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SCO Selects Class of 2021 Student Ambassadors

After a round of very competitive interviews, SCO has selected our Class of 2021 Student Ambassadors.

All candidates with academic qualifications in the Class of 2021 were invited to apply.  Of the 96 eligible candidates, 51 applied and 50 were interviewed, and an excellent group of 10 students were selected.  Please join us in congratulating the following students:

Courtney Beaumont 


University of South Florida

Samantha Ellingson  


University of Iowa

Marie Huegel  


Clemson University

Dylan Johnston 


The King’s University

Stephanie Martich  


Virginia Tech

Katherine Mathews  


Washburn University

Trevor Smith 


Brigham Young University

Tim Szu    


University of California-Irvine

Lauren Watson     


University of Maryland

Tyler Wills   


University of Florida

Posted by Jennifer Sharp at Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | 0 comments

SCO’s Class of 2017 Scores 100% in Ultimate Pass Rate According to Recent NBEO Report

Southern College of Optometry announces stellar performance in every category for the Class of 2017 according to the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) report by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

This data, compiled by the NBEO in conjunction with ASCO member institutions from October 2016 to September 2017, includes the first-time pass rates for each school/college on Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the exam, the ultimate pass rate for each institution, and national averages for all of the above.

"Over the last several years SCO students have consistently performed above the national average on the NBEO exams. This tremendous achievement is a testament to the hard work of the entire campus,” said Lindsay Elkins, '07, SCO's Director of Academic Programs.

SCO was the only optometry school to score 100% in the Ultimate Pass Rate category for the Class of 2017, according to the report.

"SCO faculty and staff provide a learning environment conducive to success and we have the brightest students with the discipline to achieve success. This is one more reason we can all be proud to be part of this institution and I look forward to celebrating all of our future successes!"

This information will be updated and published on the ASCO website each fall.

Link to the report:

Posted by Jennifer Sharp at Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | 0 comments

SCO Releases Uncompensated Care Numbers

During its 2016-2017 fiscal year, Southern College of Optometry’s clinical programs provided $1,844,415 in uncompensated optometric care in the Memphis community, a 183 percent increase since the college began tracking it in 2009. Uncompensated care represents numerous outreach programs geared toward bringing eye care to the community, as well as care for uninsured or underinsured patients.

“This exponential increase in uncompensated care numbers is an astounding figure and a point of pride,” said Dr. James Venable, vice president for clinical programs at SCO. “This unparalleled access to care benefits the Memphis community and our students, who complete approximately 3,000 individual patient encounters by graduation.”

The numbers represent 17 percent of SCO’s gross charges, well above the industry standard of 10 to 12 percent for charitable care. Approximately 80 percent of SCO’s uncompensated care came through professional services in one of the college’s clinical facilities, including services offered through collaborations with Church Health Center®, InfantSEE®, Baptist Outreach Programs® and others. The remaining 20 percent results from community-based services like education events and SCO’s School Screenings Program, which services area students. This year’s number is bolstered by the expansion of MobilEYES, SCO’s mobile care unit, and the college’s new strategic plan.

“SCO and The Eye Center are exceptional educational and clinical institutions with the potential to significantly impact Memphis and beyond,” Venable said. “The number has continuously grown since 2009, when we provided more than $600,000 of uncompensated care. It underscores our commitment to our community and to growing our outreach efforts. Although we have nearly reached our limit, we can to grow this number with assistance from partners in our community.”

Posted by Jennifer Sharp at Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | 0 comments

SCO Student Loan Default Rate Remains at 0% 21 Years in a Row

For the 21st consecutive year, Southern College of Optometry’s student loan cohort default rates remains at zero percent. This is according to the U.S. Department of Education’s newly released numbers for FY2014. 

The FY2014 student loan cohort default rates reveal that SCO graduates are successfully transitioning to the optometric practice. 

“This is great news,” said Cindy Garner, Director of Financial Aid. “Our graduates continue to have much success practicing optometry and doing what they least want to do, which is repay their student loans.” 

A cohort default rate represents the percentage of a college or university’s borrowers who have defaulted on their student loans. The FY2014 national average was 11.5 %, up from last year’s rate of 11.3%, yet SCO’s default rate remained at zero percent.

“The cohort default rate is an important measure of a school’s overall quality.  It reflects our success in preparing our students to practice optometry,” said Garner. “This is a great accomplishment and it reflects admirably on each member of the SCO family.  

SCO’s Financial Aid Office actively works with students to provide them strategies to manage their student indebtedness levels. From budgeting workshops to one-on-one sessions with a financial aid counselor, the college is committed to partnering with students to ensure their success in optometry. Student scholarships provided by SCO’s alumni and friends also play an important part in managing student debt levels.

Posted by Jim Hollifield at Monday, October 9, 2017 | 0 comments

SCO Hosts 2017 Commencement

Southern College of Optometry welcomed 129 new graduates into the profession of optometry on Thursday, May 4, 2017 during the college's annual commencement ceremony held at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis.

Diane Rudner, Board Chair of the Plough Foundation, delivered the commencement address. She received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition to her service to Memphis and philanthropic causes.

Also receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree was Marion Goldstein Rosemore. The wife of the late Fredric M. Rosemore, OD '48, Mrs. Rosemore has been an active supporter of optometric education and is the matriarch of an optometry legacy family which includes her daughter and seven grandchildren earning optometry degrees.  

Valedictorian was Derek Hennig; Salutatorian was Meagan Williams. The class address was given by Class President Shay Sechler.

Congratulations to this year's graduates:

  • Kevin Raymond Ader Jr., Baltimore, Maryland; CUM LAUDE
  • Ghaith M. Al-Sowaidi, Deer Lodge, Tennessee
  • Leslie Alitz, Rock Port, Missouri; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Ayushi Amin, Southaven, Mississippi
  • David Bradley Anders, Winnsboro, Louisiana
  • Sarah Elizabeth Anderson, Bristol, Tennessee
  • Lindsay Jordan Armagon, Union City, Georgia
  • Matthew Harris Armentrout, Richmond, Virginia
  • Celeste Angelle Baker, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Celia R. Baker, Louisville, Kentucky; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Timothy Edwin Bass, Dunn, North Carolina; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Zachery Baumfalk, Lincoln, Nebraska; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Laura Bokemper, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Tyler Ross Boone, Clarksville, Tennessee; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Hai An Bui, Champaign, Illinois
  • Emily Knox Caldwell, Pontotoc, Mississippi
  • Rebecca Jean Callahan, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Bradley Calvin Callister, Orange County, California
  • Whitney P. Carow, Perham, Minnesota; CUM LAUDE
  • Taylor Jean Chesnut, Johnston, Iowa; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Tiffany Lauren Chin, Oakland, California
  • April Chiu, Tucson, Arizona
  • Cameron Waters Clinard, Bath, North Carolina; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • David Lauren Clokey, III, Gadsden, Alabama
  • George Christopher Cora, Greenville, Mississippi
  • Christine Marie Craig, Manakin Sabot, Virginia; CUM LAUDE
  • William Parker Dodd, Corinth, Mississippi
  • Kristopher Charles Dowding, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Cara Marie Eby, Huber Heights, Ohio; CUM LAUDE
  • Emily Kate Eisenhower, Newport, Tennessee; CUM LAUDE
  • Jennifer Elumelu, Duluth, Georgia
  • Taylor Nicole England, Morristown, Tennessee
  • Caroline Kaleel Fogleman, Asheboro, North Carolina; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Inga Lilliana Fors, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Timothy H. Foutch, Liberty, Tennessee
  • Douglass Robert Fruin, Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Alexander Joseph Garibay, Tampa, Florida
  • Peyton E. Glass, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Rebecca Ann Goad, Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Jarrod Luke Griffis, K’ville, Georgia
  • David Charles Haba,  Memphis, Tennessee
  • Jordan Leigh Hamric, Bruceton Mills, West Virginia; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Staci M. Harwell, Douglasville, Georgia; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Rebecca Marin Haut, Staffordsville, Kentucky
  • Erick Andrew Henderson, Danville, Illinois
  • Sarah Paige Henderson, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Derek Bryan Hennig, Charleston, Illinois; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Christopher Herring, Starkville, Mississippi
  • Catherine Marie Hogan, Greensboro, North Carolina; CUM LAUDE
  • Michael E. Hollins Jr., Kansas City, Missouri
  • William Zachery Inboden, Trumann, Arkansas
  • Alex Mitchell Jackson, Milan, Tennessee; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Alyssa Goodin Jackson, Wynne, Arkansas
  • Lauren Brooke Jensen, Texarkana, Texas
  • Patrick C. Jones, Mickie, Tennessee
  • William James Calvin Jones, Prattville, Alabama
  • Erin Alyssa Keim,  Gibsonia, Pennsylvania; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Zachary David Lancaster, Le Mars, Iowa
  • Amanda Michelle Lapp, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Maria Anna Lavalle, Royston, Georgia; CUM LAUDE
  • Stephen M. LeBlanc, Alexandria, Louisiana
  • Tyler Dean Lefeber, Harlan, Iowa
