Optometry’s Meeting will be held in Denver, CO, June 20-24, 2018.
SCO invites all faculty, students, alumni and friends of the college to visit with us at AOA in Denver, CO.
SCO alumni recognized
David A. Cockrell, OD ’81, 2018 National Optometry Hall of Fame Inductee
Upon graduation from Southern College of Optometry, David A. Cockrell, OD ’81, and his wife, Cherry Cockrell, OD ’81, opened their practice to serve the community of Stillwater, Oklahoma, which grew to a second practice, expanding area residents' access to eye care. Much of this expansion has been due to the increase in optometric scope of practice in Oklahoma.
Dr. Cockrell's service to the profession began on a state level then grew to both a regional and national level. He served on the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (OAOP) Congress Committee in 1987 where he served for 5 years. Dr. Cockrell has served on the Oklahoma State Board of Optometric Examiners since 1996, and as president from 2001-2006. In 1989, he received his first American Optometric Association (AOA) appointment to the Primary Care Committee, became a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and, in 1992, was elected to the OAOP board of directors where he served for 5 years, and was president from 1995-1996. Dr. Cockrell was also appointed to the Heart of America Contact Lens and Primary Care Society and the Southwest Council of Optometry in 1995, concurrently serving as OAOP president. He continued his service on both regional councils for 8 years and served as president of the Southwest Council of Optometry in 1998.
His long tenure of AOA involvement continued as he became chair of the AOA Statutory Scope Committee in 2004. Dr. Cockrell was elected to the AOA Board of Trustees in 2005, and in 2014, he became president. During his term as president, he testified before a Senate Committee regarding the potential deregulation of contact lenses, testified before the Federal Trade Commission and oversaw efforts to defeat harmful anti-patient legislation drafted by 1-800 Contacts which was introduced in a dozen states around the country.
His diligent service to his community includes leadership in Boy Scouts, a member of the Rotary Club for six years, 30 years on the Chamber of Commerce in Stillwater, serving as the team eye doctor for the Oklahoma State University football and wrestling teams, volunteering on the Stillwater Public Education Foundation for several years, and the Stillwater Medical Foundation.
As a former commercial pilot, another of Dr. Cockrell's many passions is his love of aviation. He has been a private pilot for many years and served on the Stillwater Regional Airport Authority in 2005. He spent six years on the board and served as Chair of the Airport Authority for three.
After passage of Board Certification in the AOA House of Delegates in 2009 and the subsequent formation of the American Board of Optometry (ABO), Dr. Cockrell was appointed the first Chair of the ABO and continued in that position until 2011.
Following his completion of service on the AOA Board of Trustees in 2016, David accepted an appointment as AOA Advocacy Chair and continues his service to the profession.
Matthew Jones, OD ’09, 2018 AOA Young OD of the Year
A native of Kentucky, Matthew Jones, OD ’09, obtained his doctorate of optometry degree in 2009 from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. He is co-owner of the optometric practice, Family Eye Care, located in Blytheville and Osceola, Arkansas.
Dr. Jones serves as president of the Arkansas Optometric Association Board of Directors, joining the board in 2011. His volunteer service includes service to numerous committees throughout the years, including career guidance, state legal legislative, national legal legislative, convention committee, AOP-PAC committee, membership committee chair, nominating committee; and awards committee.
Helping the association's philanthropic efforts, Dr. Jones has served as board member of Vision Arkansas, the charitable foundation of the association, since 2011. He volunteers for the Great River Charitable Clinic where he provides free exams to the uninsured in the area. Because of his dedication to serving others he was appointed to the charitable clinic's board of directors in 2012. He also works with the Mississippi County Head Start program to provide vision exams to preschool children. In 2018, he was named to serve on Brandon Burlsworth Foundation board of directors. The primary program of the foundation, "Eyes of a Champion", provides eyewear and vision exams for needy children throughout the state.
In addition to his work with the state association, Dr. Jones serves as a volunteer member of the logistics committee of SECO, and was awarded their 2017 Young Optometrist of the South. In 2016, he began serving in the American Optometric Association volunteer structure on the Meetings Center committee. Dr. Jones has attended several AOA Congressional Advocacy Conferences in Washington, D.C. and began serving as a keyperson for one of the U.S. Representatives from Arkansas in 2011.
On the state level, he has been serving as legislative keyperson captain for northeast Arkansas since 2014. He coordinates member doctors of optometry on 30 state legislative campaigns, working with area optometrists to secure campaign contributions and ensure that optometrists in his area have reached out to work with elected officials on key issues. He also serves as keyperson for his state Senator and Representative. During Arkansas' successful legislative campaign to pass the Vision Care Plan Act of 2015, Dr. Jones was instrumental in securing many positive votes from legislators in his area. For a fundraiser for re-election of the governor in October 2017, Dr. Jones' personal efforts led to more than one-third of ODs contributing, well surpassing the fundraising goal.
One of Dr. Jones' greatest assets is to engage, encourage and motivate the membership for future legislative endeavors and participation by individual members.
William E. Cochran, OD ’68, 2018 ASCO Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
William E. Cochran, OD ’68, served as SCO President from 1984 until his retirement in 2007. Under his leadership, SCO constructed The Eye Center and increased SCO’s reserve fund from $2.8 million to $37 million. Following his retirement, Dr. Cochran has served on a number of boards. He previously served as president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, as president of the Memphis of the Memphis Association of Colleges and Universities, and on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.
A native of Kosciusko, Mississippi, Dr. Cochran is a third generation optometrist; his parents met as SCO students in the 1940s. After his graduation from SCO in 1968, he was commissioned as a captain in the U.S. Army’s Medical Service Corps and was stationed at Martin Army Hospital in Columbus, Georgia. He practiced optometry for 13 years in his hometown before becoming SCO’s president.
He served as president of the Mississippi Optometric Association in 1978 and Chairman of National Optometry Week in 1981. At the local level, he served as president of the Memphis Rotary Club in 2000-2001 and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2007. Dr. Cochran was named SCO President Emeritus following his retirement and was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2016 Dr. Cochran received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition to his service of his outstanding support of the college through the years.
SCO’s Reception for Alumni & Friends
Friday, June 22
5 PM to 6:30 PM
Centennial Ballroom G
Hyatt Regency Denver
SCO Exhibit Hall Info
Exhibit Hall Hours
Thursday, June 21: 3-7pm
Friday, June 22: 9am-5pm
Photos from AOA 2017: