F Y EYE - The Official Newsletter of SUNY State College of Optometry
SUNY State College of Optometry
Issue 9 June 2008
FR O M   T H E   P R E S I D E N T

President's Letter

President David HeathJune 11th was the one year anniversary of my assumption of my duties as President of the SUNY College of Optometry.  The year has flown by and we have witnessed many achievements as well as some challenges.  During the past twelve months, the College community has continued to move through a period of significant transition and is emerging with a new senior management team, an increasingly energized faculty governance structure, and a nearly completed strategic plan for years 2008-2013.
The five year Periodic Review Report for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education was completed, the new professional degree curriculum will be implemented this fall, the University Optometric Center established a referral service, we established new programs in China and, very significantly, we weathered the first round of budget battles in Albany.  We experienced the highest number of applications in the history of the College, the highest number of residents ever admitted and have shared in the extraordinary success of our students on their national board examinations.
Throughout the year, we have endeavored to enhance communication within our community.  FY EYE was introduced in September and has emerged as a critical vehicle for communication and for celebrating the achievements of the College family.  There will be a short hiatus in the publication of FY EYE over the summer, but it will return in September.  The first issue of the next academic year will be dedicated to the College's new strategic plan.  Our strategic goals will be ambitious and include new directions for our educational, research and patient care programs.
The successes of the past year are the result of the commitment of each and every member of the College of Optometry community and I look forward to us attaining new heights in future years.
Wishing you a good summer!
David A. Heath, O.D., Ed.M.
M A I N   F E A T U R E

SUNY College of Optometry Marks 34th Commencement

2008 SUNY Optometry Graduates
The State University of New York, State College of Optometry marked its 34th Commencement on Sunday, June 1, 2008 by awarding 75 Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degrees in Manhattan's landmark Hudson Theater.  In addition, three students received the degree of Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree was also awarded to two students.
Mr. Garrick UtleyMr. Garrick Utley, President of the Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce of the State University of New York, was the Commencement Speaker.  Mr. Utley is a well-known former TV network broadcast journalist who reported from more than 75 countries during his career.
Honorary degree recipients were Mr. Gordon Gund, Chairman and CEO of Gund Investment Corp. and Chairman of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Dr. Gordon Legge, Distinguished McKnight University Professor from the University of Minnesota.
Mr. Joe Bartlett, well-known radio personality at WOR Radio, was given the Communications Award from the New York State Optometric Association.
Mr. Gordon Gund, President David Heath, Dr. Gordon Legge"The opportunities within optometry, vision science and health care are numerous and you have been well-prepared by the faculty to pursue a career path which can bring you professional success and great personal satisfaction", said President Heath, in addressing the graduates.
F O C A L   P O I N T
New Chief of Staff and Director of Professional Services
Dr. Catherine Pace WatsonDr. Catherine Pace Watson has been appointed Chief of Staff and Director of Professional Services, a newly created position at the University Optometric Center (UOC), the patient care facility of the SUNY College of Optometry.  Dr. Pace has been a member of the clinical teaching faculty since 1988 and is the Instructor of Record for Emergency Care Courses; Chair of the Faculty Committee on Development and the Education Facilitator for 35 student interns.  Prior to joining the College, Dr. Pace served as staff optometrist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Northport, New York.  She is a former member of the Health Advisory Board of the Long Island Day Care Services.  A graduate of the SUNY College of Optometry and Fordham University, Dr. Pace Watson is author of numerous professional articles and publications.
"Her open management style and high level of integrity will help us to create a collaborative environment for clinical faculty.", said Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President for Clinical Affairs. 
DI D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • On July 1st, the SUNY College of Optometry will welcome 31 new Residents into its program, the most ever in the history of the College.

