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Positive peers and the power of shared experiences

Becky Bosco, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Optica

"We create the world we want," said Maria Ressa upon accepting the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for championing freedom of expression and speaking truth to power. The consummate communicator, Ressa, spoke with clarity, sincerity, and humility about her life experience. "We're responsible for our area of influence, and if we, each in our area of influence, live our values, then we can connect all these areas for positive outcomes."

As emerging optics and photonics community leaders, Optica Ambassadors provide career advice, technical knowledge, and mentorship to students and early career professionals by supporting professional development events at meetings and engaging with their global communities.

"I became an Optica Ambassador to provide career advice, technical knowledge, and mentorship to students and early career professionals. My multidisciplinary career has propelled me to move across continents and countries, giving me a unique perspective and motivation to guide early career professionals," 2021 Optica Ambassador, Linhui (Lynn) Yu is a Health Sensing Hardware Engineer at Apple. "We all feel better with peer support. We all benefit from feeling understood by someone who has 'walked in my shoes.' We learn from each other through shared moments and grow in our research areas."

"I've experienced many joyous moments in my career through the partnership of peer networks. Together we have achieved milestones including journal articles, conferences, webinars, and mentoring opportunities with students," 2021 Optica Ambassador, Tatevik Chalyan, Brussels Photonics Team (B-PHOT) at Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium. "Last week, I worked with a team of passionate peer collaborators to organize the International Symposium on Optics and its Applications. The Symposium honored the 100th anniversary of Mikael Ter-Mikaelian, an essential contributor to high-energy physics, laser physics, and nonlinear optics. It was an incredible experience to honor a leader in the Armenian optics community and hear from students entering the field."

"My involvement in scientific societies provided me with a community of like-minded people passionate about creating a diverse scientific and industry community," 2022 Optica Ambassador, Faezeh Gholami, Chief I/O Subsystem Hardware Architect and Senior IBM Quantum Ambassador at IBM, New York. "I continue to look for opportunities to advocate for building the women's pipeline in engineering, optics, and quantum information systems. As an Optica Ambassador, I've enjoyed connecting with early-career professional women who will be the next generation of women leaders in optics and photonics."

Community care recognizes that we, as human beings, are interdependent. Interactions within the scientific community are essential components of the advancement of our community. We don't work in isolation. Our increasingly interconnected society presents new ways to connect with peers and collaborators we have never met face-to-face. As Optica Ambassadors, we are dedicated to facilitating connections within our community and welcome your questions. Learn more about the Optica Ambassador program and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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