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NECO Honors Scholars at 2017 Annual Scholarship Ceremony

Congratulations to the 2017 Scholarship Recipients at New England College of Optometry. This distinguished group of students was honored for their excellence in scholarship, leadership, and clinical expertise on March 28, 2017.

President Clifford Scott led the ceremony explaining the nature of each scholarship and the ideals they represent. Other presenters included Executive Director of Finance Ruth Joress, faculty members Alexis Malkin, OD ’08, and Dr. Steven Koevary, and Dr. Paul White.

2017 Scholarship Award Recipients

President Scott with two students

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 were Marc Deeley, Paige Frost, Alicia Hanley, Andrea Magbanua, and Angela Tchao.

President Scott with student

Israel and Sylvia Grossman Scholarship: Doriana Veneziano

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. Doriana Veneziano was selected because of her accomplishments and potential as a leader in the field.

President Scott with student

Edith and Erich Heymans Scholarship: Lindsey Fields

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.  Lindsey Fields was chosen to receive this award as a student of high scholastic standing who exhibits integrity, dedication, and a high level of accuracy.

President Scott with student

Monthe N. Kofos Scholarship: Chantelle Davis

This scholarship was created by a gift from Dr. Kofos. It is given to Chantelle Davis because of her potential to contribute to the profession and considerable academic achievement.

President Scott with student

Wallace F. Molinari Scholarship: Hannah Calvelli

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 Hannah Calvelli.

President Scott with two studentsFoster Namias Scholarship

The Class of 1950 initiated this scholarship to honor Dr. Namias and his fifty year tenure at the College. Victoria Gagnon and Janelle Levesque were selected because of their outstanding academic performances.

President Scott with student

Harry and Sara Pildes Scholarship: Stephanie Aigbe

The Pildes family created this scholarship in honor of their parents and awarded to a first year student in the four-year program. Stephanie Aigbe 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.

President Scott with student

Stacy Rosemore Friedman Scholarship: Jessica Taylor

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 two recipient, Jessica Taylor, was chosen for her excellent academic accomplishments as well as extracurricular activities at NECO.

President Scott with student

VOSH ONE Student Grant Award: Tiana Camarillo

The VOSH ONE (Of New England) scholarship was created to assist students interested in continuing humanitarian and volunteer optometric work in the community and abroad. Recipients are chosen based on their previous humanitarian work as well as their future impact. This year’s recipient, Tiana Camarillo, was chosen for her dedication to humanitarian work providing eye care to those in need.


President Scott with student

American Optometric Foundation’s J. Pat Cummings Scholarship: Micaela Gobeille

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 Micaela Gobeille.

Walmart Scholarship: Micaela Gobeille

The Walmart Optical Division Educational Scholarship is presented to a first, second or third year student who  display a strong academic history, financial need, the ability to lead others, and a dedication and desire to practice within the community.  Micaela Gobeille was chosen to receive this award.

President Scott with studentVarilux Student Grant Award: Amy Uddin

This award is presented to a student based on dispensing skills, application of Varilux lenses to patient needs, and the analysis of a case described in a case report. Amy Uddin was selected as this year’s winner.

Group of students holding certificate

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, Dr. Alexis Malkin, OD ’08, presented the awards this year to Kayla Andrade, Chantelle Davis, Stacey Flynt, Alicia Hanley, Cameron Sefton, Jessica Taylor, and Angela Tchao.

Professor Koevary and Swati KumarDr. John Carter Scholarship: Swati Kumar

This scholarship was created to honor Dr. John Carter and his long, distinguished career in optometry and optometric education. This year’s recipient, Swati Kumar, was chosen for her excellent grades in all pharmacology coursework.

Dr. Koevary and Brett BurnsOtto Hochstadt Scholarship: Brett Burns

This award was created by Otto Hochstadt, an influential faculty member who taught medical sciences. He helped the college gain approval to grant a bachelor’s degree and subsequently, an OD degree. Brett Burns was chosen as this year’s recipient for his outstanding hard work and remarkable GPA in the first year Bioscience curriculum.

President Scott and Marlene CatarinoKlein Family Scholarship: Marlene Catarino

This scholarship honors Dr. Herman L. Klein, descendant of the founder of the College and president of the Board of Trustees from 1946 to 1950. Marlene Catarino was selected as this year’s recipient to acknowledge her academic excellence prior to entering the College.

President Scott and Gabriella Velonias

Jean M. Lank Memorial Scholarship: Gabriella Velonias

This scholarship honors Dr. Jean M. Lank, who made a career change and graduated from the college in 1987. After passing away only two years later, her family established this scholarship in her memory. Gabriella Velonias was selected as this year’s recipient.

President Scott with student

Rose and Warren Gilford, Dr. Arnelda Levine and Dr. Janet Mechanic OD1 Award: Xui Mei

This award was created by Rose and Warren Gilford to honor the lives, distinguished professional achievement, and exemplary service of their friends, Drs. Levine and Mechanic. This award celebrates the influx of talented and qualified women to the optometric profession. Xui Mei was chosen to receive this award because of her excellent academic record as an entering student.

President Scott with studentCharles Robert Soltes Scholarship: Melanne Rosetta

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. Melanne Rosetta was chosen to receive this award.

President Scott with studentRobert A. Titelbaum OD Award for Clinical Proficiency and Excellence: Andrew Rabkin

This award honors three generations of optometrists in the Titelbaum family by recognizing a student who has changed career paths and shown exceptional clinical proficiency and excellence. This year’s recipient is Andrew Rabkin.

President Scott, Barry Fisch, Mrs. Allard, Paul White and Micaela GobeilleDr. Robert Allard Compassionate Clinician Award: Micaela Gobeille

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 the award with Mrs. Allard to Micaela Gobeille.

About New England College of Optometry

New England College of Optometry, NECO, is an independent graduate college of optometry that educates students for careers in eye care delivery, research and education. For over 120 years, the New England College of Optometry has been educating optometrists and leaders in the field. Originally founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, NECO prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, leaders, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences.   Through a vast network of clinical affiliations, our students put patient care first, providing vision care to children, older adults, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities through our mobile eye clinic, satellite clinics in schools, homeless shelters, community health centers, and VA medical centers.

Media Contact: Ingrid Hoogendoorn, Director of Communications
phone: 617-587-5722