Eye on Education
July 9, 2019
President's Column
As we wrap up another academic year, I am about to ascend to one of the sweetest titles associated with serving on volunteer boards — immediate past president. In all seriousness though, it has been my honor to serve as the president of ASCO for these last two years.
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
The Association of Schools and Colleges (ASCO) has launched its national public awareness campaign – Optometry Gives Me Life.

This campaign was born out of the concern among ASCO and its optometric institutions with a troubling decline, in recent years, of qualified applicants to each institution’s first-year class.

The ASCO Board of Directors met in March and June to address important association business and challenges facing optometric education today and in the future.

Building upon the success of ASCO’s first ever Annual Meeting last year, this year’s Annual Meeting offered a lot of insightful presentations that welcomed comment and dialogue from those in attendance.

Direct costs awarded from the National Eye Institute for research at ASCO member institutions fell to $15.6 million during July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018, down from $19.3 million awarded during 2016-17 and $23.5 million in 2015-16, according to ASCO’s 2017-18 Research Survey Report. Overall, total direct costs awarded rose slightly to $29.9 million, after falling from $32.7 million in 2015-16 to $27.2 million in 2016-17. Industry-funded awards totaled $6.4 million, up from $4.1 million last year and $4.3 million the year before. Approximately $15.8 in direct costs was awarded for research in basic science ($13.7 million in 2016-17, $14.4 million in 2015-16), followed by $8.3 million for research in clinical science ($7.4 million, $8.1 million) and $4.0 million for research in translational science ($4.7 million, $7.4 million). All 23 member schools and colleges participated in the survey.

The complete report was distributed to the ASCO Board of Directors in December and includes a list of direct costs awarded to each school and information about faculty and facilities devoted to research.

The number of full-time faculty at the 23 optometry schools and colleges in the 50 states and Puerto Rico grew by 1.7% this year to 790, according to the 2018-19 Annual Faculty Data Report published in February by ASCO. This follows a 2.9% increase from 2016-17 to 2017-18.
The number of full-time, first-year students enrolled in professional OD programs in the 50 states and Puerto Rico decreased 2.8% in 2018-19 over the prior year, according to the ASCO 2018-19 Annual Student Data Report published in May 2019.
The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) is holding its 17th faculty development institute entitled Strengthening Partnerships for IPE and Collaborative Practice on October 2-4, 2019 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Downtown in Portland, OR.

The current edition of ASCO’s Journal, Optometric Education can be found at https://journal.opted.org. The issue features an editorial by Optometric Education’s editor, Dr. Aurora Denial, entitled, “A Look Back: Celebrating Women in Optometry,” as well as interesting peer-reviewed articles on subjects such as, the effect on room illumination and using technology in optometric education, the latest news from ASCO’s Corporate Contributors and more.

Next issue will be published soon.

Theresa Maher joined ASCO’s team in mid-May 2019. She is a recent graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in Print Journalism and a minor in health promotion. Maher’s previous experiences include a communications fellowship with a disability nonprofit, a reporting internship with Voice of America, and an internship at American University’s Health Promotion and Advocacy Center as a peer health educator. She is excited to work this summer with ASCO and help promote the profession of optometry.

ASCO 2nd year intern, Joseph Wobus is a student attending the University of Maryland, College Park. He is expected to graduate in May of 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He has enjoyed his work and time at ASCO and is proud of the work he has done as an intern. He is also grateful for the opportunity to work alongside talented and genuine individuals. Although he doesn’t have any direct plans to enter the medical professional field, he learned a lot about how the field is creating a positive impact on the lives of millions of Americans. Ultimately, he shares these goals in using his work to benefit the lives of others one way or another.

Application closes Aug. 4 -- https://www.aaopt.org/home/aaof/programs/programs-faculty/david-and-diane-goss-optometry-history-fellowship

The fellowship will provide support for an individual pursuing research in optometric history. The award will provide a $1,000 fellowship for an optometry history researcher or student to visit a library, archives, or museum to conduct research.

