F Y Eye - The Official Newsletter of the College
Issue 35May  2011
- P R E S I D E N T ' S   M E S S A G E -   

The strategic planning process for the State University of New York as our system of publicGraduation Day! higher education, passed an important milestone earlier this month.  On May 17, Chancellor Zimpher unveiled the SUNY Report Card, a system of metrics which will monitor our progress on the strategic plan, The Power of SUNY, and elucidate the contributions of SUNY to the economic, intellectual and cultural well-being of our State.  Importantly, the SUNY Report Card will also serve to ensure the strategic priorities of each campus are aligned with those of the SUNY system and, most critically, with the needs of the public.

With over 90 indicators defined, it can be easy to get lost in the proverbial weeds, but if viewed broadly, the core of our efforts, the education and success of our students, is at the heart of the report card.

For the College of Optometry, we will see our success expressed on June 5th as sixty-five new Doctors of Optometry cross the stage and begin serving their patients as the country's primary eye care providers.

I would encourage all members of our community to become familiar with the SUNY Report Card and to join me in wishing the Class of 2011 success and happiness as they begin their professional lives. 


David Heath, O.D., Ed.M.
 - M A I N   F E A T U R E -

SUNY Issues Its First Report Card


The SUNY Report CardOn May 17th, the SUNY Chancellor, Nancy Zimpher, revealed the first report card of the University.  As part of Chancellor Zimpher's five-year strategic plan for SUNY, the State University of New York issued its first annual "report card" which evaluates and tracks the progress of SUNY across broad critical areas.  The University will not only measure success in teaching and research, but also embrace its public mission to play a role in the critical issues facing the State of New York, including to help turn around New York's economy and improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.  To do this, priorities have been identified in alternative energy, "cradle-to-career" education, globalization, diversity, research and innovation, health and wellness, and the impact SUNY students, faculty and staff can have on building stronger communities statewide.  The SUNY Report Card will use both internally and externally validated metrics to track its progress in these areas.  More importantly, it will allow the public to hold the University accountable for the progress that is made as a system.

To read The SUNY Report Card go to the SUNY website:  http://www.suny.edu/powerofsuny/reportcard

D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • As of 2009, thee were 79,305,700 children under the age of 18 in the United States, and 4,683,900 in New York State.  (statehealthfacts.org)
  • Thirty-eight percent of children in New York area are cared for under the Medicaid/CHIP program. (statehealthfacts.org)
  • Seventy-nine percent of children have not visited an eye care provider in the past year.  (National Commission on Vision & Health/CDC)
  • Thirty-five percent of children have never seen an eye care professional. (National Commission on Vision & Health/CDC)
  • Forty percent of children who fail a school screening do not receive the appropriate follow-up care. (National Commission on Vision & Health/CDC) 


- H I G H L I G H T S -

Dr. Frederick Miles and Dr. John Robson to Receive Honorary Degrees at SUNY Optometry's 37th Commencement - June 5, 2011


Dr. Frederick A. Miles

Dr. Frederick Miles, a leading authority in the study of eye movement control and human vision, has been approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees to receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.  Dr. Miles is a highly acclaimed interlocutor in all matters of experimental vision research.  His work over the course of four decades includes major contributions to scientific, administrative and educational endeavors in support of understanding this critical component of optometric health.  His work is widely recognized and his personal style has inspired dozens of scientists who have come in contact with him over the years.  Dr. Miles retired during the Summer of 2010.  He was Chair of the Oculomotor Control section of the NEI's Laboratory for Sensorimotor Research for thirty years.



Dr. John Robson

Dr. John Robson is a Senior Research Professor in vision science at the College of Optometry at the University of Houston and a Life Fellow of Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge.  He has been approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees to receive the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa.  He is distinguished for his contributions to vision science and his research on the visual system and spatial-frequency selective mechanisms, or filters, operating parallel.  As one of the most important vision scientists of the last 50 years, his many contributions include psychophysical measurement of the human contrast sensitivity function, neurophysiological investigations into spatial frequency selectivity and pioneering analytical methods that provide seminal insights into the nature of visual processing.  The importance of his work has been recognized by the Friedenwald Award of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the Tillyer Award of the Optical Society of America.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003.



White Coat and Pinning Ceremony Held for Class of 2013 


White Coat Ceremony Class of 2013The College held its annual White Coat Ceremony for those students entering their third year (Class of 2013), on Thursday, May 19, in the Schwarz Theater.  The ceremony veered slightly in that this year the students were presented with pins in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the College.  President Heath opened the ceremony followed by a series of speakers who spoke about the optometric profession; SUNY Optometry's expectation of its graduates; student life at SUNY and optometric education for the 21st centDr. Adamczyk pins a studentury.  Dr. Richard Soden and Dr. Jeffrey Philpott presented the pins to the students for their white coats; after which the faculty in attendance assisted in pinning the students and reciting the Optometric Oath.  The event, supported in part by Essilor of America, the New York State Optometric Association, and the Optometric Center of New York, concluded with a reception in the Alumni Commons.

