F Y Eye - The Official Newsletter of the College
Issue 29September  2010
- A  M E S S A G E  F R O M   T H E   P R E S I D E N T -
President's Letter
President David A. HeathWith the first FY EYE issue of the 2011 academic year, we could continue to focus on the angst that surrounds the State's budget, or we can look toward the promise of the new academic year.  In a positive sign of things to come: In addition to ongoing facilities improvements, the design firm of Bostwick Design Partnership was retained in July to undertake a Facilities Master Plan at the College of Optometry for the years 2013-2023.
While this period may appear to be far into the future, it will be upon us in no time, and this process will provide us with the opportunity to restore and rehabilitate our campus in ways that support our strategic priorities and ensure the continued vitality of our educational, research and patient care programs.
A steering committee has been formed and meetings are being held with program leaders to educate the firm on our current and projected program requirements over the next 10-15 years.  While we are only in the 3rd year of our current five-year strategic plan, "A Shared Vision", we will be challenged to project the future size of our programs and reflect on the very nature of our efforts.  What will be the impact of health care reform on optometric care; how will technology influence the space requirements for patient care and teaching; how many optometrists are needed in New York State and what will be the size of our student body?  Will the number of patients we serve each year increase?  Fifteen years is well into the future, but we need to be creative, we need to be aspirational and we cannot develop a facilities Master Plan that limits our potential.

David A. Heath, O.D., Ed.M.
 - M A I N   F E A T U R E -
New Student Center for LIfe and Learning Gains Momentum
Student Center for Life and LearningEarlier this Summer, the College received approval to move forward with construction of its new $6.2M Student Center for Life and Learning.  The project design phase has been completed and bid documents are being finalized.  Construction of the Center is expected to begin during the Winter of 2011 with an anticipated completion date of February 14, 2012.  The Student Center for Life and Learning will meet a variety of critical needs and include a multi-purpose common area, TV lounge, game room, fitness center, a large seminar room, small group study rooms and a new procedures laboratory.
 SCLL Common Area      SCLL Fitness Center
D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • The College welcomed 75 new students into the Doctor of Optometry degree program on August 12.  Thee were 758 applicants for those 75 seats and only 18% of the applicants were offered admission.

  • The College celebrated "Constitution Day" on September 17th.  Did you know:
    • The U.S. Constitution has 4,440 words. It is the oldest and the shortest written constitution of any major government in the world.
    • The word "democracy" does not appear once in the Constitution.
    • The Constitution was "penned" by Jacob Shallus, a Pennsylvania General Assembly clerk for $30 ($726 today).

- H I G H L I G H T S -
College holds 2nd Annual Faculty/Staff Recognition Awards 

Ms. Jacqueline MartinezThe 2nd Annual Faculty/Staff Recognition event was held on Thursday, August 05, 2010 in the Schwarz Theater.  Over 20 employees were honored for 25+ years of service to the College.  The ceremony was preceded with the awarding of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional to Ms. Jacqueline Martinez, Registrar.  Her colleagues nominated her for this award which was then submitted to SUNY System Administration for approval.  A second Chancellor's Award recipient was Dr. Robert Duckman whoDdr. Robert Duckman was recognized and received his award for Faculty Service at the annual Scholars Dinner in June. 

Dr. David LibassiAn added attraction was the newly established Community Spirit Awards one of which was awarded to Dr. David Libassi (faculty).  Mr. Robert Wilczewski (staff) was unable to be present at the ceremony and received his award at a later time.    They each received a certificate and a small token of appreciation from the College.

The following individuals were recognized for their 25+ Years of Service with the College:
2010 25+ Service Honorees

Dr. Sherry Bass
Ms. Deborah Bell
Mr. Guy Bergere
Dr. Ellen Brand
Ms. Maryanne Byington
Ms. Norma Dottin
Dr. Benjamin Freed
Mr. Michael Gomez
Dr. Deborah Goodman
Ms. Hedy Hankins
Dr. Kenneth Landesman
Dr. Sander Levine

Dr. David Libassi
Dr. Richard Madonna
Dr. Scott Morrison
Dr. Rochelle Mozlin
Dr. Rodolfo Rodriguez
Dr. Stuart Rothman
Ms. Karen Sampson
Dr. Richard Soden
Dr. Barry Tannen
Dr. Andrea Thau
Ms. Ann Warwick

Dr. Heath thanked everyone for attending and expressed his appreciation to the Faculty and Staff Recognition Committee:  Ms. Pamela Lederman, Chair, Ms. Norma Ayala, Dr. Robert Duckman, Ms. Guerda Fils, Ms. Nancy Kirsch, Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez, Dr. Leon Nehmad, Ms. Karen Sampson and Ms. Betshally Torres.  Congratulations to everyone on a fine event!

