Technical Skills Educator Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Technical Skills Educator Award is given to recognize educators specializing in bringing technician and technical skills training within the PHO field of interest to traditionally underserved communities.  While candidates teaching at the technical skills level, such as at US community colleges, are targeted, we also welcome applicants from any accredited, degree- or certificate-granting institutions worldwide.

The award will recognize effective, impactful, and innovative educators who bring specialized training to communities for whom photonics is not typically viewed as a common educational and career path. Contributions to curriculum and course development, industrial and governmental education programs, textbook development, will all be considered in the award evaluation.

The Awards consists of a certificate of recognition and honorarium equaling $1,500.00, with an additional $1,000.00 towards travel to attend the IEEE Photonics Conference for the presentation.


2020 Honoree


Alexis Vogt

For transforming the optical systems technology program at MCC into a national model through teaching, mentoring, leadership, fundraising and outreach.



Alexis Vogt, PhD is Endowed Chair and Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College – the nation’s only community college awarding associate degrees in precision optics. In her four and a half years at MCC, Dr. Vogt has secured over $5.7M for the College’s Optical Systems Technology program. Dr. Vogt received her B.S. as well as her Ph.D. in Optics from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester where her research focused on polarization engineering, coherence theory, and microscopy.

Prior to joining MCC, Dr. Vogt was the Applications & Business Development Manager at Melles Griot (IDEX) and previous to that, designed contact lenses and intraocular lenses for Bausch + Lomb. In addition to her industry experience, Dr. Vogt holds three patents and has authored hundreds of papers, presentations, and publications in the field, including the definitions of “light” and “polarization” for The World Book Encyclopedia.

She dedicates time to youth outreach and has been involved with coordinating and presenting optics demonstrations to children and educators both within the Rochester community and internationally.

Dr. Vogt is recipient of the 2018 National Women’s Hall of Fame Keeper of the Flame Award and the 2017 New York Photonics Education Award. In addition, Dr. Vogt is a recipient of the Rochester Business Journal 2016 “Forty Under 40” award, the 2015 IDEX KEEP award for high performance, offering financial incentive to remain at IDEX, and the 2012 Bausch + Lomb CEO Award. Dr. Vogt serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association (APOMA), the Rochester Museum & Science Center, and New York Photonics. Dr. Vogt is married with three children ages 7, 5 and 2.

Nomination Deadline: April 30

Nomination Requirements

Submit Nomination