April 2012 

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At the beginning of this 140th anniversary of the history of optometry education programs at ICO, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Stephanie Messner has been appointed to the leadership position of vice president and dean for academic affairs. She has been serving as the interim dean for the past 10 months. In addition to her previous 27 years of contributions as a faculty member and administrator at ICO, Dr. Messner has served in key positions within the Accreditation Council for Optometric Education (ACOE) and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry Stephanie Messner(ASCO). Her appointment followed a rigorous national search. 




Congratulations, Dr. Messner.


I hope you will be able to return to the ICO campus in the next several months for at least one of the following celebrations:

  • "Celebrating Optometry in Illinois" Open House during the June AOA meeting in Chicago

  • Homecoming weekend at ICO in September

  • See the seat you sponsored as part of the Name A Seat campaign while attending the next ICO Continuing Education program in the Lecture Center

As I start my 10th year of service as ICO president, I have justifiable pride in the accomplishments of our ICO team during this decade.  I am especially proud of our alumni who distinguish themselves every day in the care of patients with eye and vision disorders. 


Thank you.

Augsburger signature

Arol Augsburger, OD

President, ICO 



ICO's Commencement 

Saturday, May 19

Rockefeller Chapel 


AOA President Dori Carlson is slated to be the commencement speaker.  This year, we are welcoming 168 into the profession.  Photos from the event will be available on Flickr.    


"Celebrating Optometry in Illinois" Open House

Friday, June 29

ICO Campus


Hosted by ICO and the Illinois Optometric Association, this event will feature a Taste of ICO, dessert reception, interactive campus tours and much more!



ICO's Homecoming  

September 7-9

Hard Rock Hotel and ICO Campus



Continuing Education

June 7 & 21, July 19

2 hours credit (each date)

Primary Care Grand Rounds

ICO Campus


November 4 & 5

12 hours of credit

ICO Campus



Illinois College of Optometry
3241 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60616

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ICO Celebrates Milestones   


It is a banner year for ICO as we celebrate 140 years of optometric excellence.  Founded in 1872, ICO is the oldest continually operating college of optometry in the world.  We're also celebrating Dr. Arol Augsburger's 10th year as ICO president, the 15th anniversary of the Practice Opportunities Symposium, and our Primary Care Residency Program's 25th anniversary.


Join the celebration and visit ICO this year.  You've got a lot to be proud of!



"Celebrating Optometry in Illinois" Open House



ICO and the Illinois Optometric Association are hosting a campus-wide celebration during the AOA Optometry's Meeting in Chicago. The event will be held Friday, June 29, from 5 to 9 p.m., on the ICO campus. Complimentary shuttle service will be provided from the McCormick Place Convention Center or, if you are driving in, parking will be available on campus.


The event will feature:


         Interactive campus tours

         A Taste of ICO in the courtyard

         Dessert reception with dessert specialty beverages

         Leadership Circle recognition event honoring Dr. and Mrs. Alfred 


         Meet & Greet with preceptors and students

         Faculty and student research posters

         Timeline displays of ICO and optometry in Illinois throughout 



We hope to see you there!  For more information, contact Connie Scavuzzo, director of alumni development, at (312) 949-7080 or email alumni@ico.edu

ICO's Homecoming          


Time to start contacting your classmates!  ICO's Homecoming will take place September 7-9.   All alumni are invited back to visit their alma mater and reminisce with friends and faculty.  The fun begins with the class reunion celebration at the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, September 7, featuring all class years ending with 2 or 7.  Six hours of CE will be offered during the weekend, along with a party at Kroll's South Loop and much more!  Contact Connie Scavuzzo at alumni@ico.edu or check our website for more information in the weeks to come.


A Tribute to a Legendary Faculty Member   

A trio of seats in the back of the Lecture Center is centered around a legendary faculty member, Dr. E. Richard Tennant.  Dr. Tennant taught optics at ICO for many years and is remembered as a remarkable professor.  He has been deceased for more than 20 years, but his legacy continues.  When Neil Hodur, OD '75, a full-time faculty member at ICO for 35 years, decided to name a seat in the back corner of 1203 (where he always sits), he decided to also name the seat next to him in memory of his mentor and role model, Dr. Tennant.  "He was the most beloved and esteemed educator to ever grace a classroom.  He always made learning fun, but he always challenged students.  He was the educator that I wanted to be," Dr. Hodur says.  


Not long after Dr. Hodur named these seats, Frederic Banser, OD '82, part-time faculty member at ICO, named the seat on the other side of the Tennant seat.  "Not only did I admire Dr. Tennant, but I purchased his practice, so it made sense for me to name the seat on the other side of his," Dr. Banser says.


A scholarship fund has been created in memory of Dr. E. Richard Tennant.  If you would like to contribute to this fund, please contact the Development Office at (312) 949-7071 or email development@ico.edu.


Recent Graduate Picks Perfect Row, Seat Number  


Typically a front-of-the-room sitter, Lindsay Sicks, OD '10 says she had wanted to name a seat since the campaign started, but she couldn't afford a Platinum Level seat in front on her current budget.  "Then I thought about one of the most affordable seats, at the $400 Silver Level, but for some reason that just didn't feel right to me."  After giving it more thought, she finally landed on the perfect seat at the Gold Level, resulting in her doubling her donation.   "My friends call me 'L6' sometimes because of my name, so it made perfect sense for me to choose row L and seat 6 at the Gold Level.  If someone laughs about it other than me, it was totally worth it.  It's an easy way to start giving back and to leave a lasting impression for only a few dollars a week," she says. 


