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SPIE and OSA Honor Achievements of Dr. Arthur H. Guenther

Societies rename Congressional Fellowship 'Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship Program'

By Stacey Crockett

Bellingham, WA-June 21, 2007-The Optical Society of America (OSA) and SPIE are pleased to announce the renaming of their jointly sponsored Congressional Fellowship program to the Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship Program. The new name honors the achievements and contributions of the late Dr. Arthur Guenther, who was a University of New Mexico (UNM) professor and fellow of both societies.

Art was a tireless advocate for the optics and photonics community for nearly 50 years," said OSA President Joseph Eberly. "This program merits Art's name because it embraces the many qualities he demonstrated throughout his professional career as a leader, educator, champion of science and a voice for OSA and SPIE both in Congress and to the general public."

Guenther, who passed away in April, was a research professor of electrical and computer engineering, as well as physics and astronomy, in the Center for High Technology Materials at UNM. Prior to that position, Guenther served with the United States Air Force for 31 years. He also held positions at both Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs, during which he served as a science advisor to the governor of New Mexico.

Guenther authored more than 350 scientific publications and was the editor of several books on applied optics and engineering. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Meritorious and Distinguished Executive Rank Awards from the President of the United States. He received countless accolades from professional societies, including OSA's David Richardson Medal and SPIE's Director's Award. He also served as president of the International Commission for Optics under the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), which represents 45 nations and territories worldwide.

Guenther's many advisory roles included service in long-range planning, science and technology policy, management, technical education, technology commercialization and consortial research and development activities. His most recent focus was optics and photonics education while he continued his aforementioned advisory roles to the U.S. Government and the private sector.

The OSA/SPIE Congressional Fellowship program was established in 1999. Congressional Fellowships are designed to provide a unique public policy learning experience, demonstrate the value of science-government interaction and bring technical backgrounds and external perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress. Fellows spend one year working as special legislative assistants on the staffs of Members of Congress or congressional committees. This program, along with many more fellowship programs, is facilitated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"Just as Art did, Congressional Fellows choose a unique path in their careers-one that combines an uncommon blend of scientific expertise and awareness of the public good," said SPIE President Brian Culshaw. "This is clearly the 'path less traveled,' one that requires enthusiasm, talent and courage to be successful. Art is a role model for the men and women who follow that path of scientific excellence and public service."

About SPIE
is an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. Serving the interests of its more than 188,000 active constituents representing 138 different countries, SPIE acts as a catalyst for collaboration among technical disciplines for information exchange, continuing education, publishing opportunities, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. As the organizer and sponsor of approximately 26 major conferences and education programs annually in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, SPIE provides publishing, speaking, and learning opportunities on emerging technologies. For more information, visit SPIE.org.

About OSA
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org