The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA) hopes to increase awareness and understanding of the need for neuro-optometric rehabilitation as well as where to find services. NORA has produced a brief video presentation on brain injuries, vision and neuro optometric rehabilitation Here

The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) are pleased to welcome Jeannine Nonaillada, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA as the Associate Editor for the MedEdPORTAL® Interprofessional Education (IPE) Collection on MedEdPORTAL.
Corporate Contributor News
On our 70th anniversary, we would like to thank and honor the healthcare professionals around the globe who have partnered with Allergan in caring for patients.
CooperVision’s Adopt-a-Patient® program provides students an additional opportunity for a “hands on” fitting experience that would otherwise have been prevented by a patient’s lack of financial resources. CooperVision provides selected patients in need a one-year supply of contact lenses upon completion of the fitting process at the school’s clinic or satellite clinics.
All patients understand the importance of their vision. Yet few appreciate the importance of protecting their vision with sunglasses every time they’re outdoors or in the car.
Keeler’s ability to supplement student education grows with our new portable non-contact tonometer, the TonoCare. The cordless design is something that we believe will make a useful tool in providing an economical, but effective, means of screening patients’ intraocular pressure.
Pearle Vision was awarded the Bronze Effie in the Branded Content category at the 50th Annual North American Effie Awards Gala. This is the brand’s first Effie in the highly competitive Branded Content category and their third Effie award in recent years. In addition, for the fourth consecutive year Pearle Vision was named a finalist in the Health Care Services category. Previously, the brand won a Silver and Bronze Effie in the category in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Shannon Collins Thackray has been named Vice President of Human Resources for Rev360, the company that delivers RevolutionEHR and a suite of eyecare practice and advancement solutions to eye care professionals (ECPs) throughout the US and Canada. Thackray has a distinguished career in Human Resources, from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. She came to Rev360 most recently from Accenture, where she had served in several senior roles within Human Resources and Recruiting.
Walmart announces the following students on being selected as campus winners advancing to the final round of the Project Foresight National Scholarship Competition. The final round took place in St. Louis, MO during Optometry’s Meeting. Look for that announcement soon.
Member News

Bruce McPheron, Executive Vice President and Provost, recommended the reappointment of Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, as Dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry and it was approved by the Board of Trustees. Her reappointment is effective from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2024.

Dean Zadnik holds the Glenn A. Fry Professorship in Optometry and Physiological Optics and also serves as executive dean for the health sciences.


A century ago, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) set out to be a leader in optometry. Now Salus University continues to be a leader in health science education, just like its founding College.


Julie Tyler, OD, FAAO was awarded Professor of the Year for the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry (Nova) by the Nova Southeastern University Faculty Advisory Council in recognition of significant contributions to research, scholarship and exceptional instruction.

Dr. Tyler received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Creighton University in 1992 and her Doctor of Optometry degree from Indiana University School of Optometry in 1996. Following graduation, she received a Residency certificate in Primary Care from Nova and was Chief Resident prior to joining the faculty full-time in July of 1998.

The Chicago College of Optometry’s inaugural class begin their third year of courses this summer, and in preparation for their upcoming rotations, they will begin the selection process for their preferred sites.


During a signing ceremony on Thursday May 16, 2019, The Eye Institute of Salus University established a satellite facility – the fifth of its kind – on the University of the Sciences’ Philadelphia campus for their students, faculty, staff and families. The clinical space contains three new, fully-equipped exam rooms complete with electronic health records, a pre-screening area and a contact lens dispensing area.
Taylor Phillips has graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry with the school’s first dual-degree Doctor of Optometry/Master of Business Administration. The degree is offered in a partnership with UAB’s Collat School of Business.
SUNY College of Optometry leadership hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new Center for Pediatric Eye Care on April 18.

The 5,000 sq. ft. facility on the 10th floor of the College’s midtown Manhattan campus will consolidate pediatric-related services to accommodate a growing number of children and families requiring basic and advanced eye care at the University Eye Center (UEC).
For many, making it through graduate school is a feat on its own; but for Kelly Morse, OD ’19 it is truly exceptional. That’s because during her third year at Salus University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), Dr. Morse had to fight her way back from being paralyzed, in order to reach her dream of becoming an optometrist.

Julie Rodman, OD, MS, FAAO, associate professor of optometry, was appointed Primary Care Chief for Broward at the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry’s clinical branch, The Eye Care Institute.
Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA) is a novel, non-invasive, dyeless imaging modality that has emerged as an indispensable tool in the fields of optometry and ophthalmology.

OCTA provides three-dimensional volumetric images of the retinal and choroidal vasculature by using a motion-contrast decorrelation algorithm. This cutting-edge imaging technology has widespread clinical utility as a non-invasive alternative for visualizing microvasculature in detail, but there are no textbooks dedicated to its use and the interpretation of scans.

Order book here.

Sixty-three students received their Doctor of Optometry degree at the MCPHS Commencement Ceremonies, which were held at Gillette Stadium on May 4. Seven of the 63 graduates received dual Doctor of Optometry/Master of Public Health (OD-MPH) degrees, which is a significant academic achievement.

