Pacific University College of Optometry Dean Jennifer Coyle ‘90, OD ‘93, MS ‘00, FAAO has been honored as the recipient of the 2018 Women in Optometry Theia Award of Excellence for Education.
Coyle was among seven optometrists the publication honored for their contributions to the profession and recognized at the annual American Academy of Optometry Meeting held in San Antonio on Nov. 8.
The Theia Awards of Excellence are named for Theia, the Greek goddess of vision or sight.
“Jenny is a wonderful colleague with unique education and leadership skills and a willingness to give her many talents to help advance her students, the college and the profession,” said Dr. Stanley Yamane ‘65, OD ‘66, who nominated Coyle for the honor.
Coyle received the honor with several Pacific alumni, faculty and staff colleagues in attendance, including doctors Yamane, Tad Buckingham ’92, OD ’94, Michela Kenning OD ’12, James Kundart OD ’99, Hannu Laukkanen ’83, OD ’84, MEd/VFL ’94, JP Lowery OD ’93, MEd/VFL ’96, Bree McGhee OD ’17, Col. Carol Rymer OD ’92 and staff members Marcie Brown, Miki Buckingham and Nora Garfias-Lopez.
“I am truly humbled by this honor,” Coyle said. “I have had an amazing 25-year career at Pacific, advocating for our constituents in optometry, and to be honored for what I love to do is a bit surreal.”
Coyle said she is most proud of the accomplishments of the approximately 2,100 Pacific optometry students she has had the pleasure of meeting and working with during her tenure at Pacific, as well as alumni who “routinely find their bliss” through a profession that helps.
“I’m very blessed to have such great friends and colleagues,” she added. “I couldn’t do what I do without the support and passion each of them exhibit on a daily basis.”
The award is just the latest in a long list of honors for Coyle, who has also been selected as the first female president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (2013), Oregon Optometrist of the Year (2010), chair of the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association Advocacy Committee (2009), and one of Vision Monday’s 50 Most Influential Women in Optical (2006). She is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry, Diplomate in the AAO Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.
Pacific University’s College of Optometry prepares engaged learners to be optometric leaders and vision scientists through a diverse education while advancing professional and ethical eye care, scholarship and service to the community.
Under Coyle’s leadership, Pacific optometry students have excelled academically, routinely scoring significantly higher than the national average on national board exams. Students also serve communities locally and globally by providing vision care services to underserved populations through the EyeVan, EyeSmile and AMIGOS programs. The Pacific University College of Optometry also was named the 2018 School of the Year by the National Optometric Association.