F Y Eye - The Official Newsletter of the College
Issue 37September  2011
- P R E S I D E N T ' S   M E S S A G E - 
President's Letter

The incoming Class of 2015 joins the College community in time to fully benefit from some ofPresident David A. Heath our efforts of the past several years.  The new professional degree curriculum is fully in place, construction of our new Student Center for Life and Learning is on schedule for completion by the end of this academic year, opportunities for involvement in research, community service and international programs have never been greater, and we are prepared to launch programming under the new Career Development/Involvement/Engagement Center (the name is still being fiercely debated, but the business plan has been completed).

The Career Involvement Center (CIC) promises to offer highly personalized and purposeful services to students, residents and alumni.  The CIC will provide proactive guidance throughout the four-year professional degree program, coordinating services with co-curricular opportunities to assure students have the knowledge and insights to make informed decisions about their career path at key points during their professional education.  Signature programs being implemented include the SUNY Optometry Family of Mentors Program, the CIC Lecture Series and a new Annual Career Symposium.

The CIC is a major step towards providing our students with the programming and support systems needed to ensure they are well-prepared as they make important career decisions and engage communities throughout their lives.  For the College of Optometry, a key metric of our success is whether our graduates are professionally successful, practicing where and how they would like to five years after they graduate.  


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

3rd Annual Faculty & Staff Recognition Event



2011 Faculty/Staff HonoreesOn August 5, the College held its 3rd Annual Faculty & Staff Recognition Awards.  The program, begun in 2009, honors the contributions, service and achievements of staff and faculty.  This year, the College celebrated its 40th Anniversary and it's fitting to note, that the College had the opportunity to honor some of the members of the founding faculty who have been with the institution since its inception.  These five individuals were honored with the President's Award for 40 Years of Service.  They are Dr. Robert Duckman, Chair of the Department of Vision Science; Dr. Carl Gruning, Clinical Professor; Dr. Michael Heiberger, Director of International Programs and Director of the Confucius Institute; Dr. Arnold Sherman, Associate Clinical Professor; and Dr. Jerome Sherman, Distinguished Teaching Professor.  Each of them received a framed sketch of the College when it was known as Aeolian Hall.

Dr. Stuart Rothman received the President's Award for 30 years of service and the following individuals received the President's Award for 25 years of service:  Mr. Giovanny Acevedo, Dr. Diane Adamczyk, Ms. Valerie Alter, Mr. Vito Cavallaro, Ms. Ilana Hyman, Dr. David Krumholz, Mr. Frank Orehek, Dr. Joan Portello, Mr. Douglas Schading and Ms. Savitri Singh.

Dr. Troilo, Dr. Soden & Dr. KapoorIn addition, Dr. Neera Kapoor was awarded the Faculty Community Spirit Award and the Community Spirit Award for Staff was awardedMr. Adurogbola Receives Award from President Heath
to Mr. Dapo Adurogbola.

Mr. Carl Manning was the recipient of the Unsung Hero Award in recognition of an individual who consistently goes out of the way to do for others, above and beyond their regular duties.
Mr. Manning Receives Unsung Hero Award
A new award was created this year to recognize a member of the college community who shows leadership and whose accomplishments have contributed to the College's strategic plan; judgement that reflects responsibility and accountability, and performs their duties with dedication and commitment to the mission of the College.  The first President's Merit and Excellence Award was awarded to Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez, Chief Operating Officer of the University Eye Center (UEC).Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez Receives Award from President Heath
As reported in the June issue of FY EYE, Mr. Jorge Villon, Jr.2011 Chancellor's Award Recipient Mr. Jorge Villon, Jr. was the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service and received his award at the recognition event which consisted of a medallion and a Certificate of Merit.





D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?


- H I G H L I G H T S -
Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust Awards Unrestricted Grant


The Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust awarded the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the College affiliated foundation, a $8,500 unrestricted grant.  The grant will enable the College to continue to provide high quality eye and vision care to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, play a key role in training the next generation of knowledgeable and compassionate eye care providers, and, help advance the body of research knowledge in the field, facilitating "lab to bedside" collaboration between basic and clinical research scientists.  This is the third grant OCNY has received from the Trust.


