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Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry Announces Special Recognition Award to Its First Female Lifetime Achievement Winner

Congratulations, Dr. Scharre, Dr. Mothersbaugh and Dr. Yuan

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) honored Janice Scharre, OD, MA, FAAO, with the ASCO Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Scharre is the first female recipient of this honor. This award recognizes an outstanding individual who, over an extended period of time, provided exceptional leadership to ASCO and to optometric education; made outstanding contributions to the optometric community; and displayed exemplary commitment and dedication to the association.

Dr. Scharre began her optometric career as a graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) in 1976. Shortly after graduation, she joined the faculty at ICO, where she served in a variety of capacities. Among the awards she received at ICO was the Inaugural Dr. Joseph L. Henry Achievement Award in June 2007.

Dr. Scharre with her colleague, David Heath, OD, developed and implemented the ASCO Faculty Development Institute—a program designed to enhance faculty teaching and professional development skills.


In 2014, Dr. Scharre joined Salus University as the Provost. At Salus, she had the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary educational setting with Pennsylvania College of Optometry as the founding college of the University. Dr. Scharre was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by Salus University. She retired from Salus in 2018.

“I am honored to be the 2020 recipient of ASCO’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Dr. Scharre. “I have had the opportunity to work with gifted faculty and dedicated administrators on behalf of students and patients throughout my career. I have been blessed with supportive mentors and colleagues in my work. My accomplishments are a reflection of those who have supported and guided me throughout my career. It is humbling to me to be recognized from my peers in this way.

“The work that ASCO does for the enhancement of optometric education and the profession is outstanding. Over the years I have witnessed this group take on difficult issues and develop and implement strategies for the good of students, the profession, and the public,” she continues. “We currently are in the most significant time of disruption to optometric training that I have ever seen in my lifetime. I am confident that, as a collective body, you will continue to maintain a high quality of optometric education for our students and patients.”


Sponsored by Oculus, the ASCO Rising Star Award is given to an outstanding faculty member or administrator with less than seven years of service who has made noteworthy contributions to fulfilling the mission, strategic objections, or programs of ASCO. This year’s Rising Star awardee is Erik Mothersbaugh, OD, MPH. He serves as the Dean of Student Affairs at Illinois College of Optometry, where he is primarily focused on the areas of recruiting, admissions, and student services. An alum of ICO class of 2012, he completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease. He then served full-time on ICO’s faculty before joining the President’s Administrative Cabinet in 2018. During his time as a faculty member he taught courses in Visual Optics and Ethics in addition to patient care responsibilities in the Primary Care and Urgent Care services of the Illinois Eye Institute.

“It is an honor to be recognized by ASCO for this award,” says Dr. Mothersbaugh. “Among this group I have no shortage of mentorship. I am incredibly grateful to be part of an organization so dedicated to high quality education and the future of the profession of Optometry. Thank you!”


This annual national award, sponsored by Alcon, is available to optometry students during any point of their professional program at an ASCO-affiliated school or college of optometry in the U.S. and Canada. This year’s award goes to Ryan Yuan, OD, a 2020 graduate of the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University. His winning essay, “Ethics of Ocular Pain Management,” will also be featured in ASCO’s Journal, Optometric Education.

ASCO’s virtual Annual Business Meeting will be held on June 24, 2020. It is open to all who wish to attend. Register for the meeting.

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