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2015 Senior Awards Presented

Southern College of Optometry’s 30th Annual Student Awards program honored academic and clinical achievement by members of the Class of 2015 in an on-campus ceremony held at the conclusion of Capstone week. Thanks to the generosity of SCO's donors from the ophthalmic industry and alumni supporters, graduates received nearly $40,000 in awards.

The following students received awards and recognition during the event: 

NOSA Recognition

Virgilio Gozum, Brittany Tounsel 

Academic and Clinical Excellence

OOH LA LA DE PARIS Award, given by Raul Arencibia, OD '88, and Jefrey Northcutt, OD '88
Virgilio Gozum   

NATIONAL BOARD OF EXAMINERS IN OPTOMETRY PART II HIGHEST SCORE   
Alison Bozung, Kevin Hart

Excellence in Dispensing Skills

ESSILOR LABS OF AMERICA AWARD   
Chelsea McKnight

ESSILOR CRIZAL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE   
Michael Bingham

Excellence in Contact Lens

JOHNSON & JOHNSON AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN CONTACT LENS PATIENT CARE    
Jill Greene

GP LENS INSTITUTE GP CONTACT LENS CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD    
Crystal Stone

X-CEL CONTACTS OUTSTANDING GP FITTING AWARD    
Michelle Glass

SOUTHWEST CONTACT LENS SOCIETY    
Brenda Flores

BAUSCH & LOMB AWARD   
Jacob Muller

Excellence in Low Vision Rehabilitation

LS&S GROUP LOW VISION AWARD   
Andrew Hawkins

NOIR LOW VISION AWARD    
Sherry Wei

ESCHENBACH OPTIK LOW VISION STUDENT AWARD    
Emily Evans

DESIGNS FOR VISIONS, INC. WILLIAM FEINBLOOM LOW VISION AWARD    
Brandon Hauck

OPTELEC EXCELLENCE IN LOW VISION AWARD    
Lisa Muiller

Clinical Excellence in Primary Care

MARCHON EYEWEAR PRACTICE MANAGEMENT AWARD    
Craig Moss

SOUTHERN COUNCIL OF OPTOMETRISTS CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD  
Kristi Raess

DR. BERNARD L. KAHN MEMORIAL ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP    
Heather Atcherson

Excellence in Ocular Disease

OCULAR INSTRUMENTS, INC. AWARD OF EXCELLENCE    
Brittany Brinkley

BEAVER-VISITEC INTERNATIONAL, INC. (BVI) PARTNERS IN OPTOMETRY AWARD    
Sarah Nabors, Carissa Chambers

EAGLE VISION 
Mark Miriello

RAFIEETARY ACADEMIC AND CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD    
Aja Kimrey

Excellence in Pediatrics and Vision Therapy

COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRISTS IN VISION DEVELOPMENT EXCELLENCE IN VISION THERAPY    
Jacob Dufour

GLEN T. STEELE, OD AND L. ALLEN FORS, OD DEVELOPMENTAL VISION SCHOLARSHIP    
Michael Cole

STEREO OPTICAL CO., INC.     
Lisa Stuart

OEP CLINICAL CURRICULUM AWARD    
Mark Curtis

OUTSTANDING CLINICIAN AWARDS

Heather Atcherson
Alison Bozung
Elizabeth Ellison
Alanna Khattar
Aja Kimrey
Lisa Muiller
Scott Ronhavde
Jordan Rothlisberger
Allyson Thomas
Brittany Tounsel


Student Research

DRS. FRED AND CHARLENE BURNETT STUDENT RESEARCH AWARD  
Cade Kowallis
Katy Potts
Jordan Rothlisberger

COMMITMENT OF SERVICE TO THE PROFESSION OF OPTOMETRY AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE

DR. DAVID P. SLOAN MEMORIAL AWARD  
Amy Puerto

BAYS FAMILY SERVICE AWARD 
Jigna Patel

COMMITMENT TO PURSUING PRIVATE PRACTICE OPTOMETRY

LUXOTTICA EXCELLENCE OF SERVICE AWARD   
Brittany Tounsel

THE WINSTON FAMILY ENDOWED AWARD    
Fallon Cone

MOTHERSHED ENDOWED AWARD    
Elizabeth Ellison

Gold Key Honorary Optometric Society Membership
Heather Atcherson, Fallon Cone, Andrew Hawkins, Craig Hossenlopp, Elena Lopez, John Moonan, III, Tri Nguyen, Nathan Osterman, Jigna Patel, Amy Puerto, Crystal Stone, Brittany Tounsel, Pinto Zhao