 White Coat Ceremony Reception



Center for Student Life Under Construction   


The demolition of floors 3 and 3M in preparation for the construction of the Center for Student Life is nearing completion.  By the end of May, demolition will be completed and the construction of walls will begin.  Below are photos of the progress of the renovation.    



Looking down from 3MWorking on the Steel Beams

To read more on the progress of the Center for Student Life and additional photos, go to:  http://www.sunyopt.edu/blog/public/Construction/student_life_and_learning 



The Vision and The Promise - Update


The College's major gifts campaign, "The Vision and The Promise" is progressing towards it goal of $10,000,000.  Below is a graph of cash and pledges received to date.  


Major Gifts Campaign - May 2011 

 - H I S T O R Y   O F  T H E  C O L L E G E :  T h e  F i r s t  4 0  Y e a r s  -


The College Accepts Its First Class 


SUNY State College of Optometry - 24th StreetOn April 14, 1971 Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller signed Bills S.2923-A and A.3473 establishing the State University of New York, State College of Optometry.  During the time SUNY was searching for a home for the College, Dr. Alden N. Haffner, Executive Director of the Optometric Center of New York, was first appointed Acting Chief Administrative Officer.  His title changed from Acting Administrative Officer to Dean and then to President.  The latter title was given due to SUNY's indecisiveness on which campus to place the College.

In 1971, the first class was admitted to the 4-year professional program.  Approximately 20 students were enrolled and 17 graduated, receiving the OD degree in 1975, on the first Sunday in June.  At the same time, a special 18-month accelerated OD degree program also began to allow students and graduates of the Columbia University optometry program, which offered the MS degree in optometry, to obtain the OD degree.  The first class of this accelerated program had 80 students.  These students received the OD degree in 1973.  A second accelerated program was started later that year for any graduate of an optometry program that did not have an OD degree.  This class received their OD degree in 1975.

Among others, some of the first members of the faculty included Dr. Bruce Bogart, Dr. William Feinbloom, Dr. Nathan Flax, Dr. Michael Heiberger, Dr. Abe Hubal, Dr. Siret Jaanus, Dr. John Picarelli, Dr. Maurice Poster, Dr. Jerry Rapp, Dr. Robert Rosenberg, Dr. Robert Sack and Dr. Leonard Werner.  Dr. Ernie Giglio and Dr. William Ludlam, members of the faculty of Columbia University, also taught at the College.  Dr. Michael Heiberger, currently Director of International Programs; was hired immediately after Dr. Haffner, first appointed as Registrar; then Director of Student Affairs, and then Vice President for Student Affairs.

In 1973, the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) clinic facilities and operations were acquired by the State of New York, and the OCNY became the endowing foundation of the College.

(Thanks to Dr. Michael Heiberger who was the 2nd hired staff for the College of Optometry for his input on this article).


SUNY Optometry Class of 2011 Commencement Award Recipients   


Academic and Clinical Awards

Academic Awards

BETA SIGMA KAPPA AWARD for Academic Excellence
Nikki Yee

DR. FREDERICK W. BROCK MEMORIAL AWARD for Outstanding Clinical Performance in Vision Training
Kelly Chajka

COVD AWARD for Excellence in Vision Training
Nikki Yee

COLUMBIA CLASS OF 1936 AWARD for Academic & Clinical Achievement in Ocular Disease

Nicolas Beaupre


CLASS OF 1991 PACE SETTER AWARD for Excellence in Primary Care

Julie L. Marsh


DR. STANLEY EISENBERG MEMORIAL AWARD for Excellence in Practice Development and Administration

Nicolas Beaupre


DR. WILLIAM FEINBLOOM MEMORIAL AWARD for Outstanding Clinical Proficiency in Low Vision

Rebecca Forman


IRA GOLDFARB MEMORIAL AWARD for Excellence in Low Vision

Stacy M. Byron


DR. LOUIS HERRMANN MEMORIAL AWARD for Outstanding Compassion in Patient Care

Aliye Vayner

Paola Duarte



Jaclyn Christine Bruno



Yelena Smart



Nikki Yee

Sandip Kaur Randhanwa


Service Award 


DR. MAX COHEN MEMORIAL AWARD for Volunteer Commitment to Community Service

Jennifer Catherine Koh

Elaine Lin


MORTON L. KIMMELMAN MEMORIAL AWARD for Student Leadership in Organized Optometry

Shilpi Ratra


BILLIE M. LYONS MEMORIAL AWARD for Distinguished Service to the Community

Nikki Yee

Shilpi Ratra


NYSOA AUXILIARY AWARD for Outstanding Service to the Class of 2011

Jennifer Catherine Koh 


Professional Distinction 


ALCON AWARD for Outstanding Case Report on the Use of an Alcon Product

Katherine Yau


GP LENS INSTITUTION CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD for Outstanding Clinical Proficiency in Contact Lenses

Jessica Fulmer


DAVID J. KERKO LOW VISION AWARD for Outstanding Clinical Proficiency in Low Vision (sponsored by Winchester Optical)

Isadora Ritter


DR. WILLIAM M. EISENBERG MEMORIAL AWARD for Excellence in Ocular Disease (sponsored by Alcon)