Welcome to the Class of 2014!
Class of 2014On August 12 & 13, SUNY College of Optometry welcomed its newest community members --the Class of 2014.  The students started their professional study with a two-day orientation to the College.  On August 12th, their first day began with a welcome from President Heath.  He also highlighted the planned development of the new Campus Center for Life and Learning using architectural renderings provided by Kliment Halsband Architects.  Dr. Edward Johnston, having recently retired from SUNY, returned to co-lead the orientation program with his successor, Dr. Jeffrey Philpott, Vice President for Student Affairs.  Lunch was provided as well as a reception, hosted by the NYSOA, at the end of the day.  Friday, the second day of orientation, provided an introduction to the optometry curriculum, the University Eye Center and receipt of their opthalmic instruments. 

The students responded positively to the educational portion of the program.  Mariya GurvichClass of 2014 '14, in particular, valued the opportunity to listen to second and third year students talk openly about the setbacks they encountered during their first years at the College.  Gregory Borukhov '14, likewise, explained that the orientation program was a good start to his studies at SUNY Optometry.  He said "Orientation was really helpful and organized...A lot of information, but the type that I would rather have before beginning professional school."

Class of 2014The two-day orientation program included introduction to college departments by the respective department heads and managers, a variety of speakers and covered a number of important topics.  The Class of 2014 enjoyed the opportunity to socialize with returning students and their new faculty members at a special reception co-sponsored by NYSOA and the Alumni Association.


SUNY Student Receives AOF-Carl Zeiss Vision Fellowship

Ms. Nikki Yee of the Class of 2011 was awarded a 2010 AOF-Carl Zeiss Fellowship.  The Fellowships honor outstanding achievement by a third-year optometry student from each of the 19 optometry schools in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.  These students represent individuals with the best potential for strong leadership in independent practice.  Each fellowship includes a $5,000 award made directly to the financial aid office at the student's college to offset the fourth year expenses of optometric education.


College Residency Program Begins New Year

The 2010-2011 residency year began on July 1, 2010, with a new class of 31 residents.  One of the largest group of residents, they will be participating in programs both at SUNY and SUNY's affiliated programs.  This year's residents come from all over the United States and Canada representing eleven different optometry schools.  Listed below are our new residents and their residency assignments.  Join us in welcoming them to SUNY.



Optometry School

Cornea/Contact Lenses
SUNY Optometry

Nysha Virji

Illinois College of Optometry

Family Practice/Ocular Disease Optometry
East New York Diagnostic

Russell Coats

SUNY College of Optometry

Family Practice Optometry
West Point

Jin Ha

SUNY College of Optometry

Low Vision Rehabilitation
SUNY Optometry & The Lighthouse

Xiao Yu

Pennsylvania College of Optometry/Salus

Ocular Disease
SUNY Optometry

Sarah MacIver
Roshnee Patel
Marianne Poirier
Elena Zaharova

University of Waterloo
SUNY College of Optometry
University of Montreal
New England College of Optometry

Ocular Disease/Primary Eye Care
VA Harbor Health Care

Jacqueline Armani
Caryn Jones
Gulshan Karamchandani

New England College of Optometry
Pennsylvania College of Optometry/Salus
Pennsylvania College of Optometry/Salus

Pediatric Optometry
SUNY Optometry

Sarah Dille
Kristen Krummenacker

University of Alabama Birmingham
New England College of Optometry

Primary Eye Care
New Jersey VA

Kelvin Win
Jaime Dunn

Pennsylvania College of Optometry/Salus
Northeastern State University College of Optometry

