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Showing posts from April, 2017

Reunion Reception at Graduation

Please Join Us . . .

The College of Optometry invites you and a guest to attendthe Alumni Reception as part of
the Class of 2017 Commencement Ceremony

on Friday, May 12, 2017
Noon to 1:15 pm
Lee Theater of the Touhill Performing Arts Building.

Please RSVP by May 1, 2017 via google form or by email to Nick Palisch

Please join us in celebrating your accomplishments!


A recent and very honored tradition is to invite all alumni who graduated 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years ago to a reception to be held immediately before graduation.This year, as graduation will be held 2PM on Friday, May 12th, the reception will be held from Noon – 1:15PM at the Desmond Lee Theater inside the Touhill Performing Arts Center.All alumni from the Classes of 2012, 2007, 2002, 1997, 1992, 1987 should be receiving an invitation very soon.The 25th anniversary class - the Class of 1992- are also invited to proceed in with the graduates and be on stage during the graduation ceremony.


Student Focus: The Multi-Talented Rachel Simpson ('19)

There is so much to be said about bringing diverse abilities and talents into the profession of optometry.It is typically a win-win proposition for both the student and the profession.Certainly, it is an area that the Admissions Committee looks at carefully as they always like to envision – not only how a student will succeed academically and be an effective member and leader within both their “family” (i.e., class) and within the College of Optometry – but also how they positively impact others after graduation.An outstanding representative of this type of individual is a talented student leader in the Class of 2019.Meet Rachel Simpson.
Rachel’s past life was that of an actress.Not just your normal actress . . .but a New York actress!She describes how it all started: “I've always loved plays and musicals. I started doing theater when I was little and I never stopped. I studied theater in undergrad at Indiana University. During college I did summer stock at The Barn Theatre in Mich…

Student News

Taylor Dahms (’18) was appointed as the American Optometric Student Association National Liaison to the AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section.. Taylor represents UMSL’s second student to achieve this prestigious position in the past five years as Rob Ensley, OD (’13) was the National Liaison in 2012-13.
UMSL AOSA Trustee Kate Hamm (’19) authored an article on the topic of “Parent O.D.” in the Spring 2017 edition of Foresight. This article featured Jacob Pieper (’19) and his family and Ellen Braley (’20) and her son.
Peter Jacques (’19) was quoted in the article entitled “What Does Your Attire Say to Patients” in the March issue of AOA Focus.

Faculty News

Clinical Assistant Professor, Dr. Erin Brooks (‘11) was featured in the April issue of AOA Focus.The article pertained specifically to her work associated with the Family Care Health Center (i.e., “Carondelet”).It highlights the important vision services provided to communicate health centers by our students and faculty with the focus pertaining to Dr. Brooks’ important role with the Carondelet center and her passion about caring for those in underserved communities.

Dr. Brook was also quoted in a news article on the AOA website. 
Assistant Dean for Student Services and Alumni Affairs, Dr. Ed Bennett, was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow into the Optometry Section of the National Academies of Practice on March 18th.

Alumni News

Drs. Mark Wahlmeier (‘00) and Seth Thibault (‘04) were recognized for great mentorship by Dr. Kristin O’Brien in the March, 2017 issue of Women in Optometry.
Dr. Rebecca Wartman (’87) was featured in the March issue of AOA Focus due to her expertise in optometric coding.
Craig Steinberg, OD, JD (’84) was featured in the March issue of AOA Focus as it pertained to the article entitled: “Ensure Protection Against Harassment Allegations”.

