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:

Upcoming Third Women Of Light Symposium at the Frontier in Optics conference on September 16th 2018!

WiSTEE Connect (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship) is collaborating with the OSA Foundation to organize the 3rd international symposium “Global Women of Light” (GWL) at the 2018 Frontiers in Optics on Sunday, 16 September 2018 in Washington DC, US. The program will be hosted at the OSA Headquarters, The Optical Society from 8:00-16:00.

This GWL symposium will focus on Career Strategies for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship. A full description of the program and biographies of the panelists is available by clicking here. You can register for the GWL program via this link: Register for the WiSTEE 3rd GWL.

The goal of the third GWL Symposium is to continue building a strong network of women across academia, industry, government and to collaboratively establish strategies to advance women’s leadership across career ranks. Panel and round-table open discussions on “Collectively Advancing Women Leadership” will be hosted at this event. We have invited internationally renowned women leaders from both STEM and entrepreneurial backgrounds to share their strategies and best practices on advancing women leaders in these fields. A networking session will close out the 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 program is as follows:

  08:00 – 09:00  

Check-In, Breakfast and Networking

  09:00 – 09:30  

Welcome Remarks and WiSTEE Connect Introduction (Jie Qiao)

  9:30 – 9:45   Opening Speech (Elizabeth Rogan): Advancing Women in Optics
  09:45 – 11:30  

Panel Discussion (Christie Canaria, Judith Dawes, Ulrike Fuchs, Deborah Goodings, Cathy Long): Career Strategies for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship

  11:30 – 11:45  

Group Photo

  11:45 – 12:45  

Networking Lunch, Introduction to OSA Foundation (Chad Stark), and Keynote Speech (Jessie DeAro):: Changing the System Not the People

  12:45 – 15:45  

Career Strategy Workshop (Mary Burkhardt) and Round-Table Discussion: The Art and Science of Thriving Women

  15:45 – 16:00   Closing Remarks (Jie Qiao)
  16:00 – 17:00  

Networking Session (6th floor or OSA)

The panelists and speakers include:


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

Christie Canaria

Program Director in the Small Business Innovation Research
(SBIR) Development Center at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)


Ursula Gibson

Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and President Elect of the Optical Society

Ulrike Fuchs

Vice President Strategy and Innovation at Asphericon GmbH, Germany


Deborah Goodings

Director of the National
Science Foundation, Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing
Innovation (CMMI) of the Directorate for Engineering


Cathy Long

Associate Chief for the Instrument Systems and Technology Division at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Jessie DeAro

Lead program officer for the ADVANCE program of the National Science Foundation


Mary L. Burkhardt

CEO of Lead Peak Performance, LLC


Dominique Dagenais

Program Director at the National Science Foundation

Inka Manek-Hönninger

Associate Professor of Physics at the Centre Lasers Intenses et Applications at the University of Bordeaux

Tracy Kuntz

President of Towneley Capital Management, Inc.


Carmiña Londoño

Deputy Director for the Division of Electrical, Communications & Cyber Systems at the National Science Foundation

Yi-Hsin Lin

Professor of Photonics at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU),

Michelle Sander

Professor in the Department of
Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University


Yasaman Soudagar

Founder and CEO of Neurescence Inc.

Tish Shute

Director in Corporate Strategy & Technology Planning,
AR/VR/MR, Huawei USA

Ling-An Wu

Professor emerita at the Inst. of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Brigid Mullany

Program Director at the National Science Foundation in the Advanced Manufacturing Program within the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation

Cristina Canavesi

Co-Founder and President of LighTopTech Corp., Secretary of Wistee Connect