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An Icon and Friend of the NOA Remembered

Julian Bond a Civil Rights Activist died recently August 15, 2015.  Mr. Bond was a friend to the National Optometric Association for many years. He was co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and board chairman of the NAACP. During those turbulent years, NOA's co-founder, Dr. C. Clayton Powell supported him and his organization by providing eye examinations to members of the group free of charge.  

Julian Bond was a keynote  speaker at our national convention over thirty years ago in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Ironically, at our recent convention in Hilton Head a group of us doctors were reflecting on the time spent with him those many years ago.   I had the honor of escorting him throughout that convention.  He was a gentleman, had a great sense of humor, a calm demeanor and conversed freely with the students and doctors. He shared stories of his activism  and impressed upon us to continue the legacy of inclusion. We all have fond memories and great stories that we shared of our time with the charismatic professor, writer, activist, icon and hero.

Dr. Vicki L. Hughes, Past President


The NOA Brings the Heat
A Special Presentation

Presentation  Panelists: (clockwise) Drs. Takeia Locke, Steve Devick, and  Rosalyn Coleman

This year the NOA's 47th convention was held in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Not only was this a monumental convention, it was one of the most memorable times to be in the south.  The confederate flag was taken down during the time we were at the convention.  We were present during a pivotal time in this nation's history. Our convention was most successful, and very well attended. Held on the historical, culturally aware island of Hilton Head, another large group of doctors, students, sponsors, associates and guests were assembled.

 The NOA provided exceptional continuing educational seminars, state of the art exhibitions with extremely knowledgeable speakers and sponsors. The focus was on Children's Vision.  We also had great and diverse speakers that really engaged the students and doctors. The attendees were able to network, converse and participate in a joint run/walk fundraiser, partake in the historical "Gullah" nature of the island and enjoy the rising sun over the Atlantic Ocean.
 In addition, an excellent panel discussion titled "The Role of Optometry in the Diagnosis and Rehabilitation of Sports Related Injuries" was given.  The discussion provided invaluable insights into brain development, examination techniques, treatment options, and long-term follow-up care.  Fellow Optometrists and audience participation including actual patient testimony catapulted this event  making it one the "must see" events of  the convention.  The NOA plans to continue to be a source for such elevated events.  
Top-Notch CE Program
 Cutting-edge Information Offered

Josephine O. Owoeye, OD, MPH, FAAO discussing, "Public Health Problems in the Pediatric Population and the Eye Care Practitioner."
The NOA continues to focus on providing its members and the greater Optometric community with merit-worthy Continuing Education (CE).  The top-notch CE program allows registrants to learn cutting-edge information  to use in their respective modes of practice, thus enhancing patient care.  The educational program in Hilton Head consisted of 14 COPE approved courses.  The lecturers included: Drs. Buhilda McGriff, Josephine Owoeye,  Janette Dumas, Richard Hom, and keynote presenter, Dr. Leonard Press.  Participants may visit to verify their credits. For discrepancies, contact the NOA office at 877-394-2020 or email us at 
Community Watch

As an integral part of its mission and legacy, the National Optometric Association works to strengthen its connection to the community by "Advancing the Visual Health of Minority Populations" through an annual community service project. During the convention, NOA doctors, NOSA members, volunteers and the VSP mobile unit collaborated to provide eye exams to  over 80 people in the Hilton Head community at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic (VIM). 
Much  needed care and education to patients were given.  Patients were able to receive glasses and any follow-up  care on site at VMI with the staff Optometrists.  All the volunteers made a palpable impact and  touched many lives!
The NOA Makes Me Feel Good!
A Message From Our  President

The memory of my first NOA convention, which coincidentally was at Hilton Head Island, over thirty years ago,  is as vivid as that of the last convention.  As a student at Indiana University, School of Optometry, it was exhilarating to be out of Bloomington.  More importantly, I was thrilled to be among other optometry students as well as future colleagues, who were already practicing Optometrists.
Dr. Philip Aitsebaomo, NOA President 
As fate would have it, I began my tenure as President of the NOA at Hilton Head Island, where my journey began - and what a journey it has been.

When I take a personal inventory, I see that I have missed only two (2) conventions since my very first one.  I have contributed to the progress of the NOA by being a member, a regional trustee, CE director for numerous years, Vice-President, and President-Elect.  Service is the root of every organization.  My two children joined the ranks of other children of the NOA who knew they would be required to make the annual NOA pilgrimage - I think they actually looked forward to it! My wife, Jennifer is President of the Associates of the NOA.  We are definitely a NOA family!

I am humbled by the tenacity and dedication of those who joined NOA before me, such as Dr. Edwin Marshall, Dr. Melvin Shipp, and Dr. Linda Johnson.  I can say that the reason we, as well as others, have remained loyal members is because of the way the NOA makes us feel. While the NOA has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, our core programs such as professional advancement, student enrichment, and advocacy for our profession, have remained strong pillars of our association. We are able to achieve these  goals by visiting Optometric Institutions, partnering with most of eye care industry, engaging local and national legislators, and most importantly, nurturing current and future students.  The personal contribution of every member cannot be overlooked.  We are always blessed by the exceptional leadership of our co-founder, Dr. C. Clayton Powell.

