F Y Eye - The Official Newsletter of the College
Issue 36June  2011
- P R E S I D E N T ' S   M E S S A G E -   
For SUNY and CUNY, Top Lawmakers Support Plan to Raise Tuition..." read the headlines (albeitNew York State Capitol on page 23) of the NY Times on June 23, 2011.  What was notable about this story was not that there will be a tuition increase, but rather annual increases are being established for the next five years out, that all of the money raised will go directly to the campuses and, that the agreement includes a legislative commitment to maintain state aid, at least at current levels, in the coming years.  The Governor and the legislature are to be commended for recognizing the importance of public higher education and making a "rational tuition plan" a reality for SUNY.

These actions represent a radical departure from past practices which left our campuses to manage programs in an unstable resource environment:  Tuition increases were sporadic, tended to occur during budget crises, were large when they did occur and, indeed, rarely did the campus receive the funds for the benefit of those paying.  This pattern, juxtaposed against an unpredictable, but steady stream of budget cuts, severely limited the ability of our campuses to project long-term resource availability and thus hindered the strategic development of our educational programs.

While recognizing that New York State remains challenged by a sluggish economy, the approval of this plan provides us with the resource predictability needed to lead our campuses into the future and to increase the benefits of public higher education for the citizens of New York.


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

SUNY Optometry Scholars and Chancellor's Award Recipients Honored at Annual Scholar's Dinner

The Annual Scholar's Dinner was held on Monday, June 20th at Toledo Restaurant in midtown Manhattan.  Forty faculty members who made scholarly contributions during the 2010-2011 academic year attended.  This annual event is to recognize the scholarly contributions of the College's faculty whether in the form of articles published in peer-reviewed journals or awards.  The Scholars' Dinner also recognized Optometry's three faculty members who are the recipients of this year's Chancellor's Awards for Excellence.  Dr. Heath presented the Chancellor's awards to the following faculty:

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
Dr. Benjamin Backus     Dr. Backus & Dr. Heath

               Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

                     Dr. Schuettenberg Dr. Susan Schuettenberg

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
Dr. Joan Portello    Dr. Portello

Mr. Villon, Jr.

Mr. Jorge Villon
was recognized as the recipient of the Chancellor's Award in Professional Service which will be presented to him at the annual Recognition Reception later this Summer.
D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • Twenty-eight percent of children in New York State (1,309,200) are classified as "poor".  (statehealthfacts.org)
  • As of 2009, 8% of children in New York State (354,800) have no health coverage. (statehealthfacts.org)
  • In New York State, 22.9% of children under the age of 18 are considered obese.  (statehealthfacts.org)
  • Only 72% of children in New York have been immunized.  (statehealthfacts.org)            


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

SUNY Optometry Holds 37th Commencement - June 5, 2011


Dr. Randolph BrooksSUNY Optometry held its 37th Commencement on Sunday, June 5th at the Hudson Theater in Manhattan.  Dr. Randolph Brooks, former President of the American Optometric Association, was the commencement speaker. Two honorary degrees were awarded during the ceremony to Dr. Frederick A. Miles, a leading authority in eye movements and former Chief of Ocularmotor Control at the National Eye Institute Dr. Troilo, Dr. Miles, Dr. Robsonand, to Dr. John Robson, Senior Research Professor in Vision Science at Cambridge University in the UK and at the University of Houston College of Optometry.



Dr. Willam FolsomDr. William C. Folsom, a trustee of the OCNY Foundation, received the College's highest honor, the Benjamin Franklin Society Award, for his more than 60 years of contributions to the profession of optometry.  Dr. Folsom was also recognized for his leadership gift of $2 million for the College's Vision and Promise Campaign.


The "Alumnus of the Year" award was awarded to Dr. Jorge Won '85 for his work as the President of the New York Chapter of Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity (VOSH).  Dr. Won has led numerous volunteer missions to underserved areas of the world to provide vision care. 