If you would like to Name A Seat in the Lecture Center, now is the time to do it.  Seats are moving quickly, and there is only one seat remaining at the Platinum Level.



Alumni Association Scholarship Recipient Selected   


The ICO Alumni Council has selected fourth year student Erik Mothersbaugh as the recipient of the 2012 Alumni Association Scholarship Award.  "Erik has shown exemplary leadership and service to ICO as a student, and we look forward to continued service to the institution and profession in the future," says Alumni Council president Jeff Varanelli, OD '98.                                             

Already planning to give back, Erik intends to use the $500 award to name a seat in the Lecture Center and to donate the remaining money back to the Alumni Association Scholarship to benefit a future student.  "It is an honor to be recognized by ICO's Alumni Association," he says.  "I have been privileged to see all of the campus improvements during my four years as a student, and that simply would not be possible without the hard work and support of generous alumni. I plan to make arrangements to use the award as my first official donation to the College."


Congratulations and thank you Erik!




Alumnus Named SECO President

Ron Foreman, OD '76 was named president of SECO International during its recent annual meeting.  


"I still consider my time at ICO a defining moment.  I hope my service to SECO will make ICO proud that I am an alumnus," Dr. Foreman says. "I am very proud of my school of optometry."  Dr. Augsburger attended SECO and personally congratulated him during the House of Delegates meeting.


A native of Iowa, Dr. Foreman has maintained a private practice in Lake City, Fla. since 1976.  Throughout his decorated career, he has served in many leadership positions, including president of the Northeast Florida Optometric Society, member of the Florida State Board of Optometry, and president of the Florida Optometric Association. 


Dr. Foreman has been a long supporter of ICO and recently named a Platinum Level seat in ICO's Lecture Center. 


Alumni Make Referrals in Record Numbers  


Alumni support ICO in many ways: some by giving their time and talent, some by giving their treasure, and some by helping us recruit the best and brightest students. 


This year, we had a record number of students in the Fall 2011 entering class who were referred by ICO alumni.  We would like to recognize those alums and give them our sincerest "Thank You."


They are:



Douglas  Baltrip, OD '95

James Boyland, OD '90

Jason Bradley, OD '96           

Florianne Burns, OD '95

Filomena Campana-Larson, OD '92

Jamie Choi, OD '08

Steve Christensen, OD '98

Mark K. Colip, OD '92

Laurie Collett, OD '95

Margaret Cullen, OD '87

Sam Dhaliwal, OD '07

Lisa Fuller, OD '05

Craig Goldman, OD '01

Gulroop Hansra, OD '94

Almas Haq, OD '07

Joseph A. Herba, OD '88

Wayne Huebener, OD '89

Jodi Janzen, OD '96

Chad D. Kalil, OD '04

Bruce T. Katz, OD '69

Bimal Kaur, OD '07

Brian R. Kirschling, OD '99

Marianne Komro, OD '01

Amy L. Lagina, OD '04

David Lasse, OD '72

Michael J. Leahy, OD '81

David Lieburn, OD '80

Daniel Long, OD '79

David Martin, OD '05

Leslie Masciarelli, OD '90

Larry Menning, OD '72

Diana E. Miranda, OD '02

Ramon Moran, OD '67

Stanley Nebel, OD '82

Diane T. Nhan, OD '04

Daniel Nowak, OD '91

Charles S. Ovitsky, OD '83

Jim Owen, OD '85

Jody Ricketts, OD '88

Robin Rinearson, OD '77

Steve Schiefer, OD '08

Christopher C. Schnelle, OD '08

Michelle Stalzer, OD '04

Magdelena Stec, OD '07

Alison Stock, OD '06

Deepinder Swatch, OD '05

Paul Thompson, OD '90

Nancy Wojcik, OD '85

Michael Wu, OD '06



We would like to thank all of our alumni who help make ICO the best institution for optometric education.


Alumni Shine in Iowa   


ICO President Dr. Arol Augsburger hosted an alumni hospitality suite in Des Moines during the Iowa Optometric Association's annual congress held March 30-April 1.  During the congress, four Iowa alumni named seats in the new Lecture Center:  John Kiernan OD '79, Dennis Taylor, OD '79, Robert Weiland, OD '75, and Jared Kellar, OD '07.  Additionally, several ICO alumni were elected to the IOA board:  Mike Korthals, OD '99 of Clear Lake was named president (pictured); Scott Bowker, OD '97 of Denison was elected President-Elect; and Don McKim, OD '86 from Creston was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Go Iowa!




See Faculty Like You've Never Seen Them Before!


There is an exciting new addition to the ICO website.  Check out the all new, multimedia faculty bios!  Each faculty member's new page includes an updated photo, his or her professional experience and accomplishments and a personal answer to the question "Why ICO?"  Additionally, most faculty members created a video introduction for students and prospective students.  Take a minute to find out more about your favorite faculty member as well as all of the talented faculty members who share their expertise with our students every day.  Get started here.



Take the ICO Matters Readership Survey and Win!


ICO is conducting a readership survey to find out what you want to read about in ICO Matters.  Please take a moment and go to http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22EXDH8549U/ to complete the survey.  For all those who complete the survey by April 18th, you'll be entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Fire!


There are many ways you can support your alma mater. Please contact Patricia de Maat, Senior Dir. of Development, at


or 312.949.7071 to review the various options.