I must not fail to mention that after many years in private practice, I was drawn into academia again because I volunteered to be a mentor to a student at an Optometry School.  I certainly credit my career move to the NOA.  I trust that anyone who allows themselves to partake in the mission of the NOA will come away with a great feeling.  I am proud to be President of this great organization.

The late, great Dr. Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, "People may not remember what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel."  The NOA definitely makes me feel good!

"Committed to insure comprehensive eye and vision health care, decreasing the health disparity in minority communities as it promotes diversity in vision care providers."
NOA Executive Board

Dr. C. Clayton Powell
Dr. A. Philip Aitsebaomo                   
Dr. Ollie Powe III
Dr. Sherrol Reynolds
Dr. Brittany Rogers
Dr. Mescheca Bunyon
Dr. Parres M. Wright
Assistant Secretary
Dr.  Janette Dumas
Trustee-At Large I
Dr. Dionne Moore-Jones
Trustee-At Large II
Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown
Immediate Past President
Dr. Frank Barnes
Region I Trustee
Dr. Mark Orso
Region II  Trustee
Dr. Rosalyn Coleman
Region III  Trustee
Dr. Valenta L. Carter
Region IV  Trustee
Dr. Edward Larry Jones
Region V  Trustee
Dr. Edwin C. Marshall
Executive Liaison
Ms. Kirsten McKnight
NOSA President
Mrs. Jennifer Aitsebaomo
Associates' President
Dr. Melantha Nephew
Meeting Planner

Dr. Janette Dumas  
OD of the Year

Dr. Janette Dumas and Co-founder Dr. C. Clayton Powell

Congratulations to Dr. Janette Dumas for being honored as the NOA's 2015 Optometrist of the Year.  She is currently on faculty at Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, TN. As an Assistant Professor she serves as the Coordinator of Minority Student Recruitment and advisor to the National Optometric Student Association and the Illinois Optometric Student Association at SCO.  She is a 2003 graduate of University of Missouri-Saint Louis.
Founders' Award Recipient

CooperVision was in our sight and honored as the recipient of the National Optometric Association's 2015 Founders' Award.  CooperVision's support of the NOA is incomparable.  Whether sponsoring continuing education dinners for the enrichment of local optometrists or being a major sponsor of the 2015 convention, their support has been exceptional and ever constant.  The NOA is looking forward to continuing its partnership and expanding its growth with Coopervision.
Tom Sullivan
Our Featured Speaker

Singer, Actor, Author, Writer, Producer, Tom Sullivan lives and works by "Sullivan's Rules."  Invented by his dad, Porky Sullivan, so young Tommy Sullivan could play baseball with the neighborhood kids, "the rules" became the cornerstone by which the adult Tom Sullivan came to live his life, turning any negative into a positive. Being blind has never kept Tom Sullivan from competing in a world where he realized that to be equal, for him, meant that he must be better. 

The NOA sincerely appreciates the dynamic personality and enthusiasm that he added to our annual convention as our featured speaker this year. Bravo Mr. Sullivan!

An Evening of Recognition

2015 Scholarship Awardees

Congratulations to the New Graduate members!

Alcon Academic Scholarship
Courtney Goode
Alcon Leadership Scholarship
Janis James
Alcon Financial Support Award
Chelsea Devitt     

HOYA Poster Contest Winners 
1st     Erika Johnson
2nd   Sadia Kalsoom
3rd   Janis James      

VSP Marvin Poston Leadership Award
Rina Sheth 

Walmart and Sam Club Leadership Scholarship
Rina Sheth and Sadia Kalsoom

Cave Memorial Award
Courtney Goode

Drs. John L. Howlette & C. Clayton Powell Award    
Evelyn Dearing

Dr. Robert Johnson Pediatric Award                
Sadia Kalsoom

National Vision Scholarship
1st place    Sadia Kalsoom        
2nd place  Brittany Adams
3rd place   Erika Johnson

Walmart and Sam Club Academic Scholarship
Christina Welling

CooperVision Scholarship
Breanne McGhee
Janis James              
Christina Welling

The Vision Council Scholarships  

Eric Larios
ICOAmy Keding
IUChristina Welling
NOVACaleb St. Jean
OSUGil Guedes
PCOStefanie Hwang
PRJanis James
PUCOBreanne McGhee
SCOFeyisayo Aworunse
UABKayla Schmidt
UMSLDeleram Shirazian
SUNYMandip Kaur
WesternLidia Tekie
NOSA National Executive Board

President - Kirsten McKnight, 
Southern College of Optometry
Vice President - Deli Shirzain, 
University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry
Treasurer - Courtney Goode, Salus University, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
Recording Secretary - Rina Sheth, Illinois College of Optometry
Corresponding Secretary - Alexis Broussard, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
Student Resource Liaison - Farouk Bruce, Western University College of Optometry
Parliamentarian - Danyetta Thomas, 
Southern College of Optometry
Historian - Marylynn Athis, State University of New York College of Optometry

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