October 24, 2014

The University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry's 13th Annual Fechner Day will be held on Friday, October 24, 2014 at 12:30pm in Lucas Hall Room 100. Fechner Day is celebrated at many academic institutions including an annual international conference.

This year's guest speaker will be Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, a New York Times' Best Seller Author who has written several books and additional publications. One of her books, Inside of a Dog spent 63 weeks as a New York Times bestseller. Her latest book Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes was published January, 2013. Horowitz's address to Fechner Day guest is entitled, "Examining Others"; Points of View.


Dr. Alexandra Horowitz

Virtual Fair

October 9, 2014
University of Missouri-St. Louis has teamed up with ASCO to present the 
Fall 2014 “Virtual Fair” to learn more about the Doctor of Optometry program. This free event will allow you to chat with representatives from all 21 optometry schools. Registration is free, but required. This is a unique virtual event where you can conveniently and efficiently meet admissions representatives and interact with Doctor of Optometry Programs in a live online event. You will be able to have your questions answered without ever leaving the comfort of your computer. One registration allows you to meet with all 21 optometry schools.

NOSA students

L-R: Devin Sasser, Deli Shirazian, Kanesha McBee, Valerie Brown-Arnold

Four UMSL College of Optometry students spent last weekend in Washington D.C. to attend the  National Optometric Association (NOA) convention. During the convention, two UMSL College of Optometry students were elected to represent the NOA on a national level.

Devin Sasser ('14) was inducted into his national position of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) parliamentarian and Deli Shirazian ('15) was elected as national vice-president of NOSA.

The Class of 2014 walked across the stage and formally received their Doctor of Optometry degree in front of family and friends at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center.  Many graduates received honors during the eveningbut the most import award for all 39 young doctors was the granting of their OD degree. Congratulations! Graduation Awards

graduates 2014

Ensley

Congratulations to Rob Ensley, OD  who won  the George Mertz Contact Lens Residency Award. A prestigious award that is given to two residents each year.

The George Mertz Contact Lens Residency Award is intended to promote the practice and development of the field of contact lenses by providing incentive and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research, and education.

Dr. Ensley is a 2013 graduate from the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry and the current current Contact Lens Resident for the College of Optometry. 

Students with Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny visited the University of Missouri-St. Louis a day early to hide eggs outside the Thomas Jefferson Library on Saturday, April 19, 2014.  The event sponsored by the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) and the Delta Gamma Foundation hosted the Easter Egg Hunt for children with visual impairments.

Last year the event was recognized nationally as the best service project for NOSA.  The egg hunt featured candy filled eggs and chirping eggs that children with visual impairments could hear while hunting.  In addition, each child received a Easter basket filled with goodies.  Now in its sixth year, the egg hunt is growing and hopes to reach out to more children next year. 

University of Missouri-St. Louis has teamed up with ASCO to present the Spring 2014 “Virtual Fair” to learn more about the Doctor of Optometry program. This free event will allow you to chat with representatives from all 21 optometry schools. Registration is free, but required. This is a unique virtual event where you can conveniently and efficiently meet admissions representatives and interact with Doctor of Optometry Programs in a live online event. You will be able to have your questions answered without ever leaving the comfort of your computer. One registration allows you to meet with all 21 optometry schools. 

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Photo of students and administrators

Many made the trip to Columbia, Missouri in order to witness the deliberations and action by the Board.  Pictured (left to right) Assistant Dean Edward Bennett, Nicholas Zahn (’17), Michael Roberts (’17), Ellen Sanders (’17), Devin Sasser (’15), President Tim Wolfe, Nicole Ethridge (’16), Amanda Rickher (’16), Laurie Thompson (’16), Yousef Ibrahim (17’), Ethan Brilley (’17), Katie Loock (’17),  Kelsey Haugen (’17), Jenna Osseck (‘15), Dean Larry Davis and Chancellor Tom George

Congratulations!

Our proposal to begin Phase-1 of the new Optometry building was approved by a unanimous vote of the Board of Curators. It is a historic development for the College of Optometry. The new Patient Care Center, located along Natural Bridge Road just north of Marillac Hall, will provide UMSL an opportunity to better serve the health care needs of north county. The center will also provide UMSL faculty across several disciplines including gerontology, nursing, optometry and social work a place to more fully integrate interprofessional education into their respective programs.


