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The Hayes Center for Practice Excellence is pleased to announce three outstanding alumni who have been named recipients of the HCPE Practice of Excellence Award. The Award is designed to identify and reward successful practices, recognize the achievements made by SCO graduates, and help foster joint relationships that benefit these alumni and current optometry students.
The New Practice Award went to Kristin Reed, OD '13, who owns ModernEyes Eyecare & Eyewear in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Partnership Award went to Jon Reid, OD '12, of Advanced EyeCare in Carlinville, Illinois.
The Practice Acquisition Award went to Barrett Brown, OD '13, of SEARK Eyecare in Monticello, Arkansas.
This year's recipients spoke virtually to students during an online event where they were joined by Nathan Hayes, son of Jerry Hayes, OD '73, and other guests. Last year's awards were postponed right as the pandemic unfolded. This year's ceremony was hosted by Hayes Center Director Lisa Wade, OD '84, during SCO's Annual Bon VoyEyes Program sponsored by CooperVision and Allergan.
During my 20+ years after graduating, I have worked in various practice settings. I spent 10 years on faculty at SCO, worked with an ophthalmology practice for 3 years, and also did some part-time fill-in work in a commercial setting. My greatest professional accomplishment is becoming co-owner of a private practice in my hometown. I had my first eye exam here in 1982, worked as an employee during my summers off, came back as a doctor, and am now an owner. I truly feel that I have come full circle with my optometric career.
SCO goes above and beyond to make prospective students feel welcome. This was evident from the moment I walked in the door. The didactic and clinical curriculums, as well as SCO’s high passage rate on the national boards were big factors in my decision to attend.
Without a doubt, my greatest memories are of the time spent with my classmates in and out of the classroom. I started my first year not knowing a single person in my class. Four years later, I had made some of the best friends I’ve ever had.
In observance of Black History Month, it’s a great time to remember pioneers who left their mark on SCO’s history:
Some SCO firsts:
SCO's first African-American graduate was Algenon Dandy, OD '75.
SCO's first female African-American graduate was Adedayo Olympio, OD '83.
Dr. Harlington Hanna became SCO's first African-American instructor when he joined the faculty in 1977. He was also SCO's first Chief of Services for Peds and VT.
Dr. Betty Harville became SCO's first female African-American instructor in 1984. In 2001, Dr. Harville became the first female faculty member to achieve the full rank of professor at SCO, and at the same time, she became the first African-American female professor at any of the nation's optometry colleges.
Jarrett Johnson, OD '90, was the first African-American SGA president at SCO. She now serves on SCO's Board of Trustees.
Stacie Travis, OD '00, was the first African-American class president to deliver a commencement address.
Linda Jackson, OD '90, was SCO's first African-American valedictorian.
Dr. Linda Johnson, AOA's OD of the Year in 2008, was SCO's first African-American Board of Trustees member.
SCO salutes all of these individuals for their contributions to the college’s history and the profession of optometry.
Royal Palm Beach, FL
My greatest professional accomplishment has to be the opening of Socialite Vision. I started that dream during a business plan competition at SCO with another SCO grad, William Tantum, and made it come to life. Like the great philosopher Drake once said, I started from the bottom now I am here.
I choose Southern College of Optometry after a campus visit from Sunnie Ewing. She was so warm and welcoming, I said I had to check that place out. Being from Florida I wanted some of that southern hospitality and I was excited for a new adventure. When I came on the campus I was not disappointed. Seeing Dr. Dumus now Pepper, Dr. Harville, Dr. Norton, Dr. Nicks, and Dr. Heard I knew I was in good hands and they would not let me fall.
My best and funniest memory from my time at SCO was when I poured dye on my volunteers’ shirt during Part 3 of boards on a Friday, and my roommate Andrew Brauer made funny pic of it—by Monday 8 am it was on the PowerPoint. I laughed pretty hard that day. And when I still passed boards the joke was even funnier.
Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
Greatest accomplishment is being able to give back to the community and joining the Army as an optometrist. Every year I volunteer for mission trips with Onesight. In 2017, I went to Tanzania and in 2019 I went to India. Both times we were able to serve over 3,500 patients and provide glasses and eye examinations to patients who are less fortunate. Nothing feels better than being able to serve the underserved and also take care of our military men and women that serve and protect our country.
I chose SCO because I knew it was one of the most prestigious optometry schools where I would get the best education, and I was right. I felt so confident after graduating that I received the best education to take care of my patients.
My favorite memory was making the Justin Timberlake dance video for incoming students because I love to dance! Also, the talent shows were my absolute favorite.