Category Archives: Education

San Simon Family STEM Night Success!

sansimonAs part of the AISPIRE (American Indian Student-Parent Involved Research Experience) after school program collaboration with San Simon Day School on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, CIAN recently co-hosted a special San Simon Family STEM Night.

On May 2nd CIAN, WiO (Women in Optics), SOCk (Student Optics Chapter), and College of Optical Sciences students and staff visited San Simon Day School on the Tohono O’odham Reservation to celebrate the inaugural San Simon STEM Family Night. The event was hugely successful with Tohono O’odham students and parents in attendance. Students presented their science fair projects, a number of which were featured and received awards at SARSEF. University participants presented optical demonstrations including virtual reality glasses, a laser radio transmitter, and much more. There was also a rocket launch demonstration by the students and a tribal dance celebrating the students and parents’ culture.

Click the picture to see it larger!

Overall, the event was a huge success and will be occurring annually in May. CIAN will continue to co-host and participate in the event as part of CIAN’s AISPIRE After School program. The school and the optics volunteers were thrilled to see the event featured on the first page of “The Runner,” the official newspaper covering the Tohono O’odham Nation.

This event is largely in thanks to the dedication and hard work of previous ROKET (Research in Optics for K-14 Educators and Teachers) participant, Martha Rogers; and San Simon Principal, Frank Rogers. Additional thanks go to the student volunteers from WiO and SOCk, and all the participants at San Simon.

CIAN Student Retreat Innovation to Market Workshop 2017

This year’s Student Retreat and Innovation to Market Workshop took place in San Francisco, CA. Students from across the CIAN universities attended to participate in the professional development and innovation workshops. Two speakers gave workshops for the students. Below is included the recording of Will Tungpagasit’s presentation on Startup Life and Bri McWhorter’s summary of best practices in formal presentations.

will-tungpagasitStartup Life: Fact and Fiction
Will Tungpagasit
Shabuta Corp.

Will Tungpagasit, engineer and entrepreneur, will share his experiences founding and building companies in Silicon Valley. He will clarify the hype surrounding the industry, what options you have to actually building a company, and specific strategies on how to innovate efficiently via entrepreneurship. Afterwards, he’ll lead a brainstorming session and meditation workshop.


bri-mcwhorterPresentation Fundamentals: Formal presentations, Elevator Pitches & Developing Your Brand
Bri McWhorter
Activate to Captivate

Using acting tools, learn the techniques that all the best public speakers utilize to craft a dynamic and compelling speech. Become familiar with the necessary vocal, articulation and breath support tools that every presenter should have. Figure out how to distill your message to clearly articulate your ideas and take advantage of every opportunity which comes your way. Explore what makes you unique, clarify your career goals and make a plan to develop your personal brand.

Defining Your Audience:
Formal Presentations, Elevator Pitches and Developing Your Brand
By Bri McWhorter

No matter where you are presenting your ideas, whether it is in a formal presentation, an elevator pitch or developing your brand, you need to think about your audience first. How you craft and deliver your message depends on who you are speaking to.

 1. Presentation

Think about what type of audience you will be addressing. Are they a technical audience or a general one? What type of jargon is appropriate? How much detail can you go into? Knowing these answers will help you develop and organize your message.

Once you have that message, you have to think about the best way to deliver it. Focus on telling your story, rather than reiterating facts. Tell the audience why they should care about your research. Get them invested in the process.

2. Elevator Pitch

In an elevator pitch, you have a very small window of time where you have to capture your audience’s attention. Have a few pitches ready depending on whom you are talking to. That way, once you know a bit about their background, you can jump into the pitch that best fits the situation.

However, it isn’t enough to have different ideas of pitches, you need to workshop them. Practice with people from different backgrounds. See what works and what doesn’t. Then adjust your message depending on that feedback. It would be a shame to miss an opportunity to connect with someone because you didn’t take the time to work on perfecting your pitches.

3. Developing Your Brand

Knowing who your target audience is will help you decide which social media platforms to utilize. There are so many options available and it can be a bit overwhelming when you are starting out. For example, if you are trying to target young millennials, Snapchat is a good place to start. However, if you are trying to reach experts in your industry, I would suggest utilizing LinkedIn first, so you can establish a larger professional network.

Once you decide who you want to target, start connecting with people. Engage with posts they’ve written. Share your own ideas by writing articles. Establish your voice and take advantage of every networking opportunity that social media provides.

Summary

During a presentation, a pitch, or building your brand, always think about your audience first. Craft your goal by thinking about things from their perspective. This will help you create, distil and deliver your message in the most effective way.

