I am teaching “Liquid Crystals: from fundamentals to applications” conference short courses such SC790 of the Intl. Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). SC790 provides an introduction to the fundamental physical properties of liquid crystals, as well as to their widespread photonic and electro-optic applications. The main goal of the course is to enable students and researchers working at the forefront of optics and materials science to better understand and more successfully utilize liquid crystals in their own applications. Many practical examples are included throughout the course, such as applications in displays, beam steering, telecommunications, tunable photonic crystals, nano-science, biodetection, and drug delivery. After taking the course, the students become fluent with what liquid crystals are and how they are used in a wealth of applications. I supervise the CU chapter of SPIE and co-advise (jointly with Noel Clark) the CU student chapter of MRS. As an advisor, I strive to involve students in various activities of these professional societies because I am convinced that this will help in developing their professional and leadership skills. I also participate in the SPIE “Visiting Lecturer” program and give lectures to student audiences worldwide on several different topics.