Dean's Message

Message from the Dean of the College of Optometry
Dean Karla Zadnik
Dean Karla Zadnik

“Family is who you make it. Family is place, face, bed, and bowl.” 
– Carolyn Ferrell

At The Ohio State University College of Optometry, we talk a lot about family. We welcome students, staff, and faculty alike to our family. Every time we spell O-H-I-O with our arms raised high above our heads, we could just as easily lower our arms to greet you with a hug.

Many former and current students say they found their way to Ohio State Optometry because of a particularly warm and welcoming Visit Day or interview day. Sometimes I think prospective students wonder, “Are these people for real?” and then, once they’re here? They find out we are. My tagline for prospective students is, “We love Ohio State Optometry. Come join us, so you can love it too.”

That word family characterizes that “love” idea. We care deeply about the profession of optometry, and students represent the profession’s future. We want all our alumni to find the professional job of their dreams, to achieve the work-life balance that suits them, and to stay in touch with the education that got them there.

Ohio State Optometry has a close relationship with the American Academy of Optometry. I’m a past Academy president, and our Associate Dean for Research Jeff Walline (OD, MS’98, PhD’02) just became the Academy’s president-elect. Faculty members volunteer for a variety of roles in the Academy; notably, Andy Hartwick, OD, PhD, serves the Scientific Program Committee, Aaron Zimmerman (OD’06, MS’08) the Lectures and Workshops Committee, and Melissa Bailey (OD/MS’01, PhD’04) the Awards Committee. We lay claim to two new diplomates of the Academy: Professor Nick Fogt (OD/MS’92, PhD’96) in Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry, and Erin Rueff (OD’12, MS’14, PhD’16) in Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technologies. 

Thirteen out of a record 309 new fellows at the Academy’s Centennial Annual Meeting are Ohio State alumni: Nicole Auble (OD’21); Kristen Bisig (OD’21); Melissa Bollinger (OD’93); Petr Boshinski (OD’17); Grace Brasel, OD; Zachary Coates (OD’19); Sean Cushman (OD’21); Paul Grigsby (OD’21); Caroline Haberthy (OD/MS’15); Megan Hafner (OD’20); Kelly Lutmer (OD/MS’21); Linh-An Nguyen (OD’19); and Douglas Widmer (OD’11/MS’16).

As I reflect on 2022 and our Ohio State Optometry family, we are indeed self made. Come to a family reunion any time! 

Go BuckEYES,
Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD
Glenn A. Fry Professor in Optometry and Physiological Optics