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White Coat Ceremony Welcomes Class of 2020

Southern College of Optometry formally welcomed the Class of 2020 into the profession of optometry with a white coat ceremony on Monday, August 29. More than 500 family, friends, and faculty members were on hand to witness each student receive his or her white coat (generously provided by Marchon) and sign SCO's honor code.

Officiating were Dr. Lewis Reich, SCO President, Dr. J. Bart Campbell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. James Venable, Vice President for Clinical Programs, Joe Hauser, Vice President for Student Services, and Mary Nethaway Chase, '18, Student Government Association President.

The Class of 2020 includes 136 students who were selected from 877 applicants. The class recorded an average grade point average of 3.53 and an average 328 score on the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). Their addition to the SCO student body brings SCO's number of full-time students to 531, the most since 1982.

During the ceremony, 33 students were recognized for receiving scholarships, including:

  • Christy Alfano, of Orlando, Florida, who received the Stern-Maronek Family Endowed Scholarship
  • A.J. Barbiero, of Salt Lake City, Utah, who received the Presidential Endowed Scholarship
  • Leslie Cline, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, who received the Dr. Cheryl Johnson Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Jordan Dravitzki, of Stromsburg, Nebraska, who received the Board of Trustees - Thomas Gulley Scholarship
  • Jared Freeman, of Plantation, Florida, who received the Dean's Endowed Scholarship
  • Anna Fuller, of Ruston, Louisiana, who received the New Orleans Contact Lens Society Endowed Scholarship
  • Torrie Garner, of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, who received the Board of Trustees - Donna Abney Scholarship
  • Kelci Glover, of Wichita, Kansas, who received the Presidential Endowed Scholarship
  • Katie Hardy, of Sedalia, Missouri, who received the Dr. William R. Jackson, Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Alyssa Invergo, of Peotone, Illinois, who received the Board of Trustees - Linda Johnson Scholarship
  • Cori Jones, of Cheney, Kansas, who received the Dean's Endowed Scholarship
  • Kate Keefer, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who received the Alston & Byrd Endowed Scholarship
  • Callie Mashburn, of Sweetwater, Tennessee, who received the Sullins Family Endowed Scholarship
  • Destiny McDuffie, of Winterville, North Carolina, who received the SCO Alumni Endowed Scholarship
  • Matt Meredith, of Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Ramona Porter Clifton Endowed Scholarship
  • Alison Moore, of Memphis, Tennessee, who received the Drs. Charlene & Fred Burnett Endowed Scholarship
  • Madelyn Mullally, of Le Mars, Iowa, who received the Covington/Andreas Endowed Scholarship
  • Erin Neal, of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, who received the Dr. Vaughn Parfitt Endowed Scholarship
  • Rachel Newland, of Parsons, Kansas, who received the Drs. Helen and Christopher King Endowed Scholarship
  • Jhaleil Phillips, of McDonough, Georgia, who received the Board of Trustees - Linda Johnson Scholarship
  • Melissa Pongratz, of Fort Worth, Texas, who received the Board of Trustees - Thomas Gulley Scholarship
  • Brian Post, of Tallahassee, Florida, who received the Dr. William E. Cochran Endowed Scholarship
  • Kristen Purdy, of Solon, Iowa, who received the Dean's Endowed Scholarship
  • Stephanie Ross, of Nokomis, Florida, who received the Dr. Earl Lusk Endowed Scholarship
  • Michaela Sasse, of Gaylord, Kansas, who received the Board of Trustees - Martha Morrow Scholarship
  • Emily Scully, of Batavia, Illinois, who received the SCO Alumni Endowed Scholarship
  • Trevor Shealy, of Cordele, Georgia, who received the Dr. L. Wayne Brown Memorial Endowed Scholarship
  • Jacob Smith, of Athens, Alabama, who received the Dean's Endowed Scholarship
  • Katie Stuckey, of Ruston, Louisiana, who received the Dr. Camille Chiasson Endowed Scholarship
  • Al'Tiana Watson, of Savannah, Georgia, who received the Dr. Joel T. Byars Endowed Scholarship
  • Jake Weber, of Milford, Nebraska, who received the Presidential Endowed Scholarship
  • Rachel Werner, of Maple Valley, Washington, who received the Precisions Endowed Scholarship
  • Annie Wester, of Cleghorn, Iowa, who received the Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

Scholarship recipients:  Destiny McDuffie, Brian Post, A.J. Barbiero Alison Moore, Kate Keefer, Jhaleil Phillips, Trevor Shealy Rachel Newland, Madelyn Mullally, Jared Freedman Cori Jones, Al’Tiana Watson, Katie Hardy
Scholarship recipients: 
Destiny McDuffie, Brian Post, A.J. Barbiero
Alison Moore, Kate Keefer, Jhaleil Phillips, Trevor Shealy
Rachel Newland, Madelyn Mullally, Jared Freedman
Cori Jones, Al’Tiana Watson, Katie Hard
y


