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Ten members of the Class of 2024 have been selected as Southern College of Optometry's newest student ambassadors.
Student ambassadors assist in student recruitment, admissions, and public relations functions of the college. They are selected each spring from the current first-year class on the basis of academic performance, nominations by faculty and staff, and personal interviews.
Below is a full list noting each ambassador's home state and undergraduate school:
Class of 2024 Student Ambassadors
Addy Adkisson (Tennessee/Samford University)
Zach Groves (Washington/Washington State University-Vancouver)
Donnie Koonce (North Carolina/University of North Carolina-Charlotte)
Serena McArthur (Texas/Baylor University)
Andrew Murphy (Nebraska/University of Nebraska)
Weronika Przepiora (Florida/University of Florida)
Jamie Schmauder (Virginia/University of Virginia)
Alex Smith (Illinois/University of Illinois)
Mallory Wright (South Carolina/Clemson University)
Cory Zwahlen (Idaho/Brigham Young University-Idaho)
Congratulations to each of these students!
SCO recently elected three new members to the Board of Trustees. Congratulations to Dr. Betty Harville, Vicki Farmer, and Dr. James Kirchner.
Their terms will begin in the spring of 2021, succeeding Ryan Powell, OD ’01, A.L. Spivey III, OD ’67, and Tish Towns, following the end of their board terms.
Southern College of Optometry recently announced the addition of three optometrists to its faculty: Dr. Kristin Adams, Dr. Ryan Anderson and Dr. David Hall. The three serve as clinic attending optometrists at The Eye Center at SCO, the largest vision care provider in the Mid-South region.
“Drs. Adams, Anderson and Hall bring quality experience in providing primary vision care,” said SCO President Dr. Lewis Reich. “They possess the leadership and passion to readily prepare our students and shape them into strong, confident optometrists.”
Adams makes her return to SCO, where she completed her residency in 2018. Most recently, she taught pediatrics and vision therapy at the Midwestern University Chicago College of Optometry. Adams earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from Inter American University of Puerto Rico, where she ranked eighth in her graduating class. Upon graduation, she began her residency at SCO concentrating in vision therapy, low vision rehabilitation and neuro-optometric rehabilitation. Adams earned a Bachelor of Arts in pre-optometry studies from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.
Prior to joining SCO, Anderson served patients in a private practice in Searcy, Arkansas. He also attended Midwestern University to earn his Doctor of Optometry. Anderson then went on to complete his residency at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System through the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University.
Before moving to Memphis, Hall practiced optometry for more than 20 years and served as a partner at a multi-doctor practice in Oklahoma. He specialized in complete primary eye care with an emphasis on medical management of ocular pathology and trauma, as well as anterior segment lasers. Hall earned his Doctor of Optometry from the Oklahoma College of Optometry at Northeastern State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in general science with an emphasis in chemistry and biochemistry from Harding University. He is currently a member of the American Optometric Association, the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians and the Northwest Tennessee Optometric Society.
At its fall meeting, SCO's Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a $25,000 Dr. C. Clayton Powell Memorial Scholarship in honor of the optometry pioneer who died recently at age 93.
In 1969, Dr. Powell co-founded the National Optometric Association as a nationally recognized organization comprised of Black doctors of optometry.
SCO's new scholarship will provide $1,000 a year to reimburse SCO student travel to the annual NOA meeting, in perpetuity.
“Dr. Powell was a legendary figure in optometry circles, so it was fitting that SCO honor his life’s work through this scholarship,” said SCO President Dr. Lewis Reich.
“Thanks to the leadership of our Board of Trustees, optometry students will be empowered to travel to the NOA meeting that Dr. Powell worked to nurture over the last half-century,” Dr. Reich said.
Dr. Powell is pictured visiting the SCO campus a few years ago.
The American Academy of Optometry annual meeting previously scheduled to be held in Nashville this year instead has gone virtual. Attendees are viewing lectures and poster presentations that began last week and continue through October 22. Several SCO faculty and residents are participating.
Faculty member Catherine Hogan, OD '17, represented the Tennessee Chapter of AAO at the National Chapter's Committee meeting. She was also nominated and recognized as Vice Chair of the AAO Chapter's Committee, and will begin her term as Vice Chair officially in January 2021. Congratulations, Dr. Hogan!
Congratulations are also in order for a number of alumni who became new Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry, including SCO faculty member Mike Gerstner, OD '97!