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SCO has selected two outstanding alumni to be recognized at the college's Fall Homecoming and Continuing Education Weekend. Receiving SCO's Lifetime Achievement Award - the highest honor bestowed by the college - is Fred Farias III, OD '87, FAAO, and receiving the Young Alumni Award is Jennifer Lyerly, OD '11.
About Fred Farias III, OD '87, FAAO
A member of SCO's Alumni Council, Dr. Farias was named the 2016 Optometrist of the Year by the American Optometric Association. CEO of 20/20 Vision Care in McAllen, Texas, Dr. Farias is a therapeutic optometrist and an optometric glaucoma specialist.
Dr. Farias is the immediate past president of the Texas Optometric Association, which named him its 2015 Optometrist of the Year. He volunteers as an InfantSEE® provider, a no-cost public health program developed to provide professional eye care for infants nationwide through Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation, of which he is a charter member.
Additionally, he organizes and sponsors vision screenings for underserved communities in south Texas. His service to optometry also includes volunteering as a member of the AOA Federal Legislative Action and Keyperson Committee. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Dr. Farias to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
About Jennifer Lyerly, OD '11
Dr. Lyerly graduated summa cum laude from SCO in 2011 and was named an Outstanding Clinician in her class. A native of Clemmons, North Carolina, she was valedictorian at North Carolina State University. She practices in Cary, North Carolina with a focus on specialty contact lenses.
She is the founder of Eyedolatry Blog, an eyecare website with a focus on encouraging women's leadership within optometry, and was named one of Vision Monday's Most Influential Women in Optometry in 2015.
In 2016 she cofounded Defocus Media, a social media management company for private practice ODs, and is the cohost of the popular Defocus Media Podcast.
A 2017 finalist for Transitions Academy's Brand Ambassador of the Year, Dr. Lyerly has emerged as one of the profession's leading content experts on best practices for ODs using social media.