The Vision and the Promise:  The Campaign for SUNY Optometry  


"The Vision and the Promise: The Campaign for SUNY Optometry" is designed to raise funds to support current and future projects across our patient care, education and research efforts.  In a period of diminishing resources, it is more important than ever for the excellent innovation which the College programs are known for. To date, the Campaign has received over 50% of its campaign goal in gifts, grants and pledges.  As the campaign moves forward, one of the most critical constituents is to reach out to the SUNY Optometry family -- faculty and staff colleagues, who have built and maintained the standard of excellence that is the hallmark of the College.  In an effort to achieve this, the goal is set to reach 100% participation of faculty and staff in the campaign, no matter the size of the gift.  A Faculty/Staff Committee has been created to help in this endeavor.  The committee's activities will be key to making the Campaign a success.  Members of the committee include:  Mr. Dapo Adurogbola, Mr. Louie Bacosa, Dr. Harriette Canellos, Ms. May Ellis, Dr. Harold Friedman, Dr. Neera Kapoor, Ms. Nancy Kirsch, Ms. Pamela Lederman, Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez, Mr. Robert Pellot, Ms. Kim Price and Ms. Ann Warwick.    



SUNY Optometry Student Wins Travel Grant!    

 Ms. Stephanie Van de Ven '12

Ms. Stephanie Van de Ven '12, was the SUNY College of Optometry winner of the 2011 Hoya Travel and Scholarship Grant.  Her winning case study entitled "Visions of the Future Become Clearer with Hoyalux Id InStyle Lenses" won 4th place nationally among all of the schools and colleges of optometry.  Stephanie was awarded travel and accommodations at the Optometry's Meeting (AOA) held in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 15-19, 2011.  In addition to the travel grant, she was awarded $1,000 and an Apple Ipad 2.  Ms. Van de Ven's faculty advisor for her winning case study was Ms. Nancy Kirsch.      

 - 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  -


First Optometry Residency Program Established At SUNY   

According to a paper written in 1970 entitled "Residency Programs in Vision Training" by Dr. Michael Heiberger, "...a Residency in Orthoptics and Vision Training, established in 1963, was the first full-time postgraduate program in an optometric specialty area and was given for a period of 15 weeks each summer, with the participation of 35 graduates of schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Canada."  In 1967, the residency program in Vision and Child Development was instituted and was initially offered as 15 - 18 week summer program.  However, this program was offered only to those recent graduates who completed the OCNY Comprehensive Clinical Internship during the summer between their junior and senior years.  The participants in these programs received certificates upon completion of the program.

In July 1974, the first full-year optometry residency program was then established at the State University of New York, State College of Optometry.  The Vision Therapy Residency was started as an in-house residency program at the College.  The first residents of this program were Dr. Stanley Applebaum, Dr. Harvey Estren, Dr. Kenneth Koslowe and Dr. Robert Sanet.  Two more residency programs followed, Ocular Pathology and Special Training in July 1977 (a 12 month program), and Primary Care which was affiliated with Genesee Valley Group Health Association (John C. Wilson Health Center) in Rochester, New York.  This program was established in July 1978 for a period of 24 months.  It was discontinued in 1980.

Dr. Diane Adamczyk, Director of Residency Education, states that "The College had the foresight to recognize the importance of residency education back in the mid-70's and its dedication to residency education has continued through the years to this day.  The College was then, and still is, a leader in residency education."  The Vision Therapy Residency Program was the 3rd residency program in the country to receive accreditation.**

As of June 30, 2011, the College will have had 578 residents completing its current active residency programs with a total of 614 residents completing all of its programs, both current and non-current.  Today, SUNY has 14 residency programs and a total of 31-32 residents each year.


*Information for this section was compiled from the following articles:


Bleything, W. "The Optometric Residency:  Its Bloom".   J. of Optometric Education, Vol. 5, No. 1, Summer 1979, pp. 16-21.


Heiberger, M.H.   "The Development of Residency Programs in Vision Training".  Transactions of the Academy, 1970.


Haffner, A.N.  "Specialization in the Profession of Optometry and its Recognition by Certification", Transactions of the Academy, 1970.


Haffner, A.N.  "Optometric Residency Education:  Past, Present and Future".  Optometric Education, Vol. 22, No. 3, Spring 1997, pp. 82-86.


Amos, J.F.  "A Brief History of Optometric Residency Education".  J. Am Optom Assoc., Vol. 58, No. 5, May 1987, pp374-376.