Summer 2016 RET Program Results

CIAN selected six teachers from schools across the country to participate in CIAN’s Research Experience for Teachers program. The selected teachers participated in laboratories at University of California San Diego, Columbia University, and Tuskegee University. Each teacher pursued a research project which he or she applied to the classroom and developed unique and innovative lesson plans.

Interested in learning more about the CIAN RET program or applying? Visit us here.

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UCSD

Brenda Minjares

Project: Teaching Digital Transmission of Information and Light Properties in High School Physics
School: Escondido High School
Grade & Subject: 9-12th; Physics, AP Physics, College/Career Readiness

Lesli Horowitz

Project: The Invisible World (Microscopy)
School: Kearny School of International Business
Grade & Subject: 8-12th; Biology & Computerized Graphic Design

James “JC” Morris

Project: Investigating Seawater pH Using Light Absorbance-based Photometry
School: Mark Twain High School
Grade & Subject: 9-12th; Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics

Mentors: Dr. Yeshaiahu Fainman, Dominga Sanchez


Columbia

Sarah Wigodsky

Project: Investigating the Mach Zehnder Interferometer
School: Solomon Schechter School of Westchester
Grade & Subject: 11th & 12th; Physics & Electronics

Mentors: Dr. Keren Bergman, Christine Chen


Norfolk State University

Samuel Danquah

Project: Design and Fabrication of Planar MSM/VCSEL/MSM Triplexer
School: Norview High School
Grade & Subject: 9-12th; Technology of Robotics Design & Materials & Processes Technology

Rachel Watson

Project: Design and Fabrication of Dual MSM Photodetectors for Multi-Spectral Applications
School: Oceanair Elementary School
Grade & Subject: 2nd; Mathematics, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Writing

Mentor: Dr. Demetris Geddis

Inaugural O-RETinas Summer Program Success

CIAN is excited to announce completion of the first summer of the Optics Research Experience for Teachers in Native American Schools (O-RETinas) Research Experience for Teachers (RET) summer program.

This innovative program program hosted four teachers during the 2016 summer in a variety of research labs in optics, engineering, and chemistry as well as invited them to participate in an industry practicum. The teachers not only performed a guided research project in an innovative research laboratory but they also learned about industry applications, took a course at the University of Arizona, and participated in a number of culturally related workshops.

CIAN will continue the O-RETinas program in Summer 2017. Visit the website to learn more about how to apply!

CIAN is seeking additional industry mentors for the future O-RETinas programs. If you believe your company would be interested in hosting a teacher, please contact us!

Participant Mentor & Internship School & Grades Taught Project
Nate Raynor Dr. Qing Hao
4D Technology
Mescalero Apache School, 9th-12th grades Hot Pressing
Rhonda LaFrance Dr. Xiushan Zhu & Dr. Leonid Kotov
4D Technologies
Ahkwesahsne Mohawk School, 6th-8th grades Neodymium Doped Fiber Amplifier at 935nm
Dan Moreno Dr. Jeffrey Pyun & Laura Anderson
NP Photonics
Menominee Indian School District, 9th & 11th grades Melt Processing Advances with Sulfur Copolymers For Industrial Optical Applications
Geary Crofford Dr. Robert Norwood & Christine Alvarez
NP Photonics
Woodall Middle School (Cherokee Nation), 6th-8th grades STEAM Research Projects: Diatoms, Optics, and Photonics

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Undergraduate Native American Summer Research Program Success

The third year of the CIAN Integrated Optics for Undergraduate Native Americans (IOU-NA) Research Experience for Undergraduates has once again been a huge success.

Seven Native American students from three different tribes traveled to the University of Arizona to spend ten weeks working on unique and exciting research projects. Each of the students performed masterfully and succeeded in their laboratories by ending the summer with a poster presentation and an oral presentation to the university campus.

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In the three years of the IOU-NA program CIAN has hosted

  • 23 Native American Undergraduates from…
  • 10 different tribes and…
  • 14 different universities, community colleges, and tribal colleges.
  • So far, 10 out of 23 students have attended at least one conference and most presented research, with still more to attend!
  • Finally, 7 have so far successfully graduated with a B.S.
    • 5 of these students have been accepted to graduate school,
    • 1 is in the process of applying to graduate school, and
    • 1 is working in a STEM field.