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
Heather Atcherson, Alison Bozung, Andrew Brown, (Missouri),Carissa Chambers, Fallon Cone, Emily Evans, Elizabeth Ellison, Molly Goodman, Virgilio Gozum, Jr., Kevin Hart, Andrew Hawkins, Jessica Haynes, Craig Hossenlopp, Barbara Jodoin, Alanna Khattar, Aja Kimrey, Elena Lopez, Mark Miriello, John Moonan, III, Jacob Muller, Tri Nguyen, Nathan Osterman, Jigna Patel, Amy Puerto, Scott Ronhovde, Jordan Rothlisberger, Crystal Stone, Brittany Tounsel, Xuetong Wei

Beta Sigma Kappa
Michael Bingham, Stephen Bollinger, Carissa Chambers, Michael Cole, Fallon Cone, Maxx Craggs, Jordan Dau, Megan Ebel, Lillian Fasman, Brenda Flores, Daniel Geary, Brandon Hauck, Jenny Hines, Lauren Howard, Samuel Johansen, Robert King, Meredith Lanham, Christopher Meyer, Donald McFadden, Chelsea McKnight, John Moonan, III, Caitlyn Moore, Sarah Nabors, Jordan Netzel, Aaron Neufeld, Thomas Parrish, Forrest Sherrill, Janna Shifflett, Lisa Stuart, Allyson Thomas, Christopher Thomas, Brittany Tounsel, Tam Vo, Ryan Widdison, Cheryl Wiltse, Meredith Yingling, Amy Zhang, Laura Zink


Posted by Amy Dunbar at Thursday, May 7, 2015 | 0 comments

2015 Hayes Center Award Recipients Announced

The Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at Southern College of Optometry is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2015 Practice of Excellence Award. The award identifies and rewards successful practices, recognizes achievements of SCO graduates and helps foster joint relationships that benefit SCO’s alumni and current optometry students.

Three different $5,000 awards were designated to honor recent alumni at different stages of their optometric careers. All three recipients own their own practices and exemplify the private practice principles embodied in the Hayes Center’s mission encouraging practice success. Recipients include:   

Dr. Joe Sugg, Class of 2009, who practices at Heber Springs Eye Care Center in Heber Springs, Arkansas.  

Dr. Randall Glass, Class of 2006, who practices at Fowler Eye Care in Texarkana and Ashdown Eye Care in Ashdown, Arkansas.

Dr. James Hertzog, Class of 2006. Dr. Mitchell practices at Hertzog Family Eye Care in Cabot and Jacksonville, Arkansas.

“These alumni demonstrate the qualities and attitudes of successful private practitioners who excel at managing the business side of their practices,” said Dr. Lisa Wade, Director of the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at SCO. The awards were selected by members of the Hayes Center Advisory Board, made up of alumni private practitioners, and Dr. Wade.

Recipients were judged on their practice’s ability to excel as documented via profit and loss statements, most recent balance sheet, office meeting agendas or minutes, and other key metrics, including gross collected receipts, proper staff management, and a written explanation of how the practice maximizes net income. Recipients shared their private practice experiences with SCO’s graduating class during the college’s Capstone educational program prior to commencement in May.

The Hayes Center’s creation marked one of the first educational centers based at an optometric college dedicated specifically for the purpose of teaching current and future optometrists how to manage the business side of practice.  Visit http://www.sco.edu/hayescenter to learn more about the resources offered to SCO’s students and alumni, including reading room materials, podcasts and other information.

Posted by Amy Dunbar at Thursday, May 7, 2015 | 0 comments

Honorary Degree Recipients Announced

Two individuals were selected to receive honorary degrees at Southern College of Optometry's May 8th commencement ceremony for their contributions to the profession of optometry.

American Optometric Association President David Cockrell, OD ’81, is this year’s recipient of the Doctor of Ocular Science degree. The 12th SCO alumnus to lead the AOA, Dr. Cockrell was also invited to deliver this year’s commencement address.

In addition to his duties as AOA President, Dr. Cockrell serves as chair of the AOA’s Agenda and Executive Committees and is a member of the Personnel Committee. Prior to his election to the AOA Board, Dr. Cockrell served as chair of the AOA State Government Relations Center, as well as AOA Primary Care and Patient Management, Statutory SCOPE, and Nominating and Resolutions committees.  He has also served in the AOA Federal Government Relations Center.

Dr. Cockrell is a past president of the Southwest Council of Optometry. He is a past President of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians and a former Oklahoma Optometrist of the Year. He was named the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians Distinguished Optometrist of the Year in 2012. He has also served on the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners in Optometry since 1997.Dr. Cockrell practices in Stillwater, OK, with his wife, Cherry B. Cockrell, OD ’81.

Marty Wall, longtime Executive Director of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, is this year’s recipient of the Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Wall is retiring this year after a quarter century’s service in serving the nation’s optometry colleges. During his tenure, ASCO saw greater involvement of faculty involvement in Special Interest Groups, the implementation of a central admissions application process, and the establishment of the Partnership Endowment. He also organized two national symposia on optometric education involving a number of optometric organizations that resulted in strategic plans to guide the professional education of 21st century ODs.

A graduate of Ohio University, Wall earned a Master’s in Public Administration from American University and is a Certified Association Executive. He served as President of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions from 1999-2001.

Posted by Amy Dunbar at Wednesday, April 29, 2015 | 0 comments

SCO Leadership Changes Announced

Reich Named Interim President at Southern College of Optometry

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (April 2, 2015) –
Southern College of Optometry (SCO) announced today that Lewis Reich, OD, PhD, Professor and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, has been named Interim President following the resignation earlier this week of Richard W. Phillips, OD.

Dr. Reich joined SCO’s faculty in 2008 as Vice President for Academic Affairs following nearly a decade of service at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, where he served as Associate Professor and as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. A 1988 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he completed a residency in low vision rehabilitation at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and later joined the faculty. He received his PhD from the University of Houston in 1999.

J. Bart Campbell, OD, was named Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. A 1987 SCO graduate, Dr. Campbell previously served as the Chair of Optometric Education, where his primary responsibilities included the design and implementation of the college’s optometric curriculum. Dr. Campbell completed his contact lens practice residency in 1988 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. He also chairs the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.

“SCO is extremely fortunate to have a dynamic and highly effective leadership team that will be working together to ensure a smooth transition over the next few months,” Dr. Reich said. “We collectively share such a strong commitment to continuing the outstanding results that have distinguished SCO over the last 83 years.” 

Dr. Richard Phillips submitted his resignation to the college’s Board of Trustees earlier this week after serving as president and CEO for eight years. 

Founded in Memphis in 1932, SCO is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education with more than 500 students and residents from 40 states. The college’s public clinic, The Eye Center at SCO, serves more than 60,000 patients annually as one of the nation’s top clinical optometric education. SCO’s Community Outreach program reaches more than 12,000 children throughout Shelby County. The college also operates University Eyecare, a full service clinic on the campus of the University of Memphis. 

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Posted by Amy Dunbar at Thursday, April 2, 2015 | 0 comments

SCO President Named SECO’S OD of the South

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (March 9, 2015) – Southern College of Optometry (SCO) President Richard W. Phillips, OD, was named SECO International’s OD of the South, an annual award bestowed by the not-for-profit membership association composed of optometrists from 12 southeastern states.

“Leading my alma mater has been a dream come true. I treasure every day I spend with the SCO family,” Dr. Phillips said during his acceptance speech. “I’m humbled by this recognition from my peers.

President of SCO since 2007, Dr. Phillips was honored in part for his leadership that led to the construction of a new academic complex to encouraging optometry students to become more involved in their profession at the regional and national levels.

A 1978 SCO graduate, Dr. Phillips formed Tennessee’s first optometry/ophthalmology partnership at the John Wilson Eye Clinic before he accepted the position of Executive Director of TLC Laser Eye Centers in the Tri-Cities region of East Tennessee in 1996. He later served as TLC’s Regional Executive Director for Tennessee Operations and Regional Clinical Director Advisor for the Southeastern United States.

He is a Past President of SECO, the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, as well as the Tennessee Academy of Optometry. He was named Tennessee’s OD of the Year in 1998. A Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, he also served as a member of the AOA’s New Technologies Committee and on the Refractive Surgery Committee. 


Dr. Phillips is President-Elect of the American Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), and a Board member of the Board of Trustees for the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, the Tennessee Independent College and University Association and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow to the National Academy of Practice.

Dr. Phillips is pictured receiving SECO’s OD of the South Award from outgoing SECO President Dr. Jim Herman.  

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SECO International is produced annually by SECO International, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Council of Optometrists, Inc. SECO International, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a not-for-profit membership association founded in 1923, and counts as its members practitioners in the 12 southeastern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The annual SECO conventions regularly attract more than 7,500 national and international eye care professionals, vendors, and allied ophthalmic personnel. SECO International is widely acknowledged as the largest optometric educational meeting in the world.

Posted by Amy Dunbar at Monday, March 9, 2015 | 0 comments