SPIE added 27 new student chapters and clubs in 2007, bringing the total number of SPIE Student Chapters to 117, the largest number in the Society's history. SPIE is proud of the number of student members involved because it reflects the helpful resources the chapters can provide.
"More than half of all student members are affiliated with chapters," says Dirk Fabian, SPIE Student Services coordinator.
Students make up a sizable chunk (21%) of the approximately 17,000 Society members and SPIE supports each student chapter and club in a wide range of activities and career preparation. For instance, SPIE offers special events at several symposiums, such as a Student Chapter leadership workshop at Optics+Photonics and a workshop on scientific writing at Photonics West; grants to bring visiting lecturers to universities where the chapter is located; visits to optics businesses; and a free book program for Student Chapter libraries.
Because students represent the future of optics, photonics, and imaging, SPIE also has distributed nearly $3 million in awards through its scholarship and grant program. The society will be awarding $320,000 in scholarships and grants to students and educational institutions in 2008.
-- Beth Kelley