Tag Archives: University of Arizona

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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SOCk invites CIAN students to Conference

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Hello, CIAN students!

The Student Optics Chapter (SOCk) at the College of Optical Sciences is organizing an OSA International OSA Network of Students (IONS) conference coming up in the fall, and we would love to have some CIAN students attend. Registration is free, and the conference is packed with great opportunities for you.

  • All out of town conference attendees will have their hotel paid for Friday-Sunday night at the Double Tree Inn and Suites. In addition, we have travel grants for international students and undergraduates. More information is on our travel page!
  • This is a student conference! We have provided lots of opportunities for you to socialize with your fellow OSA students from around the globe, such as spending an evening in downtown Tucson, visiting the world renowned Desert Museum, a social poster session, and other chances throughout our four days together. 
  • A sit down breakfast is provided every morning by the Double Tree, and nearly all other meals will be covered by the conference.
  • Our invited speakers include the director of the BIO5 institute Dr. Jennifer Barton, and Oculus Rift Lead Engineer Dr. Scott McEldowney. We will have two additional keynote speakers, and are waiting to hear back from them to confirm. 
  • Our event programming includes panel discussion about careers in industry and academia, as well as learning how to best manage your student chapter.

More information on conference programming and events can be found on our website! You can register for the conference on this page on our website, which also includes instructions on how to submit your abstracts for consideration.

Thanks so much! I hope to see you in the fall at IONS Tucson 2016!


SPIE Ben faceBENJAMIN CROMEY –GRADUATE STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

NSF Fellow Benjamin Cromey is pursuing his PhD in Optical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Arizona. As a member of the Optics Ambassadors and the Vice President for the Student Optics Chapter, optics outreach is one of his passions. He participated in the 2012 IOU program with CIAN and worked with 3D Holographic Displays as an undergraduate. Currently, he works with Dr. Khanh Kieu on fiber lasers and Multiphoton Microscopy. Ben’s posts.

IOU-NA Student Presents at NGWA Conference

FullSizeRenderDuring my attendance at the National Ground Water Association conference I had the opportunity to present my research to the attendees. My research presented was from an internship conducted at the University of Arizona during the summer of 2015. In addition, the research presented was from a combination of two Hydrology graduate students and a professors work. The NGWA conference was primarily focused on ground water quality in the Southwestern area of the United States. Also, the conference included water discharge/recharge in urban areas, climate change, private well inspections, water toxins, public awareness, water conservation, and local water rights. Throughout the conference I gained valuable information about the ground water quality in the surrounding area that I may be able to use for future research. This opportunity  could not have occurred without the assistance and funding from CIAN’s REU IOU-NA program, UROC, and NSF.

Learn more about the IOU-NA Program and how to apply!

Galveston Begaye - Fort Lewis College, Summer 2015 Participant

Galveston Begaye – IOU-NA 2015 Participant, Fort Lewis College

Galveston attends Fort Lewis College as an undergraduate student studying Engineering. Over the 2015 Summer IOU-NA REU program he researched “Changes in DOM Quantity and Quality in a Southern Rockies Forested Catchment Introduction” with Professor Tom Meixner.  He hails from the Navajo Nation and the Táchii’nii – Red-Running-Into-The-Water Clan and Ashiihi – Salt Clan.

CIAN International Travel Grant: Jasmine’s New Zealand Story

This year, I received a CIAN student travel grant for conference travel. Thanks to this grant, I headed to New Zealand over Thanksgiving for the International Network of OSA Students Conference on Optics, Atoms, and Laser Applications (IONS KOALA). Throughout the week, I gave a presentation on my research, listened to students from around the world present their research, heard a talk by a Nobel laureate, and explored the city of Auckland!

KOALA is a conference that bounces between Australia and New Zealand every year, so naturally, its mascot is a koala hugging a kiwi:

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Each year’s organizing team adds a new patch, although the poor koala is starting to run out of space.

This was a student conference, which showed in a couple of ways. We were told at the start of the conference that anyone going over their time limit (15 minutes for most talks) would get shot with a Nerf gun until they stopped talking. This was apparently a pretty effective threat, because only one presenter went over time. Also, the organizers went out of their way to ensure that the presenters felt encouraged; if no one in the audience had a question at the end of a talk, the session chair would always ask something.

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An Evening with Captain Jim Lovell

The Captain of Apollo 13 is not your typical dinner guest.

In 2014, I was honored to be named an Astronaut Scholar. The Astronaut Scholarship, which was established by the original Mercury 7 astronauts, aims to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing college scholarships for the very best and brightest students pursuing science, technology, engineering or math degrees. My colleague and friend here at Optical Sciences, Travis Sawyer, received an Astronaut Scholarship both in 2014 and 2015.

Earlier in December, Travis and I got an email about an amazing opportunity. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, or ASF, was holding an event near Phoenix for a large group of potential donors, and they wanted to have a few Astronaut Scholars present for the event. I could barely contain my excitement when I realized who the speaker for the evening would be, Captain James Lovell, of Gemini 7 and 12, and Apollo 8 and 13!

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Left to Right: Myself, Captain James Lovell, and Travis Sawyer.

We arrived in Phoenix just before dinner time and drove out to the venue, a very nice country club in a gated neighborhood. We had the opportunity to talk with Captain Lovell a bit before the other folks started arriving, then we mingled until dinner time. We enjoyed a wonderful view of the sunset over the Phoenix Valley.

