2019 Scholarship Recipients Honored at NECO

On Thursday, April 4, 2019, the New England College of Optometry (NECO) community gathered for the 2019 Scholarship Ceremony.

The award recipients were honored for their notable leadership, scholarship, compassion, and clinical expertise.

Esther Bandoo-Gomes, Director of Financial Aid, directed the program, with special presentations by Dr. Walter Potaznick, OD’76, Dr. Steven Koevary, Dr. Paul White, OD ’61 and Ms. Barbara McGinley.

2019 Scholarship Award Recipients

Beider Moral Obligation Scholarship

Warren H. Beider, OD ’26, graduated when he was only twenty years old and practiced optometry for over fifty years. To honor his alma mater, he created this scholarship to honor academically strong students. This year’s award recipients are Olivia Bass, Megan Bond, Mikaela Esposito, Ravneev Grewal, Esther Lee, Corra Plumner, Gabriella Velionas, Amanda Vessels, Ryan Watari, and Brett Zerbinopoulos.

Israel and Sylvia Grossman Scholarship: John Hamilton

This scholarship is awarded to a student who has demonstrated academic achievement, and who is likely to be active in the profession and in the Alumni Association. John Hamilton was selected because of his accomplishments and potential as a leader in the field.

Edith and Erich Heymans Scholarship: Brian Quach

This scholarship was create by the Heymans to honor the former NECO Business Manager’s fondness for the College. Mr. Heymans was a German immigrant who worked at the College in the late 1960’s as a part-time Business Manager. Brian Quach was chosen to receive this award as a student of high scholastic standing who exhibits integrity, dedication, and a high level of accuracy.

Wallace F. Molinari Scholarship: Ariana Azzoli

This award was established by Dr. Joseph Molinari, and is given to an entering student based on academic achievement and leadership. This year’s recipient was Ariana Azzoli.

Foster Namias Scholarship: Alyssa Horstman and Catherine Lam

The Class of 1950 initiated this scholarship to honor Dr. Namias and his fifty year tenure at the College. Alyssa Horstman and Catherine Lam selected because of their outstanding academic performance.

Harry and Sara Pildes Scholarship: Jenifer Bui

The Pildes family created this scholarship in honor of their parents and awarded to a first year student in the four-year program. Jenifer Bui was chosen for her academic achievement and potential to become an active and concerned member of the alumni body of the College and the profession.

Rosemore Family Scholarship: Michaela Temple

This award was endowed to honor the scholarly and professional achievement of Fredric and Marion Rosemore’s granddaughter, a 2001 graduate of the College. The recipient is a student who maintains a strong academic record. This year Michaela Temple was chosen for his excellent academic accomplishments as well as extracurricular activities at NECO.

American Optometric Foundation’s J. Pat Cummings Scholarship: Marlene Catarino

This American Optometric Foundation award is offered to a student who best demonstrates the ideal eye care standards of practice, has demonstrated achievements in academic performance and extra-curricular activities, professional pursuits, patient involvement, community service, and volunteerism. This year’s recipient is Marlene Catarino.

Charles Robert Soltes Scholarship: Sahithi Rani

This scholarship was created to honor Major Charles Robert Soltes, OD ’98, the first optometrist ever killed in action while serving on active duty in the US military. This award was established by faculty, staff, and friends of the College in his memory to honor his loyalty, integrity and compassion for his patients. Sahithi Rani was chosen to receive this award.

The Alumni Scholarship

Each year, the Alumni Association selects scholarship recipients based on record of service to the College and/or profession, and the potential for continued active participation in the alumni association, demonstrated community service, and academic performance. Representing the Alumni Scholarship Committee, Walter Potaznick, OD ’76, presented the awards this year to Jonathan Elin-Calcador, John Hamilton, Brian Quach, Michaela Temple, and Amanda Vessels.

Dr. John Carter Scholarship: Hamza Dar

This scholarship was created to honor Dr. John Carter and his long, distinguished career in optometry and optometric education, including teaching Ocular Pharmacology, Ocular Myology, and Sensory and Motor Anomalies of the Eye and Vision. This year’s recipient, Hamza Dar, was chosen for his excellent grades in all pharmacology coursework.

Otto Hochstadt Scholarship: Maryam Nassari Tousi

This award was created by Otto Hochstadt to assist worthy students in their pursuit of an optometric education at the College. Dr. Hochstadt emigrated from Vienna in 1939, where he was a trained cardiologist and brought this expertise in medical sciences as a faculty member at the College. He helped the college gain approval to grant a bachelor’s degree and subsequently, an OD degree. Maryam Nassari Tousi was chosen as this year’s recipient for her outstanding hard work and remarkable GPA in the first year Bioscience course.

Dr. Robert Allard Compassionate Clinician Award: Kristen Brady and Jennifer Chu

This award is given to honor the compassionate and excellent clinician Dr. Robert Allard. For many years Dr. Allard was a clinical faculty member at NECO and shared his vast knowledge, extraordinary care, and dedication to his patients with NECO students. He passed away in June, 2009 after waging a courageous battle with ALS. This award is given to a third year student who combines both knowledge and technical skills with compassion and caring for patients. Dr. Paul White detailed Dr. Allard’s compassion, warmth, and spirit before presenting to Kristen Brady and Jennifer Chu.

Klein Family Scholarship: Prabhjit Kaur

The Klein Family Scholarship was originally supposed to honor the memory of Dr. Herman L. Klein, a descendant of the founder of the College and former president of the Board of Trustees. The name of the award was expanded to include the entire family because so many of its members were trustees, officers, faculty, or staff. Prabhjit Kaur was selected as this year’s recipient to acknowledge her academic excellence prior to entering the College.

Jean M. Lank Memorial Scholarship: Jade Liu

Dr. Lank was a registered nurse who made a career change and graduated from the College in 1987. Sadly, at a young age and only two years after graduating, she passed away after an accident. Her family funded the scholarship in her memory. The scholarship is awarded to Jade Liu, who changed career paths in order to enter the field of optometry.

Rose and Warren Gilford, Dr. Arnelda Levine and Dr. Janet Mechanic OD1 Award: Sharon (Xuemeng) Qiu

This award is funded by a gift from Rose and Warren Gilford to honor the lives, distinguished professional achievement, and exemplary service of their friends, Dr. Levine and Dr. Mechanic, who were proud to be forerunners of women optometrists. The award is meant to celebrate talented and qualified women entering the profession. Sharon Qiu was selected because of her excellent academic record as an entering student.