**American Council on Optometric Education  


SUNY President Elected to Serve as President-Elect of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) 


President David A. HeathSUNY Optometry's President, Dr. David A. Heath, has been elected to the office of President-Elect of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) at their annual meeting held during the week of June 13 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  President Heath represents the College in the Association and was the Secretary/Treasurer of the Executive Committee, this past year.  President Heath will take the helm as President of the Association at it annual meeting in 2012.  In addition, Dr. Kevin Alexander, the current President of ASCO, appointed the following individuals to standing and/or ad hoc committees of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for the 2011-12 academic year:


Clinical Affairs Committee

Dr. Catherine Pace 


Student Affairs Committee

Dr. Jeffrey Philpott 



SUNY 40th Anniversary Recognized by ASCO and AOA

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and the American Optometric Association (AOA) passed resolutions in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the SUNY State College of Optometry at their annual meetings in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 13 - 18.

SUNY 10th Annual Envision New York Conference


The 10th Annual Envision New York Conference will be held Saturday, October 22 through Monday, October 24, 2011.  As the College undergoes major renovations to create state of the art teaching facilities and event spaces, the Office of Continuing Professional Education has announced that the conference will be held at the magnificent Millennium Broadway Hotel.  Located in the heart of Times Square, the hotel offers convenient access to all New York City has to offer -- fine dining, Broadway theaters and Fifth Avenue shopping.

Although held at a new venue, Envision New York will remain a comprehensive and innovative education program, featuring lectures and rapid-fire panel discussions.

Dr. Ida Chung Elected Secretary/Treasurer of the New York State Optometric Association  

Dr. Ida Chung
Dr. Ida Chung has been elected Secretary/Treasurer of the New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA) at its 116th Annual Meeting in Corning, New York.  Dr. Chung is Associate Professor at SUNY in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Chief of Pediatrics in the University Eye Center (UEC).  She received her B.A. degree from Cornell University and is an alum of SUNY College of Optometry.  Dr. Chung completed her residency in Pediatrics and Binocular Vision at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD).  She has served as the NYSOA's Vice President of College and Student Relations and as a board member of COVD.

Also elected as officers are:  President: Dr. Thomas J. Landry; President-Elect: Dr. Susan S. Fisher; Vice-President:  Dr. Christopher J. Colburn.  With the election of Dr. Landry to President, Dr. Denise M. Whittam became Immediate Past President.

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

New Chief of Adult and Pediatric Primary Eye Care 


Dr. Thomas Wong has been appointed the new Chief of Adult and Pediatric Primary Eye CareDr. Tom Wong in the University Eye Center (UEC).  The announcement was made to the faculty and staff on June 10th by Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President for Clinical Affairs.  As Chief, Dr. Wong will provide the leadership needed to integrate and enhance the coordination of primary eye and vision care.  The new Adult and Pediatric Service represents the integration of previously distinct units including Adult Primary Care, Pediatric Care, Infant Vision Care and Children With Special Needs.  "This new organization reflects the important role that primary eye care will assume at SUNY and within existing and future health care models", said Dr. Soden.  He expects this comprehensive service to continue to expand under Dr. Wong's leadership, enabling the clinic to meet the needs of the patients it serves.


Dr. Wong received his B.S. degree from Georgetown University and is a 1989 graduate of SUNY College of Optometry where he received his O.D. degree.  Prior to this, he had an 18-year career with Kaiser Permanente, where his responsibilities included both direct care and extensive administrative responsibilities.  While at Kaiser, Dr. Wong served as the Optometry Chief in the Vision Services Department in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and also as the Optometry Supervisor for eight medical centers in Northern Virginia.


In 2007, Dr. Wong completed the inaugural Chief Executive Optometrist Program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is Immediate Past-President of the Maryland Optometric Association and the Optometric Society of Washington, D.C. and an active volunteer in numerous local and national associations and organizations, including Georgetown University where he serves on the Board of Governors.  We congratulate Dr. Wong on his appointment and welcome him back to his alma mater.       



Fireworks-Related Injuries and Your Eyes 

Fireworks are often a part of special times such as the 4th of July and New Year's Eve.  However, fireworks can be dangerous.  In 2008, an estimated 7,000 people were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained from fireworks, and more than half of those injured were children.  Whenever you celebrate, learn how to protect yourself and those you care about from fireworks-related injuries.  The body parts most often injured were hands and fingers, eyes, and legs.  Burns were the most common injury to all body parts except the eyes and head areas, where bruises, cuts and foreigh bodies in the eye occurred more frequently.  Fireworks can cause blindness, third-degree burns and permanent scarring.  Fireworkds can also cause life-threatening home and motor vehicle fires.  An estimated 22,500 reported fires were started by fireworks in 2008.  These fires resulted in $42 million in direct property damage.  The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.  You should attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators.

