The Class of 2017 walked across the stage and became Doctors of Optometry on May 12, 2017 in the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

In addition to receiving their Doctor of Optometry degree many of the Class of 2017 also received individual honors and recognition during the awards ceremony that followed commencement.

This year the College of Optometry recognized three students who were part of the Optometry Scholar Program.  The Optometry Scholar Program is a program created by Professor Carl Bassi along with several other faculty members. They guide students in assisting in research in various areas including dry eye, glaucoma, and macular pigment.  Drs. Molly Gorder, Amy Schaag, and Lindsay Swenson all participated in the program.

Dr. Robert Koetting scholarship in the amount of $1,500 went to Drs. Kelsey Haugen and Lindsay Swenson.

The Mary Gilbert scholarship for scholastic achievement and leadership went to Dr. Yousef Ibrahim.

Dr. Yousef Ibrahim

This year’s student marshal was Dr. Coral Pucci.  The student marshal is chosen by the faculty, and is based on several factors including high academic achievement, outstanding character, and involvement in the college and professional activities. 

Dr. Coral Pucci

Dr. Curtis Dubois received the Ocular Instruments award for outstanding performance in the study of ocular disease. Dr. Dubois received a certificate valued at $400 for the purchase of any lens from their catalog.

Dr. Curtis DuBois

Dr. Ashley Deese received the Marchon Eyewear Practice Management Award in the amount of $500 for demonstrating outstanding clinical and dispensing skills in practice management.

Dr. Ashley Deese

The Alcon Partner in Education awards for a case study on “Successful contact lens wear and the impact of a healthy ocular surface” was written by Dr. Michael Wilson.  Dr. Wilson was presented with a certificate and cash award of $1,000.  

Dr. Michael Wilson

Dr. Lindsay Swenson was presented with the College of Optometrists in Vision Development award in Vision Therapy.  

Dr. Lindsay Swenson

Good-Lite Inc, proudly sponsored an award to a student who excelled in skill and passion for pediatric optometry.  Dr. Alyssa Sherwood was presented with several pediatric testing materials and a plaque.

Dr. Alyssa Sherwood

The Clinical Binocular Vision and Vision Therapy Award were presented to three students for excellence in binocular vision and vision therapy.  Drs. Paige Biehler, Aubrey Koehler, and Kelsey Manescalco.

The Charles C. Matlock Memorial Award for distinction in pediatric optometry was presented to Dr. Shelby Baugh Bruner.

Dr. Shelby Baugh Bruner

The GP Lens Institute proudly sponsored the Clinical Excellence Award to the student who exhibits exceptional interest in fitting and application of rigid permeable contact lenses.  Dr. Peter Bako received a plaque and a certificate for a gas permeable fitting set.

Dr. Peter Bako

The Contact Lens Faculty proudly presented three students with the Contact Lens Faculty Clinical Excellence Award: Drs. Bryce Krehbiel, Morgan Poore, and Timothy Sieve.

The Contact Lens Clinical Award sponsored by Paragon Vision Sciences, was awarded to the graduates who demonstrate excellence in contact lenses. This year’s recipients were Drs. Kristine Andersen and Yousef Ibrahim.

Johnson and Johnson Vision Care Award for Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care and sponsored by the American Optometric Foundation was presented to Dr. Kelsey Haugen.  Dr. Haugen received a check in the amount of $500.00.

Dr. Kelsey Haugen

The Award for Excellence in Low Vision was presented to Dr. Lindsay Swenson for her interest and outstanding performance in the area of low vision. 

Dr. Lindsay Swenson

The Eschenbach Optic Award was presented to Dr. Ethan Brilley for demonstrating interest and proficiency in rehabilitative vision work.  Dr. Brilley was presented with a certificate valued up to $700 for a diagnostic tray of illuminated stand magnifiers to aid in the practice of low vision.

Dr. Ethan Brilley

Dr. Molly Gorder received the William Feinbloom Low Vision Award sponsored by Designs for Living, Inc.  The award recognizes a student who has demonstrated excellence in both the didactic and clinical aspects of low vision care.


Dr. Molly Gorder

The 2017 Low Vision Award sponsored by Optelec, Inc. includes a low vision starter kit valued at $500 to a student who has contributed to the university through service in the field of low vision. Dr. Kanesha McBee was the 2017 recipient of this year’s award.

Dr. Kanesha McBee

Student Services proudly presented two graduates with the 2017 Student Services Award for outstanding service to the mission and vision of the College through admissions and recruitment.  Drs. Kristine Andersen and Yousef Ibrahim were recognized for this contribution.


The Student Ambassador award is given for excellence in service to the Office of Student Services and the College of Optometry.  This year’s honors went to Drs.  Morgan Poore and Ellen Sanders.


Each year the Office of Student Services and the College of Optometry relies on students to assist with teaching assistant positions and tutoring students who may need additional assistance. This year’s Service to Students Award went to Dr. Kelsey Haugen for her dedication, time, and energy in helping fellow classmates succeed in the classroom.


Dr. Kelsey Haugen

The Dr. Ray Myers Outstanding Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Katie Loock. The award is sponsored by Dr. Myers and is presented to a student who demonstrated leadership and contributed to the American Optometric Student Association and other organizations throughout their time at the College of Optometry.

Dr. Katie Loock

Dr. Elias Toubia was presented with the Beta Sigma Kappa Silver Medal award for academic distinction.  Dr. Toubia also received the M. Early McClellan Dean’s Award sponsored by the Missouri Optometric Foundation for outstanding scholarship.  Dr. Toubia received a plaque and a check for $1000.

Dr. Elias Toubia

The Missouri Optometric Foundation Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills was presented to Dr. Morgan Poore for overall excellence in clinical care.  Dr. Poore received a check in the amount of $1,000 along with a plaque.

Dr. Morgan Poore

Dr. Scott Ream (’87) presented the Missouri Optometric Foundation’s William R. Jackson, Jr. OD, Memorial Scholarship to a student who demonstrated a sincere commitment to the independent practice of Optometry.  Dr. Shelby Baugh Bruner was selected after being nominated by here peers and then being interviewed by the MOF board of directors. Dr. Baugh Bruner received a check in the amount of $1000.00


Dr. Shelby Baugh Bruner

Each year the graduating class elects one faculty member to be named the Outstanding Optometry Educator.  The award is sponsored by Beta Sigma Kappa and is given to a faculty member who demonstrates a genuine care for the students, the profession, and the ongoing effort to engage learning in either the classroom or clinical setting.  Dr. Michael Roberts (’17) served as the class representative and presented the award to Dr. Tareq Nabhan.

Dr. Tareq Nabhan

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