I Chose Optometry Video Wins Award

UMSL College of Optometry "I Chose UMSL..." video won has won a silver award from CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, District VI. The award was one of five awards received by UMSL Marketing and Communications.

Check out the Award-Winning Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PerfaMpiNqI

photo of St. Louis Arch

Pauline and Chris

Travel Fellowships

Three cheers for Dr. Carl Bassi’s research team! Christopher Putnam, OD a PhD candidate in the Vision Science program, and Pauline Bland, a third year optometry student and member of the Optometry Scholars Program, were both selected for a Student Travel Fellowship (STF) for the American Academy of Optometry meeting in Seattle, WA.


University of Missouri-St. Louis has teamed up with ASCO to present the first ever “Virtual Fair” to learn more about the Doctor of Optometry program.  This free event will allow you to chat with representatives at 20 of the 21 optometry schools.  Registration is free, but required.  This is a unique virtual event where you can conveniently and efficiently meet admissions representatives and interact with Doctor of Optometry Programs in a live online event.   You will be able to have your questions answered without ever leaving the comfort of your computer.  One registration allows you to meet with all 20 participating schools. 

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The 4th  Edition of the Clinical Manual of Contact Lenses, edited by Drs. Ed Bennett and Vinita Henry, will be available in September, 2013.  This 721 page text was published by Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.  Among the contributing authors are UMSL faculty and adjunct faculty members Drs. Larry Davis, Julie DeKinder, and Carmen Castellano, as well as faculty representing fifteen different schools and colleges of optometry and nationally recognized experts in the field of contact lenses.   

Text book cover 

Dr. Angel Novel Simmons (at right) leads the hands-on demonstration with the students.

Thirty-six students from Hazelwood West High School visited the College of Optometry. The students are currently enrolled in the Human Body Systems class which is part of the Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science program. The students were given a tour of the anatomy and physiology lab, pre-clinic and ended with lunch in the student center. Eye disections were  demonstrated to the group. 

high school students 

Students

The Best Paying Jobs of the Future

Optometrists have made the top ten list for best paying jobs of the future according to 24/7 Wall St. As the population continues to age, there is an increased demand for health care professionals. The estimated need for optometrists will increase by 33.1%. Optometry continues to be a top choice in the health profession that provides income growth, excellent work-life balance and a rewarding social impact in the community. Read the articlein its entirety.

 

Audiences were inspired and profoundly moved when renowned actor, author and entertainer Tom Sullivan gave the College of Optometry's recent commencement address and a community program entitled "Envisioning Change."  One of the nation's most requested speakers, Sullivan is known for his message of hope and possibility. Blind since shortly after birth, his approach to life includes engaged pursuit of life's opportunities and enthusiasm for its challenges. Among Tom's many humanitarian passions is the InfantSEE program which is a first-of-its-kind national public health program designed to provide no-cost comprehensive vision assessments for infants six to twelve months of age.

Tom Sullivan

Jennifer Sidun

For the first time ever, the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) elected an UMSL student, Jennifer Sidun, as the national organization's President. This significant tribute to the leadership and dedication of third-year student Jen Sidun also reflects and reinforces the ongoing national participation and enthusiasm of our entire student body, most recently evidenced by receipt of the Spirit Award at Optometry's Meeting last June. UMSL's student leaders regularly commit to national aspirations, forging early professional relationships and creating foundations for lifelong contributions to our profession and our communities.

Congratulations to our students who attended the American Optometric Association Meeting in Salt Lake City. They were awarded the highly coveted "Spirit Award" at the Optometry Bowl. UMSL had the highest percentage of their student body of any School and College of Optometry attending Optometry's Meeting.
Dori Carlson American Optometric Association (AOA) President-Elect Dori Carlson, OD, FAAO recently visited with the students and faculty in the College. She is at the midpoint of her "Dori 20/20 tour" - visiting all twenty U.S.
schools and colleges of optometry in twenty months. Her visits are an excellent way to foster cooperation and collaboration between the AOA and optometric education.

