Sieving, Gomez to Receive Honorary Degrees from SUNY Optometry


SUNY College of Optometry will recognize two distinguished professionals who have made lasting contributions in their respective fields with honorary degrees during its 2017 commencement ceremony. Dr. Paul A. Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, will receive a Doctor of Science and deliver the keynote address; award-winning journalist Dr. Max Gomez will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters.

“Dr. Sieving and Dr. Gomez have made significant contributions to the advancement of eye, vision, and health care, one through research and the other through the education of public,” said SUNY Optometry President David A. Heath. “These gentlemen personify our institutional values of excellence, leadership, inquiry, innovation, professionalism, and service to diverse communities and we look forward to honoring them in May.”

Dr. Paul A. Sieving is internationally renowned as a clinical neurophysiologist who studies the pathophysiology of genetic forms of human retinal and macular degenerations. The impetus for his work came through clinical evaluation of patients with retinal disorders using non-invasive visual psychophysics and electroretinography. The combination of clinical and laboratory investigations has led to cloning novel human disease genes and characterizing the human phenotypes.

Bringing critical health issues to the attention of television audiences, Dr. Max Gomez, an award-winning broadcast journalist and a medical reporter for WCBS-TV, promotes eye and vision care as a public health issue and has showcased the College’s faculty as “go-to” experts in the field. Dr. Gomez previously served as medical reporter and health editor for WNBC-TV and health and science editor for KYW-TV in Philadelphia and WNEW-TV, the predecessor of Fox 5 New York. He has received seven New York Emmy Awards, two Philadelphia Emmys, a United Press International honor for Best Documentary for AIDS reporting, and an Excellence in Time of Crisis Award from New York City for September 11th reporting.

Both honorees will join the College’s 101 graduates on Thursday, May 25 at the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan.