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Alumni Council

Southern College of Optometry’s Alumni Council represents more than 7,000 of our graduates.

SCO’s Alumni Council plays an important role in providing alumni input into their alma mater’s future. The Alumni Council meets annually to offer input that is communicated through the alumni representative on our Board of Trustees.

Alumni Council Members

as of January 2016

Ashley Baker, OD ’04 | Tennessee - East
Dr. Ashley Baker graduated at the top of her class from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN, in 2004. She is Board Certified in Vision Development as well as being a Board Certified Therapeutic Optometrist and is proficient in the treatment and management of glaucoma and other ocular diseases. She is the Director of the Neuro Rehab Vision Therapy Department in her private practice and has a passion for helping patients reach their visual goals. Family EyeCare Center, PLLC, offers in-office therapy to address visual concerns including lazy eye, learning-related vision problems, traumatic/acquired brain injuries, and preschool developmental vision delays. Dr. Baker is active in her community where she serves on multiple church boards and participates in her childrens' schools and activities. She received the Top 40 Under 40 recognition for outstanding business leadership and community involvement. She enjoys running, traveling, and keeping up with her three small children.

Bill Ballinger, OD ’05 | South Carolina
Dr. William H. Ballinger, III has served on SCO’s Alumni Council since 2012. He is a 2001 graduate of Clemson University and is a passionate supporter of his Tigers. He has practiced with Jervey Eye Group since his graduation from SCO in 2005. Dr. Ballinger has served one term as president of the Piedmont Optometric Society in 2009, and two terms as vice-president in 2008 and 2010. He spends his free time with the two loves in his life, his wife Erin and their dog Lily.

Gary Beaver, OD ’89 | Kansas


Darby Chiasson, OD ’99 | Louisiana
Dr. Chiasson is a native of Lafourche Parish. He recieved his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and completed his Doctorate of Optometry at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. Dr. Chiasson completed his institutional externship at Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans and a private externship in Metairie. Dr. Chiasson was honored as SECO Young OD of the South in 2008, OAL Young OD of the Year in 2007 and South Lafourche Kiwanis Kiwanian of the Year in 2003. In 2013 he served as President of SECO. During his educational career, he received the following honors: 1999 Who’s Who Among Students in American Univerisities and Colleges, Gold Key International Optometric Honor Society, Class of 1977 Endowed Scholarship and the Dean’s List at Southern College of Optometry, Beta Sigma Kappa National Honor Society, and Board Trustee Scholar at Louisiana State University. Dr. Chiasson returned to his hometown to help his friends and neighbors with their vision care needs. He and his wife Nikole reside in Cut Off with their three children Laurel, Jack, and Connor.

Horace Deal, OD ’97 | Georgia
Dr. Deal graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN in 1997. He completed his internships at Clayton Eye Center and Gottleib Vision Group. While he was an intern he specialized in pediatrics, low vision, vision training, glaucoma and cataracts. In August of 1997, Dr. Deal joined the staff of Professional Eye Care of Hinesville as an Associate Optometrist. Dr. Deal came to Statesboro in May of 2000 to purchase Becker Eye Clinic from Dr. Sherri L. Becker. He has won many awards, including Georgia Young Optometrist of the Year in 1999. He is very active in the Statesboro community and also with Georgia Southern University. In 2000, Dr. Deal began serving as the GSU Team Optometrist. He is an alumnus of the 2002 class of Leadership Bulloch. Dr. Deal is also active in his profession and is currently serving as Past-President of the Georgia Optometric Association. Dr. Deal lectures regularly on topics such as ocular allergies, contact lenses and sports vision related topics. Dr. Deal is married to Caroline Benton of Hinesville and they have a daughter Emmaline, and a cat named Iris.

Bonny Eads, OD ’69 | Florida
Bonny Eads graduated from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn., in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Doctor of Optometry degree. She opened her practice with her husband, Dr. Dery, in Naples in November of 1971. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Florida Optometric Association, and the Southwest Florida Optometric Association. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. Eads is a former President of SWFOA, a Melvin Jones Fellow and a Head Start Liaison. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Gulf Coast Girl Scouts, Sunrise/Tech, Senior Friendship Center and Naples Equestrian Challenge. She has been honored as an Outstanding Partner to Education, the Migrant Health Professional of the Year for 2006, 2007 and 2008 and recipient of the Governor’s Community Investment Award.

Fred Farias, OD ’87 | Texas – South
Dr. Fred Farias III is certified as a therapeutic optometrist and an optometric glaucoma specialist. He has been in private practice in McAllen, Texas for over 25 years and has received the McAllen Chamber of Commerce Small Business of The Year Award in 2010. Dr. Farias earned Fellowship in American Academy of Optometry and is currently the only optometrist in the Rio Grande Valley to hold this distinction. Dr. Farias was named the Texas Optometric Association Optometrist of the Year for 2015. He is the immediate past president of the Texas Optometric Association where he has been an active member Since 1988. In February 2015, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Dr. Farias to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He has served on The Texas State Board of Optometry as a Governor Rick Perry appointee 2001-2007 and was appointed by LT. Governor David Dewhurst to the 2011 Texas Inaugural Committee. He is currently a member of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is the chairman of the Chambers Government Affairs Council.

Charlie Glaser, OD ’74 Advancement Volunteer | Louisiana
Dr. Charles Glaser, OD., a native of New Orleans, graduated from Louisiana State University in 1970 before earning his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry, Memphis TN in 1974. He then joined the Ophthalmology Department of Ochsner Clinic, treating patients and teaching resident doctors about the theory and practice of Contact Lens Fitting. In 1976, Dr. Glaser opened St. Charles Vision’s first, of six, offices in Boutte, Louisiana in St. Charles Parish with a specialization in hard-to-fit contact lens patients and in medical management of eye disease. Dr. Glaser is Board Certified in Therapeutic Medications in Louisiana and is a member of the Louisiana State Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association and the Contact Lens Section of the AOA. After Hurricane Katrina 2005, Dr. Glaser facilitated the donation of over $45,000 of in-kind services and products to the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic providing struggling musicians with free eye care, glasses and contact lenses. Dr. Glaser has served as Chairman and is currently Ex-Officio on the Board of The Lighthouse For The Blind. He has served on the Board of Directors for Touro Synagogue along with numerous other non-profit organizations. An avid cyclist, Dr. Glaser also enjoys gardening, running and hiking and all styles of music. He and his wife Cathy are very active in Community Organizations. Dr. Glaser and Cathy have three accomplished children.

Matt Jones, OD ’09 | Arkansas
Dr. Matt Jones serves as Vice-President of the Arkansas Optometric Association. He serves on many committees in the ArOA including state legal legislative, national legal legislative, convention, career guidance, and AOP-PAC. He also serves on the board of directors for the Association’s charitable foundation, Vision Arkansas. Dr. Jones received the ArOA Young Optometrist of the Year Award in 2012. Dr. Jones is also a volunteer for SECO International currently serving on the logistics committee. Dr. Jones and his business partner have two private practice offices, one in Blytheville, AR and one in Osceola, AR. Dr. Jones is a member of the Blytheville Rotary Club and currently serves as treasurer. He also volunteers at the Great River Charitable Clinic providing eye care services. He now serves on the board of the charitable clinic as secretary/treasurer. Dr. Jones was raised in Madisonville, KY. He and his wife, Allison, and daughter, Sutton, live in Blytheville, AR.

Stacey J. Meier, OD ’84 | Southwest
Dr. Stacey Meier is currently the Executive Director of the Arizona Optometric Association and owner of Desert View Vision-North in Phoenix. He served as President of the Central Arizona Optometric Society in 1993, the Arizona Optometric Association in 1996, and the Great Western Council of Optometry in 2006. In 2009 he was awarded the Optometrist of the Year award by the Arizona Optometric Association and the Great Western Council of Optometry. Appointed by then Governor Janet Napolitano to the Arizona State board of Optometry in 2008. Dr. Meier earned an A.A.S. degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing in 1975, attended the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, and is a 1984 graduate of SCO.

Larry Otten, OD ’77 Alumni Council Representative to the Board of Trustees | Pacific Coast
Dr. Larry Otten grew up in Bellevue, Washington, a Seattle suburb. His High School years were noteworthy. He excelled in football and track. Larry sang in the High School choir and ensembles. The choir made a tour through Scandinavia, and he sang with Ann Wilson, who became famous as the leading member in Heart. Math and science were his favorite subjects, however, it was photography which lead to his career in optometry. Larry was intrigued by the image formed from a pinhole camera. As he was developing his career interests, optometry allowed him to continue with optics and medicine. He attended the University of Washington. He has a Bachelor of Science degree, and was awarded his Doctor of Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977. His high school girlfriend and wife, Sally, supported him during his SCO years. They remain married, and have three adult children and a grandson. In 1978, he opened his first clinic in a Seattle neighborhood. For the first 15 years of his career, he also worked in ophthalmology practices, and later with Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. He sold that practice in 2001 when he joined a multi-clinic ophthalmology group, and was assigned to their Redmond, Washington practice, which is home to Microsoft. Later, he purchased the Redmond Eye Clinic from the ophthalmology group, retiring from that practice in 2013. He continues his optometry career with a community college optician's program. He has found his way into the mission field building homes and providing eye care in Mexico, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Malawi, and local homeless clinics.

Rod Rallo, OD ’80 | Kentucky
Dr. Rod Rallo attended the University of Louisville and received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern College of Optometry. He is past president of the Louisville Optometric Association and is an active member of the Kentucky Optometric Association. Dr. Rallo practices in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is medical director/owner of a regional group of optometric offices doing business as Visionfirst Eyecare. Dr. Rallo serves on several boards including the Alumni Board at the Southern College of Optometry. He attends Southeast Christian Church and enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf, and traveling.

Keith A. Schrunk, OD ’03 | Iowa
Keith A. Schrunk, O.D., EMT-A graduated from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN with Doctorate of Optometry in 2003 after graduating from Iowa State University with Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2000. Dr. Schrunk is a member of Board of Trustees of the Iowa Optometric Association, previous Chair of the Education Committee of the IOA, a member of the American Optometric Association, and was voted Iowa Young O.D. of the Year in 2004. Dr. Schrunk also serves on the Anthon Volunteer Ambulance Service, where he has Fire Fighter 1 and EMT-Advanced Certifications and is part of National Registry of EMT’s. In addition to the above he serves on the Board of Trustees of Burgess Hospital and the Anthon Golf Club. Dr. Schrunk practices and is part owner in rural western Iowa group private practice that has ten clinics. He mainly services the three communities of Mapleton, Moville, and Onawa, Iowa. Originally from Mapleton, IA, Dr. Schrunk, and his wife Angela, reside just outside of Anthon, IA and have two children, Kamariya and Korey. Hobbies include farming, golf, UTV riding, hunting, and various other activites.

Sallye Scott, OD ’78 | Mississippi
Dr. Sallye Scott has served on SCO's Alumni Council since its inception and loves SCO! She attended the University of Mississippi and received her BS and OD degree from SCO. Dr. Scott has been in private practice and has offices in Sardis and Senatobia, Mississippi. She has been active in her state optometric association and has chaired and served on numerous committees. She has gone on 20+ mission trips to provide eye care in Russia, Honduras, Nicaragua and in the last several years to Panama. Her son, Sam, is a student at SCO.

Charles Shidlofsky, OD ’88 | Texas – North

Dr. Shidlofsky was born and raised in Lawrence, New York. His family moved to the Dallas area when he was 16 years old. In 1980, he graduated from J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas. Dr. Shidlofsky completed his Pre-Optometry studies at the University of Texas at Austin in 1984. He then attended Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn. where he received his BS in 1986 and OD in 1988. Upon graduation, he moved back to to the Dallas area to begin his practice. Dr. Shidlofsky has been very active in Neuro-developmental Optometry for most of his years in practice. He has developed and integrated many unique therapies that have helped thousands of children who have struggled in school due to vision problems often seen in: ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorders as well as some of the classic vision problems related to focusing, eye teaming, eye movement skills, visual spatial skills and vision perception issues. He has expanded his work to include those with traumatic and acquired brain injury, stroke and other neurological processing problems. In addition, he works with several professional sports teams in the Dallas area as well as weekend athletes on developing vision skills. Dr. Shidlofsky is a Clinical Director for the Special Olympics Opening Eyes Program. Dr. Shidlofsky completed his Fellowship for the College of Optometrists in Vision Development in 2011. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor of Optometry at: Southern College of Optometry, University of Houston College of Optometry, University of Incarnate Word-Rosenberg College of Optometry and Western University College of Optometry. He is also director of a private practice residency program in pediatrics/vision therapy/sports vision and neuro-vision rehabilitation through Southern College of Optometry. Dr. Shidlofsky lives in Plano with his wife of 30 years, Sherri. Dr. Shidlofsky has three grown children, Alyssa, Kara and Ian who are spread out throughout the country. He stays active by playing ice hockey, traveling and family activities.

Steve Shum, OD ’71 | Tennessee – West

Steven R. Shum, OD, MEd graduated from the University of Tennessee, completed his Masters degree in Education from the University of Memphis, and received his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry. After graduating from SCO, he served in the United States Air Force from 1971 thru 1973 at rank of Captain (Optometrist.) He taught as an Associate Professor at SCO for 13 years and has been an Adjunct Professor at SCO from 1989 to present. Dr. Shum has been in private practice in Germantown, Tennessee from 1975 to present. His practice has an emphasis on medically necessary contact lenses and family eye health and vision care.

Rebecca St. Jean, OD ’97 | West Virginia

Dr. St. Jean is a graduate of George Washington University and Southern College of Optometry. Upon graduation, Dr. St. Jean elected to complete a residency in ocular diseases and primary care optometry at the Salisbury VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC. She is a member of the West Virginia Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. She holds advanced certification in management and treatment of ocular diseases and also has advanced training in co-management of refractive surgery. She enjoys outdoor sports in her spare time and she and her husband Rob compete on the national level in Masters swimming.