Friday, August 19, 2016

Already 12 Years Here With Satisfying Results

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, my dear UL SPIE! For us it is a special month - already 12 years ago our University of Latvia SPIE (UL SPIE) Student Chapter was established. To be more specific, thanks to a group of enthuastic youngsters keen on optics, photonics and related fields, our chapter exists since 25th of August, 2004. And this is only one of all those great examples how an idea is being spread out and attracts a lot of people. With this report we are happy to introduce you with our Anniversary celebration that took place last weekend.

Mr. President of the UL SPIE - Matiss Lacis
The dress code for our birthday party was Mexican style, so these outfits made it even more interesting. During the event we had a Leadership workshop, quiz about SPIE and related topics, a meeting about this year’s plan and prospecting actions, awarding ceremony of the Member of the Year, and, of course, the birthday cake.

The sweetest part of the anniversary
We were pleased to have a Leadership workshop hosted by a guest-speaker, our current member M.Sc.Ing. Marta Lange who recently had participated in I-LEAD leadership workshop programme. All the participants did a brainstorming and found the definition of a good leader, found out the differences between leaders and managers, and realized current and prospecting challenges of the UL SPIE Student chapter. Perhaps, the most creative and exciting part of the workshop was to make a group skit of an example of a good leadership. It is important to mention that surprisingly we have a lot of creative persons among us. For instance, here is the alphabet of characteristics a good leader: A- achievement | B- brave | C- confident | D- developing | E- emphaty | F- futuristic | G- giving advice | H- helpful | I- inspiring | J- just | K- careful (kareful ;)) | L- leader | M- motivating | N- NEVER.GIVE.UP. | O- open-minded | P- principal | Q- questioning | R- responsible | S- strong | T- team-work | U- uniting | V- with vision | W- wise | X- (e)xtra-ordinary | Y- you | Z- zebra (white and black moment in life).

Participants of the Leadership
I-LEAD is a leadership workshop programme for J1 visa holders in the US. During her stay in Baltic American Freedom Foundation intern exchange programme in Houston, Texas, Marta had the wonderful possibility to take part in I-LEAD in Washington, DC thanks to CIEE on spring 2016. As many other graduates of I-LEAD DC 2016, Marta brought this leadership knowledge on the next level and organized a one day workshop for UL SPIE members in order to get ready for the next semester and coach the new team leaders for organizing a wonderful annual DOC 2017 conference in Riga.

UL SPIE members. In the middle: Our guest-speaker Marta

As a result, Marta described her observations and impressions she got during the event: “I was very satisfied to see and meet the enthuastic UL SPIE members being together also during the summer holidays. To my mind, there have been appeared some new trends in our chapter. More and more students with different backgrounds are joining us, and it had made our chapter even stronger and richer with different knowledge and creative ideas. Starting from engineers and physicists to marketing and finance students. That is really awesome, and it broadens our field of view when we are organizing events, promoting and spreading the word of OPTICS and SPIE.”

Mexican-themed celebration of  our UL SPIE Student chapter
Furthermore, President of our chapter Matiss characterized the event and the main benefits gained through participating in voluntary work: “Despite the fact that the weather was not so nice, we managed to organize a great party in honor the UL SPIE 12th Anniversary. Thanks to Marta’s leaded workshop, everybody could understand what characteristics need to be improved in order to become a good leader.
During the evening we did a great job, including a review of our Annual action plan and brainstorming of future events. Also, we have launched a new tradition - Member of the Year Award. This year we awarded our long-term member M.Sc. Brigita Zutere for her active participation, involvement and continuous initiative in the interests of the UL SPIE.
One of the main point of the event was the thematic dress code -  Mexican decorations and outfit made a special mood. As were a part of an international organisation, our official language was English.”

Awarding of the Member of the Year - Brigita Zutere
For the first time, we had an international Anniversary event. This year we had a guest from our fellowship Student chapter. Ms. Marcelina Sobczak represented the Wrocław University of Science and Technology (WUST) OSA and SPIE Student chapters: “It was an honor to receive an invitation from Mr. President of the UL SPIE Student chapter. Participation in this Anniversary event strengthened even more my belief that our collaboration will have a great future and partnership possibilities in both scientific and social field. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Our UL SPIE family

Last but not the least, Brigita shared her emotions about received prize: “I am excited about this acknowledgment and really appreciate being a part of our UL SPIE family. I suggest everyone to think of some of the major ideas that have changed the world. My key is to think of something that will change the world in a small way - even if it’s just the world around you that you operate in. Just remember what SPIE means: Connecting Minds. Advancing Light."
To become a part of our international society for optics and photonics. Just contact somebody in the UL SPIE Board! We look forward to hearing from you soon! Just NEVER.GIVE.UP!

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