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Southern College of Optometry welcomed 130 new graduates into the profession of optometry on Friday, May 6, 2016 during the college's annual commencement ceremony held at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis.
U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas delivered the commencement address. He also received the Doctor of Ocular Science degree, conferred on those who have made outstanding contributions and rendered distinguished service to the profession of optometry and the field of visual science.
SCO President Emeritus William E. Cochran, OD '68, received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition to his service of his outstanding support of the college through the years.
Valedictorian was Monica Perry; Salutatorian was Ryan Wilkerson. The class address was given by Class President Katherine Araiza-Brown.
Congratulations to this year's graduates:
Southern College of Optometry’s 31st Annual Student Awards program honored academic and clinical achievement by members of the Class of 2016 in an on-campus ceremony held the day prior to commencement.
Thanks to the generosity of SCO's donors from the ophthalmic industry and alumni supporters, the following students received awards and recognition during the event:
GOLD KEY HONORARY OPTOMETRIC SOCIETY
Membership in Gold Key is the highest leadership honor attainable by an optometry student and is restricted to ten percent of the fourth-year class:
Feyi Aworunse, President; Hunter Chapman, Vice President; Frank Carusone, Secretary; Megan Stanford, Treasurer; Marie Bolin, Katherine Araiza-Brown, Halie Cottrill, Gabriel Fickett, Trent Gaasch, Angela Haas, Scott McIntosh, Tram Pham, Kay Powell
WHO’S WHO AMONG STUDENTS IN AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES
Selection for inclusion in Who’s Who is based upon academic achievement, community service, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success. The following seniors were selected by the faculty, staff and the senior class:
Katherine Allen, Katherine Araiza-Brown, Feyi Aworunse, Marie Bolin, Joseph Brewer, Daniel Brigham, Frank Carusone, Hunter Chapman, Halie Cottrill, Kevin Davis, Brooke Dugas, Stephen Ellison, Gabriel Fickett, Anthony Fioravanti, Trent Gaasch, Angela Haas, Dahlia Haddad, Hannah Holtorf, Daniel Kelly, Tyler Kitzman, Preslee Trammell Magee, Scott McIntosh, Kirsten McKnight, Andrew Neighbors, Brett O’Connor, Enrique Palacios, Robert Phyfer, Michael Polo, Kay Powell, Jennyffer Smith, Megan Stanford, Gerald Stinson, Danyetta Thomas
BETA SIGMA KAPPA
Membership in Beta Sigma Kappa is awarded annually to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement:
Katherine Allen, Brittney Angelo, Caroline Babb, Brennan Berwald, Marie Bolin, Joseph Brewer, Daniel Brigham, Eric Brinkley, Natalie Brown, Frank Carusone, Christopher Connor, Halie Cottrill, Kevin Davis, Devon Dixit, Jaimen Dixon, Brooke Dugas, Emily Edwards, Gabriel Fickett, Anthony Fioravanti, Trent Gaasch, Angela Haas, Dahlia Haddad, Hannah Holtorf, James Hoover, Sarah Jones, Daniel Kelly, Jessica Kenney, Lauren Lusardi, Preslee Trammell Magee, Adam Malik, Lindsay Martin, Spencer McConkie, Darah McDaniel-Chandler, Scott McIntosh, Marla McNutt, Courtney Melchione, Andrew Neighbors, Taylor Neumann, Brett O’Connor, Logan Oliver, Dillon Ott, Elizabeth Parsons, Monica Perry, Kay Powell, Christen Jade Rice-Coats, Katie Richardson, Christy Sager, Whitney Seltman, Amy Sickman, Brenton Smith, Megan Stanford, Gregory Stewart, Danyetta Thomas, Emy Thompson, Kara Vitus, Rebecca Wenig, Ryan Wilkerson
Feyi Aworunse, Dominique Garcia-Robles, Angela Han, Kirsten McKnight, Haley Nguyen, Tram Pham, Gerald Stinson, Jr., Ryan Tieu, Danyetta Thomas
ACADEMIC AND CLINICAL EXCELLENCE
NATIONAL BOARD OF EXAMINERS IN OPTOMETRY PART II HIGHEST SCORE
EXCELLENCE IN DISPENSING SKILLS
ESSILOR LABS OF AMERICA AWARD
EXCELLENCE IN CONTACT LENS
JOHNSON & JOHNSON AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN CONTACT LENS PATIENT CARE
GP LENS INSTITUTE CONTACT LENS CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
X-CEL CONTACTS OUTSTANDING GP FITTING AWARD
SOUTHWEST CONTACT LENS SOCIETY
EXCELLENCE IN LOW VISION REHABILITATION
LS&S GROUP LOW VISION AWARD
NoIR LOW VISION AWARD
ESCHENBACH OPTIK LOW VISION STUDENT AWARD
DESIGNS FOR VISIONS, INC. WILLIAM FEINBLOOM LOW VISION AWARD
OPTELEC EXCELLENCE IN LOW VISION AWARD
CLINICAL EXCELLENCE IN PRIMARY CARE
MARCHON EYEWEAR PRACTICE MANAGEMENT AWARD
SOUTHERN COUNCIL OF OPTOMETRISTS CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
Preslee Trammell Magee
DR. BERNARD L. KAHN MEMORIAL ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP
EXCELLENCE IN OCULAR DISEASE
OCULAR INSTRUMENTS, INC. AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
BEAVER-VISITEC INTERNATIONAL, INC. (BVI) PARTNERS IN OPTOMETRY AWARD
Danyetta Thomas, Brennan Berwald
RAFIEETARY ACADEMIC AND CLINICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
EXCELLENCE IN PEDIATRICS AND VISION THERAPY
COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRISTS IN VISION DEVELOPMENT EXCELLENCE IN VISION THERAPY
GLEN T. STEELE, OD AND L. ALLEN FORS, OD DEVELOPMENTAL VISION SCHOLARSHIP
STEREO OPTICAL CO., INC.
OEP CLINICAL CURRICULUM AWARD
OUTSTANDING CLINICIAN AWARDS
Katherine Allen, Daniel Brigham, Jaimen Dixon, Gabriel Fickett, Leah Herron, James Hoover, Brett O’Connor, Dillon Ott, Kara Vitus, Ryan Wilkerson
DRS. FRED AND CHARLENE BURNETT STUDENT RESEARCH AWARD
Trent Gaasch, Andrew Neighbors, Brett O’Connor
FOR COMMITMENT OF SERVICE TO THE PROFESSION OF OPTOMETRY AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE
BEAU WILLIS ENDOWED AWARD
DR. DAVID P. SLOAN MEMORIAL AWARD
BAYS FAMILY SERVICE AWARD
ESSILOR OF AMERICA/VARILUX STUDENT GRANT AWARD
OPTOMETRIC LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE AWARD
Feyi Aworunse, Kevin Davis
TO HONOR A GRADUATE’S COMMITMENT TO PURSUING PRIVATE PRACTICE OPTOMETRY
OOH LA LA DE PARIS
THE WINSTON FAMILY ENDOWED AWARD
MOTHERSHED ENDOWED AWARD
TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Chris Borgman, OD
Southern College of Optometry will present honorary degrees to two distinguished alumni at this year's commencement ceremony on Friday, May 6 in Memphis.
U.S. Senator John Boozman, a 1977 SCO graduate, and SCO President Emeritus William E. Cochran, a 1968 graduate, will be recognized.
Senator Boozman will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2016 as they graduate. In addition to speaking, Senator Boozman will also be formally presented with SCO’s honorary Doctor of Ocular Science degree.
In 2014, Senator Boozman was scheduled to receive the degree and speak at commencement but illness prevented his participation. The only optometrist serving in the U.S. Senate, Senator Boozman is running for a second term this year.
He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives following decades of practice as an optometrist in Arkansas. He received SCO’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Receiving SCO’s honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree is Dr. Cochran, who served as SCO President from 1984 until his retirement in 2007. Under his leadership, SCO constructed The Eye Center and increased the college'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 Association of Colleges and Universities, and on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.
A Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, Dr. Cochran was inducted into the American Optometric Association's National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2012.
SCO's commencement ceremony will be held at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis. Visit SCO's commencement page to learn more details about this year's ceremony and special events.
Southern College of Optometry (SCO) has launched its new Online Continuing Education Library featuring 10 video courses with faculty member lecturers. Each video was professionally recorded in high definition in SCO’s state-of-the-art academic classrooms constructed as part of the college’s recent academic facility expansion.
Hosted on the SCO website, the Online Continuing Education Library’s video courses have also been made accessible to optometrists in other countries. At the invitation of the World Council of Optometry (WCO), an SCO Portal was created on the World Continuing Education Alliance (WCEA) website to support the WCO’s goal of creating and disseminating educational materials to optometrists and optometric organizations in developing nations.
“The World Council of Optometry welcomes SCO’s leadership and their support of our goal to expand the reach of freely accessible educational content to other countries,” said Mark A. Bullimore, MCOptom, PhD, FAAO, WCO Executive Director.
“SCO is proud to partner with the WCEA as we share the expertise of our faculty members with optometrists around the world who are in need of excellent continuing education to assist in the care of their patients,” said Jeanie Snider, SCO’s Department of Continuing Education Program Manager.
SCO’s online CE courses are approved by the Council of Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE), the primary method used by optometric regulatory boards to promote the continuing competence of licensed optometrists.
Short video clips of each course offer optometrists a chance to preview SCO’s Online Continuing Education Library. Users who opt to take a course for credit will be directed to SCO’s Portal on the WCEA website and asked to create a login and password. Once registered, users can re-access video courses for up to seven days at their convenience. Requests for Course Completion Certificates can also be completed through this account.
“SCO worked with our faculty members to cover a wide range of course content to appeal to optometrists,” Snider said. “We plan to add more online video courses to expand our library in this format that has become increasingly popular with active professionals who need convenient access to educational content.”
Currently, the following courses are available:
In addition to the new video library, SCO’s CE program also hosts Spring and Fall educational events on the college’s campus, as well as “destination CE” events as part of the college’s commitment to offering COPE-approved CE courses for alumni and other optometrists.
Founded in Memphis in 1932, SCO is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education with more than 525 students and residents from 40 states. The college’s public clinic, The Eye Center at SCO, serves more than 60,000 patients annually as one of the nation’s largest clinics in optometric education. The college also operates University Eyecare, a full service clinic on the campus of the University of Memphis, and the TearWell Advanced Dry Eye Center with locations in Memphis.
Congratulations to the following members of the Class of 2016 who have been offered a residency position after graduation: