Dear Students, Colleagues and Supporters,
As we begin another academic year, the College carries forward the lessons learned in this pandemic era to foster a structured yet engaged campus environment including a safe return to in-person instruction. Given our progress, however, we are mindful of the need to be flexible in these uncertain times and to adjust health and safety guidelines accordingly.
From staff and students to our supporters, working together through this experience at the College has shined a positive light on our entire community’s ability to adapt to change and remain vigilant in protecting the health of oneself and others as we reach a greater than 96% vaccination rate and rising as a community. Our collective response to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all people and patients who cross the College’s path paved the way to an on-campus welcome for our largest group of residents (43) in SUNY Optometry history, followed by the start of nearly 100 new students representing the College’s 50th entering class since its founding in 1971.
As we begin a new chapter at SUNY Optometry, I invite you to learn more about our recent arrivals and our latest achievements leading up to the 2021-2022 academic year. Highlights include:
- Re-accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education;
- The Class of 2023 White Coat Ceremony;
- College faculty and alumni recognized in Newsweek’s America’s Top Eye Doctors and Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical, as well as a student recipient of a research award from The American Academy of Optometry Foundation
- Launch of our Eye-Care Summer Camp for underserved college students interested in careers in optometry and the healthcare field;
- Diversity/inclusion initiatives and programs, including Cases in Culturally Competent Care—an online forum for providers and students covering religious, social, language and gender issues that impact healthcare delivery and the patient experience, and Race in Optometry—One Year Later, the latest installment of webinar series focused on advancing of people of color in optometric education, practice, and industry.
- Our faculty continue to thrive with congratulations due to University Eye Center Chief of Primary Care Dr. Diane Calderon who was accepted into the first cohort of the Clinical Leadership Academy sponsored by the SUNY SAIL Institute, and to our recently promoted faculty including Dr. Matthew Bovenzi and Dr. Suresh Viswanathan for their contributions to scholarship and research.
As we continue to commemorate our 50th anniversary, I encourage you to visit our SUNY Optometry 50th anniversary site often for news, events, and ways to engage in this milestone occasion.
Thank you for your ongoing contributions and support of our scholarship, service and success at SUNY College of Optometry. I look forward to another transformative year!
David A. Heath, OD, EdM