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SCO Professor Paul Harris, OD, writes about SCO and the Baltimore Orioles:
I moved to Baltimore in December of 1981, and have followed the Baltimore Orioles ever since–even after making the move to SCO and Memphis in September of 2010.
While in Baltimore, I had the opportunity to work with individuals on the team over the years, but was never directly involved in the day-to-day medical consulting with the team. However, in the fall of 2018, after the team had compiled the worst record in baseball, it was time for a shake-up throughout the organization–and that included vision testing and vision care for the players.
In early 2019, Dr. Elliott Myrowitz, the long-term team optometrist, invited us to expand the testing into areas that relate more to actually helping improve performance on the field, beyond just visual acuity and eye and vision health.
We added tests of reaction time, the Brock String, contrast sensitivity, continuously variable size visual acuity measures, and infrared eye movement recording. These measures helped us recognize which players might benefit from vision therapy, and during the 2019 season, vision therapy was instituted with a couple of players to help them break out of slumps.
The team saw enough of a benefit that they looked towards expanding the testing done to all players in the organization, as well as looking at installing vision therapy at not only the home park of the Orioles at Camden Yards, but at each of the minor league facilities as well.
For 2020 Spring training, SCO sent four residents, two students, and faculty members Drs. Trish Cisarik, Pamela Schnell, Marc Taub, and myself.
Had the world not gotten hit by COVID-19, SCO’s role would have been much larger this season. Talks are ongoing with Major League Baseball to assist with vision testing the newly established MLB Combine.
The Baltimore Orioles are looking to continue having SCO faculty, students, and residents involved in testing and training players in the organization.
Southern College of Optometry recently announced first-year scholarship recipients from the Class of 2024. Thanks to the generosity of SCO’s alumni and friends, the college awarded a record 88 scholarships totaling more than $660,000 to members of the first-year class for academic achievement and professional promise.
Award recipients included:
Presidential Endowed Scholarship -- $20,000 per year
Presidential Endowed Scholarship -- $15,000 per year
SCO Honors Endowed Scholarship -- $10,000 per year
Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship -- $7,000 per year
SCO Alumni Endowed Scholarship -- $5,000 per year
Dr. William E. Cochran Endowed Scholarship -- $5,000 per year
Dr. W. R. Cramer Memorial Endowed Scholarship -- $5,000 per year
Dr. William R. Jackson, Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship -- $4,000 per year
SCO Alumni Endowed Scholarship -- $3,000 per year
Dr. Camile Chiasson Endowed Scholarship -- $3,000 per year
Dr. Mark W. Franks & Mary Franks Scholarship -- $3,000 per year
Dr. Earl Lusk Memorial Endowed Scholarship -- $3,000 per year
Southern Council of Optometrists -- $3,000 per year
Dr. Cheryl D. Johnson Memorial Endowed Scholarship -- $2,000 per year
Drs. Helen and Christopher King Endowed Scholarship -- $2,000 per year
Medivision-Omni Endowed Scholarship -- $2,000 per year
Kenneth N. Springer Memorial Endowed Scholarship -- $2,000 per year
Sullins Family Endowed Scholarship -- $2,000 per year
Alston & Bird Endowed Scholarship -- $1,000 per year
Dr. Ramona Porter Clifton Endowed Scholarship -- $1,000 per year
Dr. Nash Cochran Memorial Endowed Scholarship -- $1,000 per year
Covington/Andreas Endowed Scholarship -- $1,000 per year
Dr. J. C. Garmon, Sr., Memorial Endowed Scholarship -- $1,000 per year
Dr. George A. Pena Memorial Endowed Scholarship -- $1,000 per year
Dr. W. Jack Runninger Family Endowed Scholarship -- $1,000 per year
Dr. J. Leonard Supman Memorial Endowed Scholarship - $1,000 per year
Front (L to R) Samantha Thompson, Amanda Rohrs, Emily Faccin
Back (L to R) Kelsey Daberkow, Addy Adkisson, Mallory Wright
Front (L to R) Morgan Heimes, Katelyn Miller, Tracie Thibault
Back (L to R) Katelyn Perez, Sabina Banit, Andrea Black
Front (L to R) Grace Gillespie, Emily Kyle, Linda Luu
Back (L to R) Noble Chun, Ben Friedman, Cameron Cramer, Zachary James
Front (L to R) Creighton Ladd, Mallory Gillmer
Back (L to R) Austin Brian, Josh Kavanagh, Zach Groves, Peter Anderton
(L to R) Madison Schnell, Natalia Gorski, Jenna Getman
Front (L to R) Katie Whaley, Laurie Niederbrach, Macy Lewis
