2014 SPIE Educator Award

Cristina Solano receives the 2014 SPIE Educator Award

01 July 2014

SPIE Senior Member Cristina Solano of Centro de Investigaciones en Optica (CIO) in Mexico is the recipient of the 2014 SPIE Educator Award in recognition of outstanding contributions in optics education and outreach.

“Cristina has truly championed reaching out to children and teenagers through science by organizing workshops, lectures, editing books, and many other volunteer activities,” said Marta de la Fuente, an SPIE Senior Member and member of the SPIE Scholarship Committee.

“This selfless work personifies the dedicated scientist/educator who gives back to the community.”

Solano has held several roles at CIO and was responsible for the creation of the center’s science museum in 2007. She is currently outreach activities coordinator and leads the center’s Science Club for kids aged 5 to 15. The club’s workshops has expanded to rural public schools in Mexico and last year reached 3000 students ages 10-12.

At the college level, Solano has directed five PhD theses and dozens of master’s and undergraduate students in their research work.

Solano has served on the SPIE Education Committee, Scholarship Committee, and subcommittees for SPIE Education Outreach Grants and Senior Member election.

She is a program committee member for the Optics Education and Outreach conference at SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014 and has judged several SPIE student events, including the SPIE Optics Outreach Games.

“Cristina cares deeply about photonics education, and I've seen it most in her dedication to photonics outreach to bring more young people into our field,” said SPIE Senior Member Marc Nantel, a former chair of the SPIE Education Committee.


Solano will be one of several panelists who will discuss global plans for the International Year of Light celebration in 2015 at SPIE Optics + Photonics, 18 August 2014. The panel will be moderated by Krisinda Plenkovich, director for education and community services at SPIE, the node lead for International Year of Light (IYL2015) activities in the United States, and a member of the IYL2015 Steering Committee.

Other panelists who will provide information on IYL2015 events in their regions of the world are SPIE Fellow Halina Rubinszstein-Dunlop, a councillor for the Australian Optical Society; SPIE Fellow Ching-Cherng Sun, vice chair of the Taiwan Photonics Society; and SPIE member Rajib Chakraborty, an associate professor at Calcutta University and treasurer of the Optical Society of India.


image for SPIE awardsSPIE presents several annual awards that recognize individual and team technical accomplishments in optics and photonics and service to the Society.

Nominations may be made through 1 October and remain active for three years from the submission date, except for the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award and the Goodman Book Writing Award.

Nominations must be accompanied by:

  • Nomination form
  • Citation stating the accomplishments of nominee
  • Description of the significant aspects of nominee's career
  • Curriculum vitae listing educational background, positions held, publications, awards, honors, activities, and offices held within SPIE
  • At least two letters of reference, not from the nominator

SPIE President H. Philip Stahl will present the 2014 Society awards Wednesday, 20 August, at the annual awards banquet in San Diego, CA (USA).

Read more about SPIE annual awards.

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