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2016 Annual Report

Great Experiences Forge Great Doctors

We’re pleased to introduce our online  Annual Report for the New England College of Optometry (NECO).  We value your input and hope you will take the time to offer us feedback and re-connect with our institution.  Our success hinges on the dedication of our faculty and staff, the commitment of our Board, and the ongoing support of our alumni and corporate and community partners.

As will become evident throughout this report, NECO is on the move – we are stronger than ever, confident about our future, alert to our challenges, and resolute in our commitment to give optometry’s future leaders the confidence, knowledge, and critical reasoning skills to practice expertly and thrive in the rapidly evolving world of healthcare.

We believe experience matters.  NECO’s location in the center of Boston’s medical community, combined with the most expansive clinical network in the country, creates the optimum environment for educating students about the vital role an optometrist plays as a member of patient-centered healthcare teams.  This belief is reflected in our brand promise: Great Experiences Forge Great Doctors. 

Our students learn within a vast, clinical network that includes  hospitals, community health centers, schools, private practices, elder care sites, the Veterans Administration, a Mobile Van and NECO’s owned and operated clinics.  This network was intentionally designed to prepare students of optometry for the complexities of professional practice by immersing them in diverse healthcare settings with patients from different backgrounds.  Our students impact hundreds of lives during their time at NECO, reinforcing our belief that the best teachers are often the patients we serve. 



Matriculating Students

Female Students

Male Students

Class Profile

Class of 2020

Infographic with statistics and quotes about the Class of 2020.In August of 2016, New England College of Optometry welcomed the largest class in our 122-year history. The Class of 2020 is unique for more reasons than its illustrious year of graduation, which turns out to be very apropos given their choice of professions. Although they are a diverse group and come from different backgrounds, they share two common characteristics: they are all from the generation sometimes referred to as millenials, and more importantly, they are all seeking a career in optometry. 

In general, competition for any optometry degree program is rigorous and NECO is no exception.  In spite of the competitive nature of making application to optometry programs, NECO received more than 800 applications for the class of 2020. Our large class can be attributed to the fact NECO provides an early and diverse and intense clinical experience, is of relatively small size, is a single curriculum institution, and along with the Boston location, are all factors that make coming to NECO very attractive.

Every class has a personality, and the class of 2020 is no exception. Kristen Tobin, Director of Admissions acknowledged that the class of 2020 is highly motivated and academically prepared. She explains, “There is something very special about this class.  Throughout the recruitment process, and during their first semester at NECO, I have found the Class of 2020 students to be extremely dedicated, friendly, humble and hard-working.  As a whole they bring a sense of positive energy to the College and their passion for optometry and commitment to service is very evident.”

NECO students, and the class of 2020 in particular, have a strong humanitarian commitment. Many first year students have already signed on to work towards a VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) trip in their third year. Every year, 25 students accompany a faculty member, Bina Patel, OD, and other volunteer optometrists, to an underserved or third world country to provide eye and vision care as part of VOSH trip.  To be eligible to go on a VOSH medical mission, NECO students accumulate a certain number of volunteer hours at the College and in the Boston community.

View the NECO Class of 2020 infographic.

Student Spotlight

Hannah Yoon, Class of 2020

 Hannah Yoon, Class of 2020

Hannah Yoon, a Boston College graduate, and a member of the class of 2020 personifies the type of student that is attracted to New England College of Optometry. Although she spent four years in Chestnut Hill, she chose NECO for the attributes she heard about and witnessed during her interview. She sensed a spirit of compassion at NECO. As a first generation immigrant from South Korea who immigrated to the US in 1998, she was the first in her family to have the opportunity to go to College in the US. She knew that optometry was the right career path for her and that NECO was where she wanted to pursue her dream. Hannah feels the sentiment of teamwork with her classmates. 

We work together and are flexible, yet goal driven. We collaborate in so many ways, always learning from each other.
– Hannah Yoon, Class of 2020

Honors, Awards & Accolades

Highlighting the achievements of NECO’s community of faculty, staff, students and alumni.


