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NECO Honors 2018 Scholarship Recipients

group photo of students with scholarship certificates

New England College of Optometry is please to announce the 2018 Scholarship Recipients. This distinguished group of students was honored for their excellence in scholarship, leadership, and clinical expertise on April 5, 2018.

Carol Rubel, Director of Financial Aid, led the ceremony explaining the nature of each scholarship and the ideals they represent. Other presenters included faculty members Walter Potaznick, OD '76, Dr. Steven Koevary, and Paul White, OD '61.

2017 Scholarship Award Recipients

Four students with scholarship certificates

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 Melissa Andrade, Victoria Gagnon, Janelle Levesque, Andreea Nastasoiu, Jimmy Nguyen, Jessica Taylor, Haley DiBiase, Hamdee Houcheimi, Kendra Philis, and Marlie Watson.


Carol Rubel and Andrew Fonte

Israel and Sylvia Grossman Scholarship: Andrew Fonte

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. Andrew Fonte was selected because of his accomplishments and potential as a leader in the field.


Carol Rubel and Brett Burns

Edith and Erich Heymans Scholarship: Brett Burns

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


Monthe N. Kofos Scholarship: Teresa Chang and Cameron Sefton

This scholarship was created by a gift from Dr. Kofos. This year, Teresa Chang and Cameron Sefton were selected because of their potential to contribute to the profession and considerable academic achievement.


Carol Rubel and Angelica Szeller

Wallace F. Molinari Scholarship: Angelica Szeller

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 Angelica Szeller.


Carol Rubel and Olivia BassFoster Namias Scholarship: Olivia Bass

The Class of 1950 initiated this scholarship to honor Dr. Namias and his fifty year tenure at the College. Olivia Bass was selected because of her outstanding academic performance.


Carol Rubel and Michaela Temple

Harry and Sara Pildes Scholarship: Michaela Temple

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


Carol Rubel and Matthew Barnes

Rosemore Family Scholarship: Matthew Barnes

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 Matthew Barnes was chosen for his excellent academic accomplishments as well as extracurricular activities at NECO.


Carol Rubel and Jessica Taylor

American Optometric Foundation’s J. Pat Cummings Scholarship: Jessica Taylor

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 Jessica Taylor.


Group of 4 students holding certificate with Dr. Potaznick

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 Marlene Catarino, Victoria Gagnon, Kathryn Kosteva, Jimmy Nguyen, and Paige Oliver.


Professor Koevary and Samar ArafatDr. John Carter Scholarship: Samer Arafat

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, Samer Arafat, was chosen for his excellent grades in all pharmacology coursework.


Dr. Koevary and Spencer TraxlerOtto Hochstadt Scholarship: Spencer Traxler

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. Spencer Traxler was chosen as this year’s recipient for his outstanding hard work and remarkable GPA in the first year Bioscience course.


Carol Rubel and Alyssa HorstmanKlein Family Scholarship: Alyssa Horstman

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. Alyssa Horstman was selected as this year’s recipient to acknowledge her academic excellence prior to entering the College.


Carol Rubel and Jonathan Elin-Calcador

Jean M. Lank Memorial Scholarship: Jonathan Elin-Calcador

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 Jonathan Elin-Calcador, who changed career paths in order to enter the field of optometry.


Carol Rubel and Rachel Steinbach

Rose and Warren Gilford, Dr. Arnelda Levine and Dr. Janet Mechanic OD1 Award: Rachel Steinbach

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. Rachel Steinbach was selected because of her excellent academic record as an entering student.


Mrs. Allard, Paul White and Hoai LeDr. Robert Allard Compassionate Clinician Award: Hoai Le

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 Hoai Le.


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
email: hoogendoorni@neco.edu