F Y EYE - The Official Newsletter of SUNY State College of Optometry
SUNY State College of Optometry
Issue 2 November 2007
F R O M   T H E   P R E S I D E N T

President's Letter                                                                         Class of 2011

Over the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to share with the community my "State of the College Report".  This report was developed over the summer to establish a detailed understanding of the health of the Institution, its resource base and the effectiveness of our programs.  The report will serve as a base for strategic planning and as a foundation for assessing our progress in the coming years.
As is shared in this issue of FY EYE the College has initiated a comprehensive strategic planning process:  "Educating Tomorrow's Leaders".  Central to success will be the full participation of the community and all of our constituent groups.  I hope that as the strategic planning process unfolds, all members of our community will bring their expertise, insights and most critically, their imagination to the table.  Grassroots ideas should and will have a venue for introduction and consideration.  Our strengths should be in evidence and our distinctive characteristics must set us apart.
It is my expectation, and I hope that it will be yours, that we will have the best programs in the country, will lead the nation in optometric education and will be able to demonstrate the impact of our efforts.
David A. Heath, O.D., Ed.M.

M A I N   F E A T U R E
"Educating Tomorrow's Leaders":  Strategic Planning Begins
On October 4, President Heath formally intitiated the College's strategic planning process charging the new Strategic Planning Committee "to develop a five-year strategic plan for the SUNY State College of Optometry by June 1, 2008".
The five-year plan will reflect a theme of "Educating Tomorrow's Leaders", building upon the College's strengths and focusing on our impact relative to the future of vision care and the profession.  The development of the Strategic Plan is a rare opportunity to establish a unique vision for the College to pursue new directions and to align our resources so that we may achieve our goals.
The theme of "Educating Tomorrow's Leaders" was selected as the role and impact of our graduates on diverse communities is a core indicator of institutional effectiveness.  Dr. Heath notes that "while the concept applies to the essential abilities of our graduates, it also requires that we look at the value-added of the SUNY Optometry experience.  This will require us to look beyond the professional degree program and include in our deliberations graduate programs, residency education, specialty certification, health care business, the quality of our research efforts and the provision of advanced care to our patients, as contemporary issues of our time".
The members of the committee represent the broad interests of the College community.   Dr. Catherine Pace-Watson and Dr. Michael Heiberger are the committee co-chairs.  The members of the committee and their areas of designation are:
Dr. Diane Adamczyk                            Post-graduate Programs
Mr. Vito Cavallaro                               Students
Dr. Mitchell Dul                                   Research (Clinical)
Dr. Michael Heiberger                          Globalization
Ms. Simona Korik '09                           Student Representative
Dr. Richard Madonna                           Patient Care (Specialty)
Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez             Community Service
Dr. Rochelle Mozlin                              Information Services & Technology
Dr. Catherine Pace-Watson                  Patient Care (Primary)
Dr. Peter Reinach                               Graduate Program
Dr. Steven Schwartz                           Professional Program
Ms. Ann Warwick                                Government & University Relations
Dr. Qasim Zaidi                                   Research (Basic Sciences)
D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • That 96% of the current third year class passed Part I of the National Board in Optometry Exam on their first attempt.  This reflects a four percent increase from the prior year and is 12% above the national average.

  • The College's in-state cost for annual tuition/fees of $13,820 is the second lowest in the nation for schools and colleges of optometry.

  • More than 38 million Americans age 40 and older are estimated to experience blindness, low vision, or an age-related eye disease.  (Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group 2004).

  • The College website offers promotional and educational videos on such topics as glaucoma, Lasik, vision therapy and more.  Just click on  http:/www.sunyopt.edu/uoc/eyetv/  and view!


F O C A L   P O I N T
Search for Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean

The search for the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College is underway.  The Committee has put together the job description for the position and it may be found on the College web site.  As this position is critical to the future of the institution, the Committee has included in the job description that the successful candidate be an effective leader and an excellent communicator who is capable of integrating exciting and innovative changes into the curriculum.  An OD degree is expected.  Members of the Search Committee are:  Ms. Elaine Wells, Chair, Dr. Jose-Manuel Alonso, Dr. Ida Chung, Dr. Barry Lee, Dr. John Picarelli, Dr. Joan Portello, Dr. Daniella Rutner, Dr. Harold Sedgwick, Dr. Richard Soden and Ms. Karena Wong '09.  Applications and nominations are currently being received and the interview process is expected to begin December 2007.  Nominations and applications should be submitted to Ms. Elaine Wells, MA, MLS, AHIP here at the College.

Revised Curriculum for the Professional ProgramStudents in Class I

The faculty of the College have been engaged in a comprehensive review of the professional degree curriculum for the past three years.  Dr. Michael Heiberger, Interim Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, reports that curriculum track coordinators were appointed at the end of the Spring quarter and have worked over the Summer to produce detailed course descriptions.  The revised curriculum will be implemented at the start of the 2008-09 academic year, beginning with the Class of 2012.  As a part of the new curriculum, there will be a shift in the academic calendar structure from a quarter system to a semester system for the first three years of the program.
This effort is in line with changes in the National Board of Optometry exams and will emphasize critical clinical thinking and the integration of basic and clinical sciences throughout the professional degree program.  An advanced draft of the new curriculum is now in preparation and will be circulated to the faculty for comments.  Below are the curriculum track coordinators.
Systemic/Ocular Health
          Dr. Ann Beaton, Dr. Patricia Modica
Integrative Seminar
          Dr. Leon Nehman, Dr. Harriette Canellos
Clinical Examination
          Dr. Richard Madonna, Dr. Susan Schuettenberg
          Dr. Christy Sell, Dr. Catherine Pace-Watson
          Dr. Steven Schwartz, Dr. Steven Larson
Public/Community Health
          Dr. Mort Soroka, Dr. David Krumholz
UOC Referral Service for Optometrists
The University Optometric Center is creating a Referral Center for Optometrists in the community.  The UOC, one of the nation's largest outpatient eye care clinics, offers a comprehensive array of specialized services t hat can help optometrists provide their patients with the best possible care.  Referral-based specialty care is available in Ocular Disease and Special Testing; Vision Therapy/Rehabilitation; Low Vision; Pediatrics; Specialty Contact Lens; Laser Technology and Diagnostic Testing.  For further information, please contact Dr. Harriette Canellos at 212-938-5920 or at hcanellos@sunyopt.edu.

