The Institute of Optics

News & Events

 April 15, 2013

Cristina Canavesi wins Simon Games

One of our PhD Candidates in Optics, Cristina Canavesi, won 1st place in the 2013 Simon Games on April 12th and was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to pursue an Executive MBA at the Simon School of Business, a scholarship valued at over $89,000!

Cristina is pursuing a PhD in Optics with a driving motivation - to get this fantastic technology developed in the lab, state of the art technology, to the market. Cristina, together with her advisor Jannick Rolland, the Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering, and Mike Riedlinger, director of the Rochester BioVenture Center and manager in the High Tech Rochester (HTR) Technology Commercialization Office attended a course on Technology Commercialization at Stanford University in spring 2012, with the support of the National Science Foundation I-Corps program. In parallel Cristina attended the HTR pre-seed workshop twice in different roles, in addition to completing her Master in Technical Entrepreneurship and Management at Simon School in 2012.  In 2012, Cristina won the highest award from the SPIE in Optical System Design and simultaneously, with a team of 4, won 1st place in the Mark Ain Business Model competition at the University of Rochester. Cristina received the 2013 Institute of Optics Student Award for Excellence.

Cristina is also leading the Women in Engineering (WiE) group at UR which hosts monthly lunches and volunteered to be the secretary for WiSTEE, a new group formed in March 2013 to support Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship, led by Jie Qiao, a senior scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, who is quoted with the following statement about Cristina and the Simon Games:

"I was at the Simon School last Friday to Present the WiSTEE group at the Annual Diversity Conference. Professor Larry Matteson of the Simon School shared this great news with me. He and another Simon Executive MBA student Alicia Henn who were on the judge team for this scholarship competition, said that scholarship competition was fierce with a total of 75 applicants (many of them have industry experience) competing for two full scholarship slots. Cristina's performance was truly outstanding and she was a clear winner!"

Congratulations to Cristina for another outstanding award!

See here the news about her winning two prestigious awards last summer.