  • The ophthalmic market in the United States alone is approximately $29.25 billion. (AOA estimate 2007)

  • That 74% of adults report having an eye exam by an eye care provider in the last two years, and increase of 9% from 1991? (2005 Survey of Public Knowlege - AOA Journal, 2008)

  • That according to AOA surveys, 75.3% of optometrists report being self-employed with 36.1% in solo practice and 30.1% in 2 member partnerships or groups. (AOA Journal, State of the Profession 2008, Edlow & Markus)

Dr. Robert Duckman Honored

Dr. Robert DuckmanDr. Robert H. Duckman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Vision Sciences, was awarded Physician of the Year 2008 by Satmar Bikur Cholim.  Bikur Cholim is a women's organization comprised of hundreds of volunteers who devote one or more days a week to travel to hospitals in Manhattan and surrounding areas.  Housing and warm meals are provided to people who want to be near loved ones who are hospitalized but are unable to travel to see them on the Sabbath.  Dr. Duckman was cited and honored specifically for the work he does with Children with Special Needs. This was the first time the award was presented to an optometrist.
Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda Selected Maino Visiting Professor
Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda has been selected as the Dr. and Mrs. Dominick M. Maino Visiting Professor at the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) for Spring 2009.  Visiting professors are chosen by the Dean/Vice President of Academic Affairs based upon recommendations made by the faculty of the Illinois Eye Institute Pediatric/Binocular Vision Service.  Dr. Ciuffreda's responsibility will include teaching in the clinical education program, presentations to the faculty, residents and students, as well as giving continuing education presentations in coordination with ICO's CE program which also provides fiscal support.
The Professorship, funded through an endowment fund established by Dr. and Mrs. Maino, supports excellence in both research, didactic and clinical education by bringing to the ICO campus internationally recognized experts in the fields of pediatric optometry/ophthalmology, special education, occupational therapy, physical therapy,speech and hearing therapy, binocular vision, vision and learning, as well as other special populations.
College Hosts Annual Scholars' Dinner    
President Heath awarding medal to Dr. Miduturu SrinivasOn June 17th, the College honored faculty and staff who have published and/or received awards during this academic year with a dinner at Trattoria Dopo Teatro.  Thirty-eight faculty members were honored for their scholarly work that includes publications, papers and poster presentations at conferences.  Over 125 papers were published in professional journals; 55 presentations and 13 lectures were given throughout the year, and three book chapters were written.
Ms. Soriano receives award from President HeathIn addition, the recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence (written up in last month's issue of FY EYE) were presented with their certificates and medals by PresidentDr. Steiner receives award Heath.  The honorees were:  Ms. Jacqueline Soriano (Excellence for Professional Service), Dr. Miduturu Srinivas (Excellence for Scholarly Activity) and Dr. Audra Steiner (Excellence in Teaching).  Dr. Zan Pan, a graduate student, was presented with the Dr. Dean Yager Award which is an annual award voted on by the graduate program faculty.
This event, held annually, provides the College to recognize the scholarly achievments of its faculty and staff.
Dr. Mozlin Appointed to University Faculty Senate Governance Committee
Dr. Rochelle Mozlin was appointed for a one-year term to the Governance Committee of SUNY's University Faculty Senate.  Reappointment to the committee will be considered each year by the Faculty Executive Committee for up to a maximum of three years of service.  The standing committees of the Faculty Senate meet approximately 3 times a year at various places throughout the SUNY campuses.  Congratulations to Dr. Mozlin on this achievement.  