Ocular Disease /Primary Eye Care
VA Hudson Valley

Gee Hyun Chun
Carly Goldberg
Roseann Guglielmo
Janine Vecchiarello
Nadine Furtado                 

SUNY College of Optometry
SUNY College of Optometry
SUNY College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry
SUNY College of Optometry

Primary Eye Care/
Vision Therapy and Low Vision Rehabilitation
VA Northport

Sunny Nguyen
Miriam Lee
Tiffany Chan
Geneva Cleveland

Pennsylvania College of Optometry/Salus
SUNY College of Optometry
University of Missouri -St Louis

Primary Eye Care Optometry
SUNY Optometry

Andrea Antonelli
Ann Patel


Vision Rehabilitation (Acquired Brain Injury)/
Primary Eye Care Optometry
SUNY Optometry

Amy Chang

SUNY College of Optometry

Dr. Irwin B. Suchoff Residency Program in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation
SUNY Optometry

Ann Nolan
Erica Schulman
Ira Strenger
Matthew Walsh

SUNY College of Optometry
SUNY College of Optometry
SUNY College of Optometry


9th Annual Envision New York Conference

The 9th Annual Envision New York Conference will be held and hosted by the College on Saturday, October 23 through Monday, October 25, 2010.  A variety of courses will be offered that will not only be innovative and current, but that will also be cutting edge and exciting.  For total conference information including the course schedule, fees, hotel information and registration forms, log on to www.sunyopt.edu and click on the Continuing Professional Education link.  Once there, you will find the complete conference brochure.  For additional information regarding Envision or any up-coming CE programs, contact Stacy Weiss, Associate Director of the Office of Continuing Professional Education at (212) 938-5830 or at sweiss@sunyopt.edu.  A special cocktail reception will be held on Saturday evening at Havana Central at 151 W. 46th Street immediately following the continuing professional education courses.  A sample of the Cuban menu includes coconut shrimp, mini empenadas, pulled pork taquitos and a paella bar.  The reception is free with purchase of a full conference package and for all SUNY alumni reunion classes for the years 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005.  All guests and optometrists not registered for the full conference may register and attend the reception for $50.  Children up to the age of 16 are welcome to attend for $25.  Attire is casual for a completely relaxed and friendly environment.

Faculty Development Committee Presents Webinar

The Faculty Development Committee presented a Webinar entitled "Practicing Learner-Centered Teaching in Large Classes" on July 15, 2010.  Due to the time of the webinar, many faculty members were unable to attend the broadcast.  Dr. Robert Duckman, Chair of the Faculty Development Committee and the Chair of the Department of Vision Sciences, attended the webinar and felt that the material was very useful and apropos of classes taught at the College.  He has acquired the CD of the program and has made it available through the Library for anyone who would like to utilize it.  Handouts are also available.  If you would like a copy of the handouts, contact Dr. Duckman.

OCNY Trustee Honored

Mr. Harold SpielmanMr. Harold M. Spielman, a Trustee of the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) Foundation for over 20 years, was honored at the Seventh Annual Inspirational Gala sponsored by the Port Washington, New York Library Foundation on September 25 at the library.  Mr. Spielman provided funds for the renovation of the library's Children's Story Circle in the memory of his late wife, Jackie, who had consummate interest in children's literacy.  The library's foundation has established the Jackie Spielman Storytelling Festival as an ongoing memorial to her contributions to the library and the community during her lifetime.
- U N I V E R S I T Y   E Y E   C E N T E R -
Referral Service Holds Third Annual Lecture and Dinner 
The University Eye Center Referral Service held its third annual lecture and dinner on Thursday, July 15, 2010, hosted by Dr. Harriette Canellos, Director of the service.  The Referral Service Dinner and Lecture offers an opportunity to keep our referring providers up to date with our services and at the same time provide valuable continuing education in key areas of their practice.  Attendees were optometrists from the five boroughs, Long Island and upstate New York including several graduates of the SUNY College of Optometry.

The lecture on the topic of "Medical Management & Medical Coding of Age Related Eye Diseases", provided by Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Executive Director of the UEC, and Dr. Richard Madonna, Chief of Ocular Disease and Director of Continuing Professional Education, was received with great enthusiasm.  The event received an overwhelmingly positive response and there were many requests to continue to provide this type of event.

