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From The University of Houston College of Optometry

UHCO New Dean Selected
January 7, 2019
UHCO New Dean Selected
Michael D. Twa, OD, PHD, FAAO, has been selected for the position of Dean at UHCO. Dr. Twa joins the College from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he serves as associate dean for research and graduate studies for the School of Optometry. Dr. Twa is expected to begin his duties on June 1, 2019. Welcome, Dr. Twa!
UHCO Student Fellows of the Academy
December 19, 2018
UHCO Student Fellows of the Academy
UHCO had 44 students become Student Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry at the 2018 mtg. in San Antonio. Congratulations to all new fellows!
Senator Heitmeier, OD., '87, Supports Professorship
December 17, 2018
Senator Heitmeier, OD., '87, Supports Professorship
Former Louisiana state senator, David Heitmeier, OD., '87 has pledged his support to the Earl L. Smith, III, Professorship with a $10,000 gift to UHCO’s foundation, the Foundation for Education and Research in Vision (FERV).

“Earl has transformed UHCO over the last several years and I am more than happy to support a Professorship that carries his name,” Dr. Heitmeier said.

FERV launched the Earl L. Smith Professorship in 2018 to honor Dean Smith for his exemplary service to the college and optometry. Once fully endowed the Professorship will attract, promote, and retain high caliber faculty interested in pursuing research at UHCO.
 
American Academy of Optometry Foundation Announces 2018 VSP Scholarship Winners
November 15, 2018
American Academy of Optometry Foundation Announces 2018 VSP Scholarship Winners
The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), and VSP Global announced the recipients of this year’s Practice Excellence Scholarships. Congratulations to UHCO’s own Rami Aboumourad, OPT IV, and Kristen Watt, OPT IV. Nearly $200,000 will be distributed amongst top-performing fourth-year optometry students in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Two students from each school or college of optometry were selected by nomination of their individual institutions to receive the scholarship.
 
A New Environment for Repairing Eyes
A New Environment for Repairing Eyes
Vivien Coulson-Thomas, PhD, UHCO Assistant Professor, recently received a $1.9M grant from the National Eye Institute. Her research will look at how the hyaluronan creates limbal stem cells and whether you can take a cell, put it on a hyaluronan layer, or substrate, and create new stem cells in the lab. This revolutionizing research will hopefully improve the lives of patients with limbal stem cell deficiency. 
UHCO is First Optometry College in US to use Anatomage Table
October 29, 2018
UHCO is First Optometry College in US to use Anatomage Table
UHCO has become the first optometry school in the nation to use the Anatomage Table, a 3D anatomy table that uses digital cadavers to teach anatomy, solely for the optometry program. The world’s first virtual dissection table allows users to visualize anatomy as they would on a human cadaver.
 
2018 AAO Resident Travel Fellowship Recipients
October 24, 2018
2018 AAO Resident Travel Fellowship Recipients
Congratulations to all residents who were selected for 2018 American Academy of Optometry Resident Travel Fellowships. The UHCO recipients are: Diana Chen, OD, Allergan Resident Travel Fellowship; Jonathan Chen, OD, ’17; Marcus Noyes, OD, ’17; Kellen Riccobono, OD, ’17; Felicia Satrio, OD, ’17; Bryan Williams, OD, ’17; and Katherine Zhang, OD who all received the Cornea and Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Resident Travel Fellowships from CooperVision.
 
David A. Berntsen, OD, PhD, FAAO selected for UHCO Professorship
October 22, 2018
David A. Berntsen, OD, PhD, FAAO selected for UHCO Professorship
David A. Berntsen, OD, ’02, PhD, FAAO, has been selected as the Golden-Golden Professor at UHCO.  Dr. Berntsen is an Associate Professor at UHCO whose research interests include myopia, contact lenses, and aberrations of the eye. The professorship was endowed in 2010 by Dennis Golden, OD, ’77, and Dixon Golden, OD, ’77. Congratulations, Dr. Berntsen!

 
UH, Humana Partnership to Fund $1 Million Endowed Chair In Optometry
September 25, 2018
UH, Humana Partnership to Fund $1 Million Endowed Chair In Optometry
Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, and the University of Houston announced today a long-term strategic partnership to train the health care leaders of tomorrow with a focus on advancing population health, improving health outcomes and expanding the use of value-based payment models. Together, the two organizations will create the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute at the University of Houston, which will unite the university’s new College of Medicine, as well as the existing colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Optometry. A $15 million gift over 10 years from Humana will help defray start-up and operational costs for the College of Medicine, as well as fund endowed chairs for each of the five colleges.

More at: http://uh.edu/news-events/stories/2018/september-2018/09252018humana.php
 
Staff Achieves Certified Appreciative Adviser
September 20, 2018
Staff Achieves Certified Appreciative Adviser
Congratulations to Mr. Lyle Tate, M.S., on being selected as a Certified Appreciative Adviser. Lyle is the Program Manager for Admissions, Recruiting, and Advising for UHCO and has been part of the team for five years. This selection is a coveted process through the Appreciative Advising Institute (AAI). The whole concept of the AAI is student focused and goal oriented and works through six phases of advising: Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, and Don’t Settle.