OSU College of Optometry is NOA “School of the Year”

College is recognized as leader in diversity recruitment, community service

The Ohio State University College of Optometry was named "School of the Year" at the National Optometric Association (NOA) conference in Arlington, Va. on July 26.

Faculty members Jacqueline Davis, OD (‘81), MPH (‘08), and Vondolee Delgado-Nixon, PhD, represented Ohio State at the conference, along with alumni Bob Wright, OD (‘60), Clayton Hicks, OD (‘70), Arol Augsburger, OD (‘71), Cynthia Heard, OD (‘92), Massala Reffell, OD (‘05) and Michael-Vu Do, OD (‘14), as well as several students, including Gil Guedes, Kimona Lawrence, Matthew Phan and Derrick Forney. Under the leadership of co-advisers Dr. Davis and Dr. Delgado-Nixon, the OSU College of Optometry chapter of the National Optometric Student Association (OSUCO-NOSA) introduces students to optometry’s altruistic tradition early, which they in turn carry on after graduation.

In line with the NOA’s mission of advancing the visual health of minority populations, OSUCO-NOSA has provided free glaucoma screenings to more than 1,600 underserved central Ohioans over the past four years. In addition, the college’s I-DOC summer program has exposed more than 200 high school and undergraduate minority students to the many facets of the optometry profession. Over the past seven years, several students who participated in the program have enrolled and graduated from OSUCO and other schools and colleges of optometry across the country, increasing diversity within the profession.

The "School of the Year" honor is particularly poignant for Davis, who became a member of the NOSA during her first year in optometry school and now is a proud life member of the NOA.

"While I was in optometry school, the NOA was a valuable support system that connected me with students and doctors from across the country, and it continues that tradition today," Dr. Davis says. "Winning the ‘School of the Year’ award is a gratifying acknowledgment of the hard work we have put into our diversity recruitment and community service activities."

This is the third time OSUCO has been named the NOA "School of the Year" – previously receiving the honor in 2004 and 2000.

OSUCO-NOSA is open to all optometry students. The organization promotes the recruitment and retention of minority students in optometry, and association members have the opportunity to attend guest lectures, volunteer at events and mentor pre-optometry students.