Dustin Newman: 'Here for each and every one of us'

dustin newman“Dustin has had a huge positive impact on the students at the Institute of Optics. He is more than someone who just works with undergrads. He works hard to be there for each and every one of us.”

“Dustin simply exudes competence at his job, but above all, he cares deeply about the students at the Institute of Optics.”

“Dustin is bright, friendly, and always willing to go out of his way to help.”

“He has literally been like a parent to all of us in Optics and nominating him for this award is the least I can do to show my gratitude towards him.”

“He gets to know the students individually and makes a strong effort to provide us with educational and professional resources and encourages us to act on them.

“Dustin has always been so helpful to me, and he is always looking out for the well-being of the students in Optics.”

With student testimonials like these, it is no wonder Dustin Newman, undergraduate program manager at the Institute of Optics, is the 2020 recipient of the Dottie Welch Award, given annually to a Hajim School staff member “whose performance and dedication enriches the student experience” in the tradition exemplified by the former undergraduate coordinator in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Newman, who joined the Institute in February of 2018, says there are multiple aspects to his job. “My main focus is as an Academic Advisor for all undergraduate students at the Institute of Optics. I guide them through the program and ensure they graduate on time," he says. "My secondary duties are recruitment, event planning, promoting employment opportunities, and connecting students with companies.”

Newman is instrumental in organizing the Institute’s annual week-long summer Photon Camp, which gives high school students an introduction to optics and photonics faculty lectures, visits to local optics companies, and a chance to work on projects in the Institute’s laboratories

He has also worked with the optics program at Monroe Community College on outreach efforts to high school students.

Prior to join the Institute, Newman had experience in teaching, counseling, customer service, inventory, organization, and logistics after working at Frontier Communications and serving in the U.S. Army, finishing active duty as a captain. He is a graduate of Houghton College.