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28 February 2019


The OSA Foundation and Corning Incorporated Award Their First Women in Optical Communications Scholarships and Travel Grants

Merit-based awards program and need-based travel grants aim to support gender diversity

 in the global optical communications industry


WASHINGTON D.C.—The OSA Foundation (OSAF) and Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) are pleased to announce the first recipients of their newly established Women in Optical Communications Scholarships and Travel Grants.

The merit-based scholarships, each totaling $3,000 U.S., support women graduate students studying optical communications and networking. More broadly, the program is designed to advance gender diversity in the global optical communications industry.  

The 2019 Women in Optical Communications Scholarship recipients are: Fatemeh Alishahi, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, U.S.A.; Yun Gao, Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Tali Septon, Technion, Haifa, Israel.

In addition to the scholarship, each winner will also receive up to $2,000 U.S. for expenses relating to travel,  housing, and registration fees to attend the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) in San Diego, California,  3-7 March 2019, where they will be recognized at an awards ceremony.

“Recognizing and supporting women graduate students in the optical sciences aligns with OSA’s core values, especially that of inclusivity, and our conviction that modern scientific research depends on diverse collaboration for success,” said Alexander Sawchuk, OSA Foundation Chair.

“At Corning we believe that the best solutions and innovations come from bringing people with different perspectives together. When you support gender inclusion and diversity, you're supporting innovation. We are proud to join forces with The Optical Society Foundation (OSAF) to increase gender diversity in Optical Communications,” said Dr. Aleksandra Boskovic, research director for Optics, Surfaces & Integration Technologies, Corning Incorporated. “Congratulations to all the amazing women receiving these scholarships and grants. I am looking forward to personally meeting them at OFC.”

Candidates for The Women in Optical Communications Scholarship must meet all of the following criteria:

·         An OSA member woman currently enrolled as a graduate student at a university

·         Field of study/research focused on optical components, devices and fiber, networks, applications and access or photonic systems and subsystems

·         Demonstrated academic excellence, for example, GPA, publications, references or other awards/merits.

For more details on the scholarship, including how to apply, visit

OSAF and Corning have also established need-based travel grants to help cover travel costs to OFC. The grants are available for women engaged in graduate or postdoctoral study, or in the first five years of their career.

This year, OSAF and Corning provided travel grants to ten recipients across the globe in China, Brazil, India, Netherlands, USA, Spain, Ireland and the Philippines.

Travel grant and application details can be found at

About The Optical Society Foundation

The Optical Society 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

About Corning Incorporated

Corning ( is one of the world's leading innovators in materials science, with a more than 165-year track record of life-changing inventions. Corning applies its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramic science, and optical physics along with its deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop category-defining products that transform industries and enhance people's lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in RD&E, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and deep, trust-based relationships with customers who are global leaders in their industries.

Corning's capabilities are versatile and synergistic, which allows the company to evolve to meet changing market needs, while also helping our customers capture new opportunities in dynamic industries. Today, Corning's markets include optical communications, mobile consumer electronics, display technology, automotive, and life sciences vessels. Corning's industry-leading products include damage-resistant cover glass for mobile devices; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for state-of-the-art communications networks; trusted products to accelerate drug discovery and delivery; and clean-air technologies for cars and trucks.

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