F Y EYE - The Official Newsletter of SUNY State College of Optometry
SUNY State College of Optometry
Issue 6 March 2008
M A I N   F E A T U R E
MOU Signed With Purchase College and Its Neuberger Museum
The College has entered into a special collaboration with Purchase College and its Neuberger Museum of Art to open an exhibition site.  The Neuberger Museum of Art, the tenth largest university museum in the United States, is home to internationally renowned collections of over 6,000 works of twentieth century American, European, African and Ancient art.
"This agreement demonstrates the positive potential of collaboration between SUNY campuses" said President Heath.  "The establishment of exhibition space will create a distinctive environment for the College of Optometry programs, while providing the Neuberger Museum and Purchase College with needed visibility in New York City.  The agreement also provides an opportunity for co-branding and increased public exposure for the College of Optometry including our eyecare facility, the University Optometric Center and Purchase College.
Mr. Thom Collins, Director of the Museum said the Museum's new satellite exhibition space will be renovated in coming months as part of an overall renovation project at the College.  "Our new location will make the Neuberger's outstanding collection, special touring exhibitions, and new artist projects even more accessible to thousands of New Yorkers.  This collaboration unfolds against a backdrop of dynamic institutional growth and change."
The exhibition space will be located on the ground floor of the College's historic building. 
F O C A L   P O I N T
Faculty Retreat Attracts 100+
Over 100 faculty, staff and students attended a retreat held at the IBM Conference Center in Armonk, NY, March 16-17.  The idyllic country setting provided an excellent venue for the exchange of ideas about current issues of importance to the SUNY College of Optometry.
Dr. Robert Duckman, Chair of the Department of Vision Sciences, chaired the Retreat Planning Committee that arranged a full program around issues of curriculum and of the strategic planning process.  A strategic planning consultant, Mr. Robert McGowan, was present throughout and was the facilitator in the discussion and summary of the group sessions.
President Heath welcomed everyone on Sunday, March 16th and hailed the retreat as a significant event for faculty input on future directions for the College.  The introductory presentation on integrating basic and clinical sciences in the curriculum was given by Dr. Bruce Bogart.  This was followed by a panel of speakers that included Drs. Jay Cohen, Mitchell Dul, Patricia Modica and Leon Nehmad who gave examples of how this integration can be accomplished.
The stage was set for breakout discussion groups by Dr. Cathy Pace and Dr. Michael Heiberger, co-chairs of the Strategic Planning Committee.  The discussion groups dealt with questions related to the College's future directions in education, research, patient care and community service.  Each group was structured to give everyone an opportunity to contribute to the discussion.
In addition to providing a forum for discussion, the retreat also allowed the attendees to socialize and re-acquaint themselves with each other.  The retreat left a sense of renewed commitment towards continuing the excellence of College's academic and clinical programs and the future success of its graduates.
Proceedings of the retreat will be made available to the College community. 
DI D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • The College has instituted an Emergency Alert System that allows any faculty, staff and student to receive immediate notification in the event of an emergency on campus.  Communication is sent via e-mail alerts or via telephone calls.  Though not mandatory, everyone is encouraged to register for to receive these notifications.  This system was established in conjunction with the Emergency Response Plan that was a result of the recent traumatic events at Virginia Tech University and other college campuses.  Faculty, staff and students who wish to register may do so at http://www.suny.edu/sunyalertsec.
SUNY Students Awarded Chancellor's Award on Student Excellence
The Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence has been awarded to Ms. Qian (Jennifer) Duan '08 and Ms. Juliana Boneta '08.  The award acknowledges students who have received recognition for student excellence.  The highest honor bestowed upon a student by the University, students must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and community service, among other qualifications.
Jennifer established and is the founding President of the campus Student Chapter of the American Public Health Association.  The Chapter, under her leadership, has been responsible for facilitating public health educational programs on campus for both faculty and students and creating broader awareness of public health issues facing the nation.
Juliana established and is the found President of the campus Student Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry which is the research and academic arm of the optometric profession.  By way of this chapter, encouragement is given to greater student awareness in the research activities of the profession as well as individual participation.  She has extensively been involved in research at the College and has published in scientific journals and given presentations at research conferences.
Eligibility requires that the nominee(s) graduate within the academic year in which they are nominated.  282 students from 63 campuses received this award last year and had an overall average of 3.78.  The awards will be presented to them at Commencement on June 1, 2008.
SUNY Launches On-line Continuing Education Articles
The Office of Continuing Education has developed a series of high quality optometric articles to help optometrists keep abreast of the constant changes in the profession and to allow for an easier mechanism to fulfill continuing education requirements.  Topics include glaucoma, corneal ulcers, macular degeneration and oral pharmaceuticals.  This CE activity is fully approved in both New York and New jersey and most states throughout the country.  The articles are located on the College website (www.sunyopt.edu) under the Continuing Professional Education link.
Class of 2008 Records a Pass Rate of 99%
President Heath announced that he received the aggregate performance data for the National Board Examination Part II: Clinical Sciences.  The Class took the exam in December as first time takers and came through with a 99% pass rate.  The average pass rate for first time takers, nationally, was 95%, and for all takers 92%.
Congratulations to the Class of 2008 on a job well done!
College Prepares for Accreditation Review
Every five year -- midway between on-site accreditation visits -- the College is required to submit a detailed formal report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the accrediting body.  The Periodic Review Report (PRR) provides the Commission with a snapshot of the status of the College with an emphasis on planning and evaluation.  The PRR is due June 1, 2008.
The PRR Steering Committee is charged with writing the report.  Members of the committee are:  Dr. Harriette Canellos, Mr. Marcel Catafago, Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez, Dr. Leon Nehmad, Dr. Mark Rosenfield, Dr. Steven Schwartz (Chair), Dr. Hal Sedgwick and Ms. Elaine Wells.  The committee is preparing a draft report for review by the College and has requested relevant information from various individuals, College committees and councils to write the report.  The College community will be notified when the draft report is available so that they may have an opportunity to make comments and suggestions.
Scholarly Works & Publications 
Backus, B.T.  "A Bayesian Model of Cue Combination for Perceptually Dichotomous Behavior, and its Use in Characterizing the Effects of a Newly Recruited Cue".  Oral Presentation, Annual Interdisciplinary Conference, Jackson, WY (February 2008).
Backus, B.T.  "Cue Recruitment in Visual perception:  Brunswik, Bayes, and the Pavlovian Conditioning of Visual Appearance".  Psychology/Cognitive Science Colloquium, University of California at Berkeley.  (February 2008).
Tan, Grace, H. Sedgwick.  "Apatial Compression Produced by a Stationary Low-Vision Telescope".  Optometry and Vision Science (January 2008).
M O R E   O N   U S

Personnel Notes 

Dr. Steven Larson, an optometrist on staff, has been appointed Chief Psychologist in the Learning Disabilities Unit of the Vision Rehabilitation Service of the University Optometric Center.  Dr. Larson received his doctoral degree in School/Clinical Psychology from Yeshiva University in June 2005.  After meeting the New York State requirements for supervised psychological care, he passed the New York State Licensure Exam in Psychology and was granted his New York State License in Psychology by the New York State Education Department in February 2008.
In addition to his optometric duties, he is licensed to administer psychoeducational evaluations to children and adults who have learning difficulties.
Dr. Rudolfo Rodriguez and Dr. Mitchell Dul were interviewed on radio in observation of World Glaucoma Day, March 6.   Dr. Rodriguez was interviewed on WADO (1280 AM), a Spanish news station.  Dr. Dul was interviewed on WOR (710 AM) on the Morning Show with Joe Bartlett and Donna Hanover.
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