F Y EYE - The Official Newsletter of SUNY State College of Optometry
SUNY State College of Optometry
Issue 8 May 2008
M A I N   F E A T U R E

Congratulations to the Class of 2008

SUNY College of OptometryOn Sunday, June 1st, Commencement for the Class of 2008 will be held at the Hudson Theater on West 44th Street.  Seventy-five students will receive their Doctor of Optometry degree, while 2 Ph.Ds. in Vision Science and 3 M.S. in Vision Science degrees will be bestowed.  Commencement provides our college community with the opportunity to join with our new graduates in celebration of their achievements and in recognizing their unique contributions during their professional and graduate education.  This year, the College has its highest number of graduates (including O.D., M.S., Ph.D. and residents). 
Over 25 academic and clinical awards will given out.  Below are some of these awards:
BETA SIGMA KAPPA (Academic Excellence):     Brittany Juree Klass
Dr. Frederick W. Brock Memorial Award (Outstanding Clinical Performance in Vision Training):                                                    Hemanshu Batish-Khanna
COVD Award (Excellence in Vision Training):    Danielle Marie Porcello
Columbia Class of 1936 Award (Academic & Clinical Achievment in Ocular Disease):
                                                                Brittany Juree Klass
Class of 1991 Pace Setter Award (Excellence in Primary Care):
                                                                Brittany Juree Klass
Dr. Stanley Eisenberg Memorial Award (Excellence in Practice Development and Administration):                                             Eliot Mitsky
Dr. William Feinbloom Memorial Award (Outstanding Clinical Proficiency in Low Vision):                                                       Rebecca Marinoff
Ira Goldfarb Memorial Award (Excellence in Low Vision):
                                                                 Jessica Vincenzi
Dr. Louis Herrmann Memorial Award (Outstanding Compassion in Patient Care):
                                                                 Juliana Elizabeth Boneta
Mr. & Mrs. Irving Unger Graduation Award (Excellence in Optometry):
                                                                 Jessica Vincenzi
Esther J. Werner Memorial Award (Academic Excellence):
                                                                 Angela M. Chen
Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence:
                                                                 Juliana Elizabeth Boneta
                                                                 Jennifer Qian Duan
Dr. Max Cohen Memorial Award (Volunteer Commitment to Community Service):
                                                                 Jenny HyunJin Myung
Morton L. Kimmelman Memorial Award (Student Leadership in Organized Optometry):
                                                                 Reena Agarwal
                                                                 Jennifer Qian Duan
Billie M. Lyons Memorial Award (Distinguished Service to the College Community):
                                                                  Hanishkumar Patel
                                                                  Rebecca Marinoff
NYSOA Auxiliary Award (Outstanding Service to the Class of 2008):
                                                                  Sharanjit Burmy
Alcon Award (Outstanding Case Report on Fitting an Alcon Product):
                                                                   Jennifer Qian Duan
GP Lens Institute Clinical Excellence Award (Outstanding Clinical Proficiency in Contact Lenses):                                            Hanishkumar Patel
David J. Kerko Low Vision Award (Sponsored by Winchester Optical):
                                                                   Hanishkumar Patel
Dr. William M. Eisenberg Memorial Award (sponsored by Alcon) (Excellence in Ocular Disease):                                                       Hanishkumar Patel
Eschenbach Award (Excellence in Low Vision):    Eric John Pape
Optelec and Shop Low Vision Award (Excellence in Low Vision):
                                                                    Brittany Juree Klass
Marchon Award (Excellence in Practice Management):
                                                                    Eliot Milsky
Vision Service Plan (Excellence in Primary Care and Commitment to enter Private Practice):                                                       Juliana Elizabeth Boneta
                                                                    Brittany Juree Klass
Vistakon Excellence Award (Excellence in Clinical Contact Lenses Patient Care):
                                                                    Jacqueline M. Haro
Dr. Martin H. Birnbaum Memorial Award (Vision Therapy Resident who demonstrated outstanding knowledge and skills in Behavioral Optometry):
                                                                     Jonathan Cho, O.D.
In addition to our 75 Doctor of Optometry degree recipients, the following individuals have completed their requirements for either the degree of Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.):
MS Degrees
Angela Chen, B.S.
"Accommodation to Wavefront Vergence:  Adapting 'Averse Channels'"
Tina Chang, B.S
"Critical Flicker Frequency in Traumatic Brain Injury"
Joan Portello, O.D., M.P.H.
"Effect of Brief Periods of Clear Vision on Blur Adaptation"
PhD Degrees
Balamurali Vasudevan, M.S.
"Nearwork-Induced Transient Myopia: Structural and Functional Aspects"
Chong Weng, M.A.
"Functional Properties Shared by Populations of Neighboring Neurons Within the Thalamocortical Pathway"
Congratulations to everyone upon successful completion of the requirements towards their degrees!
F O C A L   P O I N T

College Hosts Delegates from China 

During the week of April 28th, the College hosted a delegation from Wenzhou Medical Dr. HuZhen, Dr. Jia Qu, Ambassador Keyu Peng, President Heath, Dr. Fangliw Ai and Dr. HeibergerCollege, a College affilate in China.  The group consisted of Dr. Jia Qu, President of Wenzhou Medical College; Dr. Xiangtian-Zhou, Director of Research, School of Optometry and Ophthalmology; Dr. Hu Zhen, Dean of the School of International Studies; and, Dr. Yongjun Du, Director of the Institute of Health and Environment.
A number of discussions were held concerning the future collaborative efforts between Wenzhou Medical College and the SUNY College of Optometry.  Among these possible collaborations is the establishment of a Confucius Institute for Chinese Language and Culture at SUNY.  Exploratory discussions were held with Ambassador Keyu Peng at the Chinese Consulate in New York.  The institute, situated at the College, would have a focus on healthcare in addition to language and culture.
While at the College, the delegates met with several members of the research faculty to discuss possible collaborations.  Both parties felt that there were a number of possibilities for researchers and graduate students at both institutions to exchange visits and to work with each other.
Besides meeting with administration and faculty at the College, the delegates also met with members of the International Lighthouse for the Blind about possible future cooperation in low vision programming in China.
DI D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • The annual cost associated with all eye disease and vision impairment in the United States is estimated at $68 billion. (NEI - 2003)
  • Around 824,000 Americans age 74 and older have diabetic retinopathy - 5% of the 74 and older population.  (Kempen et al 2004)
  • 40 faculty and students of the SUNY College of Optometry presented 31 talks and posters at the 2008 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month.

College Has 3 Recipients of Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

Three members of the faculty and staff were nominated to receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence. The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are intended to acknowledge the many deserving faculty and professionals within SUNY as well as a recognition of and tribute to these individuals' expertise and commitment.  Award recipients personify professional excellence and serve as role models for the SUNY community. Through a process of peer review, the finalists were selected and submitted to the Chancellor's office for final review and approval.  President Heath was contacted by the Awards Committee that the following individuals were approved by Interim Chancellor Clark to be the campus' 2008 awards recipients.
Dr. Audra SteinerDr. Audra Steiner, Assistant Clinical Professor, is the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Dr. Steiner, a member of the Vision Training (VT) unit since 2001, is an instructor in the professional program course "Strabismus and Amblyopia" as well as a laboratory instructor for "Vision Therapy, Diagnosis and Treatment".  In addition to didactic teaching, she supervises 3rd and 4th year optometry students in the clinic and clinical residents.  Dr. Steiner has also become part of the research team of the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT), a clinical trial sponsored by a significant federal grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Miduturu Srinivas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.  Dr. Srinivas is a research scientist investigating the mechanisms of regulation of gap junction conductance which is critical to improving our understanding of how tissues sustain their function during exposure to different types of stress.  He has received funding from NEI as a Principal Investigator since 2001 for his work on the biophysics of lens connexins.
Ms. Jacqueline Soriano
Ms. Jacqueline Soriano, Credentialling Specialist, Managed Care, is the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.  Ms. Soriano is a full-time credentialling specialist in the University Optometric Center's Managed Care Unit.  She coordinates the credentialling/re-credentialling of vision care providers within the Center.

Honorary Degrees Awards
Two honorary degrees will be awarded at this year's commencement.  Mr. Gordon Gund, Chairman and CEO of Gund Investment Corporation, will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa by the State University of New York.  Mr. Gund is also Chairman and a member of the founding group of The Foundation Fighting Blindness of Owings Mills, Maryland.  The Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to finding the causes, treatments and/or cures for retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration and allied retinal degenerative diseases.  Some of Mr. Gund's awards include Research/America's 2006 Volunteer Advocacy Award; his induction into the Cleveland "Inside Business" Hall of Fame, October 2005 and Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker, The Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice at Northwester University's Kellogg School of Management, October 2005.  A graduate of Harvard University, he is also an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard Chapter, and has received honorary degrees from Goteburg University in Sweden; the University of Maryland; Whittier College and the University of Vermont.  Mr. Gund resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife.
The second honorary degree will be awarded to Dr. Gordon Legge.  Dr. Legge will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa by SUNY.  Dr. Legge received his S.B. degree from MIT and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University.  Dr. Legge is the Chair of the Psychology Department and Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota.  He is also the Director of the Minnesota Laboratory for Low Vision Research.  Dr. Legge has been a long time leader in the area of low vision with almost 100 published manuscripts in peer-reviewed scientific journals; numerous conference papers and abstracts, and, a number of inventions related to the MNREAD acuity chart and MNREAD low vision reading test.  A member of various scientific associations that include the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for Vision and Research in Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the International Association for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation, Dr. Legge is also on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals such as the Journal of Vision and Vision Research.

