Two Leaders in Optics Win “Keeper of the Flame” Awards from National Women’s Hall of Fame

DECEMBER 18, 2018—ROCHESTER, NY – On Dec. 17th, the National Women’s Hall of Fame honored three women with the prestigious Keeper of the Flame award; two of these women are leaders in the optics community. The Luminate Accelerator—the world’s largest optics, photonics, and imaging accelerator for startups—hosted the awards ceremony at NextCorps in Rochester, NY.

The 2018 Keeper of the Flame recipients all reside in upstate New York.

Alexis Vogt, Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College (MCC), was selected for her significant contribution to growing skills and talent in the field of optics. MCC offers the only Optical Systems technology program at a two-year college in the nation. Vogt has expanded the optics program to numerous Rochester area high schools, bringing the opportunity to take dual-credit optics courses with MCC to more than 200 high school students. Throughout her career, Vogt has earned many awards for her contributions. She also serves on two boards, the American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association, and NY Photonics.

Susan Houde-Walter, President and CEO of LMD (which specializes in national security), was selected for her impacts on optics education, research and Intellectual Properties. She was the first regular faculty member of the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. Houde-Walter also founded LaserMax in 1989 with her husband, where she served for many years as CEO and board chair. She is currently adjunct faculty at the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Science, as well as a fellow of both the American Ceramic Society and the Optical Society. Houde-Walter holds 19 U.S. patents and has written more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles.

Carol Ritter Wright, a former journalist and columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle and Times Union, was also honored.

About the National Women’s Hall of Fame
The National Women’s Hall of Fame is a nonprofit that aims to showcase great women and inspire all. They offer comprehensive programming and regularly induct phenomenal women into the Hall of Fame. For more information, visit

About Luminate
Luminate is a startup accelerator focused on advancing next-generation optics, photonics, and imaging enabled companies. Luminate is funded by the New York State Finger Lakes Forward Initiative, and is administered by NextCorps. For more information, visit

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Shannon Wojcik
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