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The College of Optometry had many reasons to be proud at Optometry’s Meeting, held June 20 – 24 in Denver.  This included:

  • Retired UMSL faculty member Dr. Raymond Myers being honored as the founder of the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) on their 50th anniversary. Dr. Myers was also featured in the most recent edition of both AOA Focus and AOSA Foresight.
  • Kate Hamm (’19) was interviewed by the national media due to her role as a national student leader.
  • UMSL alumni Mohammad Rafieetary, OD (’88), and Rebecca Wartman, OD (’87) both presented multiple continuing education courses while Assistant Dean Ed Bennett, OD, MSEd, also presented a course.
  • The AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section (CLCS) had a significant UMSL presence as Ed Bennett, OD, MSEd concluded his term as Chair and Taylor Dahms Little (’18) concluded her term as AOSA National Student Liaison to the CLCS.
  • Peter Jacques (’19) continued his efforts on behalf of an organization he helped create and is currently administered by the AOA: optometrystudents.com.

However, the highlight of the meeting and, without doubt, the most significant point of pride, was the showing of the “Rules Video” at the beginning of the Essilor Optometry Student Bowl.  The many hundreds of optometry students present at this event were absolutely blown away by UMSL’s performance and applauded throughout the presentation. Although Student Bowl Moderator, David Seibel (’87), Dean Larry Davis, and several UMSL faculty had roles in this production, the stars were the students.  Based on the movie and stage production of “Grease,” the acting, singing, and choreography of this video was in a word: incredible.  Three songs from the movie were performed, with the last one being performed directly in front of the Patient Care Center. This allowed students from every college of optometry to see our beautiful new facility highlighted.  The exceptional singing and acting talents of Madison Moss (’20) (as Sandy) and Stephen Henderson (’21) (as Danny) were definitely integral to the success of the video. But all of the UMSL students who participated did an amazing job, and the entire experience shouted out to everyone that UMSL has the most spirit. It is very difficult to compete with “UMSL Pride!”

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