Like any endeavor worth pursuing in life, it takes careful preparation to become an optometrist.
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SCO is one of the nation's leading optometry schools.
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Newly released numbers from the U.S. Department of Education show that SCO's graduates are performing exceedingly well in their transition to optometric practice. Student loan cohort default rates for Southern College of Optometry remained at zero percent for the 15th consecutive year.
A cohort default rate represents the percentage of a college's borrowers who have defaulted on their student loans. The national average was 8.8%, up from last year's rate of 7%, yet SCO's default rate remained at zero percent, an indication of the strong ability of SCO's graduates to pay back their loans.
"This is great news," said Cindy Garner, SCO's Director of Financial Aid. "Our graduates continue to have great success practicing optometry and repaying their student loans. 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. 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.
SCO is seeking submissions for names of distinguished optometrists and other individuals for consideration of honorary degrees to be awarded at commencement in 2012. The college invites you to submit the names and accomplishments of individuals to be considered; anonymous submissions are not permitted.
Recipients must be of sufficient stature and character as to honor the college. Specific criteria include at least two of these: distinguished record of scholarship, outstanding contribution to society through humanitarian efforts, public service or education, and outstanding contributions to optometry or the optometric profession.
Nominations and supporting details should be sent to Academic Affairs (Honorary Degrees), c/o SCO, 1245 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN 38104 or to [email protected]. The deadline is Friday, October 28, 2011.
Southern College of Optometry (SCO) held its 26th annual Convocation ceremony on Thursday, September 22 to honor achievement by SCO’s alumni, students, faculty and staff.
First-year students were formally welcomed into the profession of optometry by receiving their white coats and reciting the optometric oath. Scholarships and other honors were awarded in recognition of academic excellence, leadership or service. Many student scholarships were made possible through the generous and consistent financial support of SCO alumni to the Annual Fund and Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Among those recognized:
Military Services Scholarships
The following Endowed Class Scholarships recognize outstanding leadership and professionalism by members of the Classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Alumni and Friends Scholarships:
SCO alumni and friends generously support and recognize academic accomplishments and leadership within the student body. As such, the following endowed scholarships and awards have been established in support of SCO students.
State and Professional Association Scholarships
Corporate Partners and Ophthalmic Industry
Basic Science and Clinical Science Awards
1st Year Basic Science Awards:
1st Year Clinical Science Awards:
2nd Year Basic Science Awards
2nd Year Clinical Science Awards:
3rd Year Clinical Skills Awards ($1,000)
Given in memory of former faculty member, Dr. Robert L. Henry.
Faculty of the Year (2010-2011)
BSK Teacher of the Year Awards
Didactic: Dr. M. Scott Ensor
Clinic: Dr. Andrew Rixon
Class of 2014
Didactic: Dr. James Newman, III
Clinic: Dr. Carrie Lebowitz
Class of 2013
Didactic: Dr. Daniel Smith
Clinic: Dr. Carrie Lebowitz
Class of 2012
Didactic: Dr. Jared Powelson
Clinic: Dr. John Neal
Burnett Faculty Recognition Award
Established by Charlene Burnett, OD ’83 and Fred Burnett, OD ’80, in recognition of an outstanding faculty member as selected by his or her peers.
Dr. John Mark Jackson
Board of Trustees Resolutions
Dr. Jason Duncan, Amanda Rogers ’12
President’s Special Recognition Awards
Given by SCO’s President in recognition of exemplary service to the college:
Staff: Kim Branscomb
Faculty: Dr. Cheryl Ervin
Lifetime Achievement Awards
A. L. Spivey, III, OD ’67, is noted as an SCO externship preceptor and for mentoring and encouraging dozens of young people to pursue optometry. Named Tennessee’s OD of the Year in 1980, he served 10 years on the Tennessee Board of Examiners in Optometry. He also is a past member of the National Board of Optometry, Clinical Skills Committee, and the Part III Council.