While planning for 4th of July celebrations, we urge the public to refrain from purchasing or using fireworks.  More than 40 percent of all fireworks injuries were to children under the age of 15.  In fact, sparklers accounted for the most injuries that required medical attention to children ages 4 and under.  If there are specks in your eyes or your child's eyes, DO NOT try to remove an object stuck in the eye.  You should cover the eye with a rigid shield without pressure and see and eye doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

A visit to the emergency room is no way to celebrate the birth of our country.  At the UEC we urge you to be safe and enjoy the 4th of July.  If you have any specific questions regarding your eyes or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 212-938-4001.  
- R E S E A R C H -
Awards and Publications  

Dr. Asifa Shafi, an alumna of the SUNY College of Optometry was awarded the SIVR Yager Award for the best published research paper by a student.  Dr. Shafi completed her master's and professional degrees at SUNY Optometry and her undergraduate degree at SUNY Stony Brook.  Her graduate research was aimed at the study of the relations between function and structure in patients with glaucomatous defects near fixation.  She completed her residency training at the VA Medical Centers in Baltimore and Perrypoint Maryland, including clinical rotations at the Retinal Care Center and Wilmer Eye Institute.  At present, she is in clinical practice at the Danker and Fiergang Eye Associates in Baltimore, Clarksville and Westminster, Maryland.  Dr. Shafi's advisor was Dr. Mitchell Dul.  The research paper entitled "Structure and function in patients with glaucomatous defect near fixation" is published in Optometry and Vision Science, 88(1), 139-140.   Dr. William Swanson is also an author on this paper. 


Dr. JinDr. Jianzhong Jin is the recipient of the Yager Award for best published research paper by a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Jin completed his Ph.D. studies at the University of Science and Technology of China and, soon after, joined the laboratory of Dr. Jose Manuel Alonso, his advisor, here at the College, first as a postdoctoral student and most recently as a Research Scientist.  Dr. Jin has made several important contributions to our current understanding of thalamocortical connectivity and neural coding in thalamus and visual cortex.  His work has been published in some of the most prestigious journals in visual neuroscience, i.e., Nature; Nature Neuroscience; Neuron and PLos Biology.  His recent paper "Population receptive fields of ON and OFF thalamic inputs to an orientation column in visual cortex" in Nature Neuroscience, 14(2), February 2011 and highlighted by the editorial news of the journal, provides the first quantitative measurements of the organization of ON and OFF afferents within an orientation column of visual cortex.  Additional authors are Y. Wang and H.A. Swadlow. 



Invited Talks and Presentations


- P E R S O N N E L -

Dr. Kathryn RichdaleDr. Kathryn Richdale has joined the faculty of the College as Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences.  Dr. Richdale received her B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame and her O.D. degree from The Ohio State University.  She practiced in Washington, D.C. before returning to OSU for a Master's degree and a Cornea and Contact Lens Advanced Practice Fellowship.  She comes to us from OSU where she served as a Clinical Attending in the Contact Lens Service and a Senior Research Associate on federal, private and industry funded clinical studies.  Dr. Richdale is the Principal Site Investigator for the multi-center Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) study and is the recipient of the American Optometric Foundation Ezell Fellowship; Prevent Blindness Ohio Young Investigator Fellowship and, the Ohio Lions Eye Research Fellowship, among others.  In addition, she holds a Mentored Research Career Development Award (K23)a from the National Eye Institute for research in presbyopia.  She completes her Ph.D. next month.  Please join us in welcoming Dr. Richdale to the SUNY Optometry faculty. 




Ms. Robin Peters-Esannanson has joined the University Eye Center (UEC) as Manager ofRobin Peters-Esannanson the Call Center.  She will be responsible for the administrative day-to-day operations of the service.  Robin comes to us from Cornell Medical University College where she was a Team Leader/Managed Care Specialist.  She has over 10 years experience in the health care industry working in call centers and in the financial divisions of several health care organizations.  Robin recently completed her certification as a professional coder from CUNY Hostos Community College.  Her experience will be a valuable resource for the staff and patients who contact the Call Center.  We welcome Robin to the staff of the UEC.  Join us in welcoming Ms. Peters-Esannanson to the staff of SUNY Optometry. 



(NOTE!!!  The next issue of FY EYE will be September.  The newsletter is not published in July and August.)    

*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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