William & Mary

Optical Society names Irina Novikova to 2020 Class of Fellows

  • Irina Novikova sits at her desk at William & Mary
    Good optics:  William & Mary’s Irina Novikova has been elected to the 2020 class of Fellows of the Optical Society (OSA). It’s the latest honor bestowed on this associate professor in the university’s Department of Physics.  Photo by Joseph McClain
Photo - of -

William & Mary physicist Irina Novikova has been elected to the 2020 class of Fellows of the Optical Society (OSA).

“Being named an OSA Fellow is a singular honor and indicates a history of achievement in optics and photonics, and a reputation for service to OSA and our field,” said OSA President Ursula Gibson in making the announcement. “Congratulations to the 2020 Fellows Class, and our thanks to the OSA Fellow Members Committee, nominators and references for their continued support of this program.”

Novikova is an associate professor in William & Mary’s Department of Physics. Being named a Fellow of the Optical Society is only the latest honor bestowed on Novikova. She was singled out as an Outstanding Referee by the editors of the journals of the American Physical Society in 2016. In 2012, she was named a recipient of an Alumni Fellowship by the university’s Alumni Association.

The OSA announcement notes that Novikova was selected as a Fellow “for outstanding research of quantum coherence phenomena in atomic vapors, and ongoing service to OSA and the optics community.”

The honoree has an impressive slate of service contributions at William & Mary, as well. Novikova was co-chair of the faculty committee that brought about the Engineering Physics & Applied Design (EPAD) track in the physics major. She has been the lead faculty organizer for her department’s annual PhysicsFest and was instrumental in bringing the 2019 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics to William & Mary.

The OSA web site says that Fellow membership in OSA is limited to no more than ten percent of the membership. Fellows are members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics. 

Founded in 1916, the Optical Society (OSA) is a professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Since its founding, 38 OSA members and honorary members have been awarded a Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry or physiology/medicine.