UHCO students participated in the College commencement ceremony at Cullen Performance Hall Friday, May 12. Friends and family filled the hall to witness the pomp and circumstance surrounding years of hard work and dedication exhibited by the UHCO students. During the commencement ceremony, degrees were conferred upon more than 90 graduating OD and, of those 90, six graduated with a combination OD/MS degree. The College is proud of our new graduates and look forward to the next phase in their journey as alumni of the University of Houston College of Optometry.
Congratulations, to Meagan LeGrand, UHCO OPT IV, for her first publication, with the UHCO Dry Eye Center, in Contact Lens Spectrum! Amber Gaume-Giannoni, OD, '01, is co-author of the paper titled, Dry Eye DX and TX: Severe Atrophic MGD...In A 10-year-old? This is the thrid Dry Eye Center student to accomplish such a milestone. Congratulations, Meagan!
Anna Zhang, a UHCO OPT I student, and a 2013 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, was recently awarded a three-year scholarship via the U.S. Army's Health Professions Scholarship Program and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
UHCO hosted the Delta Gamma Foundation Richard D. Shirk Family Lectureship in Healthcare Values and Ethics on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The lecture is part of over fifteen other institutions across the country. This year’s lecture was presented 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: https://www.opt.uh.edu/delta-gamma/
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.
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, 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!
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.
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.
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.