Henderson_Candice 044

Candice Henderson, Navajo Nation, Seattle Central College
Novel Patterning of High Sulfur Content Copolymer for Waveguide Applications
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Norwood, College of Optical Sciences
Graduate Student Mentor: Soha Namnabat

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Gerald Henry, Navajo Nation, Technical University
Implementation of Motorized Control Alignment Stages using LabVIEW for Increasing Optical Fiber to Chip Coupling
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Norwood, College of Optical Sciences
Graduate Student Mentor: Amanda Chatterton

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Chris Yazzie, Navajo Nation, Northern Arizona University
Performance of a Bench Scale Hollow Fiber Membrane Distillation System for Brine Treatment
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Arnold, College of Engineering
Secondary Mentor: Dr. Vicky Karanikola, College of Engineering

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Daniel Hayden, Comanche Nation, University of Oklahoma
The Effects of Fire on Ectomycorrhizal Fungi Communities, in Ponderosa Pines of the Santa Catalina Mountains
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Betsy Arnold, School of Plant Sciences
Graduate Student Mentor: Shuzo Oita

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Norvina Charleston, Navajo Nation, Navajo Technical University
Changes in Arsenic and Lead Concentration from Different Soil Depth Along an Irrigation Canal Affected by the Gold King Mine Spill
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Paloma Beamer, College of Public Health
Graduate Student Mentor: Yoshira Ornelas Van Horne

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Anthony Smith, Caddo Nation, Pima Community College
Faraday Effect in Magnetic Ionic Liquids: Applications in Optical Isolators
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Palash Gangopadhyay, College of Optical Sciences
Graduate Student Mentor: Bharati Neelamraju
Arviso_Brittany 021Brittany Arviso, Navajo Nation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Modeling Heads Up Display Image and Eyebox Expansion
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Pierre-Alexandre Blanche, College of Optical Sciences
Graduate Student Mentor: Colton Bigler

Photos by Julian Ybarra

Final Summer of ROKET Research Experience for Teachers Program

DSC_2052

The final summer of the CIAN Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program called ROKET (Research in Optics for K-14 Educators and Teachers) has come to a close. The summer was hot in Tucson, AZ but well worth the 6-weeks that CIAN’s final three teachers experienced.

The summer ended with a poster presentation and closing ceremonies celebrating the hard work of the three teachers.

Participant Mentor Project Title
Jorge Guarin Dr. Rolf Binder Predator-Prey Model Using Lotka-Volterra
Victor Camarena Dr. Palash Gangopadhyay and Bharati Neelamraju Polarized Microscopy of Petrified Wood: Sample Preparation and Imaging
Olivia Lansing Dr. Euan McLeod Designing and Building a Holographic Microscope

Interested in applying to a new CIAN Research Experience for Teachers!?

Summer 2017 we will be hosting up to 10 teachers for the RET Optics Research Experience for Teachers in Native American Schools. We invite anyone eligible interested to apply or contact us with questions.

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CIAN Photonics Education & Leadership Webinar Series – Effective Communications & Personal Branding

Effective Communications & Personal Branding

Date: Friday, May 20, 2016
Time: 11am Pacific Time / Arizona Time / 2pm East Coast Time

Register now!
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7099110449137650433 

This presentation is hosted by CIAN ERC & the Iranian American Women Foundation.

royaBiography

Roya Soleimani
Corporate Communications Manager, Social Impact
Google

 

Roya Soleimani is a Corporate Communications Manager at Google where she focuses on the company’s People Operations, Diversity, Culture, Computer Science Education, and Philanthropic efforts. Roya is also a lead Google Trends analyst, highlighting trending topics across Google on radio and media across the country. Roya regularly speaks on personal branding and effective communications, and also serves as an advisor and operational partner at PejmanMar Ventures, helping early stage startups with their messaging and communications strategies.

She holds a Masters degree in Middle Eastern studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and her Bachelors in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. Roya is involved with several community organizations, including the iBridges, the Iranian American Women’s Foundation, the OMID Foundation Bay Area Committee, PAAIA NexGen’s National Organizing Committee, and more.

Before joining Google, Roya served as the Research Director and co-founder of the Internet freedom project, Weapons of Mouse Destruction. She spent five years in Washington, DC where she worked for the University of California Washington Center and Voice of America’s Persian News Network. During her time at Georgetown, Roya was as a graduate student researcher on a project assessing the condition of urban Iraqi refugees in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, the Middle East Institute, and served as a Graduate Intern at the Albright Stonebridge Group, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s global strategy firm. Roya is passionate about Internet freedom, free expression, and the continued growth of women and under represented groups in technology.

This webinar was sponsored by Iran American Women Foundation with the help of Farbia Bolurieh

CIAN and IAWF - webinar flyer updated