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The Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at Southern College of Optometry recently selected four outstanding young alumni as recipients of the center’s fourth annual 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 young alumni at different stages of their optometric career. All three awards – including one given collectively to a husband and wife partnership – recognize success in the private practice principles emphasized by the Hayes Center’s mission to encourage practice success.
The 2017 recipients included:
Drs. Eric and Victoria Gengenbach, Class of 2009, recipient of the Long-Term Graduate Award for the years 2006-2009. Drs. Gengenbach operate First Insight Eyecare at four locations throughout southwest Nebraska.
Dr. Spencer Luke, Class of 2011, recipient of the Mid-term Graduate Award for the years 2010-2012. He is a partner at Apple Eyecare in Island City, Oregon.
Dr. Matthew Aaker, Class of 2013, recipient of the Recent Graduate Award for the years 2013-2015. Dr. Aaker practices at Visionary Family Eye Care in San Antonio, Texas.
The 2017 awards were presented by Lisa Rossmeyer Wade, OD ’84, Director of the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence, and Nathan Hayes, representing the Hayes Family Foundation. Each of the recipients spoke to SCO’s third-year students, followed by a Q&A session during a program designed to assist the college’s students with successful transition into their fourth-year externship rotations and subsequent graduation.