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Judith F. Donnelly

Judith F. Donnelly

Judith F. Donnelly is Professor Emerita from Three Rivers Community College, in Norwich, Conn., where she was professor of physics and technology for 36 years. Assisted by an industry advisory committee, she developed the Laser and Fiber Optic Technology (LFOT) Associate Degree program in 1997 and served as program coordinator and instructor until her retirement in 2014. With NSF and state of Connecticut funding, she developed Three Rivers’ laboratories for optics, lasers and lightwave communications.

She has facilitated optical science and technology workshops for K12 students and teachers for more than 25 years and continues in retirement to work on projects to integrate physics, specifically optics, into the middle and high school math curriculum. She is the principal author of the Dumpster Optics lessons, low-cost hands-on optics activities developed with SPIE. She is the author of more than 30 papers on optics and photonics education and presents a workshop, showcasing inexpensive optics demonstrations, each year at SPIE's Optics and Photonics conference.

Donnelly served as co-principle investigator (co-PI) on the three NSF-funded PHOTON projects granted to the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) that resulted in a wealth of field-tested instructional materials for teaching optics/photonics including a web-based “home lab” course; a laboratory kit, manual and videos to support a 1-2 semester introductory optics course; and sixteen inexpensive “Explorations” for middle school students with accompanying videos funded by OSA. She was also co-PI on three NSF-funded NEBHE Problem-Based Learning projects, working with optics/photonics and sustainable technology industries and research universities to create twenty online multimedia "Challenges" (case studies) for secondary and post secondary students, including assessment and teacher technical resources.

Donnelly received the Educator Award from SPIE (2003) and the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal for outstanding contributions to optical science and engineering education from OSA (2012). She is a senior member and fellow of both societies and has served on the education committees of the societies as well as on the Thirty Meter Telescope Workforce, Education and Public Advisory Group. She has also served on program committees of international optics education conferences including SPIE's Education Conference and Education and Training in Optics and Photonics (ETOP). She holds a B.S. degree from Tufts University and an M.S. from the University of Connecticut.