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From The University of Houston College of Optometry

Jack Bridwell, OD, '59, 1934-2017
April 13, 2017
Jack Bridwell, OD, '59, 1934-2017
Dr. Jack Bridwell, a 1959 UHCO graduate, was on faculty for a little over 10 years starting in 1992. He received the UHCO Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994. He served as TOA President in 1969-1970, and received the President’s Award in 1994-1995 for outstanding contribution to the profession. He founded a golf tournament while a faculty member to raise funds for optometry student scholarships and the award has helped countless students defray a portion of the cost of tuition. He was a founding member of the National Association of Practice Management Educators and co-authored the book, Business Aspects of Optometry. Always committed to helping UHCO, during the construction of the HBSB, he and another classmate named a room in our family practice service. He will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him and his legacy will continue through the lives touched via his named scholarship.
Delta Gamma Foundation Richard D. Shirk Family Lectureship in Healthcare Values and Ethics
March 27, 2017
Delta Gamma Foundation Richard D. Shirk Family Lectureship in Healthcare Values and Ethics
UHCO will be hosting the Delta Gamma Foundation Richard D. Shirk Family Lectureship in Healthcare Values and Ethics on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 6:45pm in the Student Center South – Theater Room. The lecture joins others at over fifteen other institutions across the country.  This year’s lecture will be presented by Reba Riley, author of Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing, on the topic: Courage Vision: How to See and Use Your Bravery Every Day. Please visit our website to learn more and RSVP: https://www.opt.uh.edu/delta-gamma/
 
 
Suzanne Ferimer receives MLA's highest honor
March 23, 2017
Suzanne Ferimer receives MLA's highest honor
Congratulations to Suzanne Ferimer, Director of Learning Resources at UHCO, becoming of this year’s recipients of the prestigious Medical Library Association’s President’s Award.  This is one of MLA’s highest honors and recognizes Suzanne for her extraordinary work in reviewing, simplifying and revising MLS’s bylaws to address and implement changes in their dynamic environment. Suzanne will receive her award in Seattle at the President’s Award Dinner on May 30th.
 
Gareth Hastings, PhD Candidate, Receives Congress Award
March 16, 2017
Gareth Hastings, PhD Candidate, Receives Congress Award
Gareth Hastings, UHCO PhD candidate, recently received the award for the best free paper presentation at the 2017 International Congress on Wavefront and Presbyopic Corrections. The title of the paper was "The implications of adaptation for the correction of the eye."

The Wavefront Congress has a long history as the foremost multidisciplinary ocular wavefront and presbyopic congress bringing together optical scientists, clinicians/surgeons, corporate scientists and business development managers.Gareth works with Raymond Applegate, O.D., Ph.D., FAAO and Jason Marsack, Ph.D., '07, FAAO in their labs conducting research using metrics of visual image quality and wavefront-guided optics to provide better corrections for normal and, particularly, highly aberrated eyes (such as those with keratoconus). Congratulations, Gareth on your award!
 
Community Event-Mikey's Place
March 10, 2017
Community Event-Mikey's Place
Special needs patients and their families have held a place in Kassaundra Johnston’s, OD, ’12, heart over the years. Recently, Dr. Johnston and Dr. Nicole Hooper attended a special needs fair at Mikey’s Place; a center that encourages discussion, information exchange, and provides resources among families with children of disabilities. Dr. Johnston helped found SNAPS (Special Needs Adults and Pediatric Service) at the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO), where patients with a variety of disabilities and with different levels of cognitive aptitude are provided vision care. The recent fair at Mikey’s Place was an opportunity for the special needs population and their families to network with valuable services and fellow families. Drs. Johnston and Hooper provided individuals with information on the University Eye Institute, SNAPS, Pediatrics and Binocular Vision, Development Clinic and Low Vision Services as they related to patient’s needs. Both, Drs. Johnston and Hooper are expanding the College mission, Enhancing Vision for Life, through their community awareness efforts.
 
 
Dr. Jan Bergmanson named 2017 Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award
March 7, 2017
Dr. Jan Bergmanson named 2017 Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award
The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) recently announced their 2017 Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award and the recipient is UHCO’s own, Jan Bergmanson, OD, PhD, PhD h.c., DSc,. This award recognizes and honors achievements in contact lens education worldwide. 
UHCO wins TOA Quiz Bowl
March 2, 2017
UHCO wins TOA Quiz Bowl
Focus and school pride can all describe the emotions felt during the Third Annual Texas Optometric Association Quiz Bowl. This annual event is a friendly competition between the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) and the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). This year UHCO’s team: Sawyer Lambert, OPT II, Aaron Wong, OPT III, and Steven Chau, OPT IV, pulled ahead in the end with a score of 6,900 to 2,400. The TOA Quiz Bowl is a test of knowledge regarding topics on pharmacology, contact lens, anterior segment and more. It is fashion on the classic game Jeopardy with judges comprised of UIW and UHCO faculty, as well as private practioners.

Congratulations UHCO and we look forward to next year’s competition.
Optometry Library in Africa Receives New Life
February 28, 2017
Optometry Library in Africa Receives New Life
Optometry School is already difficult; now imagine attending school where you have depleted resources due to a fire. That is just the case at the Malawi School of Optometry Program, in Africa. Their School at Mzuzu University suffered a fire in the library, damaging all the resources and materials students had access too. The college is in a developing country in South-East Africa where accessing new equipment and supplies presents a challenge. 

Dr. Suraj Upadhyaya, former Lecturer at the Malawi College of Health Science Optometry Dept., and current UHCO Ph.D. candidate working with Prof. Vallabh Das, along with the Physiological Optics Graduate Student Association (POGSA) at UHCO, rushed into action. They sought out the faculty within UHCO to donate books and reference materials for Malawi. Together, with UHCO library, they collected 500 books to be sent. After discussion with Optometry schools in Malawi the top 219 books were prioritized. Through a partnership with Essilor of America and Optometry Giving Sight, the materials where shipped to the Mzuzu University Optometry Dept. and Malawi College of Health Science Optometry Dept., in Africa. The students were elated to have replacement books thanks to UHCO and Dr. Upadhyaya. 

The researchers at UHCO are Enhancing Vision for Life through their global outreach and support of the optometric community.
 
Two UHCO students selected as ASOA National Liaisions
February 21, 2017
Two UHCO students selected as ASOA National Liaisions
Rachel Reed, OPT II, has been selected as the AOSA National Liaison for the World Council of Optometry. Rachel will use her passion for global health development to educate her colleagues of global developments in optometry. As a president of SVOSH, Rachel has strong communication and leadership skills and will apply these skills on a national level. She will be working to help the World Council of Optometry further promote eye health and vision care across the globe.
 
Lorenzo Anderson, OPT I, was selected as the AOSA National Liaison for the American Academy of Optometry for the 2017-2018 academic year. National Liaisons communicate directly between the organization and the AOSA President. This role works with Optometry schools across the country to develop a dialog about the current issues and goals of the organization. Lorenzo’s involvement within the UHCO community and greater Houston community has prepared him for his new role as AOSA-AAO National Liaison.

Congratulations, to both Rachel and Lorenzo on their appointments.
 
UHCO student selected as AOSA-APHA National Liaision
February 20, 2017
UHCO student selected as AOSA-APHA National Liaision
Mylan Nguyen, OPT III, was recently selected as the American Optometric Student Association (ASOA) - American Public Health Association's National Liaison for 2017-2018 academic year. There were many strong candidates, but Mylan's experience, work ethic, goals and passion were a few of aspects that led the group to selecting her in representing this AOA affiliate organization on a national level. Congratulations, Mylan!