STCC Optics and Photonics professor wins award for leadership
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A Springfield Technical Community College professor of Optics and Photonics Technology joins 16 recipients from prestigious institutions worldwide to receive awards and medals from the Optical Society (OSA).
The 2021 OSA prizes include the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal, which went to Dr. Nicholas Massa. According to a news release from the OSA, Massa was recognized “for outstanding leadership in photonics technician education, including the development and dissemination of innovative educational materials.”
Massa, of Longmeadow, has taught at STCC since 1986. He has led the Optics and Photonics program since 1990.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be recognized by the OSA and be part of an esteemed group of colleagues dedicated to advancing the field of optics and photonics,” Massa said. “I’m proud to have helped prepare and inspire students to pursue careers in a rewarding and exciting field.”
Dr. John B. Cook, STCC president, said, "We cannot thank Professor Massa enough for his significant stewardship of this program over many decades. To be recognized with this award is not only a testament to his investment in the field of optics and photonics; it is also a credit to the STCC mission which has a distinctive technical and workforce focus."
Dr. Geraldine de Berly, vice president of Academic Affairs at STCC, said Massa has dedicated his career to developing the Optics and Photonics program, which is the only one of its kind in the region. Students can pursue a two-year associate degree or one year certificate. The program prepares aspiring engineering technicians with the knowledge and skills of lasers, optics, and electronics needed to design, test and maintain complex optics and photonics systems.
It’s an honor and privilege to be recognized by the OSA and be part of an esteemed group of colleagues dedicated to advancing the field of optics and photonics.Dr. Nicholas Massa, Professor, Optics and Photonics
“Dr. Massa inspires students and shares with them his passion for the program,” de Berly said. “He is to be congratulated on his work over the years which has had a lasting impact on so many students. The award is well-deserved.”
The Optics and Photonics Technology program at STCC serves as a pathway into positions at high-tech companies throughout the region, including Coherent/Nufern, which makes optical fibers for telecommunications and high power fiber lasers used in industry and defense technology.
“For many years our Coherent locations in Connecticut have relied on Springfield Tech’s Optics and Photonics degree program to fill our job openings with well-trained and well-qualified employees,” said Meg Feinberg, Coherent representative. “STCC graduates not only have hands-on optical fiber handling and laser building skills, they understand the science behind these always-evolving technologies which can lead to jobs with increasing responsibility and career opportunity.”
Massa joins an elite group of award and medal winners that include educators from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Lund University in Sweden, among other institutions throughout the United States and the world. Read the full list of recipients and their institutions at osa.org.
The OSA on Feb. 11 announced names of recipients. Throughout the year, OSA will recognize a total of 23 awardees for their distinguished achievements. Among those honored this year are the first women to win the Max Born Award, C.E.K. Mees Medal, and John Tyndall Award.
The OSA Awards Program celebrates the field's technical, research, education, business, leadership and service accomplishments. More information is available at osa.org/awards.
“The 2021 awardees truly embody the Society’s core values of innovation, integrity, inclusivity and impact,” said 2021 OSA President Connie Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Chair Professor Emerita of EECS at University of California, Berkeley. “They now join the ranks of OSA honorees who have greatly influenced the global optics and photonics community. In addition, I applaud the efforts of those who nominated candidates, submitted references and participated on the selection committees.”
Massa’s award, the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal, was established in 1993 and is presented for outstanding contributions to education in optical science and engineering. Consideration is given to outstanding teaching, original work or both in optics education that enhances the understanding of optics.
Interested in applying to STCC? Visit stcc.edu/apply or call Admissions at (413) 755-3333.
About Springfield Technical Community College
STCC, the Commonwealth's only technical community college, continues the pioneering legacy of the Springfield Armory with comprehensive and technical education in manufacturing, STEM, healthcare, business, social services, and the liberal arts. STCC's highly regarded workforce, certificate, degree, and transfer programs are the most affordable in Springfield and provide unequalled opportunity for the vitality of Western Massachusetts. Founded in 1967, the college – a designated Hispanic Serving Institution – seeks to close achievement gaps among students who traditionally face societal barriers. STCC supports students as they transform their lives through intellectual, cultural, and economic engagement while becoming thoughtful, committed and socially responsible graduates.
Jim Danko, (413) 755-4812, firstname.lastname@example.org