Student Volunteer in Optometry Service to Humanity (SVOSH) Goes to Honduras 

Ms. Komal Patel, Ms. Lynn TrieuIn March 2008, five SUNY optometry students joined a group of Indiana optometrists and other volunteers providing comprehensive eye exams to the underserved in Honduras.  The group, including students Jaclyn Benzoni, Komal Patel, Lynn Trieu, Laura Schrupp and Alice Phan, saw over 2900 patients and screened an additional 1200 students.  Dr. Kevin Waltz and his surgical team performed 44 procedures.  This was a truly unique experience that the students found to be extremely rewarding, both clinically and personally.  Another SVOSH trip is planned for August 2008 to Peru where a different group of SVOSH students will have the opportunity to provide vision care services to areas in Peru where the residents are still struggling to recover from recent earthquakes.  Missions such as these are made possible largely through donations from the optometric community.  Donations are being sought to help make this mission a success.  The donations can be monetary, non-expired medications, equipment, eye glasses, etc.
SUNY Optometry Hosts New Zealand Optometrists
This month the University Optometric Center hosted two optometrists from New Zealand.  Dr. Michael White and Dr. Rebekah Hanna are the recipients of a New Zealand initiative, the Snowvision Downunder Scholarship, which has helped fund their one month clinical placement at SUNY.
Dr. White has worked in private practice for almost 20 years.  His practice is located in the small provincial town of Whakatane on the east coast of the North Island.  His particular interest is in the management of ocular disease.  This scholarship gives him the opprotunity to broaden his outlook on life professionally and personally.Dr. Rebekah Hanna and Dr. Michael White
Dr. Hanna graduated in 2006.  She has been working in multiple private practices in Hawkes Bay (Wine Country) on the east coast of North Island.  Her intent is to learn about vision therapy which is not taught to an extensive degree with the optometry program at her alma mater.
The Snowvision Downunder Scholarship, established over 10 years ago, enables New Zealand-based optometrists to experience specialty optometric services in a world-class educational facility abroad.  Scholarship funds are derived from the proceeds of the Snowvision Downunder Conference held every two years in Queenstown, a very popular skiing destination in New Zealand.  The conference offers a winning combination of continuing optometric education with alpine recreation.
Dr. Milton Katz received a grant of $25,000 from the Vision for Tomorrow Foundation to build a 3x array telescope.  Dr. Katz's textbook "Introduction to Geometrical Optics" has been translated into Korean.
Dr. Katz and Dr. Philip Kruger have revised and expanded their Chapter "Optics of the Eye" in Duanes Ophthalmology, (in press).
SUNY Faculty and Students Give Presentations At ARVO
Dr. Hung, Dr. Ciuffreda and Mr. Bulson Forty of the College's faculty and students presented at this year's annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).  These presentations included talks and posters by international researchers in the field of vision science and opthalmology.  Approximately 4000+ posters were presented at the conference of which 40 posters (1/10th) were selected as "emerging trends/hot topics" based upon peer-review.  Two of the posters selected were presented by Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda, Mr. Ryan Bulson (SUNY OD/MS student) and Dr. George K. Hung (a Professor at Rutgers, The State University in New Jersey).   The posters were on vision and golf using cutting edge technology, namely eye-head-putter objective dynamic recordings in conjunction with oculomotor auditory feedback training.  This technology was developed by Dr. Hung.  Congratulations to Dr. Ciuffreda, Mr. Bulson and Dr. Hung on receiving this special recognition.
F A C U L T Y   S P O T L I G H T

Meet Neera Kapoor, O.D., M.S.

Dr. Neera Kapoor is an Associate Clinical Professor of Optometry and the Director of the Raymond J. Greenwald Rehabilitation Center of the University Optometric Center at SUNY.  Dr. Kapoor, an alum of the College, received her Master's of Science in Vision Science in 1993 and her Doctor of Optometry in 1994.  In addition, she completed a residency in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation in 1995.  Since September 1996, Dr. Kapoor has been the Director of SUNY's vision rehabilitation unit.  Over the past 13 years she not only has worked with individuals with acquired brain injury, Dr. Kapoor has found the time to co-author several peer-reviewed articles, textbook chapter and poster presentations, as well as having luctured locally and regionally on the topic of vision and ABI.
Dr. Kapoor's work with brain injured patients have not gone unnoticed.  She has received numerous recognition awards:
  • Founder's Award (2002).   Presented by the Brain Injury Association of New York State in recognition of outstanding efforts to help establish new services or opportunities for persons with brain injuries and their families.
  • NYSOA Distinguished Achievement Award (2003).  Awarded in recognition of significant contributions to the field of visual rehabilitation of the stroke patient.
  • SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service (2005).  Awarded to a faculty member selected by their campus peers with recommendation to the Chancellor.
  • Marquis Who's Who Among American Women, 25th Ed. 2006.
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