New Scholarship Gift


The SUNY College of Optometry has received a gift to annually award a scholarship to an outstanding student in financial need.  The Jeff White Memorial Scholarship was established by Mr. Larry Roth, Executive Vice President of Marchon, in memory of his late business partner, Jeff White, a Marchon co-founder who passed away in 2005.  The first scholarship will be awarded this Fall at the College's annual scholarship luncheon. 



SUNY College of Optometry Accreditation Reaffirmed   


The College has received formal notice of the reaffirmation of accreditation from both the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) and the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).  Reports from both agencies were based upon the joint site visit to the College, April 10-13, 2011, and were free of recommendations or stipulations, thus reflecting stellar reviews.  "I am very grateful to the entire college community for their efforts and their commitment to the self-study process", stated President Heath.  The next accreditation site visit is anticipated for April 2019 for ACOE, and 2021 for MSCHE.  To view these documents, click on the following links: http://www.sunyopt.edu/about/SUNYAccreditationNotificationLetter.pdf.  





 - 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 Center for Vision Care Policy At SUNY - 25 Years of Service   

In 1986, the College established the Center for Vision Care Policy as an academically based scholarly research unit of the College designed to study health policy as it relates to the vision care sector and public need in the United States.  It is intended to address vision care issues that include:  personnel needs, access, law, professionalism, ethics and cost and quality.   As an integral part of the academic organization of thSUNY College of Optometry at E 24th Street (1973 - 2000)e SUNY College of Optometry, the Center is to provide educational opportunities for students and faculty and strengthen areas of the professional program curriculum related to its scope of expertise.  Dr. Barry Barresi, Dr. Edward Johnston, Dr. Alden N. Haffner, Dr. Jesse Rosenthal, Dr. Mort Soroka and Dr. Leonard Werner were the founding faculty of the Center.

Dr. Soroka is currently the Director of the Center for Vision Care Policy which conducts policy studies and health services research.  It's activities include survey administration, development of primary data sets, evaluation and dissemination.  Since its inception, the Center has undertaken descriptive and evaluative studies on regional and national policy issues related to managed care, Medicare, Medicaid, workforce requirements for vision care, and, the organization and delivery of vision care services.

Dr. Mort SorokaThrough research and policy analysis, the Center is designed to help the public, policy makers, governmental agencies and professional associations understand the issues central to today's health policy debates and develop more effective solutions.  In the face of health care reform and the restructuring of governmental programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, managed care, changing modes of health care financing and delivery, unprecedented technology innovations, the Center for Vision Care Policy provides research and analysis of these complex issues in an independent and academically-based environment.

Recent studies by the policy center culminated in published papers on the following:  health literacy and its impact on the care of the glaucoma patient; workforce issues relating to the provision of eye care services by optometrists and ophthalmologists, and, a national study of the treatment of ocular disease by optometrists.

In the past, the Center has provided research activities that directly impacted the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the cost and availability of vision care services and the use of optometrists and ophthalmologists within managed care organizations, hospitals and the Veterans Administration.  Access and cost studies along with Medicare research papers were used extensively in the testimony for state legislative hearings as optometry sought to obtain therapeutic pharmaceutical authority.  The Center's research were instrumental to optometry's success in the Medicare Parity Act of 1987 and the elimination specialty payment differentials in 1991.  Studies on the contact lens market were the basis for testimony before the FTC, while other studies examined the cost effectiveness of vision care in managed care plans within different state jurisdictions.

Today, the Center for Vision Care Policy continues to serve its mission and goals as set forth upon its inception.


*Many thanks to Dr. Mort Soroka for his contribution to this article.   



Welcome to the Class of 2015 


Orientation for the Class of 2015 was held August 11-12, 2011.  The program consisted of welcoming remarks from President David Heath and Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Jeffrey Philpott, along with introductions to the policies of the College, SUNY, the profession of optometry, financial assistance, the University Eye Center, the library, and student organization.  At the end of the first day, the entering class received their student IDs, class schedules, lockers, e-mail accounts, etc.  The second day of orientation consisted of the Class receiving their optometric instruments; learning how to adapt to professional college life; instruction on time management and study skills, and the use of Moodle.  This year's class enrollment is 79 -- 62 female and 17 male.  The average GPA of the students is 3.53 with an average total OAT science score of 350.  52% of the students are from New York State, 43% from out-of-state and 5% Canadian.




A Carl Zeiss Vision Fellowship Awarded to 4th Year Student 



Ms. Joanna A. Albert '12 was selected as the 2011 SUNY College of Optometry recipient of a Carl Zeiss Vision Fellowship.  These fellowships are awarded to "...students who exemplify the higher level of commitment to clinical excellence and the profession of optometry".  The fellowship includes a $5,000 award, a plaque and two $750 travel fellowships to the 2011 Annual Meeting of the AAO and the 2012 AAO Meeting in Phoeniz, AZ.  The 2011 Fellows will be recognized at the AOF Celebration Luncheon during the American Academy of Optometry Meeting in October 2011 at the Sheraton Boston.

2011 VISTAKON Award of Excellence Awarded to SUNY Alum



Dana Beth Pollack, O.D., a new alum of the SUNY College of Optometry, was awarded a 2011 VISTAKON Award of Excellence.  The award recognizes outstanding fourth year student clinicians who have demonstrated excellent overall knowledge of the contact lens field plus skillful, considerate and professional care of contact lens patients during their education.  Each student receives a $1,000 award along with a personalized plaque.  



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 offering multiple courses and lectures and rapid-fire panel discussions.  The hotel will serve as home base for the conference.  The annual cocktail reception will be held Saturday night at Pera Mediterranean Brasserie and relax and enjoy the flavors of eastern Mediterranean cuisine.  The reception is included with registration for the full conference package and for the reunion year classes of 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.  For a nominal fee of $50, all other conference attendees are invited to attend and registration is required.  Children 16 and under are welcome to attend for a fee of $25.

The conference brochure, including upcoming CE schedules and registration forms, can be obtained from the Continuing Professional Education section of the College website www.sunyopt.edu.

The Office of Continuing Education will resume its Tuesday evening Optometric Education Series with lectures being held on the second Tuesday of each month.  In addition, the CE-NY program will resume this Fall.  For more information please refer to www.nysoa.org.  The annual Glaucoma Program will be held January 22, 2012 and SUNY's Day in Oral Pharmaceuticals will be held January 29, 2012.  The required New York State Infection Control course is still available for New York State optometrists on-line at the Continuing Professional Education section of the College website.

UEC Holds 4th Annual Referral Dinner



2011 Referral DinnerThe Referral Service of the University Eye Center held its fourth annual dinner and lecture on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in the Alumni Commons of the College on the 18th Floor.  The event, hosted by Dr. Harriette Canellos, Director, was to invite outside optometrists who refer their patients to the UEC to keep them abreast of the services provided by the clinic.  This year, the attendees came from the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Rockland Counties.




Emergency Preparedness Tabletop Exercise Held



ERG Tabletop Exercise TrainingMembers of the College's Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Emergency Respnse Resource Group (ERRG) attended a tabletop exercise on emergency preparedness on July 13th at the College.  The exercise was facilitated by a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) NYC office and a staff person from the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM).  The participants engaged in lively discussions that focused on established procedures from how to respond to an incident of high impact to college operations; how to effectively communicate emergency conditions to the college community, and review of the College's continuity of operations plan.


The Emergency Response Resource Group includes the President's Council and essential staff.  The Emergency Response Team consists of staff from the University Police, Building Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety Departments. 




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

It's Back To School Time!  


The new school year has started and most parents are busy making their way through a list of "to-dos", such as shopping for school supplies, appointments for immunizations and physicals, clothes shopping, etc.  An additional item parents should consider is "a visit to the optometrist".  A comprehensive eye examination for children is one of the most important "to-dos" and yet one that is often overlooked.  Without an eye exam, many children have vision problems that remain undiagnosed.  Comprehensive eye exams are necessary to detect problems such as eye coordination, lazy eye, and near and farsightedness.  When vision problems have an adverse effect on learning, they are referred to a learning-related vision problems.  Learning-related vision problems can affect comprehension performance in reading, writing and concentration.

There are many possible warning signs of an eye problem which should be reported to your eye doctor.  The following are common ones:  an eye turning inward, outward, upward or downward frequently; bumping into objects, excessive tearing, turning or tilting of a child's head, frequent rubbing of the eyes, closing an eye, avoiding close work, difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination, holding reading material closer than normal, headaches associated with reading or close work, double vision, using finger to maintain place when reading, or omitting or confusing small words when reading.

If parents notice any of those symptoms, they should schedule an appointment for their child to see an optometrist.  There are several essential elements an optometrist will check during a comprehensive eye examination to help ensure learning is maximized through good vision.  These include:
  1. Visual acuity that is measured at several distances (including up close) so students can comfortably and efficiently read, work on the computer or see the chalkboard.
  2. Testing for eye focusing (accommodation).  eye must be able to focus on a specific object and easily shift focus from one object to another.  This allows a child to move attention from a book to the chalkboard and back.
  3. Checking for eye alignment and binocular fusion (eye teaming).  Ideally, the muscles that aim each eye converge so that both eyes are aimed at the same object, refining depth perception.  These skills are critical to coordinating and aligning the eyes precisely so the brain can fuse the pcitures it receives from each eye into a single image.
  4. Evaluating eye tracking skills to determine whether a child can track across a page accurately and efficiently while reading, and can copy material quickly and easily from the chalkboard or another piece of paper.
  5. Assessing eye-hand-body coordination which is critical for handwriting, throwing aball or playing an instrument, and visual perception which is used to interpret and understand visual information like form, size, orientation, texture and color perception.
  6. Overall eye health is determined by examing the structure of the eye.  

At the University Eye Center, we diagnose and treat children who have vision problems.  The UEC has optometrists who specialize in pediatric eye care, infants' vision and children with special needs.  The Center has the most up-to-date equipment and technology to examine a child of any age.  You are urged to schedule an appointment by calling 212-938-4001.  The examination will insure that your child's eyes will be ready to meet the visual challenges associated with the new school year.   
- R E S E A R C H -

J.D. Collier, M. Rosenfield.  "Accommodation and Convergence During Sustained Computer Work", Optometry - Journal of the American Optometric Association (82)7, July 2011, pp 434-440.


M. Soroka.  "The New York State Optometry Workforce Study", J of Community Health (on-line) August 30, 2011. 



Dr. Kelly Chajka was highlighted as one of the most influential optometric women students in Vision Monday's Most Influential Women in Optical.  She was cited for her involvement in a variety of student activities at SUNY; her work with the Urban and Global Mission Alliance that brings eye exams to the people of the Dominican Republic, as well as being a member of the AAO student council for four years and President of her fourth year class.  Dr. Chajka would like to return to her hometown area, Syracuse, NY, to practice in vision therapy and rehabilitation.  Currently, she is a resident at SUNY.


Ms. Bonnie Cooper, a graduate student at SUNY, attended the 21st Symposium of theMs. Bonnie Cooper, Dr. Joel Pokorney (Pres of ICVS) International Colour Vision Society(ICVS) this past July in Kongsberg, Norway and was awarded the ICVS 2011 best student poster award from the Optical Society of America.  Bonnie ties with a University of Chicago student (Sarah L. Elliott) and shared the honor and prize ($500) with her.


The poster, entitled "Psychophysical & physiological responses to gratings with luminance and chromatic components of different spatial frequencies" represents work done under the guidance of Dr. Barry Lee and Dr. Hao Sun.  Complex grating stimuli with both luminance and chromatic content is used to explore the physiological responses of retinal ganglion cells, as well as behavioral thresholds of human observers.  The findings support the idea that the luminance and chromatic content of visual information is carried by largely separate physiological channels, namely, the magnocellular and parvocellular streams that project from the retina to higher centers.    



USAMRMC Funds SUNY Research on Rehabilitative Behavior-Training Therapies for Visual Disorders


The United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center granted funding to several research projects concentrating on multidisciplinary, integrated approach to preventing and treating vision disorders.  Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda, along with his co-investigator, Dr. Uri Polat of Tel Aviv University in Israel, is one of several projects funded.  The initial amount of the grant was $206,112 with a cost extension of $164,775.  Dr. Ciuffreda's project explored rehabilitative behavior-training therapies for visual disorders associated with brain injury.  His project, along with several others, are funded through the Peer Reviewed Vision Research Program line item in the Defense Appropriations portion of the Federal budget.   



Talks and Presentations


The Summer research T35 program, funded by the National Eye Institute, ended August 5, 2011.  The ten-week session provided intensive research experience to 8 graduate students who gave 15 minute oral and PowerPoint presentations of their research at an SIVR sponsored colloquiium on the last day of the program.  Below are the names of the students, the institution they attend, their research titles and their research advisor:


Forough Amarlou (Berkeley):  "Accommodation to optical vergence-synchronized modulation across pupil and retina".  Advisor:  Dr. Philip Kruger


Jennifer Gould (SUNY):  "Effect of retinal defocus on eye-hand and eye-foot reaction time on traumatic brain injury patients".  Advisor:  Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda


Tiffany Johnson (SCCO):  "Effect of angular size and position in the field of view on the normal human perception of three-dimensional slant".  Advisor:  Dr. Harold Sedgwick


Joanne Malek (SUNY):  "Perceptual Lerning in Children and Adults".  Advisor:  Dr. Benjamin Backus


Maancy Mehta (SCCO):  "Resolvins:  Novel anti-inflammatory molecule and its potental to reduce ocular surface inflammation".  Advisor:  Dr. Peter Reinach


Stefanie Naumovitz (SUNY):  "Establishing the Link:   Resolvins and ChemR23 in human corneal epithelial cells".  Advisor:  Dr. Peter Reinach


Irene Tran (SUNY):  "Effects of eccentricity and sensitivity on test retest variability for two forms of perimetry".  Advisor:  Dr. Mitchell Dul


Kevin Willeford (SUNY):  "Alpha wave characteristics and attentional state".  Advisor:  Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda.



Dr. Benjamin Backus was asked by Mr. Robert Krulwich of "Krulwich wonders..." a NPR Science Blog on the internet, to explain about visual illusions and why when looking at objects such as circles composed of parallelograms seem to move or rotate when the brain focuses on it.  To see these circles that play tricks on the brain, click on the following weblink:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/08/09/139029248/this-cant-be-happening









- P E R S O N N E L -

Congratulations to Dr. Mitchell Dul, Dr. Mark Rosenfield and Dr. Steven Schwartz who were promoted to Professor, effective September 1, 2011.


Dr. Mitchel Dul has been Chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences for more than 12 years and has held the position of Director of Externships.  In 1999, he also established and became Director of the Glaucoma Institute in addition to being Chair.  He was the 2007 recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College.  Currently, Dr. Dul is a clinician in the UEC and also is active in research, mentoring several students in both the professional and graduate programs.   


Mark Rosenfield, Ph.D. is a faculty member in the Department of Vision Sciences andDr. Mark Rosenfield teaches Optometric Theory and Methods, and is Instructor of Record for Optometry I, II and III.  In addition, Dr. Rosenfield, a researcher, has over 120 publications and currently mentors 5 students in the graduate program.  Dr. Rosenfield was the recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1995.


Dr. Steven SchwartzDr. Steven Schwartz, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, is also Chair of the Institutional Research and Planning Committee as well as a member of the Department of Vision Sciences.  In addition to his teaching assignments, Dr. Schwartz is currently doing research relative to glaucoma. 








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

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