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Photonics West Student Chapter Leadership Workshop

Over 40 SPIE student chapter members attended the Student Chapter Leadership Workshop at Photonics West this month. SPIE believes that providing opportunities such as this will help chapters get the most out of their relationship with the Society, as well as provide participants with useful skills for future careers.

Students came to San Francisco a day early to particiapte in the workshop before the BiOS sessions began. Topics of the workshop included the nuts and bolts of chapter benefits, how to be good faciliatators, effective chapter management, and the art of persuasion. During the workshop, groups came up with different scenarios that may require motivation in order to resolve. Students participated in an activity that required them to identify a difficult situation (like convincing chapter members to be involved in chapter activities) and use some of the learned tactics of persuasion to improve the outcome.

Chapter members also attended the Student Chapter Meeting on Sunday evening. Chapters played an integral role in the International Year of Light (IYL) celebration and this was a chance to highlight both the events and the volunteers who made it happen. In addition to hearing from some of the IYL Activity Grant winners, attendees contemplated the differences between careers in academia vs. industry, and spent some time conversing with industry representatives in the room about how student chapters can form mutually beneficial relationships with companies.

Full-day Leadership Workshops with Jean-luc Doumont will be held later this year at SPIE Photonics Europe in Belgium (April) and SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego (August). To learn more please email students@spie.org.

From leflt, Egor Gurvitz, ITMO University, St. Petersburg Russia; Teboho Bell, National Laser Center, South Africa; Jan Hahn, Lazer Zentrum Hannover, Germany; and Ahmad Bassam Muhammad, American University in Cairo Chapter, Egypt

From left, Egor Gurvitz, ITMO University, St. Petersburg Russia; Teboho Bell, National Laser Center, South Africa; Jan Hahn, Lazer Zentrum Hannover, Germany; and Ahmad Bassam Muhammad, American University in Cairo Chapter, Egypt

Students discussing motivation skills.

Students brainstormed how to best use their chapter benefits. Simple exercises such allowed groups to share thoughtful ways to use SPIE funding benefits in new ways.