Naida Jakirlic


ESCHENBACH AWARD for Excellence in Low Vision

Harrison Leigh Rosenberg


MARCHON AWARD for Excellence in Practice Management

Harrison Leigh Rosenberg


MIRA-MED 20/20 VISION AWARD for Excellence in Optometry

Sandip Kaur Randhanwa


VARILUX STUDENT GRANT for Best Case Report on the Fitting of a Varilux Lens (sponsored by Essilor)

Sandip Kaur Randhanwa


VISION SERVICE PLAN for Excellence in Primary Care and Commitment to Enter Private Practice

Nikki Yee

Jennifer Catherine Koh


VISTAKON EXCELLENCE AWARD for Excellence in Clinical Contact Lenses Patient Care

Dana Beth Pollack


Special Award 


DR. MARTIN H. BIRNBAUM MEMORIAL AWARD - Given to a Vision Therapy Resident Who Demonstrated Outstanding Knowledge and Skills in Behavioral Optometry

Dr. Erica L. Schulman 




- U N I V E R S I T Y   E Y E   C E N T E R -

May is Healthy Vision Month (HVM)

The month of May has been designated as Healthy Vision Month (HVM), a national eye health observance established by the National Eye Institute (NEI) in May 2003.  Millions of people living in the United States have undetected vision problems and eye diseases.  "Healthy Vision Month" was designed to promote and elevate vision as a health priority for the nation by promoting the importance of early detection and treatment of eye and related diseases, as well as the use of proper eye safety practices, in preventing vision loss and blindness.

You can play a vital role to protect your vision by scheduling a comprehensive eye examination which typically includes using eye drops to dilate your pupils.  This examination enables eye doctors to examine your eyes and look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs.  A comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect eye diseases and conditions in their early stages before vision loss occurs.  Early detection and treatment can help to save your sight.

Your eyes are an important part of your overall health.  There are many things you can do to help your eyes remain healthy and make sure you are seeing your best.  Here are some suggestions:
  1. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam.  You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to really be sure.  When it comes to common vision problems, some people don't realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses.  In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs.  A dilated eye exam is an important way to detect these diseases in their early stages.  During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your optometrist places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, your pupil.  This dilation enables your eye doctor to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease.
  2. Know your family's eye health history.  Talk to your family members about their eye health history.   It's important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary.  This information will help to determine if you are at a higher risk for developing eye diseases or conditions.
  3. Eat right to protect your sight.  You may have heard that carrots are good for your eyes.  But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too.  Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and halibut. 
  4. Wear protective eyewear.  You should consider wearing protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home.  Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide protection during these activities.  Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics.  When protective eyewear is required as part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same. 
  5. Quit smoking, or never start.  Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body.  Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness. 
  6. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.  Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but they also protect your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays.  When purchasing sunglasses, look for those that block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. 
  7. Give your eyes a rest.  If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued.  Try the 20-20-20 rule:  Every 20 minutes look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.  This can help reduce eyestrain.
  8. Clean your hands and your contact lenses - properly.  To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses.  Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed by your eye care practitioner and replace them as appropriate.   

A good way to monitor eye health, maintain good vision and keep up-to-date on the latest information in eye and vision care is by scheduling periodic comprehensive eye exams.  The doctors at the University Eye Center recommend that everyone have a comprehensive eye exam.  Your doctor would then recommend how frequently your eyes should be examined from this exam.  To schedule an appointment for an eye examination at the University Eye Center call 212-938-4001.  

- R E S E A R C H -

Ms. Rae Huang '13 (also in the MS degree program) and Dr. Mark Rosenfield were featured in the May 2011 edition of Glaucoma Today.  Their work demonstrated that brief periods of exercise do not alter intra-ocular pressure (IOP), ocular accommodation or the refractive state of the eye significantly.  They also concluded that while cumulative effects may occur following longer or multiple exercise sessions, these data do not support the proposal that physical exercise will alter refractive error development or progression. 



Invited Talks and Presentations


Dr. Duan gives presentationDr. Changmin Duan was an invited guest to present at the 11th International Congress of Ophthalmology and Optometry China (COOC) as a representative of the SUNY College of Optometry.  The meeting was held April 8th - 10th in Shanghai, China.  The conference, also known as the "Optometric Convention", is the one conference in China that maintains a heavy focus on optometry.  Over 1,000 individuals from all over the country registered and attended the conference.  Dr. Duan's presentation was about myopia control and attracted a large crowd.


During her trip to China, Dr. Duan visited the two medical colleges affiliated with the College, Wenzhou Medical College and Zhejiang University School of Medicine.  She also visited The Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital of Fudan University where she met with Dr. Xingtao Zhou, the Chief of Department of Optometry and Dr. Xiao Ying Wang, the Director of Clinical Rotations.


- P E R S O N N E L -

Ms. Marysol SanquicheMs. Marysol Sanquiche has joined the University Eye Center (UEC) as a Clerk 1.  Ms. Sanquiche brings many years of clerical and customer service experience.  


*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 2011, SUNY College of Optometry, All rights reserved.
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