As part of the Advances in Optometry course at the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO), Professor Renee Reeder, OD, FAAO, reached out to numerous industry colleagues to coordinate workshop for students that featured technological advancements in diagnosing and treating conditions of the cornea and ocular surface. Reeder noted that in recent years, management of the irregular cornea, dry eye and ocular surface has been changing exponentially and that many new devices have launched or expanded their offerings to provide better diagnosis and management.
SUNY College of Optometry recognized Hubert Sagnières, chairman of the Essilor Group and executive vice chairman of EssilorLuxottica, and Dr. Donald Hood, professor of psychology and professor of ophthalmic science at Columbia University, with honorary degrees during its 2019 commencement ceremony on May 23 at the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

The Neuroscience Society of MCPHS, the brainchild of Gursewak Singh, Aaron Favre, G. Swank and Bakari Samin, is geared to be a true interprofessional student organization with members and representation from all of MCPHS's schools. The society's mission is to increase public awareness and understanding of neurological disorders and neuroscience in the MCPHS Interdisciplinary Community (IDC) and the surrounding Worcester community. In governing a chapter of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA), the Neuroscience Society will strive to advance professional knowledge and understanding of neuro-optometric care and promote research in visual science.
 SUNY College of Optometry and Community Healthcare Network (CHN) unveiled Eye Mobile, a mobile health unit, during a ribbon cutting ceremony at CHN’s Washington Heights health center on April 16. The partnership will expand access to eye and vision care for more than 5,000 New Yorkers in low-income and underserved communities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx each year.
Recently Midwestern University celebrated the graduations of master’s and doctoral degree recipients who are beginning their professional careers in healthcare.

Over 1,600 graduates crossed the stage to receive their graduate hoods in ceremonies held on University campuses in Downers Grove, Illinois, and Glendale, Arizona, representing 11 healthcare specialty degrees across 10 Midwestern colleges.

During the ceremonies, Kathleen H. Goeppinger, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University, acknowledged the many achievements of the graduates during their years of rigorous study and clinical experiences. She also encouraged them to remember the values they learned as Midwestern University students. “If you could be one thing, be kind,” Dr. Goeppinger told the graduates. “Be kind to your patients, your family, your colleagues, and most importantly, to yourself.”
The University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) held its White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2021 on Saturday, May 11, 2019. The event was held in Booth Auditorium on UPIKE’s campus.

The White Coat Ceremony is symbolic within the health professions, reflecting a commitment to patient care. After two years of a rigorous classroom and procedure lab curriculum, the Class of 2021 will apply their knowledge in the clinical setting.

Dr. Deborah Amster will begin as chief of the pediatric service at SUNY Optometry’s University Eye Center on August 15.
The Optometric Center of New York, the affiliated foundation of the SUNY College of Optometry, hosted its 16th annual Eyes on New York Awards Celebration on March 22 at Cipriani 42.
Drs. Susan and Mark Fromer, Regeneron and Dr. Julia Appel ’91 were honored during the foundation’s signature event. Dr. Max Gomez, senior medical correspondent for WCBS-TV, served as master of ceremonies.
SUNY Optometry third-year student Christian Crespo received the 2019 Student Innovator Award following the College’s fourth annual competition on February 8.
SUNY Optometry’s Dr. David Troilo and Dr. Alexandra Benavente-Perez contributed to a special International Myopia Institute white paper edition of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

The effort brings together more than 85 key researchers from all corners of the world to generate consensus across the different areas of myopia. This critical reference may serve as a guide for scientific research, public health implementation and clinical practice.

Blue-blocking filters are not effective for reducing digital eye strain according to research published in the January 2019 edition of Optometry and Vision Science by SUNY Optometry professor Dr. Mark Rosenfield and 2019 OD/MS graduate Dr. Tatsiana Palavets.

On May 23, the illuminated stage of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Center City, Philadelphia was set with signature regalia for Salus University’s 118th Commencement.

Faculty, staff, family and friends gathered and watched proudly as their beloved hardworking students were presented with their professional degrees in: Optometry; Audiology; Biomedicine; Public Health; Occupational Therapy; Low Vision Rehabilitation; Vision Rehabilitation Teaching; Orientation and Mobility; Blindness and Visual Impairment; and Speech-Language Pathology.

Last month, Louis J. Catania, OD, FAAO, DSc took the stage as the keynote speaker at Salus University’s 118th Commencement. Dr. Catania is an internationally acclaimed clinical educator, author, and expert in anterior segment disease and eye care techniques.
Industry Spotlight
MacuLogix is an innovative medical device company based in Harrisburg, PA. Fueled by their mission to eliminate blindness caused by AMD, they are providing eye care professionals with the instrument and education needed to effectively diagnose and manage patients with AMD.
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions