F Y Eye - The Official Newsletter of the College
Issue 38October  2011
- P R E S I D E N T ' S   M E S S A G E - 
President's Letter

College EntranceWith the approval of the SUNY 2020 at the end of the legislative session in June, SUNY campuses, for the first time in years, have the opportunity to plan with an assumption of stability in state support and five-year tuition revenue projections in hand.  While SUNY 2020 provides a much needed base for strategic planning, it doesn't replace the resources lost through the seven budget reductions of the last three years.  With this new reality, it is incumbent on our college community to continue to ensure our resources are used in the most effective way possible.

This August, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, announced that SUNY campus presidents and System Administration will collaboratively develop and implement regional SUNY Campus Alliance Networks, which will expand academic resources and course availability for students while increasing efficiency within the SUNY system.  The College of Optometry supports this effort, but has also for the past several years, undergone self-study to assure our internal organization is effective, efficient and in alignment with our strategic goals.

Indeed, last year, Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President for Clinical Affairs, led a reorganization of the University Eye Center (UEC), developing a service structure that will improve operations, communications, enhance the quality of care, and provide a patient care environment conducive to education and research.  And, this issue's "Main Feature" highlights the reorganization of Academic Affairs, led by Dr. David Troilo, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, and represents the final phase of organizational review and reform begun four years ago.   

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

Reorganization of Academic Affairs Begins 


Dr David TroiloDr. David Troilo, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, announced the reorganization of Academic Affairs and a realignment of the department structure to correspond with the new curriculum.  The announcement comes after more than a year of planning involving faculty surveys, focus groups and the work of a faculty advisory committee.  The reorganization received broad faculty input and support and is designed to aid in the achievement of the goals of the College's strategic plan.  The new organization focuses on assessment and evaluation of the optometry curriculum and the graduate programs; faculty development; better integration of college programs and faculty; and supporting the expansion of basic, translational and clinical research.


A central element of the reorganization is the creation of two new academic departments:  The Department of Biological and Vision Sciences and The Department of Clinical Education.  The Department of Biological and Vision Sciences will oversee didactic courses covering systems anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, ocular anatomy and physiology, immunology, pharmacology, ocular disease, optics, oculomotor and binocular vision, and visual perception; and the Department of Clinical Education will oversee courses on pre-clinical optometric procedures, epidemiology, public health, practice management, the integrative seminar series, and clinical internships and externships.  All faculty conducting clinical research are appointed to the Department of Clinical Education.  All faculty eligible for graduate faculty appointments are also appointed to the college's Graduate Center for Vision Research which administers the M.S. and Ph.D. programs and various research support programs.  


The change from three to two departments will be completed by January 1, 2012.  Interim chairs of each department have been appointed to assist with the transition.  Richard Madonna, O.D., is Interim Chair for Clinical Education and Robert Duckman, O.D. and Ann Beaton, Ph.D. are Interim Co-Chairs for Biological and Vision Sciences.  National searches have begun for both department chairs as well as for an Associate Dean for the Graduate Center for Vision Research.  Announcements for all three searches are on the college's web site (www.sunyopt.edu) and are posted to the major national organizations and publications.

Additionally, the reorganization includes the formation of the Clinical Education Council which unites the academic clinical leadership and the University Eye Center's service chiefs to collaborate on all issues relating to student and resident clinical education.  In the coming year, the Associate Dean for the Graduate Center for Vision Research and the Chairs of each department will work together to develop Interdepartmental Faculty Special Interest Groups (SIGS) that will offer opportunities for faculty development and interactions in areas of mutual intellectual interest.



D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. (Source:  American Diabetes Association)
  • 1.9 million new cases of diabetes in people age 20 or older were diagnosed in 2010.  (Source:  American Diabetes Association)
  • 10.9 million adults, age 65 or older have diabetes, representing 26.9% of that age group.  (Source:  American Diabetes Association)
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74.  (Source:  American Diabetes Association)                          


C A M P A I G N   U P D A T E S
Vision and the Promise Campaign
The Vision & the Promise

Since its inception, the SUNY College of Optometry has been a driving force in the delivery of high quality vision care for the people of New York City; promoted an unsurpassed standard of education for future optometrists; and developed a research program dedicated to cutting-edge studies in vision science.  The Vision & the Promise: The Campaign for the SUNY College of Optometry will raise the funds needed for current projects and ensure that future needs are met.   Please feel free to contact Ann Warwick at (212) 938-5600 or awarwick@sunyopt.edu for further information or with any questions.

Alumni Major Gifts Campaign

A committee of SUNY Optometry alumni has been created to support The Vision & the Promise campaign.  Formed in August 2011, these committed individuals are dedicated to making The Campaign a success.  Their main goal is to reach 100% alumni participation.

The members of the committee are:  Julia Appel, O.D. '91 (co-chair); Sherry Bass, O.D. '80 (co-chair); Jaclyn Benzoni, O.D. '09; Gregory DiSanto, O.D. '84; Kristen Fry, O.D. '98; Mitchell Horowitz, O.D. '91; Scott Morrison, O.D. '85; Ray Pirozzolo, O.D. '09; Diane Russo, O.D. '10 and Leonard Savedoff, O.D. '79.  These alumni have take a leadership role toward the commitment to the mission of the College and the Alumni Association.  Working with the Office of Institutional Advancement, they will develop strategies to increase alumni support and engagement.  To ensure getting off to a great start, the entire committee has made gifts or multi-year pledges to the campaign.


- H I G H L I G H T S -
CSTEP Grant Approved for Four Years


SUNY Optometry's CSTEP program (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program) has been approved for four-years as of July 1, 2011.  The grant ($82,556) is designed to provide intensive support and professional development to enhance the academic success of students from historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups and who are interested in careers that lead to New York State professional licensing, such as optometry.


For the past 18 years, the CSTEP program has been providing internships, clinical observations, counseling, academic advising, transcript evaluations and OAT test preparation to undergraduate college students interested in optometry and other health-care professions.  It also supports and sponsors activities for current OD CSTEP students as well as provides opportunities to become involved with research in optometry and additional academic support throughout their time in college as they prepare for applying to the graduate program.  The program stresses making students responsible for their academic progress as members of a community of students with similar goals and equipping them with the skills that they need to succeed in optometry school.   Finally, the CSTEP program helps students to establish clear professional and career goals along with the skills to be successful in a profession after college.


A two-week internship (Winter and Spring) is held and plans are to offer three "pre-optometry first year" or "gateway" courses (Summer) to qualified prospective optometry school candidates.  The CSTEP program will collaborate closely with Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and NOSA (National Optometric Student Association)  to enhance and provide more academic support and services to current OD CSTEP students and recruit more eligible OD students to CSTEP. 



 - 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 Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research     

RuthIn 1983, the Board of Trustees of the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) recognized the need for enhanced scientific research into the human visual system and moved to fund the establishment of a research institute at the College.  A year later, thanks to a generous gift of $1.5 million from Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Schnurmacher, longtime benefactors of the OCNY Foundation, the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research (SIVR) was established.

Over the past 27 years, the SIVR support for research has been about $2 million, or $80,000 annually.  These funds support numerous research studies involving many faculty, students and staff, as well as scientific colloquia and research meetings.  Approximately, two thirds of the total SIVR support has been for investigator-initiated research projects.  To date, about 100 different faculty research projects have been supported.  Most of these projects have been small clinical research, or pilot, studies.  Recently, larger collaborative clinical research projects involving basic and clinical faculty have been supported.  These studies are used to provide data needed for proposals for external research grants from federal agencies such as the National Eye Institute.  Over the years, about 250 students have had some involvement in SIVR sponsored research.  About one third of the total funding has been for the SIVR colloquia series where vision scientists from the most prestigious universities in the USA, as well as premier universities around the world are invited to speak to our students and faculty.
There have been over 600 colloquia to date.  Jerry Feldman, Ph.D. is the current Director of the Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research.


*Many thanks to Dr. Jerry Feldman for his contribution to this article.   



SUNY Optometry's Confucius Institute Co-Hosts Shanghai Theatre Academy  


STA perfomsThe Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA)  performed Confucius' Disciples in the Schwarz Theater on October 27, 2011 from 7 - 9 PM.  Confucius' Disciples is a series of short plays about China's greatest educator Confucius (551-479 BC) and his three fictional teenage disciples.  The work was conceived by William Hiuzhu Sun and developed by STA.  Modeled after the classic novel Journey to the West, this project is set during Confucius' historic travels to various warring states promoting his philosophy and statecraft.  While the plays are essentially allegories dealing with issues relevant to today's audiences, all characters are based on the archetypal roles found in traditional Beijing opera.  It is an introduction to traditional Chinese culture, including basic Confucian ideas and classical Chinese theater.  The performance was in Chinese with English subtitles.

The event was co-hosted by the Confucius Institutes at SUNY College of Optometry and the China Institute, and is made possible through the generous support of Hanban, officially known as the "Office of Chinese Language Council International".

College Alumni Association Hosts Reception at the American Academy of Optometry

Dr. William O'Connell with SUNY AlumsThe SUNY Optometry Alumni Association hosted an alumni reception at the 2011 American Academy of Optometry meeting in Boston where over 100 alumni and friends of the College attended.  The receptiSUNY Alums at AAO Alumni Receptionon provided an opportunity to network with people in the industry and reunite with former classmates.  This year's reception was special in that the College is celebrating its 40th Anniversary as a leading institution in optometry.  President Heath and AluDr. Appel and Dr. Portello with SUNY Alumsmni Association President, Dr. Julia Appel, were pleased to be able to interact with many familiar faces.  It turned out to be a fantastic night for the SUNY Optometry community.









Mr. H. Carl McCall Appointed Chairman of the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees

H. Carl McCall, Chairman, SUNY Board of TrusteesOn Monday, October 17, 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo named Mr. H. Carl McCall Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees.  Mr. McCall was appointed to the Board of Trustees October 22, 2007 by then Governor Elliot Spitzer and served as Co-chair of the Board with Mr. Carl Hayden.  His distinguished career as a public servant includes Comptroller of the State of New York (1993-2002); 3 terms as New York State Senator (representing part of upper Manhattan); Ambassador to the United Nations; Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and, Commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights.  In the private sector, he served as a Vice President of Citibank and as Corporate Director of the New York Stock Exchange, Tyco International, and Ariel Investment.

Mr. McCall received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, a Master's of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological Seminary and attended the University of Edinburgh.

The faculty, staff and students of the SUNY College of Optometry congratulate Mr. McCall on his appointment to this leadership role. 



Optometry's Purchasing Officer Elected President of SUNY Purchasing Association 

 Mr. Roger Cruttenden

Mr. Roger Cruttenden, Associate Director of Business Affairs,
has been elected
President of the SUNY Purchasing Association for 2011 - 2013.  The SUNY Purchasing Association is a system-wide organization composed of procurement officers from all SUNY campuses and created to foster a better understanding of the purchasing policies of the State of New York; promote the development and sharing of improved procurement methods and practices; and, establish and maintain high ethical standards in the representation of State procurement practices.  This is a tribute to Roger's extensive experience and expertise in the procurement field.

College Offers Secure On-Line Tuition Payment

Effective immediately, students will be able to pay their tuition and fees via the College's secure on-online portal.  This function will simplify the present process of bill payments and reduce payment time for both students and staff.  The Office of Business Affairs sends a special thanks to Senior Web Specialist, Ms. Yue Wang, Chief Information Officer, Mr. Robert Pellot; College Accountant, Ms. Valerie Alter and, Bursar, Ms. Erin Angarola along with acknowledgements to the entire Information Technology department.  Their joint efforts helped to achieve this goal.

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

 New Technology and Eye Care  


"Millions of Americans have undetected vision problems" and it is important to schedule an eye exam.  This is the public service announcement (PSA) the National Eye Institute has been running in Times Square from April through September and viewed by 1.5 million people daily. 

The University Eye Center (UEC) is working hard to provide the quality state-of-the-art eye exams to our diverse NYC community that is needed.  The optometrists at the UEC provide an array ofvision care services that meet the needs of the public.  Our patients are kept informed and connected to what is current in eye and vision care, (e.g., back to school exams, and the upcoming Diabetes Awareness month in November).

October has been designated "Computer Learning Month" by The Computer Learning Foundation, we want users to know that the visual demands are changing and affect vision.   The University Eye Center is committed to preventing eye injuries, promoting eye safety, and assuring optimal visual function when using computer technology.   Eye strain can often be relieved.  Increased use of computers, the internet and mobile technology places add visual demands on our eyes.  Comprehensive assessments, computer and reading glasses, progressive addition lenses, education and vision therapy are ways to provide optimal care for our patients as visual demands change at home, work and in the classroom.  Come visit us in the University Eye Center.  You can schedule an appointment by calling 212-938-4001.

Dr. Wong at Washington Jesuit AcademyDr. Thomas A. Wong, Chief of Adult & Pediatric Primary Eye Care, provided vision and eyecare information and educational materials to over 120 attendees of the Washington Jesuit Academy/JT III Foundation Community Festival on Sunday, September 17th.

- R E S E A R C H -
American Academy of Optometry Talks and Presentations   



Dr. Diane Adamczyk gave a workshop on Public Speaking at the American Academy of Optometry.


Dr. Mitchell Dul was a co-Moderator in the Papers Section on Perimetry and was also part of a panel entitled "Improving the Contrast Sensitivity Perimetry (CSP) Test" in the Papers Section on Vision Function.


Dr. David Troilo was co-moderator of the panel on Optics & Refraction #2 and gave a presentation on "Imposed Peripheral Hyperopic Defocus on the Marmoset Retina Affects Eye Growth and Refractive State" in the panel with Alexandra Benevente-Perez, OD(EC), MS, PhD and Ann Nour, BA as co-presenters. 


Dr. Sherry Bass gave several lectures:

"The Differential Diagnosis of Functional vs. Pathological Vision Loss"

"The Genetic Mysteries of the Corneal Dystrophies and Degenerations"

"Hi-Tech Workshop in the Detection of Glaucoma and Retinal Disease"


Dr. David Krumholz gave a presentation entitled "Resolution of Vitreo-retinal Macular Traction:  Natural Course vs Surgical Intervention" as part of the Ellerbrock Grand Rounds II.   He gave a lecture entitled "Buckle Up! Repairing Retinal Detachments by Scleral Buckle".


Dr. Richard Madonna and Dr. Patricia Modica gave a CE lecture entitled "Optic Neuropathy Grand Rounds"  Differentiating Glaucomatous vs Non-Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathies", and the following lectures:

"Optometric Management of Age Related Eye Diseases" (with Dr. Richard Soden

"Identifying, Assessing and Managing Progression In Your Glaucoma Patient" (with Dr. Michael A Chaglasian).


Dr. Joan Portello, Dr. Mark Rosenfield and Yuliya Bababekova gave a presentation entitled "Prevalence of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and Dry Eye in Office Workers" as part of a panel on Dry Eye and MGD.


Dr. Richard Soden co-lectured with Dr. Michael McGovern on "Medical Coding and Billing:  Will you Records Survive an Audit by a Third Party Payor?"



Posters Presented at the American Academy of Optometry - Boston, MA, October 11 - 15, 2011
Adamczyk, D., R. Mozlin "Value Added Assessment of Private Practice Externships".

Bass, S. J., R. Patel, J. Sherman "An Unusual Case of X-Linked Juvenile Retinoschisis (XLRS) Confirmed by Molecular Genetics".

MacIver, S. and S. Bass "A Novel Treatment for Vaso-obliteration in Idopathic Retinal Vasculitis Aneurysms and Neuroretinitis (IRVAN)".

Thiagarajan, P., K. Ciuffreda, D. Ludlam and N.K. Yadav "Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTB):  A Unique Case".

Vasudevan, B., L. Zhong, Y.Liang, Y.C. Zhang, L.Y. Qiao, S.S. Rong, J.J. Want, N. L. Wang and K. Ciuffreda, "Baseline Characteristics of Nearwork-induced Transient Myopia (NITM) in a Cohort of the Beijing Myopia Progression Study (BMPS)".

Vasudevan, B., L. Zhong, Y.C. Zhang, L.Y. Qiao, Y. Liang, N. Wang and K. Ciuffreda "Reproducibility of Nearwork-induced Transient Myopia Measurements Using the WAM-5500 Autorefractor in its Dynamic Mode".

Ciuffreda, K., J. Gould, B. Arthur, N.K. Yadav "The Effect of Retinal Defocus and Ocular Dominance on Simple Eye-Hand Reaction Time".

Krumholz, D. "Accuracy and Precision of Volume Delivered by Different Sized Syringes for Intravitreal Injection".

MacIver, S, J. Sherman "SD-OCT Images the Recovery of Photoreceptor Function in a Case of Commotio Retinae of the Macula".

Madonna, R., J. Sherman, S. Natha, S. Slotnick, R. Hallal, D. Epshtein "Parapapillary Retinoschisis:  An Unrecognized Etiology of Visual Impairment in Myopia".

Slotnick, S., J. Sherman, D. Epshtein, J. Whitney "Recognizing Optic Disc Drusen on SD-OCT".

Epshtein, D., S. Slotnick, J. Whitney, J. Sherman "Microperimetry of Individual Drusen and Drusen-Like Masqueraders".

MacIver, S., S. Bass "A Novel Treatment for Vaso-Obliteration in Idiopathic Retinal Vasculitis Aneurysms and Neuroretinitis (IRVAN)".

Boneta, J., J. Sherman, K. Waite, D. Epshtein, S. Nath, M. Sherman "Comparison of Optomap Fluorescein Angiography in Peripheral Vascular Disorders".

Krumholz, D. "An Integrated Telemagnifier System for Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy".

Huang, R., M. Rosenfield "Effect of Exercise on Refractive State Accommodation and Intra-Ocular Pressure".

Hue, R., M. Rosenfield "Reading From an Electronic Reading Device Versus Hardcopy Text".

Bababekova, U., M. Rosenfield, R. Huang, J. Hue "Uncorrected Astigmatism and Computer Vision Syndrome".

Delshad, R. and H. Sedgwick "The Effect of Field of View on the Compression of Perceived Depth". 



Scholarly Accomplishments


Dr. Barry Tannen presented the results of his research titled, "Correlation of Reading Fluency with Visual Motion Sensitivity Tests, Reading Rate and Pseudoword Decoding" at the Annual Meeting of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development in Las Vegas, NV.  Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda and Dr. Steven Larson were co-collaborators on this research project.


Dr. Barry Tannen was an invited panelist on a symposium of "The Pros and Cons of Accepting Health Insurance in the Delivery of Vision Therapy Services" at the Annual meeting of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.



Dr. Andrea ThauDr. Andrea Thau passed the first administration of the American Board of Optometry's board certification examination.  She is now a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.  Dr. Thau was among the 500 optometrists who took the test of the first administration. 











- P E R S O N N E L -

We say our good-byes to Ms. Natasha Williams, who, after more than 12 years with the University Eye Center, has taken a position at The New York Presbyterian Cornell Weill Hospital.  Ms. Williams started as a Clerk I and remained in that position until September 2006 when her position changed to Teaching Hospital Staff Assistant II.  We wish her much success in her new endeavor.

*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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