Promote women leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship (STEE), bridge the gap between Science and Business, and provide a forum to learn, connect and lead.
WiSTEE Connect aims to provide concrete support to help women to gain regional connections and global impact in STEE fields.
Compared to the existing similar organizations, WiSTEE Connect is aiming to fill two gaps:


May 2022: WiSTEE is back! Jie Qiao, WiSTEE Founder and Chair, served as a moderator / panelist, along with Kristan CorwinUrsula KellerTara Fortier, and Andrea Armani,  for a special workshop“ Experience in breaking the glass ceiling for women in STEM,” at the 2022 CLEO conference in San Jose, CA.

The panelists shared with over 80 international attendees on their experience, insights, and advice on breaking the glass ceiling. The panelists and audience actively exchanged the signaling they experienced from the glass ceiling and strategies used to overcome it. Building network, mutual support and effective communications are the central elements. Two key take-home messages are women must support women, and building allies and sponsors within one’s organization and professional communities.


WiSTEE quarterly newsletter is here!


The Fourth International Symposium Global Women of Light at the 2019 Frontiers in Optics conference

Sunday, 15 September 2019, 9:00-16:30
Location: OSA Headquarters, The Optical Society, 2010 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20036 USA

WiSTEE Connect (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship) is collaborating with the OSA Foundation to organize the 4th international symposium “Global Women of Light” (GWL) at the 2019 Frontiers in Optics on 15 September 2019 in Washington DC, US. The program will be hosted at the OSA Headquarters, The Optical Society from 9:00-16:30.
The goal of the GWL Symposium is to continue building a strong network among women across academia, industry, and government and collaboratively establish strategies to advance women’s leadership across career ranks. Panel and round-table open discussions on “Career Strategies and Intersecting Science and Entrepreneurship” will be hosted at this event. We have invited internationally renowned women leaders from both STEM and entrepreneurial backgrounds to provide their strategies and best practices on advancing women leaders in these fields. A networking session will close out the day’s program and provide an opportunity for informal discussion. A community of women across career ranks and disciplines in STEM and Entrepreneurship will continue to be built, creating cross pollinated best practices and strategies across sectors. Career growth, mobility, mentorship, and leadership will be collectively developed by this community.

The panelists and speakers included:


Jie Qiao

Associate Professor of Optics at the Carlson Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Founder and Chair WiSTEE Connect

Elizabeth Rogan

Chief Executive Officer of the Optical Society

Gisele Bennett

Senior Vice President for Research and Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and  Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Florida Tech


Linda Braun

Vice President of Photonics Solutions for the National Security and Innovative Solutions sector of CACI International

Deborah Jackson

Program Director for the NSF Engineering Research Center’s Program Office

Amy Newbury

Director and Aerospace Fellow at Maxar Technologies


Cynthia Simmons

Chief of the Instrument Systems & Technology Division in the Engineering and Technology Directorate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland

Stefi Baum

Dean of the Faculty of Science and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manitoba (Canada)

Julianne Clouthier

Industry Engagement Manager for FuzeHub, Manager of Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund


Katherine Eisenberg

Board-certified family physician, epidemiologist, and entrepreneur in Rochester, NY

Tara Fortier

 Project leader at the National Institute ofTechnology, Boulder

Elizabeth Goldschmidt

Assistant Professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Ruyan Guo

Program Director for Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems of Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation

Victoria Hill

Principal & Research Scientist at Numeritics

Karlene Karrfalt

Research Engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate


Tracy Kuntz

President of Towneley Capital Management, Inc

Odile Liboiron-Ladouceur

Canadian Research Chair in Photonic Integration Towards Emerging Applications and Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University

Carmen Menoni

Colorado State University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Valerie Newman

Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester, Medical Site Director at the Center for Primary Care and serving on Primary Care Advisory Board of Accountable Health Partners

Kandice Tanner

Stadtman Investigator at the National Cancer Institute

Elisavet Troupaki

Associate Head of the Laser and Electro-Optics Branch at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


Kristina Uhlendorf

Senior Principal Design Engineer for Optical Design at Jabil Optics Germany GmbH