Scholarship recipients: Jacob Smith, Jake Weber, Katie Stuckey Callie Mashburn, Melissa Pongratz, Michaela Sasse, Emily Scully Kelci Glover, Erin Neal, Alyssa Invergo, Kristen Purdy
Scholarship recipients:
Jacob Smith, Jake Weber, Katie Stuckey
Callie Mashburn, Melissa Pongratz, Michaela Sasse, Emily Scully
Kelci Glover, Erin Neal, Alyssa Invergo, Kristen Purdy

 

Scholarship recipients: Matt Meredith, Torrie Garner, Jordan Dravitzki Annie Wester, Leslie Cline, Stephanie Ross, Christy Alfano Rachel Werner, Anna Fuller
Scholarship recipients:
Matt Meredith, Torrie Garner, Jordan Dravitzki
Annie Wester, Leslie Cline, Stephanie Ross, Christy Alfano
Rachel Werner, Anna Fuller

 

A video recording of the ceremony may be viewed via SCO's YouTube channel:

Photo gallery coverage of the ceremony and post-reception will also be uploaded and shared soon.

at Wednesday, August 31, 2016 | 0 comments

Reed Elected to AOA Board

SCO Board of Trustees Chair Steven T. Reed, OD '95, of Magee, Mississippi, was recently elected to the American Optometric Association (AOA) Board of Trustees. The election took place at the AOA's annual meeting in Boston.

"We are honored to have a man with Dr. Reed's commitment and outstanding service to the profession of optometry as a member of the Board," said Dr. Greg Loose, Mississippi Optometric Association (MOA) president. "He has a passion for the profession of optometry but beyond that, he has a passion to make a difference in the lives of others."

As a community and professional leader he is a past president of the MOA, the Southwest Optometric Society, the Magee Chamber of Commerce, and the Magee Lion's Club. He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Southern College of Optometry and Mississippi Trustee to the SECO International Board.  In 2010, he was named Mississippi's Optometrist of the Year.

For nearly 20 years, Dr. Reed has helped organize eye screenings at Magee Elementary and Magee Middle School. He also helped coordinate the first annual Glaucoma Awareness Day in Magee and the first annual Mac McCarty Lions Club Golf Tournament to raise funds for glasses and eye care services for the underserved of Simpson County.

Dr. Reed graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Magna Cum Laude from Southern College of Optometry as a Doctor of Optometry.  

He and his wife Kendra are active members of Goodwater Baptist Church where he serves as deacon. Dr. Reed has two children, Calder and Emily.

 

Posted by Jim Hollifield at Thursday, July 28, 2016 | 0 comments

Elkins Named Director of Academic Programs

Dr. Linday Elkins, Southern College of Optometry Assistant Professor, was recently named the college's Director of Academic Programs.

The Director of Academic Programs is responsible for ensuring the efficient and effective implementation of the college's academic programs, with emphasis on the didactic and laboratory components of SCO's curriculum.

In her new role, Dr. Elkins reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and works closely with The Eye Center's Chief of Staff and the Faculty Curriculum Committee.

A 2007 SCO graduate, Dr. Elkins has served as the college's Coordinator of School Screenings. She was appointed to the faculty in 2008 and is a recipient of SCO's Young Alumni Award.
Posted by Jim Hollifield at Thursday, June 9, 2016 | 0 comments

Reich Inaugurated as SCO President

Lewis Reich, OD, PhD, was formally inaugurated as the seventh president to lead Southern College of Optometry during a ceremony held on Friday, May 13, 2016 at the institution's midtown Memphis campus.

The SCO community welcomed more than 300 visitors, including representatives from other optometry colleges, local institutions of higher learning, representatives of the ophthalmic industry, and other invited guests. 

In his introduction, SCO Board of Trustees Chair Steven Reed, OD '95, congratulated Dr. Reich on earning the trust and respect of SCO's Board during nine months that Dr. Reich served as interim president before officially being named by the board to the position in a permanent capacity.

A number of representatives delivered greetings from their respective constituencies, including the local and academic communities, alumni, students, family, and faculty/staff. In her remarks representing faculty/staff, Dr. Aaron Kerr, Faculty Chair, announced that more than $27,000 had been raised to create a new scholarship in Dr. Reich's honor, with approximately $23,000 donated by faculty members to support the effort.

In his inaugural address, Dr. Reich outlined three top priorities for the college's future:

  • Making SCO a top school of choice for the best qualified students,
  • Ensuring good stewardship of the college's financial resources to help control student expenditures, particularly in light of increasing student debt at the undergraduate level, and
  • Working to enhance SCO's reputation within Memphis and the newly formed Memphis Medical District Collaborative effort.