Middle (L to R) Aideen McEnaney, Jessica Hotovoy
Back (L to R) Jacob Blackman, Tanner Harsin
Front (L to R) Anna Osborn, Brooke Penn, Clara Lee
Middle (L to R) Hannah Starr, Tori Pierce
Back (L to R) Andrew Murphy
Front (L to R) Raeghan DeCuir, Jessie Scheid, Serena McArthur,
Middle (L to R) Alexandra Smith, Michael Bifano
Back (L to R) Kimberly Cao, Katie Doan
Front (L to R) Jenna Kokkat, Dao Nguyen, Charne’ Ellis
Back (L to R) Maxwell Prosser, Tanisha Perlmutter, Kate Stubbs
Front (L to R) Joseph Bateman, Madison Bailey, Shae Wilson
Back (L to R) Philip Brock, Kellianne Huffman, Matthew Thierl
Front (L to R) Alexis Anderson, Emma Panning, Nancy Fisher
Middle (L to R) Derek Anderson, Spencer Robertson
Back (L to R) Donnie Koonce, Shivam Patel
Front (L to R) Ashley Lemonds, Minyoung Kim, Weronika Przepiora
Back (L to R) Eliel Trejo, Cory Zwahlen, Patrick Huettemann, Matthew Moe
Youth Villages, a respected leader in providing help for children who face emotional, mental, and behavioral problems, recently opened a new standalone health care building in Memphis with an optometry clinic staffed by Southern College of Optometry.
Called Bill’s Place, the new health care building provided an opportunity for SCO to provide optometry services to Youth Villages residents in a permanent place. SCO’s Clinical Programs will provide comprehensive eye exams and vision therapy two days a week in the Bill’s Place optometry clinic.
One staff doctor, one resident, a fourth-year intern, and an optician will be providing optometry care.
“Being able to provide Vision Therapy on-site for the many kids who need it is going to be great, as it’s been a challenge to get youth to The Eye Center because of scheduling or transportation challenges,” said Dr. Aaron Kerr, SCO’s Chief of External Clinics.
Southern College of Optometry officially welcomed the Class of 2020 to campus in late August. Because of COVID-19, the new students participated in a number of pre-Orientation virtual sessions before arriving on campus.
During the actual two-day Orientation session, students were broken into four groups for social distancing. The students heard from SCO President Lewis Reich, OD, PhD, and Joe Hauser, Vice President for Student Services.
New students also signed the SCO Honor Code, picked up their white coats and equipment, took photos, and participated in a couple of socially distanced icebreakers to meet each other.
At present, SCO’s total enrollment is 539 students, the most since 1980.
Here are some facts about the Class of 2024:
From the regional states, West Virginia had the highest mean overall GPA at 3.79, while Georgia had the highest mean OAT average at 354.
The Class of 2024’s overall GPA and OAT scores are the highest of any entering class.
Longtime SCO Professor Betty Harville, OD, retired in August after 36 years of service to optometric education. During her time at SCO, she was estimated to have taught nearly 5,000 optometry students.
A reception was held on August 25 to honor Dr. Harville. Joined by a small group of her family and close friends, Dr. Harville was honored with a virtual reception as the SCO community watched remotely.
Special guests also spoke via the Internet, including Drs. Sherrol Reynolds, NOA President, Ed Marshall, Past NOA President, and Vera Burns, who was Dr. Harville’s roommate at Indiana University.
Janice Frazier-Scott from SCO’s Human Resources Department presented Dr. Harville with a couple of special proclamations in her honoring, including one from the NAACP-Memphis Branch in recognition of Dr. Harville’s historic status as the first Black woman optometrist in Tennessee and the first Black woman to achieve the full rank of Professor at any of the nation’s optometry colleges.
SCO President Lewis Reich, OD, PhD, recounted Dr. Harville’s popularity with students who benefited from her communications teaching related to patient care, while Dr. Bart Campbell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, shared an early newspaper clipping from Dr. Harville’s high school graduation as valedictorian when she aspired to become an accountant.
In addition to retirement gifts, Dr. Harville was surprised with an announcement by Mark Kapperman, OD ’87, and his son, Conner Kapperman, OD ’20, as the Kapperman family will be establishing an endowed scholarship in Dr. Harville’s honor. Look for additional details to be shared soon about how alumni and friends can support this effort.
Dr. Harville’s retirement also brought local and national media coverage, including interviews for press stories about her contributions to the profession of optometry.