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Arizona sunsets are amazing.

After meeting and speaking with several retired folks, dinner commenced. We got to sit with the leadership of the ASF, plus a member of the board of Trustees for ASF and his family, and of course Captain Lovell.

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Travis, myself, Todd Hanson from ASF, and Captain Lovell at dinner

Most of the people at the table really didn’t know about optical sciences, so Travis and I took turns explaining the applications of optics, and our own individual backgrounds. I had a chance to pass around the hologram I had made as part of the Real Holography project I did as an undergraduate with CIAN. Travis talked about the role of optics in art, such as determining brush strokes, artist identification, and the hyperspectral imaging of art. I got to ask Captain Lovell several questions, such as about the Apollo 13 movie and his involvement. Turns out the captain of the aircraft carrier that retrieves the Apollo 13 crew in the film is the actual Captain Lovell!  I also asked him if there was a question that people always asked him at events like these, to which he replied “How do you go to the bathroom in space?”

He then gave a lecture to us and the potential donors present about his experiences in Space, mostly about Apollo 13.

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Captain Lovell showed us a video that was included in the report to Congress on the events of Apollo 13.

He had remarkable hindsight to say that the explosion was the best thing to happen to NASA at the time, because it exposed some of the complacency that had lead to the accident, and allowed the incredible people who were part of NASA to shine as they worked furiously to bring the team home. He was also quite funny and a gentlemen. What a privilege to spend time with him.

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SPIE Ben faceBENJAMIN CROMEY –GRADUATE STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Benjamin Cromey is pursuing his PhD in Optical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Arizona. As a member of the Optics Ambassadors and the Vice President for the Student Optics Chapter, optics outreach is one of his passions. He participated in the 2012 IOU program with CIAN and worked with 3D Holographic Displays as an undergraduate. Currently, he works with Dr. Khanh Kieu on fiber lasers and Multiphoton Microscopy.

In Memoriam

Bernard Leonard: May 13, 1960 – November 20, 2015

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Every summer, CIAN hosts amazing teachers from around the country in Research Experience for Teachers (RET) programs, and each year they return to their schools to inspire and excite their students about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). We have had many RET teachers who excel as summer researchers and teachers, setting an example of superior work ethic and devotion to excellence; Bernard Leonard was one of these. A role model to his fellow teachers and all who knew him, Bernard participated in the Research in Optics for K-14 Educators and Teachers (ROKET) program during the summer of 2014, at the University of Arizona. Sadly, after bravely fighting cancer, Bernard passed away on November 20, 2015.

Bernard was an honorable husband and father of two children. He taught children on Arizona’s Hopi reservation, and although some of us knew him only shortly, it was obvious that he was proud of his heritage and his roles as husband, father, and teacher. He was kind, humorous, and giving.

On behalf of the Center for Integrated Access Networks and the 2014 fellow ROKET participants, our thoughts and condolences are with Bernard’s family.

Thank you for your example, Bernard. It will not be forgotten.

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Words from fellow teachers and ROKET participants:

“Bernard Leonard, a true Diné man and a friend of many, was an educator participant in the Summer of 2014 CIAN-ROKET STEM opportunity at the University of Arizona. Bernard may have lost his battle to cancer, but his fight of educating indigenous students in promoting the sciences remains. He was well loved by those of his family and friends across the Navajo Nation and especially by the community and families of the Hopi Tribe as he gave his all in educating students who entered his class over the years. It is with honor and gratitude to have had the opportunity to have met Bernard and to call him friend.”  

Bernard was a dedicated teacher who wanted to bring more to his tribe and help the students to reach… higher academic standards by participating in scientific research and different activities to bring more ideas of engaging Native American students to STEM and learning. He will be missed and hopefully other teachers from his area would follow in his foot steps to learn to engage Native American students.”

“When talking to Bernard, I was always reminded that I was talking to a true leader; a Father, husband, teacher, and Native American role model. He did it all and made it seem possible. Bernard inspired me to take value in my teaching and to follow the path that feels right.”

 

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Bernard presenting his ROKET research poster and laughing with undergraduate students.

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Bernard having fun in the Thin Films Lab

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Bernard working on an assignment in Prof. Greg Cajete’s workshop

AISPIRE After-School Program – Visit to the U of A

CIAN has formed a partnership with the San Simon Day School located on the Tohono O’odham reservation in Arizona. Together, San Simon teacher and previous Research Experience for Teachers (RET) participant, Martha Rogers, and CIAN faculty, staff, and graduate students are working to develop and host an exciting after-school program for these students ranging in grades 3 to 8.

The AISPIRE After-School Program (or American Indian Student & Parent Involved Research Experience) is a huge hit with students and parents. Recently, on November 3rd forty-six San Simon students, their teachers, and a few parents traveled from the school to the University of Arizona for a personalized visit. Students visited three CIAN laboratories including the 3D holography lab, the Quantum Nano Optics of Semiconductors (QNOS) lab, and the Multiphoton Microscopy lab. Then the students learned about Optics by creating their own lenses using “Edible Optics” designed and created by CIAN student, Jasmine Sears. Finally, the students learned about kaleidoscopes and created their own kaleidoscopes to take home with them.

Overall, it was an amazing day and visit with the students of San Simon and the AISPIRE program.

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