The ceremony concluded with SCO President Emeritus Billy Cochran, OD '68, leading the optometric oath for the optometrists in attendance. 

Following the ceremony, a luncheon was held on campus with seven food trucks and live entertainment selected to offer guests a sampling of food and music popular in Memphis. A reception in Dr. Reich's honor was also held the evening prior as part of the inaugural festivities.

To read more about Dr. Reich's background and the event, a copy of the inaugural program may be read online here.

Click here to view our Inauguration photo galleries on Flickr. 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Jim Hollifield at Wednesday, May 18, 2016 | 0 comments

SCO's 2016 Commencement Held

Southern College of Optometry welcomed 130 new graduates into the profession of optometry on Friday, May 6, 2016 during the college's annual commencement ceremony held at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis.

U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas delivered the commencement address. He also received the Doctor of Ocular Science degree, conferred on those who have made outstanding contributions and rendered distinguished service to the profession of optometry and the field of visual science.

SCO President Emeritus William E. Cochran, OD '68, received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition to his service of his outstanding support of the college through the years.

Valedictorian was Monica Perry; Salutatorian was Ryan Wilkerson. The class address was given by Class President Katherine Araiza-Brown

Congratulations to this year's graduates:

  • Katherine Allen, B.A.; Knoxville, TN
  • Alex Amann, B.S.; New Athens, IL
  • Jennifer Anderson, B.S.; Atlanta, GA
  • Brittney Angelo, B.S.; Yorktown Heights, NY
  • Katherine Araiza-Brown, B.S.; Aurora, CO
  • Feyi Aworunse, B.S.; Nashville, TN
  • Caroline Babb, B.S.; Kingsport, TN
  • Erin Bales, B.S.; Blue Springs, MO
  • Craig Baxter (in memoriam), B.S.; North Platte, NE
  • Brennan Berwald, B.A.; Butler, MO
  • Steven Blake, B.S.; Richfield, UT
  • Marie Bolin, B.S.; Eagle, NE
  • Matt Boswell, B.S.; Wichita, KS
  • Joseph Brewer, B.S.; Pinedale, AZ
  • Daniel Brigham, B.S.; St. Augustine, FL
  • Eric Brinkley, B.S.; Irmo, SC
  • Mitch Brown, B.A.; Kingston, TN
  • Natalie Brown, B.S.; Piggott, AR
  • Aaron Buchanan, B.S.; Morgantown, WV
  • Lindsey Burdick, B.S.; Spartanburg, SC
  • Jamison Carr, B.S.; Camargo, IL
  • Frank Carusone, B.S.; Columbiana, OH
  • Hunter Chapman, B.S.; Monroe, LA
  • Inen Cheng, B.A.; Merced, CA
  • Alex Compton, B.S.; Franklin, KY
  • Chris Connor, B.S.; Lincoln, NE
  • Halie Cottrill, St. Marys, WV
  • Jansi Damarla, B.S.; Bardonia, NY
  • Shalini Dave, B.S.; Charlotte, NC
  • Kevin Davis, B.S.; Mount Juliet, TN
  • Samantha Devlin, B.S.; Bentonville, AR
  • Devon Dixit, B.S.; Ocean Springs, MS
  • Jaimen Dixon, B.S.; Boise, ID
  • Brooke Dugas, B.S.; Franklinton, LA
  • Wesley Dunnam, B.S.; Jonesboro, AR
  • Erica Durlacher, B.S.; Baton Rouge, LA
  • Emily Edwards, B.S.; Cedarcreek, MO
  • Stephen Ellison, B.S.; Atlanta, GA
  • Gabriel Fickett, B.S.; Waynesboro, PA
  • Anthony Fioravanti, B.S.; Cabot, PA
  • Trent Gaasch, B.S.; Clarksville, TN
  • Dominique Garcia-Robles, B.S.; Memphis, TN
  • Adeline Goh, B.A.; Charlotte, NC
  • Dani Gretz, B.S.; Orange Park, FL
  • Angela Haas, B.S.; Greenville, SC
  • Dahlia Haddad, B.S.; Martin, TN
