A Conversation with Leslie Kolodziejski, EECS Graduate Officer

  1. Leslie with EECS graduate student Michelle Sander at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) 2010 reception in San Jose.
    Leslie with EECS graduate student Michelle Sander at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) 2010 reception in San Jose.
  2. Professor Terry Orlando, past EECS Graduate Officer, hands Leslie the ‘baton’ at the GSA Thank-You party to honor Professor Orlando.
    Professor Terry Orlando, past EECS Graduate Officer, hands Leslie the ‘baton’ at the GSA Thank-You party to honor Professor Orlando.
  3. Leslie with Dr. Reginald Bryant (2011) and Dr. Aisha Walcott (2011), a proud husband and wife team.
    Leslie with Dr. Reginald Bryant (2011) and Dr. Aisha Walcott (2011), a proud husband and wife team.
  4. Dr. Christopher Dainty, President of Optical Society of America (OSA), presents Leslie Kolodziejski with the Fellow Award from the OSA at CLEO 2011 in Baltimore.
    Dr. Christopher Dainty, President of Optical Society of America (OSA), presents Leslie Kolodziejski with the Fellow Award from the OSA at CLEO 2011 in Baltimore.
  5. Leslie Kolodziejski congratulates newly hooded Dr. John Cooley (2011) and Clarissa Zimmerman at the EECS Hooding reception on June 2 held in the Stata Center R&D area.
    Leslie Kolodziejski congratulates newly hooded Dr. John Cooley (2011) and Clarissa Zimmerman at the EECS Hooding reception on June 2 held in the Stata Center R&D area.

Professor of Electrical Engineering Leslie A. Kolodziejski is a principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) and Graduate Officer in the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. During her career at MIT, Kolodziejski has been recognized as a world leader in the epitaxial growth of compound semiconductors for optoelectronics. She was made Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) at the 2011 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) in Baltimore for “seminal contributions to the growth of photonic materials by molecular beam epitaxy and the fabrication of novel photonic devices.” At MIT, Kolodziejski directs (with Dr. Gale Petrich, principal research scientist at RLE) the Integrated Photonics Devices and Materials Research Group and together they operate the NanoPrecision Deposition Laboratory.

Since joining the MIT EECS faculty in 1988, Leslie Kolodziejski has been a dedicated and effective teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students in electrical engineering. She has also been a strong mentor for graduate students. She was awarded the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising by the School of Engineering in 2009. This award is made to a faculty member who ‘through tireless efforts to engage minds, elevate spirits, and stimulate high quality work, has advanced the professional and personal development of students and colleagues’. She was recognized in this award specifically for creating the Leaders in Life program (summer, 2008) and an ongoing advising seminar for women graduate students. Read more about Leslie Kolodziejski.

Leslie is pictured at the hooding reception in 2011 wearing the medallion for the Marion and Capers McDonald Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring which she received in 2009.

Leslie is pictured at the hooding reception in 2011 wearing the medallion for the Marion and Capers McDonald Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring which she received in 2009.

Q. Since you came to MIT in 1988 (as the Karl van Tassel Career Development assistant professor in 1992), you have increasingly become a leader in the EECS Department and at MIT. Can you describe the challenges and rewards you are gaining over this period?

Leslie Kolodziejski: “Over my career at MIT, I have found that the challenges to leading various initiatives stem primarily around communication. The different types of communication include: (1) describing what benefits will be obtained, or what issue is being resolved; or, stated differently, the need for clearly articulating what you wish to accomplish or change; (2) asking others for their opinions, and their advice, and their concerns as it is very important to gather as much input as possible, (3) frequent and continual discussion is necessary to appreciate and understand all facets of the initiative and its impact on the particular community involved, and (4) finally, clear communication of the outcome or the decision and the description of the process by which the decision was made. I seek to move groups toward consensus, and I take the time necessary to hear all opinions, and listen to the advantages and hope to uncover all disadvantages, as well as all concerns. I hope to find the win-win opportunity, and always feel that a win-win scenario is possible given enough time, consideration, and discussion. Of course, there will always be situations where some individuals are not satisfied with the outcome or decision, but hopefully, if their opinion has been thoughtfully and seriously considered, they will be willing to accept the decision or outcome.

Obviously, the rewards to leading various initiatives involve (1) contributing to change to develop new ideas and support or nurture new programs, (2) solving problems or finding better solutions, and (3) facilitating and helping other individuals or groups to achieve their goals, and ultimately enable and contribute to positive change.”

Pages: 1 2

Leave a Reply

Replies which add to the content of this article in the EECS Newsletter are welcome. The Department reserves the right to moderate all comments. If you would like to provide any updated information please send an email to newsletter@eecs.mit.edu.