Newborn News

Alumni Newborns

Sara Pyatt, OD (‘08) and her husband Dan are the proud parents of Zachariah Ray, born February 15th.
Katie Farris Painter, OD (‘07) and her husband Seth welcomed Nora into the world on February 21st.
Jenny Furstenau, OD (‘06) and her husband Cory are the proud parents of Luke Easton, born March 23rd.
Erin Dobleo, OD (‘04)and her husband Francis welcomed Xavier Agustin into the world on March 24th.
Christine Mitts, OD (‘11) and her husband Alex are the proud parents of Everett Alexander, born March 24th.
Pam Wendlandt, OD (’13) and her husband Andrew introduced Zoey Grace into the world on April 2nd.
Dalton Brothers, (’19) and his wife Arielle are the proud parents of Novie Rosie, born April 2nd
Mark Abrahams, OD (’14) and his wife Amanda welcomed Nora Jane into the world on April 7th.
Drs. Melissa Schmidt Enevoldsen (’12) and Jeffrey Enevoldsen (’12) are the proud parents of Rory Carter, born April 10th.
Dr. Alicia Janssen (‘11) and her husband Spencer welcomed Reagan Kaitlyn i…

Nutrition and the Eye Symposium X: Another Outstanding Program

The College of Optometry has numerous centers for excellence, areas in which they excel and help educate the profession.One of these centers for excellence is most certainly the annual “Nutrition and the Eye Symposium” which has become a very popular and well-regarded program by those in the profession.In fact, it has literally become the “must attend” program for those optometrists and vision researchers who have an interest in this important and growing area in the vision care field.This program is the brainchild of a renowned expert in the field Stuart Richer OD, Ph.D., FAAO – Director, Ocular Preventative Medicine at Lovell Federal Health Care Center - in collaboration with Director of Research, Carl Bassi Ph.D.They celebrated their 10th year and this year’s program, held April 1 and 2 on the UMSL campus, was attended by no less than 115 eye care practitioners.The faculty always includes the foremost national and international leaders in the field and included the following (in ad…

The Annual NOSA Easter Egg Hunt: An Enjoyable Event for a Deserving Audience

On Sunday April 2nd the UMSL National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) hosted an Annual Easter egg hunt for visually impaired children. The UMSL NOSA chapter was recently awarded the “Chapter of the Year” at the annual meeting. A great turnout resulted for this event that was hosted in combination with the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments.  Delta Gamma Family Support Services Program Director Debbie Chapuis is particularly appreciative of how beneficial this program is to these children. “The NOSA egg hunt is much more than candy-filled eggs or visits with the Easter Bunny. It serves as a reminder to families that, with a little creativity and some thoughtful adaptations, children with visual impairments can participate in fun holiday activities, too. Students’ warmth and enthusiasm adds to the fun of the event and helps to make it even more memorable for everyone involved. We are grateful for this partnership and hope that the impact the families make on N…

Dr. Carl Bassi Promoted to Full Professor

A Profile of Dr. David Hoel; The Story about an UMSL Alumnus Who Cares

There are many desirable qualities for individuals being considered for admission into the UMSL College of Optometry.  Certainly, a solid academic record, good interpersonal communication skills, and extensive shadowing – or better yet experience – with established optometric practices are important factors.  However, looking into the eyes of an applicant to try to determine why they want to be an optometrist is very important as well.  Will they be the type of individual who will be very dedicated to caring about their patient’s visual and overall health?  Will they take the time to serve their profession and their community?  Meet David Hoel, OD (’98) who personifies these qualities and more as he continues to be a wonderful ambassador to UMSL while representing what is truly good about the profession of optometry. 


His interest in optometry began during college when he explored several career options and, after shadowing several different optometrists, decided this would be an exce…

Heart of America: A Great Annual UMSL Tradition

The 56th Annual Contact Lens & Primary Care Congress presented by the Heart of America Contact Lens Society was, once again, a great success and represented a great opportunity for College of Optometry students and residents to network, present posters, receive high quality continuing education, and help as monitors and graduates to have the opportunity to see their classmates and enjoy, not only the expansive exhibit hall but also customize their education based upon the five tracks of courses given simultaneously.  The faculty included two UMSL graduates, Drs. Rebecca Wartman(‘87) and Shane Kannarr(‘00) and Assistant Dean, Dr. Ed Bennett.  Likewise, the Heart of America Board of Directors had a significant UMSL presence with Drs. Sean Mulqueeny(‘91), Wes DeRosier(‘96) and President Craig Brawley(‘01).  Dr. Delaram “Deli” Shirazian(’16), currently completing the Kansas City Veteran’s Administration Medical Center residency program, was a recipient of a $2,000 grant from the Heart…