Dr. Neera Kapoor Named One of Vision Monday's "Most Influential Women in Optical"

Dr. Neera KapoorDr. Neera Kapoor, Associate Clinical Professor and Chief of Vision Rehabilitation Services, was named one of Vision Monday's "Most Influential Women in Optical".  This honor was developed to recognize "the diverse contributions of professional women throughout the industry and eye care field".  The selection of individuals was based upon nominations from readers nationwide of Vision Monday and determined by its editors and management of Jobson Optical Group.  This is the 8th anniversary of this special report.

Dr. Kapoor received her O.D. and M.S. degrees from SUNY, along with a residency in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Barry Tannen Interviewed on New Jersey's PBS Network

Dr. Barry Tannen, Associate Clinical Professor in the University Eye Center (UEC), and a behavioral optometrist, was interviewed by New Jersey's PBS station, WNJN, for their health watch segment of the NJN News.   The segment concentrated on how children with certain vision problems can be mistaken for ADD/ADHD and reading disability and how vision problems that affect learning can be corrected with vision therapy .  Health and News correspondent Sara Lee Kessler interviewed Dr. Tannen. If you would like to see the entire broadcast, here's the link: 


New Specialty Clinic Opens in Ocular Disease and Special Testing

A specialty clinic for Hereditary Retinal and Optic Nerve Disease has been established in the Ocular Disease and Special Testing Service.  The clinic is devoted exclusively to the care of patients with known or suspected hereditary and developmental diseases of the retina and optic nerve.  Dr. Sherry Bass and Dr. Jerome Sherman are on attendance in the clinic.  Patients are referred to the center to be examined and have imaging, perimetry and electrodiagnositc testing as needed to diagnose and manage hereditary retinal and optic nerve diseases.  Arrangements for molecular genetic testing to better define the nature of the hereditary retinal disease can be made.

The clinic will be involved in research that increases the understanding of the pathophysiology and progression of many of these diseases.  Participation in on-going studies will be offered to interested patients.

Some hereditary retinal and optic nerve diseases include, but are not limited to:
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Leber congenital amaurosis
  • Stargardt disease and other macular dystrophies
  • Cone dystrophy and Cone-rod dystrophy
  • Achromatopsia (rod monochromatism)
  • X-linked juvenile retinoschisis
  • choroideremia
  • Ocular albinism
  • Flecked retinal syndromes
  • Syndromes associated with hereditary retinal degeneration
  • Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy
  • Congenital Optic Atrophy
  • Developmental abnormalities of the Optic Nerve Head
  • Or any patient witih unexplainable vision loss

Patients may be referred by calling the call center at 212-938-4001 or the 6th floor at x4091.  Questions are to be directed to Dr. Bass or Dr. Sherman.

- R E S E A R C H -

Research Scientist Joins Graduate Center for Vision Research on Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Dr. Martin GieselDr. Martin Giesel has joined the Graduate Center for Vision Research as a Research Scientist on a two-year Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft post-doctoral fellowship.  Dr. Giesel is from Hamburg Germany and studies Psychology at the University of Hamburg.  He received is Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Giessen where his PhD work involved psychophysical and computational studies of cortical color vision. 


SUNY Graduate Student Receives NIH Grant from the National Eye Institute

Dr. Christina Llerena has received an NIH Loan Repayment Program Grant from the National Eye Institute.  The grant began September 2010 and ends August 2012.  The title of her project is "Improvement in Stereoacuity through Training with Correlated Cues".  She will receive $70,000 towards student loans plus 50% protected time for research.

Her project will assess the efficacy of a "training wheels" method to improve stereoacuity thresholds.  The utilization of some other source of trusted information for purposes of refining one's ability to use small differences between stimuli along a different dimension could be very useful in real-world situations (i.e., a person whose eyes have been surgically aligned might benefit from specific training to improve their steroacuity, in which other depth cues act as the "training wheels".  She plans to test whether the improvements in stereoacuity seen in normal observers over time are accelerated when this type of training is provided.

Dr. Mark Rosenfield Appointed to AAO Task Force

Dr. Mark Rosenfield has been appointed to serve on a task force created by the American Academy of Optometry to write a position paper on why it is important to have comprehensive eye examinations.