Sidney J. Stern, OD ’71, FAAO, established south Florida’s Visual Health Center, which employs more than 100 people in its 22 locations. He also established the Florida Optometric Physicians Network to bid on managed-care contracts. Dr. Stern is president of the World Optometry Foundation, and a past president of SECO International and the Florida Optometric Association. He was named Florida’s OD of the Year and OD of the Decade.
Young Alumni Award
Christopher W. Wroten, OD ’02, has served two terms as president of the Optometry Association of Louisiana. Prior to joining The Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic as a partner in Denham Springs, he completed a residency in hospital-based primary eye care and spent several years in private practice. In addition to serving as an adjunct professor at SCO and UAB, he also serves as an SCO Residency Program Supervisor.
Class of 2015 members who received their white coats:
Photos from Convocation will be added to SCO’s Photo Galleries. A DVD of the ceremony may be ordered for $30 directly from Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church by calling (901) 722-6222.
A.L. Spivey III, OD '67, and Sidney J. Stern, OD '71, each received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Southern College of Optometry (SCO) during the college's annual Convocation ceremony on Thursday, September 22 in Memphis. The award is presented to SCO alumni who have demonstrated the highest level of service to their profession, patients and communities.
A 1967 SCO graduate, Dr. Spivey began practicing in West Tennessee following his graduation. His practice in McKenzie has served as an externship site for numerous optometry students, and Dr. Spivey enjoys a reputation for having mentored or encouraged young people to pursue careers as optometrists. One of those was his son, Scott Spivey, OD '94.
He is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, and the Northwest Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians (NWTAOP), which honored him as Optometrist of the Year in 1977. He was also named Tennessee’s Optometrist of the Year in 1980.
Dr. Spivey served 10 years on the Tennessee Board of Examiners of Optometry and as Legislative Chairman for his state association. He also is a past member of the National Board of Optometry and has served in a number of other related committees as well.
He is a member and Past President of the McKenzie Lions Club, as well as a member of the medical staff at Regional Hospital in McKenzie. He and his wife, Vee, have two sons and five grandchildren.
A 1971 graduate, Dr. Sidney Stern has practiced in Florida for the past 40 years. His Visual Health Center employees more than 100 people at 22 locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
In 1990, Dr. Stern established the Florida Optometric Physicians Network to bid on managed-care contracts, demonstrating leadership that has benefitted many ODs in his state. He is president of the World Optometry Foundation and also has served in a number of key offices of SECO International, including terms as President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Trustee.
Dr. Stern has served as Chairman of the Board and President of the Florida Optometric Association. He has also served on the American Optometric Association’s Eye Care Benefits Committee and the AOA’s Congress Committee.
In 1997, he was named Florida’s Optometrist of the Year and in 2000, Optometrist of the Decade. He and his wife, Florence, are the parents of four children, one of whom is also an optometrist.
Congratulations to Drs. Spivey and Stern for their accomplishments and contributions to the profession of optometry.
Christopher Wroten, OD '02, received the Young Alumni Award from Southern College of Optometry (SCO) during the college’s annual convocation ceremony on Thursday, September 22 in Memphis. The award is presented to SCO alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years and have demonstrated a commitment to service, leadership and support of the college’s mission.
Dr. Wroten, a Louisiana native, majored in chemical engineering and worked at Exxon Chemical before deciding to pursue optometry. He enrolled at SCO and graduated summa cum laude in 2002.
Following his graduation, he completed a residency in hospital-based primary eye care at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He practiced several years at West Tennessee Eye and volunteered at the Memphis Church Health Center.
He left Memphis to become a partner at the Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic in Denham Springs, Louisiana. With his thriving practice experience, he has participated in clinical research, case reports and national optometric conferences. He is an adjunct professor at SCO and at the University of Alabama-Birmingham College of Optometry.
He and his wife, Sarah Wroten, OD '03, are the parents of two children.