Dr. Nicholas Massa, a professor Optics and Photonics at Springfield Technical Community College, will virtually accept an award recognizing him for outstanding contributions to education in optical science and engineering.

The conference, to be held the last week in October, was planned as an in-person event, but organizers switched to virtual because of the pandemic.

Dr. Nicholas Massa holds the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal he received from the Optical Society.

Events coordinator John Reynolds brought his recording equipment to the optics and photonics lab on Tuesday to shoot video of Dr. Massa accepting the award. In his acceptance speech, the professor noted he had spent the past 35 years in optics education and hopes he has provided his students with the inspiration and passion for optics that he brings into the classroom.

This past spring, the Optical Society named Dr. Massa the 2021 Esther Hoffman Beller Medal Recipient. He was honored for outstanding leadership in photonics technician education, including the development and dissemination of innovative educational materials.

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. 

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.