President’s Column

“Integrate what you believe in every area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everybody else, too.” –Meryl Streep


Dr. Karla Zadnik. (Photo by Jo McCulty, The Ohio State University)

Dr. Karla Zadnik.
(Photo by Jo McCulty, The Ohio State University)

I had an interesting experience recently. Some of you may know that my hobby is quilting. I was with some friends constructing a block where lining up pieces of fabric relative to each other. I did a bad job on the first try and then figured out that the aligning was what made the block look like an optical illusion with pieces of fabric appearing as if they are interwoven. Then I figured out if I aligned the strips using vernier acuity that I could make the sewing look the way it was supposed to look. Meanwhile, some quilting friends were fascinated by what I was doing. I taught them how to sew the block and more-than-they-ever-wanted-to-know about vernier acuity. I felt like I was carrying my heart to work—and play—and expecting the best of myself and my lady friends.

In these uncertain times, each day is an opportunity for each of us to evaluate the effect of our beliefs on our lives. Recently, Ohio State President Michael Drake wrote, “I want to make clear that we are steadfast in our commitment to academic freedom, the rights and well-being of all members of our university community, and our resolute support of artistic expression and scientific exploration. At our core, that is who we are and how we make a difference.” Those are strong words that articulate the best aspirations of higher education as we support our students and create and disseminate new knowledge.

Earlier this year, a dear friend and colleague from the Southern California College of Optometry, Dr. Harue Marsden, lost her five-year battle with breast cancer. She passed surrounded by family and friends. Dr. Marsden was a force of nature with an infectious laugh and a smile that lit up her face and the faces of those around her. She was smart as a whip and deeply committed to her students and residents. Dr. Drake’s words would resonate with her. She took her heart to work. She asked the most and best of everyone around her. I fully expect–in honoring her–that optometric colleagues will reach higher and achieve more.