Optometry Ranks One of the 50 Best Careers of 2011

US News and World Report ranks optometry among the nation's most promising and rewarding careers. As the population ages, "demand for visual aids is expected to grow considerably". Eye-care technology is improving as well, and specialty areas such as infant, elderly, contact lenses, and sports-related vision care are in high demand.

us news
Kip
Photo of Dr. LI Breaking News! Guoqiang Li, Ph.D., has received a prestigious five year R01 grant on vision care in the amount of $1.8M from the National Eye Institute of National Institutes of Health. Congratulations!
The ninth annual Fechner day was another success. Our speaker, Jim
Sheedy OD, PhD delivered the Fechner Day lecture on "Vision as the Basis for Mind and Human Behavior" to a completely filled SGA Chamber in the Millennium Student Center. As the tradition continues, following the lecture the summer fellowship students presented posters from their summer research and everyone enjoyed German chocolate cake.
Sheedy
Dr. Li Guoqiang Li, Ph. D, has been awarded a new grant from National Institute of Health. The award is $522,000 for three years. With this grant, he is going to perform research in optical coherence microscopy for eye and other biomedical imaging. Congratulations!
Dr. Susan Barry lectured to UM-St. Louis faculty, students and staff at the College of Optometry on May 28, 2010. Dr. Barry is a neuroscientist, educator at Mt. Holyoke College and author who specializes in neuroplasticity. Following three surgical corrections for infantile esotropia, Dr. Barry had been told for the majority of her adult life that she was stereoblind and beyond the critical period for recovering binocular vision. However, in 2002 she embarked on a program of vision therapy that not only relieved her occasional double vision but actually restored her stereovision. Dr. Barry now incorporates her perspectives as a patient into her teaching and writing. Susan Barry
Patent New invention patented: The College of Optometry's Dr. Carl Bassi, Associate Professor/Director of Research & Graduate Studies, Michael Howe, Senior Research Engineering Technician, and the Department of Physics' Wayne Garver, Research Scientist and Lecturer, are inventors of the Quantitative Three Dot (Q3D), the first device to quantitatively measure visual suppression in children and adults. Details.

Optometry Ranks Among Top Careers for the Next Decade

Kiplinger ranks optometry among top professions that promise income growth, work-life balance and social impact over the next decade (Nemko, Marty, Kiplinger, "13 Careers for the Next Decade," January 2010). Careers in optometry offer "a high patient success rate [and] good income . . . Speak with, or better yet, visit people who work in that field to get a genuine sense of what it's like," suggests Nemko. Learn more: Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Handbook, 2010-11: Optometrists.

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Beaumont On January 28, 2010, the College of Optometry chapter of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) held its annual 'ODs of Tomorrow' program. Major Walter Wright and ten JROTC students from Beaumont High School in St Louis participated. Students received a tour of the College, participated in demonstrations in the pre-clinic laboratory, viewed a presentation about optometry/admissions and NOSA. NOSA members Dr. Alexander Harris (Advisor), Allison K Coleman, (President), Courtney Wilson (Vice President), Nicole Pogue (Secretary), Natalie Nguyen, Chase Parker, Eric Harris, Vanessa Braimah, and Wynter Rice, Renee Newman, Eric Jerde, and Jennifer Marcell were present.
Fechner Day was once again organized by Carl Bassi, PhD, Director of Research and Graduate Studies, and was held at the Millennium Student Center. The keynote speaker was renown neuroscientist, Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD whose lecture was entitled "Illusions and Illusionists: How to Fool the Brain with Magic and Other Tricks." Dr. Martinez-Conde provided a very entertaining and informative presentation to convince the audience that, in fact, everything can be an illusion. She then proceeded to support her theory with incredible imagery as she showed how the visual system processes information and then related it to how famous illusionists can successfully fool their respective audiences with visual illusions. Bassi
Photo of Governor Gov. Nixon greets Dean Larry Davis after introducing the Caring for Missourians initiative in a press conference at the UMSL College of Optometry. (October 14, 2009) Governor Nixon is an enthusiastic champion of "Caring for Missourians" which will help to train at least 471 future health professionals at four-year institutions throughout Missouri including an additional 16 optometrists and 31 nurses at the University of Missouri St Louis over the next four years. The portion allocated to the College of Optometry will help pay for scholarships, new technology in labs and clinics and more faculty teaching time.
Guoqiang Li, Ph.D. has received a $400,000 grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health for a project in biomedical optical imaging incorporating active optics.