  • ELENA Z. BIFFI, OD ’10, MSc, FAAO ELENA Z. BIFFI, OD ’10, MSc, FAAO 2016 AOF/Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. Innovation in Education Grant Recipient
  • JANE GWIAZDA, PhD JANE GWIAZDA, PhD National Advisory Eye Council Appointment at the National Eye Institute (NEI).
  • RICHARD JAMARA, OD '80, FAAO RICHARD JAMARA, OD '80, FAAO 2016 AOF/ Frederic Rosemore Low Vision Educational Grant Recipient
  • STACY LYONS, OD '88 STACY LYONS, OD '88 Dr. Mae Booth-Jones Award for Mentoring and Education Recipient
  • ALEXIS MALKIN, OD, '08, FAAO ALEXIS MALKIN, OD, '08, FAAO Readers Digest Partners for Sight Foundation Grant Recipient
  • BRUCE MOORE, OD '75, FAAO BRUCE MOORE, OD '75, FAAO Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health Recipient
  • DEBRA NICKLA, PhD DEBRA NICKLA, PhD National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant Recipient, research on circadian rhythms
  • BINA PATEL, OD, FAAO BINA PATEL, OD, FAAO 2016 VOSH/ International Humanitarian of the Year Award Recipient
  • NICOLE ROSS, OD '11 NICOLE ROSS, OD '11 2016 ASCO Rising Star Award Recipient
  • FUENSANTA VERA-DIAZ, OD, PhD FUENSANTA VERA-DIAZ, OD, PhD Scientific Research Career Development Award Recipient, American Academy of Optometry.

Leadership Team

  • ROBERT DIMARTINO, OD ROBERT DIMARTINO, OD Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Appointment
  • TRACI LOGAN TRACI LOGAN Boston Business Journal’s 8th annual CFO of the Year program finalist


  • MARIA DENIETOLIS, OD '16 MARIA DENIETOLIS, OD '16 2016 Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Recipient
  • LAURA GOLDBERG, OD ‘16 LAURA GOLDBERG, OD ‘16 Master’s thesis published in the Journal of Vision Research
  • JAMEEL KANJI, OD '14, MS JAMEEL KANJI, OD '14, MS Terrance Ingraham Pediatric Optometry Residency Award Recipient
  • RICHARD LONDON, MA, OD '78, FAAO RICHARD LONDON, MA, OD '78, FAAO Vincent Ellerbrock Clinician Educator Award Recipient
  • CAITLIN MORRISON, OD '15 CAITLIN MORRISON, OD '15 Bert C. and Lydia M. Corwin Contact Lens Residency Award Recipient


  • TIANA CAMARILLO, OD '18 TIANA CAMARILLO, OD '18 VOSH One Student Grant Recipient
  • AVANI DAVE, OD '17 AVANI DAVE, OD '17 VSP/AOF Practice Excellence Scholarship Recipient
  • JUAN DING, AODP '17 JUAN DING, AODP '17 Dr. Norman E. Wallis Award for Excellence Recipient, highest score on the National Boards Part 1
  • MICAELA GOBEILLE, OD '18 MICAELA GOBEILLE, OD '18 2016 J. Pat Cummings Scholarship; Walmart Optometry Scholarship Recipient
  • SARA HANNA, OD '17 SARA HANNA, OD '17 VOSH One Student Grant Recipient
  • MICHAEL MERRITT, OD '17 MICHAEL MERRITT, OD '17 VSP/AOF Practice Excellence Scholarship Recipient; Walmart Optometry Scholarship
Strategic Priorities

Clinical Campus

In September 2015, the Board of Trustees approved New England College of Optometry’s 5-year strategic plan (2015-2020). 

A key element of our Strategic Plan is the development of NECO’s Clinical Campus on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.  Our clinical campus will co-locate our student clinical training facility (the pre-clinic experience) with our Primary and Specialty Patient Clinics, NECO’s Optical Center, as well as Clinical Research focused on improving patients’ lives. 

These interconnected activities will be united by our emphasis on stimulating innovation in teaching and learning - helping students make connections between discovery, integration and application to improve patient care; accentuating clinical experiences designed and appropriately timed to allow students to meld knowledge with patient impact; exposing students to new models in eye care delivery; and excellence in practice management.