For those of us with career paths in optometric education, this is a very special time of year when we welcome new incoming students and reconnect with returning students who are advancing in the curriculum. It’s an exciting time of the year when we get to start fresh with new energy. It’s a time when we can renew our commitment to creating the future of our profession through excellence in education.
The new academic year gives us all the opportunity to try new strategies in teaching and learning, to implement new technologies and to advance the art and science of education. It is always fun to see the enthusiastic learners coming into the first year of the curriculum with all of the excitement that they bring.
At the June 2019 Annual Meeting, ASCO’s Board of Directors adopted "A Guide to Effective Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Experiences in Optometric Education," a toolkit for optometric education, that was developed over the past year by ASCO’s Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPECP) Committee.
Optometric education experienced a 2.2% decrease in applicants compared to the previous application cycle. There were 2,472 applicants who submitted a total of 12,746 applications. For applications, OptomCAS experienced a 4.4% decrease in applications submitted compared to last year. On average, applicants applied to 4.75 schools and colleges. A full report on the 2018-2019 application cycle will be available at the end of the year.
ASCO staff was busy in the month of June promoting optometry as a top career choice (including ASCO’s "Optometry Gives Me Life" campaign and the Inspiring Future ODs program) at three different events: the 2019 Optometry’s Meeting in St. Louis, the HOSA International Leadership Conference in Orlando and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) in Boston.
ABB OPTICAL GROUP, a national provider of optical products and business services for the eye care industry, and RevolutionEHR, the leading cloud-based EHR and practice management software for eye care, announce the integration of ABB OPTICAL products with RevolutionEHR’s SmartFlow for Sight™ ordering technology, which automates the entire product ordering process for eye care practitioners (ECPs) from order submission to delivery to their office or directly to their patients.
Walmart and Sam’s Club Health and Wellness is excited to announce the results of our annual optometry scholarship competition, Project Foresight! Project Foresight is a national student competition, which highlights the vision of Walmart and Sam’s Club Health and Wellness to provide quality, affordable and accessible health care for everyone. Students were asked to submit a proposal on a unique practice idea that is applicable to Walmart/Sam’s Club.
Following a national search, Maryke N. Neiberg, OD, FAAO, associate professor in the MCPHS School of Optometry, was appointed dean of the School of Optometry, effective July 1, 2019.
Dr. Neiberg has held academic appointments for approximately 15 years, with her most recent role as the externship director. As externship director, she was responsible for the clinical education and site selection for fourth-year students in the Doctor of Optometry program. Previously, she held administrative roles as associate dean of academic affairs at Midwestern University College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois, and as coordinator of clerkships at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.
Midwestern University President and Chief Executive Officer Kathleen H. Goeppinger, PhD, has announced new changes within the administration team as a result of the university’s continued growth.
Joshua C. Baker, OD, MS, has been promoted to vice president and chief academic officer for pharmacy and optometry education after six years as an administrator in the Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT). Dr. Baker was named AZCOPT Dean in 2016 and also recently served as the interim dean of the University’s Chicago College of Optometry.
Following nearly five years of service to the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, Michael Twa, OD, PhD, FAAO, received the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award in 2019. This award is given only when an individual rises to the occasion in an exceptional way.
Twa received the award during the 2019 commencement ceremony, which was also his last official UABSO event. He became dean of the University of Houston, College of Optometry on June 1, 2019.
Daniel Kurtz, OD, PhD, passed away on June 8 at his home surrounded by his children after a battle with cancer. He was a devoted father, educator and friend, known for his wry (often corny) humor and skeptical mind.
Born in Charleston, W. Va., Dan graduated from Oberlin College and served in the Navy for four years before completing his PhD at the University of Michigan, followed by his doctor of optometry at the New England College of Optometry.
University of Houston College of Optometry mourns the loss of their friend and colleague, Dr. Judy Perrigin, who passed away suddenly on July 1, 2019. Dr. David Perrigin has requested in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in her memory through the Foundation for Education in Research in Vision, UHCO’s 501c3 organization, here.
Salus University’s president, Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, was among four doctors of optometry chosen to be inducted into the American Optometric Association (AOA) National Optometry Hall of Fame.
Prior to becoming the university’s sixth president, Dr. Mittelman served with distinction for 33 years in the United States Navy in a succession of increasingly mission-critical command positions, achieving the rank of Rear Admiral (Upper Half) and served as Deputy Surgeon Director.
At the end of June, Salus University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) hosted their 40th annual “Optometry Learning Experience” (OLE) as an opportunity for prospective optometry students to gain insight into life at PCO. What was once a two-week long stay at PCO is now a two-and-a-half-day experience for undergraduate students to take tours of the campus and the university’s clinical facility, the eye institute, attend lectures with current PCO students, watch a clinical skills demonstration and more.
In partnership with Philadelphia International Medicine and Welcome America, the Philadelphia International Airport recently unveiled a new display in Terminal A-East entitled “A Global Medical HUB since the 1700s."
Southern College of Optometry Professor Glen Steele was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame by the American Optometric Association (AOA) at its annual conference in St. Louis, Missouri, for his significant contribution to the profession of optometry, specifically his role in creating the InfantSEE program, which provides no-cost eye exams to infants in their first year of life.
This year's National Academies of Practice 2020 Annual Forum, scheduled for March 12 - 14, 2020 in San Diego, California, will focus on Innovations in Interprofessional Collaboration: Scholarship, Practice and Advocacy. NAP has released a call for abstracts with opportunities to submit for a variety of interprofessional sessions (platform/oral, symposium/panel, workshop and poster).
Nominations for the 2019 World Council of Optometry Awards are now open. Nominations are invited from a region or country and affiliate or individual members of the WCO. Awards will be presented during the joint World Council of Optometry and American Academy of Optometry Gala and Awards Program in Orlando, Florida, on October 26, 2019.
Prevent Blindness has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness month to inspire parents to make their child’s vision health a priority. Family-friendly resources on a wide variety of topics that help parents take the right steps to keep their child's sight healthy for life can be found on their website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with partners, is promoting the sixth annual Contact Lens Health Week, August 19-23, 2019. This year’s campaign theme is “Contact Lens Health Starts with You” to encourage eye care providers and patients alike to take an active role in ensuring and caring for their eye health.