Publications and Invited Talks

Dr. Qasim Zaidi 

Gunvant, P., Newcomb, R.D., Kirstein, E.M., Malinovsky, V.E., Madonna, R.J. and Meetz, R.E.  "Measuring Accurate IOPs: Does Correction Factor Help or Hurt?"  Clin Ophthalmol (2010), 4:611-616.

Yang, H., Wang, Z., Pan, Z., Capo-Aponte, J.E., Zhang, F. and Reinach, P.S.  "Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Transactivation by the Cannabinoid Receptor (CBI) and Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) Induces Differential Responses in Corneal Epithelial Cells".  Exp Eye Res.  (2010), July 7 [Epub ahead of print]

Zhang, F., Yang, H., Pan, Z., Wang, Z., Wolosin, J.M., Gjorstrup, P. and Reinach, P.S.  "EGF Receptor Transactivation Mediates Resolvin-Induced Increases in Corneal Epithelial Cell Migration".  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. (2010), June 10 [Epub ahead of print]

Pan, Z., Wang, Z., Zhang, F., Yang, H. and Reinach, P.S.  "TRPV1 Activation is Required for Hypertonicitiy Stimulated Inflammatoryo Cytokine Release in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells".  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. (2010) (in press)

Z. Wang, P.S. Reinach, F. Zhang, K.S. Vellonen, A. Urrti, H. Turner and J.M. Wolosin.  "DUSP5 adn DUSP6 Modulate Corneal Epithelial Cell Proliferation".  Molecular Vision (2010), 16:1696-1704.

Reinach, P.S., Wang, Z., Wolosin, J.M. gave a talk at the International Society for Eye Research inMontreal, Canada this past July 2010.  The first talk was titled "DUSP5 and 6 Expression Control Proliferation Rates in Limbal-Corneal Epithelial Cells; Implications for the Slow Cycling Phenotype of Stem Cells" and the second talk was entitled "TRPA1 Gene Ablation Improves Injury-induced Corneal Epithelial Would Healing Outcome in Mice."

Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda and Ms. Diana Ludlam, Department of Vision Sciences, recently presented lectures and workshops on acquired brain injury in Chennai, India, at the EIVOC vision sciences meeting celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Elite School of Optometry in Chennai.

- P E R S O N N E L -

The College is pleased to announce that Ms. Erin Angarola has joined the staff ofMs. Erin Angarola the Business Office as Bursar of the College. Ms. Angarola was Bursar at the Midtown Manhattan location of the Katharine Gibbs School for over eight years working with a diverse student population and managing their accounts while ensuring compliance.  A native New Yorker, Ms. Angarola obtained her B.A. in Economics from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY).  We welcome Erin to the staff of the SUNY College of Optometry.


Dr. Edward R. JohnstonDr. Edward R. Johnston, Vice President of Student Affairs, retired on June 30, 2010 after 39 years with the SUNY College of Optometry.  Dr. Johnston began his employment in 1971, the year the College was founded and approved by the Legislature of the State of New York.  During his years of service, Dr. Johnston served in many roles, including President of the College from 1978 -1987.  He was this year's commencement speaker.  A small reception was held for Dr. Johnston in May.  We wish Dr. Johnston the best in health as he begins a new chapter in his life history.

Mr. Rodriguez & Mr. BowersIn response to the State's early retirement incentive, four additional members of the staff retiredMs. Bell & Dr. Soden as of September 30th.  Ms. Deborah Bell, an Optometric Technician in the Dispensing unit of the University Eye Center, retired September 14th; Ms. Norma Dottin, Clerk 1, Mr. Michael Morales, Clerk 2 and Mr. Roberto Rodriguez, Cleaner, retired, effective September 29th.  On September 29th, a reception was held to wish them best wishes and success in their retirement.  We wish them all the best as they start a new chapter in their lives.

Ms. Dottin & Dr. Soden      Mr. Morales & Dr. Soden   

*The College would like to remind everyone that all job openings are posted on the College website --http://www.sunyopt.edu/HR/jobs.shtml.

Copyright 2010, SUNY College of Optometry, All rights reserved.
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