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Strong Participation by NECO at Academy 2017

Students, faculty, alumni, professional staff, and residents from New England College of Optometry (NECO) delivered presentations, posters, research, and lectures on a variety of optometric topics at the American Academy of Optometry’s meeting this year in Chicago.

Academy 2017 conference provided opportunities for optometry professionals and students to share research and knowledge, participate in continuing education, network with colleagues, and learn more about the current technology and developments in the field.

Members of our community were honored for their achievements and work by becoming Fellows at Academy and receiving prestigious awards during the week. Learn more about their specific topics and honors below.


  • Joint Binocular Vision, Perception & Pediatric Optometry and Low Vision Sections: Cortical/Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI): An Overview of the Attributes, Range of Clinical Presentation, Research Findings, and Challenges to Rehabilitate and Educate this Burgeoning Population- Barry Kran, OD, FAAO, Corinna Bauer, PhD, Gordon Dutton, MD, Amanda Hall Lueck, PhD. 

NECO Faculty Presentations:

  • Low Vision Management of Inherited Ocular Disorders: Emerging Concepts in the Post-Genome Era — Nicole Ross, OD, MS and Alexis Malkin, OD 
  • Vision and Cognition in the Aging Population — Alexis Malkin, OD and Nicole Ross, OD, MS
  • How Powerful a “HAART” Can Be: Understanding HIV/AIDS in a Primary Care Setting — Daniel Bastian, OD, FAAO
  • Interactive Multi-media E-learning vs. Traditional learning in Optometry: A Randomized Trial, B-scan example — Elena Biffi, OD, MSc, FAAO
  • The Future of Optometry “Methods” Courses — Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, OD, PhD and Clifford Scott, OD, MPH
  • Impact of Electronic Health Records and Clinical Experiences on Interprofessional Student Perceptions — Beth Harper, OD, FAAO, Diane Russo, OD, MPH, FAAO, Erik Weissberg, OD, FAAO

NECO Faculty and Student Papers:

  • Blur Discrimination in Low Vision — Kayla Andrade, Ian Bailey, OD, FCOptom, FAAO Nicole Ross, OD, MS, FAAO 
  • Impact of Electronic Health Records and Clinical Experience on Interprofessional Student Perceptions — Beth Harper, OD,  Diane Russo, OD, FAAO Erik Weissberg, OD, FAAO 
  • Chromatic and Achromatic Visual Evoked Potentials Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury — Cameron Sefton, Kevin Houston, OD, MS, FAAO, Athanasios Panorgias, MSc, PhD, FAAO


  • Clinical and Objective Measures of Accommodation in Children with Dyslexia — Sowjanya Gowrisankaran, BSOptom, PhD Kristen Kerber, OD, MS Aparna Raghuram, OD, PhD, FAAO 
  • Evaluation of a Novel Self-Refraction Device (USee) to Measure Refractive Error in Adults – A Pilot Study  — David Friedman, MD, MPH, PhD Sarah Miller Bruce Moore, OD, FAAO Lucy Mudie Gayathri Srinivasan, OD, MS, FAAO Paulette Tattersall Kevin White 
  • Visual Assistive Equipment Utilization and Abandonment in a Mobile Low Vision Rehabilitation Clinic — Gary Chu, OD, MPH, FAAO Micaela Gobeille Richard Jamara, OD, FAAO Alexis Malkin, OD, FAAO Nicole Ross, OD, MS, FAAO 
  • Study of Optical Aids for Reading (SOAR): A Survey of Optometric Management of Mild Vision Loss — Ava Bittner, OD, PhD, FAAO Tiffany Chan, OD, FAAO Alexis Malkin, OD, FAAO Kristin Protosow, OD, FAAO Nicole Ross, OD, MS, FAAO 
  • Low Vision Clinical Education Experience Expanded Due to Aging Population — Richard Jamara, OD, FAAO Alexis Malkin, OD, FAAO Nicole Ross, OD, MS, FAAO 
  • Student Attitudes Towards Elective Courses in Optometric Education — Andrew McLeod, OD, MS, FAAO
  • Bilateral Segmental Optic Atrophy in a Child with Wilms' Tumor — Emily Wiecek, OD, PhD 
  • A High in Lowe: Excellent Visual Outcome in a Patient with Oculocerebrorenal Syndrome — Justine Grier of Mild Vision Loss
  • Central Toxic Keratopathy: Corneal Healing in a Rare Refractive Surgery Complication — Avani Dave, OD
  • Non-Surgical Intervention Option for a Blind, Painful Eye: The Emerging Use of Scleral Lenses for Pain Management — Alyssa Perlman Hensen, OD


  • Group of NECO residents at AcademySpeakers: Out of a pool of 310 submissions, on 18 individuals were chosen to present on Residents Day at Academy 2017. Of this small group, 8 were members of NECO's Class of 2017 and currently part of NECO's Residency program.  Representing the College were NECO Residents Michael Merritt, Ivan Prpic, Kenny Chen, Angela Yang, Emily Humphreys, Rebecca Deffler, Sari Schwartz, and Rachna Shah.
  • Posters: Over 25 NECO alumni and residents presented posters at Academy 2017.

Awards and Honors:

Faculty, students, alumni, and affiliated researchers were honored this year at Academy with several awards.

Eli Peli, MSc, OD '73, FAAO
Charles F. Prentice Medal and Lecture Award

Mitchell Scheiman, OD '75, PhD, FAAO
Glenn A. Fry Award and Lecture

Lynette Johns, OD '04, FAAO, FSLS, FBCLA
Founders’ Award

Elise Harb, OD ’04
Michael G. Harris Ezell Fellow Award

Kristen Kerber, OD '16
2017 Terrance N. Ingraham Pediatric Optometry Residency Award

Laura Goldberg, OD '16, MS
Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics

Rachel Young, OD ’16 
Rosenbloom Low Vision Residency Award

NECO Faculty Achieving Fellow Status

  • Anita Gulmiri, OD '15, FAAO
  • Kristen Kerber, OD '16, FAAO
  • Nicole Pogue, OD, FAAO
  • Crystal Lewandowski, OD, FAAO