11 September 2019

NIST and University of Dayton, Ohio, Associate Physics Professor Recipients of 2019 OSA Diversity and Inclusion Recognition

Individual and organizational awards recognize efforts to increase diversity and inclusivity

WASHINGTON -- The OSA Foundation (OSAF) is pleased to announce that both Dr. Jay Mathews, associate professor of physics at the University of Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A., and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have received the 2019 OSA Diversity and Inclusion Recognition.

The recognition honors the outstanding dedication and accomplishments of OSA members, companies or institutions that exemplify and celebrate the goals of diversity and inclusion in optics and photonics.

Science and engineering depends on diversity of thought to invigorate problem solving, facilitate specialization and balance biases. The OSAF recognizes impactful efforts focused on professional development, hiring practices or programming that reinforce collaboration and inclusion as essential for successful technological advancement. 

“Inclusivity is among OSA’s core values, one that we are dedicated to achieving in all aspects of our work,” said OSA Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Rogan. “The OSAF reinforces this value in recognizing strides made by Dr. Mathews and NIST in their respective institutions.”

The Diversity and Inclusion Recognition, will be presented 16 September 2019 during the Award Ceremony and Reception of the 2019 Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science (FiO + LS) Conference in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Recognition for an Individual

Jay Mathews is recognized “for his strong record of encouraging and fostering diversity in the field of optics and photonics. His work with minority-serving institutions to provide summer research experience for undergraduates and his commitment to mentoring women, Latinxs, African-Americans, and members of the LGBTQ community embodies the goals of this recognition.”

The selection committee was impressed with the partnerships Dr. Mathews has created with Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., and Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., (both institutions are historically black colleges) and with St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. (a traditionally Hispanic serving institution).

Recognition for a Group, Company or Institution

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is recognized for the work of the NIST Steering Group on Equity in Career Advancement “for its results within the agency and as a model for others to follow.”

NIST efforts include the evaluation of hiring and promotion practices, unconscious or implicit biases, and the cumulative impact of disparities over the course of a career, as well as their partnership with their human-resources department to build a diversity-focused curriculum and to include inclusivity and equity to the performance plans of all senior leaders. These programs and policies are creating positive institutional changes across the agency.

About The OSA Foundation

The OSA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation established by the Optical Society (OSA) in 2002 to carry out charitable activities that support the society’s mission of promoting the generation, application, archiving and worldwide dissemination of knowledge in optics and photonics. The Foundation helps cultivate the next generation of leaders and innovators in the optics and photonics community as they move through advanced degree programs and become active members of research, engineering and business communities around the globe. The Foundation also works to secure OSA Awards and Honors program endowments. For more information, visit osa.org/foundation.

About The Optical Society

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit osa.org.

Media Contact