Dr. Denial, Professor and Chair of the Primary Care Department, has been a full-time faculty member of the New England College of Optometry (NECO) since 1997. She is the developer and course master for the sequence of Clinical Reasoning courses that are taught to first and third year students at the College. Dr. Denial, a primary care provider, is also a clinical instructor at the Codman Square Health Center, where she provides clinical education to second and fourth year students. Dr. Denial is the 2010 recipient of the Dr. Lester Janoff Award for Excellence in Writing and the 2006 recipient of the Dupuis Pellerin Award for Faculty Excellence. She is the Editor for Optometric Education, Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. Dr. Denial received a BA in biology from Clark University and OD degree from NECO.
Her research interests focus on optometric education, specifically the teaching of critical thinking, clinical thinking, and faculty development. She has had various publications and speaking engagements on the topic of critical thinking throughout her professional career. In July 2008, she was invited to speak on the topic of critical thinking in health care professions at the 28th International Conference on Critical Thinking in Berkeley, California.
Dr. Denial has been an active member of multiple committees, both within the NECO community and on a national level. She is the past Chair of the American Academy of Optometry’s Optometric Education Section. Since 2003, she has represented the state of Massachusetts and the profession of optometry at the American Optometry Association Congressional Conference in Washington, DC. As an end result of this annual conference’s collaborative work and dialogue, conference representatives meet with senators and congressional representatives to promote issues dealing with both the profession of optometry and patient care. She has served as Chair of the College’s Faculty Affairs Committee.
Dr. Denial is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a member of the American Optometric Association, a member of the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, and is a community member of the Foundation for Critical Thinking.