Guoqiang Li, Ph.D. has also received a $240,000 grant from the Coulter Foundation to study vision correction. Congratulations!
Li
2009 Grads Forty-four OD degrees and one PhD were conferred during the commencement ceremony held on May 16, 2009 in the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.Chancellor Thomas George, assisted by Dean Larry Davis, conferred the degrees. The commencement address was delivered by Mr. David Ekin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
The Class of 2011 White Coat ceremony was held on May 14, 2009. The White Coat Ceremony is the culmination of the first half of professional education and marks the transition from classroom to exam room for optometric students. This ceremony confers on new clinicians the responsibility and rights of their new positions. Congratulations! white coat

Richer

Dr. Stuart Richer with registered dietician Elizabeth Somer during a satellite media tour which included NBC's TODAY SHOW. (Photo courtesy of the AOA News).

The College of Optometry's 2nd Nutrition & the Eye Symposium was hailed as a success by the nearly 100 optometrists in attendance at the March 22 program. Coordinated by Stuart Richer, O.D., Ph.D., the program featured keynote presenter Loren Cordain, Ph.D., whose research includes the relationship of paleo diets to modern health and disease. Other presenters included Jeffry Gerson, O.D., the College's own Carl Bassi, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Anshel, O.D., President of the Optometric Nutrition Society, who discussed the importance of nutrition in primary eye care practice.

The National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) sponsored a presentation entitled "Seeing People." Social worker, video producer, and life coach, Harlan Hodge delivered a powerful message to the UMSL College of Optometry. His presentation allowed future optometrists to grasp the essence of seeing a person in the examination room versus an ID number, diagnosis or generic tag. "Seeing People" ultimately helped UMSL optometry students to realize that success in eyecare does not rely on the number of diseases we treat, but the number of positive connections we make with our patients and our local communities.

Harlan B. Hodge, MSW (left), Eric Harris, second year student, President of NOSA (right)

Hodge & Harris
jet Lt. Kyle Dohm, O.D. ('06) -- as reported in the latest EyeWire -- was recently selected for the aerospace optometry program. He is one of only 21 individuals to be provided with this opportunity since the inception of this program in 1989. He is currently in Florida for a six month training program in which he is the only optometrist among a class of physician flight surgeon candidates. He is shown here in front of "his first T-34 bird" pre-flight. Lt. Dohm is very excited about this opportunity, "My follow-on-tour will be at the Naval Air Facility in Atsugi, Japan for three years."
Eric Harris ('11) performs a depth perception test on a visiting high school student.

