Dr. Charles R. Stewart passed away June 30, 2015, at the age of 96. He graduated from The Ohio State University and later served as UHCO’s first dean from 1952 to 1961. Dr. Stewart helped pave the way for the College through his efforts to proclaim November 13 as “Optometry Day.” Funds raised from optometrists on this day went toward establishing UHCO. Later, the day became an official proclamation by former Texas Governor Allen Shivers in February of 1953. Dr. Stewart returned to the College of Optometry in 1978 to serve as Interim Dean and Associate Dean until he retired in 1982. Dr. Stewart was a leader, mentor and friend, and there is no doubt UHCO and optometry has lost a great man.
Longtime College of Optometry faculty member and University of Houston administrator Earl L. Smith III, O.D., is a member of an elite group of optometrists who has been selected for the prestigious National Optometry Hall of Fame.
Since 1998, the National Optometry Hall of Fame has recognized and honored optometrists who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the optometric profession. Smith was inducted with two others – Paul C. Ajamian, O.D., and Kenji Hamada, O.D., – at a ceremony and reception June 25 during the American Optometric Association (AOA) Optometry’s Meeting held June 24-28, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington. The Hall of Fame is administered by Optometry Cares, a philanthropic and charitable organization committed to expanding eye health and vision care access to everyone in the U.S. to enhance human performance and quality of life.
On Aug. 22, UHCO celebrated our current clinical residents and welcomed the 2015-2016 class of residents. While part of the UHCO family our previous residents participated in several community service events which influence the greater Houston community and UH student body. These events include the Mayor’s Back to School Program, UHCO Optometry Day, See to Succeed and many more.
UHCO has seven college-based clinical residencies and five affiliated residency programs. These programs are designed to provide optometrists with advanced clinical training and knowledge through direct patient care, scholarly activities and the development of advanced clinical competencies. We have enjoyed the time shared with our current residents and look forward to the new class. We wish our outgoing residents the very best with their endeavors and congratulations to the new residents on joining the UHCO Residency family. We look forward to a wonderful year!
On Saturday, June 6, UHCO inducted their inaugural member, Mr. Bill C. Benedict, into the Hall of Visionaries. Bill was an entrepreneur and influential leader in the eyewear industry for 68 years and revolutionized the optical laboratory business. He was considered a friend, father and mentor to those who knew him and were fortunate enough to have worked with him. Throughout his career, Bill never forgot his roots and continually provided for UHCO and the next generation of optometrists. His philosophy was, “Never tell a person how bad they are but how good they can be” and “cheer them on and keep score.”
We say “Happy Trails” to our beloved friend Dr. Harold Bedell for his 35 years of commitment and dedication to UHCO. He has been instrumental to the field of vision science research and has supervised 15 Masters theses, 12 Ph.D. dissertations and been on the research committee for over 65 Masters and Ph.D. candidates. UHCO will always hold a place for you; we wish you the best in Colorado!
Class of 2015 was welcomed back to UHCO Thursday, May 14, for their “Out the Door” program. This is a time for the students to come together as a class one last time and visit, eat and given information as they transition to becoming alumni of the College.
SNAPS (Special Needs Adult and Pediatric Service) is one of many specialty clinics at the University of Houston College of Optometry. This clinic specializes in examining teen and adult special need populations at the University Eye Institute and beyond. The clinic cares for patients with a variety of disabilities and with different levels of cognitive aptitude.
The 2014-2015 University of Houston Group Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Heather Anderson, O.D., Ph.D.,’ 08, David Berntsen, O.D., Ph.D.,’02, Amber Gaume Giannoni, O.D.,’01 and William Miller, O.D., Ph.D., for their demonstration and strong commitment to teaching and student success, as well as programs which promote, support and recognize excellence in teaching and service to students.
The University of Houston College of Optometry had 41 students obtain Student Fellowship at the most recent American Academy of Optometry meeting in Denver, CO. Of the 21 Schools and Colleges of Optometry in North America, UHCO had the 3rd highest number of students earning their Student Fellowship at the Academy meeting in Denver.