  • Nathan Ray Lipe, Van Buren, Arkansas
  • Stacey Alma Looper, Blaine, Kansas
  • Jacob David MacDonald, Anderson, South Carolina
  • Mark Rosica Machen, Forrest City, Arkansas
  • Lauren Marie McCain, Dothan, Alabama
  • Mason Douglas McCain, Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Justin Lee McElroy, Natchez, Mississippi
  • Max E. Melberg, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; CUM LAUDE
  • Joanna Marie Macatula Miranda, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Hunter Jay Morgan, Fairmont, West Virginia; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Tindall Dawkins Morrison, Starkville, Mississippi
  • Courtney Faatin Morrow, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Michelle Rose Moscow, Roswell, Georgia; CUM LAUDE
  • Benjamin Grant Nielson,Post Falls, Idaho
  • Daniel Glenn Nielson,Post Falls, Idaho; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Lay Vuon Nim, Lawrenceville, Georgia
  • Jacob Daniel Nordhues, Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Ashley Elise Oakes, McComb, Mississippi; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Matthew Ryan Page, Crossville, Tennessee; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Taylor Rhea Pasley, Memphis, Tennessee; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Sara Elizabeth Petska, Grand Island, Nebraska; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Sean Francis Pinard, Newport Center, Vermont
  • Hallina Nicole Portner, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Clinton Roger Prestwich, Rigby, Idaho; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Anna Rose Prier, Dyersville, Iowa
  • Laura Elizabeth Prindeze, Pasadena, Maryland; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Ibrahim Saaddin Qattan, Mansfield, Texas
  • Sarah Nicole Rappach, Clearwater, Florida; CUM LAUDE
  • Adam Quinn Recknagel, Saint Albans, West Virginia; CUM LAUDE
  • Kevin Andrew Rice, Springfield, Missouri; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Bradley Joseph Richlin, Los Angeles, California
  • Emily Clare Ridge, Courtland, Mississippi
  • Lauren Dallas Rigsby, Greenville, South Carolina; CUM LAUDE
  • Benjamin G. Roach, The Woodlands, Texas; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Lisa Elizabeth Roach, The Woodlands, Texas; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Sarah Ann Rohr, Iowa Falls, Iowa
  • Shalon Rothstein, Albany, Minnesota; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Cristina Sandoval, Ocoee, Florida; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Shay A. Sechler, Brighton, Missouri; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Roxanne Senechal, Coral Springs, Florida; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Lauren Michelle Seutter, Kansas City, Missouri; CUM LAUDE
  • Evan Jared Shields, Louisville, Kentucky; CUM LAUDE
  • Kaitlin Nicole Short, Belleville, Arkansas
  • Keith Slayden, Hebron, Kentucky; CUM LAUDE
  • Andrew T. Smith, Meridian, Idaho; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Kayla Landon Smith, Morning View, Kentucky; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Jacob L. Stallbaumer, Andover, Kansas
  • Stephanie Michelle Stanley, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Jenna Michelle Steffen, Winfield, Kansas
  • Tiffany HN Tang, Oak Brook, Illinois
  • Sidney Dunn Taylor, Senatobia, Mississippi
  • Matthew H. Thibodeaux, Monroe, Louisiana
  • Danielle LeBlanc Thompson, Mandeville, Louisiana; CUM LAUDE
  • Joshua D. Tinsley, Talladega, Alabama
  • Stephen Thomas Tipton, Springfield, Missouri; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Bryan Truong, Prince Rupert, British Columbia
  • Sandra Anna Trybus, Marvin, North Carolina; CUM LAUDE
  • Sarah Louise Vrotsos, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Matthew G. Walker, Moscow, Idaho
  • Lisa Wang, Lexington, Kentucky; CUM LAUDE
  • Whitney Caitlin Delaine Watson, Whitesburg, Kentucky; SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Zachery R. Weinberg, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Mark Wells, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Jennifer Allen Willcox, Memphis, Tennessee; CUM LAUDE
  • Meagan Greer Williams, Pensacola, Florida, SUMMA CUM LAUDE
  • Lindsay Marie Wood, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; MAGNA CUM LAUDE
  • Justin Corey Zampella, Oxford, Mississippi

If you were unable to watch the live-stream of the ceremony, you can now view the recording on SCO's YouTube channel.

We've uploaded more than 900 photos from 2017 Graduation Week to our Flickr galleries. View photos from all of the week's events, including the senior awards program and the family campus celebration

Posted by Jim Hollifield at Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 0 comments