Joe & Roberta SchwarzRe-dedication of the Joseph and Roberta Schwarz Theater
The College's Joseph and Roberta Schwarz Theater was re-dedicated on October 1, 2007 at a ceremony which included a reception and program.  President David Heath welcomed the guests and remarks were given by Dr. Kimberly Cline, SUNY Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer; Mr. Richard Feinbloom, President of the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY); Mr. James Wilson, a friend of Mr. & Mrs. Schwarz, and Ms. Lynn Trieu '09, a student.
Pianist Paul Bisaccia

Mr. Paul Bisaccia, a reknowned pianist who specializes in playing music by George Gershwin, was the featured artist.  The theater is the site of the former Aeolian Hall where Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" was debuted.
Scholarly Works & Publications
Schwartz, S.H. (2007).  "The optometrist's role in the management of clinical depressive disorders."  Optometry - Journal of the American Optometric Association, 78, 469-473.
Butts, D.A., C. Weng, J. Jin, D.I. Yeh, N.A. Lesica, J.M. Alonso and G.B. Stanley (2007).  "Temporal precision in the neural code and the time scales of natural vision."  Nature, 449, 92-95.
Faculty Present at Annual COVD Meeting
SUNY Optometry was well represented at the annual meeting of the College of Optometry in Vision Development (COVD) held October 17 - 20, in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Two faculty members sit on the COVD Board of Directors.  Dr. Ida Chung (Eastern Regional Director) and Dr. Robert Byne (Treasurer).  Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda and Dr. Jerome Sherman were major speakers at the meeting.  Drs. Alan Cohen and Barry Tannen taught applied concept courses and posters were written and presented by Dr. Cho, Dr. Chung, Dr. Lawson, Dr. Mozlin, Dr. Myers, Dr. Rutner and Dr. A. Sherman.

This year's meeting recorded the largest attendance in the history of the organization --over 600 people.  SUNY was well represented by faculty, residents and students.  In 2008, the meeting will be held in Palm Springs, California where the educational program and friendly atmosphere will continue to make the meeting special.

M O R E   O N   U S

ENY CruiseSixth Annual Envision New York

The sixth annual Envision New York was held at the College October 20-22 and had an attendance of well over 400 optometrists.  This premiere continuing education event continues to grow in both size and stature among regional meetings.  Nearly half of the attendees were SUNY alums and many of them attended the Saturday evening dinner and cruise on World Yacht.  Envision New York continues to attract optometrists from across the nation as 15% of the attendees were not from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.  In addition, ten of the optometrists were from Australia, Canada, England and New Zealand.

Name the Newsletter Contest WinnerClass of 2011
Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez was the winner of the "Name the Newsletter" contest.  Her suggestion of "FY EYE" was unanimously selected as the name for the college newsletter.  President Heath presented her the prize which was a $50 gift certificate to Bryant Park Grill.  Over 75 suggestions were received.  Thank you to everyone who contributed their suggestions.
Varilux "Optometry Super Bowl" Trophy Presented to SUNY Optometry
H. Patel '08
At the annual meeting of the American Optometric Student Association, the SUNY student representative, Hanish Patel '08, won the annual Varilux (Essilor) Optometry Super Bowl.  SUNY's name now stands engraved on the crystal trophy and is currently displayed in the Student Affairs office.  On Friday, October 19, Dr. Rod Tahran and Ms. Danne Ventura from Varilux visited the campus to officially present the trophy to Mr. Patel and the College.
Dr. Heath and Dr. Wren
World Sight Day:  VOSH International Honored
On Friday, October 19, World Sight Day was recognized with VOSH International ringing the closing bell on the NASDAQ.  President Heath represented the SUNY State College of Optometry during the ceremony and was joined by Dr. Valerie Wren, Assistant Clinical Professor at SUNY representing the American Optometric Association.  The College was listed as a participating organization during the ceremony and on the NASDAQ big screen in Times Square.

Personnel Notes

Welcome to Dr. Benjamin Backus to the Department of Vision Sciences and to Mr. Ruben Cuevas as Media Specialist/Photographer in the Media Center.

Backus PhotoDr. Backus comes to us from the psychology, neuroscience and bioengineering graduate groups at the University of Pennsylvania.  His research focuses on perceptual learning, stereoscopic depth perception and motion illusions.  He joins the full-time faculty as an Associate Professor in the Department of Vision Sciences and brings two post-doctoral scientists to his laboratory:  Dr. Jeremy Wilmer, who earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard and Dr. Peter Scarfe, who has a Ph.D. in Psychology from St. Andrew's.  Dr. Backus earned his Ph.D. in Vision Science at the University of California at Berkeley.  His office and laboratory is on the 14 floor.
Mr. Ruben Cuevas joins the College as the Media Specialist/Photographer in the Media Center.  Mr. Cuevas comes to SUNY from The City University of New York's Office of Media Relations/Web Publishing and brings with him a wealth of design, editing and graphic skills that will serve the graphic and photography needs of the College.


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