Notable Alumna

Paulette P. Schmidt, OD, MS
Class of 1973

Opportunities characterized my career in our College from the front lines in optometric education to the rarefied air of governmental agencies and institutes at state and national levels. With a strong sense of professionalism instilled by mentors and dear colleagues, my goal was to develop each opportunity to the fullest extent possible and to benefit the College and profession. Several opportunities are especially memorable: 1) Developing the optometric technician (OT) curriculum/facilities at Columbus State University then integrating the OT clinical experience with the clinical teaching program at the College and leading the development of the American Optometric Association Paraoptometrc Section and registry exam was inspiring and exhilarating; 2) Establishing a significant pediatric curriculum and clinical service at the College informed by cutting edge infant vision research, which showed clearly the importance of clinical vision research to the evidence-based clinical pediatric vision care of the future; 3) The clinical research question that I pursued related to our longtime school vision screening program at the College established by Dr. Glenn Fry. My responsibility for the community-based vision screening program and related coursework generated the critical clinical question and led to the Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) Study and the University/Community Model Program. The VIP Study was a six-year, multi-center, inter-disciplinary, clinical study funded by the National Eye Institute. The Study Center and one of five Clinical Centers were located at our College. The VIP Study involved hundreds of heroic colleagues and thousands of three- to five-year old Head Start Preschoolers. These many achievements, along with other wonderful mentors, colleagues and a most supportive husband led to my retirement in 2009 as Professor of Optometry and Vision Science, member of The Ohio State University Graduate Faculty, and Professor Emeritus. What an honor!

Though the College of Optometry, University and optometric organizations kept "my dance-card filled," an interest in art and artists continued to grow from my days as an undergraduate fine arts major at the University of Wisconsin. Now, I especially focus on painters and sculptors whose vision disorders may have affected their work. My current community service work for the Columbus Childhood League arises from my days as a young clinical instructor taking our students to screen the vision of these young handicapped preschoolers. Service remains a privilege.

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