a mentor or by seeking out a mentor. I personally try to say yes to any requests made of me by women whether they are seeking a mentor/mentee relationship, or asking for a sounding board, or seeking career advice or personal advice. I offer and give my time and do my best to be a good and patient listener.

For more information: http://www.rle.mit.edu/rleonline/People/LeslieA.Kolodziejski.html

Link for more information:

Professor Leslie A. Kolodziejski
Office phone: 617-253-6868


Return to MWOSA Fellow Profiles