Seven Normandy High School seniors had the opportunity to spend time at the College of Optometry getting direct hands-on experience to find out more about the profession of Optometry as a future career. The National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) introduces high school students to Optometry -particularly minority students who may have limited knowledge and exposure to optometry-through workshops, pre-collegiate studies or private practice experience.
Eric H
Cynthia Fechner Day-2008, under the coordination of Carl Bassi, Director of Research and Graduate Studies, was held October 17th at the Millennium Student Center. The invited speaker this year was Cynthia Owsley, MSPH, PhD on the topic of "Psychophysics: What it reveals about older driver safety and performance." Dr. Owsley is the Nathan E. Miles Chair of Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Clinical Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Tom Sullivan, blind since birth, spoke at UMSL to recount his lifelong journey of turning negatives into positives, disadvantage into advantage. An inspiring speaker, Tom lives life to its fullest as an athlete, singer, actor, author, writer, producer. His interests, insights, wisdom and passion for excellence, have motivated audiences all over the world. Along with Helen Keller, Tom is the only recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Foundation for the Blind. Tom Sullivan
Best Docs The Pupil Project, a collaboration between the College of Optometry and College of Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was the subject of a feature in the August issue of St. Louis Magazine. The article focuses on how the project uses vision therapy and tutoring to help visually and academically struggling children improve in school. (PDF version)
Students from Beaumont High School were the first to participate in a new Optometry Orientation Day program presented by College of Optometry members of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA). The program combined a power point presentation with hands-on exposure to optometric equipment and tests. Optometry students pictured above left to right: Richard Schlievert, Fanny Coleman (NOSA), Jeffery Harter (NOSA), Katrina Washington (NOSA), Jennifer Einhorn, Kimberly Mark (NOSA) and Dr. Alex Harris (Director of Externship Programs). More photos NOSA
Landgraff Dr. Thomas Landgraf the newest faculty member of the College of Optometry was one of the speakers at the Age-Related Macular Degeneration continuing education course held on March 9, 2008. Dr. Landgraf is a nationally recognized lecturer on Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease and Injections. The ARMD course featured topics: optometric management of the ARMD patient, contemporary care of the ARMD patient and current concepts of ARMD pathophysiology. Additional Optometry faculty members who lectured at the course were Drs. Bassi, Crane and Jarka.
Dr. Gordon Legge was the featured speaker for our 6th Annual Fechner Day at the College of Optometry. Dr. Legge is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, and head of the Minnesota Laboratory for Low-Vision Research. Dr. Legge spoke about his research on low vision and reading to an overflowing crowd of students, faculty and guests from the campus and community. The lecture was followed with our now traditional "Fechnerian" German chocolate cake. Fechner
Michael and LJD Second year optometry student, Michael McFarland has earned the 2007 Norman E. Wallis Award for Excellence presented by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). Michael received the highest score nationally on Part I (Basic Science). Learn More
Dr. Timothy A. Wingert, Associate Professor of Optometry was recently honored as the 2007 recipient of the Missouri Optometric Association's Optometrist of the Year Award at their annual convention held at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. Dr. Wingert has been a member of the faculty since 1988. Tim Wingert
LJD and Colleagues The UMSL College of Optometry was selected to receive the 2007 Community Champion Award in the "Health Care Organizations" category. The award is presented by the Institute for Family Medicine and recognizes "individuals and organizations not in the limelight, but making significant and unselfish contributions to community health, especially for those who are less fortunate." Pictured left to right: Dr. Linda Marks, Dr. John Crane, UM-St. Louis Provost Dr. Glen Cope, Dean Larry J. Davis, Dr. Ray Myers, Dr. Kathleen Boland.
Dr Kyle Brost '87 receives the 2006 Optometrist of the Year Award presented by the Missouri Optometric Association. Kyle Brost
Graduates 2007

Forty-five students received their OD degrees and one doctoral degree was conferred during the commencement ceremony held on May 12, 2007 in the beautiful Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus.Chancellor Thomas George, assisted by Dean Larry Davis, conferred the degrees.The new Doctors of Optometry then listened to the commencement address delivered by Dr. Jerry Christensen, Professor and Founding Dean, University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry. Dr. Christensen spoke about two challenges to professional ethics in the 21st Century-the drive to lower the costs of health care, and the increasing absence of absolute values in our postmodern, relativistic culture. Awards were presented to a number of students, with Natasha Jenkins receiving the Dean's award for outstanding academic performance. A reception followed along with a visual presentation of class memories.

The Class of 2009 White Coat ceremony was held on May 10, 2007. The White Coat Ceremony is the culmination of the first half of professional education and marks the transition from classroom to exam room for optometric students. This ceremony confers on new clinicians the responsibility and rights of their new positions. White Coats
Anne Ream

Dr Anne Ream '84 is recognized by Dean Larry Davis for her outstanding service as a member of the UM-System Board of Curators during a ceremony held on Thursday March 1st, 2007.

Lee Ann Barrett, OD '85, was presented with the 2006 Heart of America Contact Lens Society's Optometrist of the Year award at the awards luncheon at the HOACLS annual congress. Barrett received the UM-St. Louis Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999.She has been involved in leadership roles for optometry on the state, regional and national levels. In 2000, she was elected Missouri Optometric Association President and served on various MOA committees from 1994 to the present. In2002, she was named the OD of the Year by the MOA. She was President of the North Central States Optometric Council in 2003. Barrett has been a member of various AOA Committees from 2002 to the present and is currently campaigning to be elected AOA Trustee in June,2006. Congratulations, Lee Ann!

Barrett

Super Bowl A scene from the 2007 Mini-Super Bowl held on February 2, 2007. Pictured from L to R are Anne Lakamp, Kevin Biermann, Vandana Rajaram and Michael McFarland. Vandana was the overall best and represented UMSL at the AOSA Super Bowl last summer in Boston.