College Foundation Receives Grant

The Optometric Center of New York recently received a $20,000 grant from the Foundation for Sight and Sound to provide essential low vision devices for low vision patients who cannot afford them.
According to Ann Warwick, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the Long Island-based foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for those affected by visual and/or auditory conditions.
The College's Low Vision Service provides comprehensive vision exams and support to patients whose vision loss cannot be corrected by eyeglasses, medication or surgery.
College Faculty Participate in Special Olympics Program
Dr. Portello (lying on ground) with her team of volunteers at 08 Special OlympicsSince its official launch in 1997 as a Special Olympics program, Healthy Athletes has grown to provide seven different health screenings with the goal of improving participants ability to train and compete in Special Olympics.  In 2000, the Lions Club International Foundation made a generous donation that made it possible to expand Special Olympics' Opening Eyes initiatiave globally (now known as Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes).  In addition, Healthy Athletes is designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness, leading to enhanced sports experience and improved well-being.  The screenings are offered at no cost to the athletes at local, State, National and International events.  The health care professionals volunteer their services at Healthy Athletes every year.  SUNY's students and faculty conduct eye screenings and full eye examinations (if deemed necessary).  Eyeglasses are actually made on the premises.  Dr. Joan Portello, Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences, is the Director of the Special Olympics Lions Club International Opening Eyes and has been closely involved with helping the event for the past 8 years.  The regional event is held in Riverbank State Park in New York City for one day while the State games are held over a course of two days.
University Optometric Center Referral Up and Running
During the month of May 2008, the Referral Service had 114 patients referred from local practitioners.  The patients contributed 169 visits to the University Optometric Center.  27% of these appointments were made to the Vision Therapy Service, followed by 21% to Ocular Disease and Special Testing and 20% to the Raymond J. Greenwald Rehabilitation Center.
College Faculty and Administrators Appointed to ASCO Committees
The following individuals have been appointed to standing committees and task forces of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for the 2008 - 2009 academic year:
Dr. Richard Soden                 Clinical Affairs Committee
Dr. David Heath                    Financial Affairs Committee
                                           Government Affairs Committee
                                           International Optometric Education Task Force (Chair)
Dr. Diane Adamczyk              Residency Affairs Committee
Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez
                                           Optometry Diversity Task Force

Student Receives Beta Sigma Kappa Award

The Beta Sigma Kappa Central World Council awarded a research grant to the Sandip Randhawa '11.  Sandip submitted an application requesting funding for his research entitled "Differential Interocular Latency as a Clinical Test".  The grant check will be presented at the Beta Sigma Kappa Annual Meeting on June 28th at the Annual AOA Congress in Seattle, Washington.  Dr. David Heath will accept the award in his behalf.
Dr. Jose-Manuel Alonso Invited to Sit on NIH Scientific Review
Dr. Jose-Manuel Alonso has been invited to serve as a member of the Central Visual Processing Study Section of the NIH Center for Scientific Review, effective July 1, 2008.  Dr. Alonso's appointment is for 4 years.  Committee members are selected on their demonstration of competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals and other significant scientific activities, achievement and honors.  Service on a study section requires mature judgment and objectivity with the ability to work effectively in a group.  Membership on a study section represents a major commitment of professional time and energy and gives the individual the unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort.  Each year grant applications are submitted to NIH for funding and the study sections review these grants, make recommendations on the applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board as well as survey the status of research in their fields of science.  This process is of great value to medical and allied research in this country.   Congratulations to Dr. Alonso on this important appointment!
Sherstinsky, M., Contreras, P.  "The Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes/State University of New York Affiliation for the First Master of Optometric Science Degree in Mexico".  Optom Educ 2008, 22(2):50-55.
Nehmad, Leon; Dul, Mitchell; Bodack, Marie and Modica, Pat.  "Overseeing Student Clinical Education:  The Role of the Educational Facilitor".  Optometric Education, Vol. 33, No. 2, Spring 2008, pp 64-69.
New Facilities Program Coordinator and New Campus Police Officer 
Mr. Sudeep Lamichhane is the new Facilities Program Coordinator in the Office of Administration and Finance.  The position, fully funded by capital funds, is essential to the progress of t he projects in our capital plan.  Sudeep has a Diploma in Architectural Engineering, a B.A. in Urban Studies and a M.P.A.  He was an Architectural Database Specialist under contract with the U.S. General Services Administration and his background includes implementing engineering applications, training technical staff as well as design and drafting.  Sudeep will assist in all phases of capital project management ranging from initial program and scope assessment to design and preparation of bidding documents through construction and closeout.  We are pleased to welcome Sudeep Lamichhane to our institution.
P.O. David BlancCampus University Police has a new officer -- Mr. David Blanc.  Officer Blanc was a University Police Officer at SUNY Downstate Medical Center for the past 3 years and was an infantryman with the United States Army until February of 2000.  David came on board May 29th and was sworn in by President Heath.  Officer Blanc holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, a M.A. from Columbia University.  He also completed his basic course for Police Officer at the New York City Police Academy.  We extend a warm welcome to Officer David Blanc.
Copyright 2008, SUNY State College of Optometry, All rights reserved.
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