  • Kristin Hammill, B.S.; Middleton, TN
  • Angela Han, B.S.; Kenner, LA
  • Chris Harlan, B.S.; Memphis, TN
  • Blake Hayden, B.S.; Owensboro, KY
  • Matt Hennen, B.S.; Inver Grove Heights, MN
  • Lauren Hernandez, B.A.; Cove, AR
  • Leah Herron, B.S.; Saint Marys, GA
  • Hannah Holtorf, B.A.; Overland Park, KS
  • James Hoover, B.S.; Baton Rouge, LA
  • Lindsey Hubert, B.S.; Oakley, KS
  • Greg Johnson, B.S.; Plantersville, MS
  • Stephanie Johnson, B.S.; Memphis, TN
  • Sarah Jones, B.S.; Pickens, SC
  • Shawn Joseph, B.S.; Hollywood, FL
  • Daniel Kelly, B.S.; Hendersonville, TN
  • Jessica Kenney, B.S.; Coral Springs, FL
  • Rachel Kenney, B.S.; Owatonna, MN
  • Tyler Kitzman, B.A.; Northfield, MN
  • Chris Kowalski, B.S.; Traverse City, MI
  • Lauren Lusardi, B.S.; Phillipsburg, NJ
  • Preslee Trammell Magee, M.S.; Greenville, MS
  • Adam Malik, B.S.; Madison, AL
  • Tabitha Margritz, B.A.; Salina, KS
  • Lindsay Martin, B.S.; Canon, GA
  • Chalise Maybee, B.S.; West Bloomfield, MI
  • Spencer McConkie, B.S.; Salt Lake City, UT
  • Darah McDaniel-Chandler, B.S.; Mountain Home, AR
  • Scott McIntosh, B.S.; Greenville, NC
  • Kirsten McKnight, B.S.; Memphis, TN
  • Marla McNutt, B.S.; North Canton, OH
  • Courtney Melchione; B.S.; Lexington, VA
  • Alley Meredith, B.S.; Mountain Home, VA
  • Winn Meredith, B.S.; Jonesboro, AR
  • Andrew Mitchell, B.S.; Louisville, MS
  • Jake Mortemore, B.S.; Lambertville, MI
  • Joanna Murray, B.S.; Franklin, TN
  • Andrew Neighbors, B.S.; Paragould, AR
  • Taylor Neumann, B.A.; Council Bluffs, IA
  • Haley Nguyen, B.S.; Tucker, GA
  • Brett O’Connor, B.S.; Jacksonville, FL
  • Logan Oliver, B.S.; Sparta, NC
  • Dillon Ott, B.S.; Aberdeen, MS
  • Enrique Palacios, B.S.; Southbridge, MA
  • Billy Parsley, B.A.; Memphis, TN
  • Elizabeth Parsons, B.S., B.A.; Charleston, WV
  • Michael Pegg, B.S.; Grenada, MS
  • Monica Perry, B.S.; Kingsport, TN
  • Tram Pham, B.S.; Greenville, SC
  • Robert Phyfer, B.S.; West Point, MS
  • Michael Polo, B.S.; Colonial Heights, VA
  • Kay Powell, B.A.; Madison, WI
  • Will Price, B.S.; Lakeside, AZ
  • Jamin Quilla, B.A.; Overland Park, KS
  • Shaleen Ragha, B.S.; Alpharetta, GA
  • Christen Jade Rice-Coats, B.S.; Hot Springs, AR
  • Katie Richardson, B.S.; Ripley, MS
  • Jonathan Routon, B.S.; Paris, TN
  • Christy Sager, B.A., Pleasanton, CA
  • Whitney Seltman, B.S.; Atlanta, GA
  • Karan Shah, B.S.; Marietta, GA
  • Ruhina Shemna, B.A.; Raleigh, NC
  • Megan Shirey, B.S.; Magnolia, AR
  • Kelly Short, B.A.; Sugar Land, TX
  • Andrew Shum, B.S.; Fisherville, TN
  • Amy Sickman, B.S.; Kansas City, MO
  • Brent Smith, B.S.; Stockbridge, GA
  • Jennyffer Smith, B.S.; Memphis, TN
  • Megan Stanford, B.S.; Olive Branch, MS
  • Anna Stephenson, B.S.; Springfield, TN
  • Gregory Stewart, B.A.; Birmingham, AL
  • Gerald Stinson, Jr., B.S.; Holly Springs, MS
  • Kyle Stott, B.S.; Lancaster, CA
  • Jamie Taylor, B.S.; Manchester, TN
  • Danyetta Thomas, B.S., M.S.,; Calhoun, LA
  • Emy Thompson, B.S.; San Antonio, TX
  • Ryan Tieu, B.S.; Duluth, GA
  • Ashley Toland, B.S.; Big Rapids, MI
  • Chrissy Ulrich, B.S.; Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Kara Vitus, B.S.; New Middletown, OH
  • Chelsea Wahl, B.S.; Kiln, MS
  • Madison Wall-Hayes, B.S.; DeQuincy, LA
  • Rebecca Wenig, B.A.; Cary, IL
  • Ryan Wilkerson, B.S.; Lebanon, MO
  • Hillary Yungblut, B.S.; Abilene, TX
Posted by Jim Hollifield at Friday, May 6, 2016 | 0 comments