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Women In The News – August

Women In Optometry regularly recognizes the accomplishments of women ODs in the profession and in their communities. Have you stepped into a new leadership role or recently won an award? Send us a note: MBijlefeld@jobson.com.


Pacific University College of Optometry

Rebecca Felde, OD, received the 2022 Pacific University College of Optometry Tole Greenstein Award. The award is presented to a student who demonstrates an outstanding contribution to vision therapy or pediatrics through research or clinical application.
Karen To, OD, class of 2022, received the 2022 Donald A. Bybee Award for Vision Therapy from the Pacific University College of Optometry. The award funds student research in visual training and is presented to the student who has demonstrated the best performance in the area of vision therapy.
Katerina Shapka, OD, class of 2022, was awarded the Pacific University College of Optometry 2022 Dr. Dori Carlson & Dr. Mark Helgeson Endowed Optometry Scholarship Fund. The award is presented to an outstanding student who aspires to practice in a rural community.
Kathia Albañez, OD, class of 2022, earned the 2022 Pacific University College of Optometry Dean’s Award, which recognizes overall academic excellence, leadership, community service, and a commitment to fulfill the values of Pacific University’s mission— someone who embodies the culture of the College of Optometry. She also was honored with the 2022 Brian Lee Hill Memorial Award, which was established in honor of the late optometry student, for her enthusiasm in bringing the class together through friendship and leadership and embodying Hill’s qualities of inspiration.



Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

Crystal Victor, OD, was named the new director of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
Mariana Ferraz, OD, FAAO, is the new director of community outreach.



Several women were recently honored by the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association.

Ami Halvorson, OD, of Portland, was named OD of the Year.  
Yelena Galuza, OD, of Woodburn, received the President’s Award.
Shaina Sullivan, OD, of Beaverton, was named Young OD of the Year.
Those elected to the 2022-23 board include Deri Sandberg, OD, of Bend, president-elect;


Nicole Rush, OD, of Bandon and Coquille, immediate past president;


and Emilee Nehring, OD, of Wooburn, director.



Deri Sandberg, OD

Nicole Rush, OD

emily scott nehring
Emilee Nehring, OD



Elise Brisco, OD, of Los Angeles, California, founder of NearSight, was selected as a top 10 female founder in 2022 by the Women Founders Network. NearSight is a reading lens attachment for the phone, and the first real alternative to reading glasses.



The 2022 National Vision NOSA scholarship winners included:

First Place ($4,000)

Joanna Lopez, UC Berkeley School of Optometry, Class of 2025


Runner-Up ($2,000)

Renata Simeon, Illinois College of Optometry, Class of 2024


Runner-Up ($1,000)

Elisabeth Schaffer, New England College of Optometry, Class of 2024



Daddi Fadel, DOptom, FSLS, FBCLA, FAAO, joined the Center of Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, as a clinical scientist. 



Melissa E. Trego, OD, PhD, dean of Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, was recently named as the president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry at the organization’s annual meeting in June 2022.


Julie DeKinger, OD, of University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry, was named vice chair of the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.



Several ODs were honored in the most recent Influential Women in Optical report from Vision Monday. Read the entire feature story here. 

Honroees include Bethany Fishbein, OD, chief executive officer at The Power Practice North Brunswick, New Jersey; Tommasina Pasqua Sideris, OD, owner/operator at Eyes on Litchfield in Litchfield, Connecticut; Jennifer Tabiza, OD, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Westchester Eyecare Center, Dr. Contact Lens, and Techifeye, in Los Angeles, California in the Executive Suite category.

Bethany Fishbein, OD


Tommasina Pasqua Sideris, OD


Jennifer Tabiza, OD
In the Rising Stars category, these ODs were honored: Emily Eisenhower, OD, owner of Vision Source of Newport, in Newport, Tennessee;


Breann Forliti, OD, president of Blaine Eye Clinic in Blaine, Minnesota; Angelina Popovic, OD, VP medical and professional affairs at Shopko Optical in Green Bay, Wisconsin;


Jennifer Tsai, OD, founder of Line of Sight, in New York, New York.

Emily Eisenhower, OD

Breann Forliti, OD


Jennifer Tsai, OD
Beatriz Elizabeth Gómez Serna, OD, of Torreón Coahuila, México; and Lauretta Justin, OD, CEO and founder of Optometry Divas and owner, Millennium Eye Center in Orlando, Florida; were honored in the Mentor category.  

Beatriz Elizabeth Gómez Serna, OD


Lauretta Justin, OD


Two ODs were recognized in the Innovators category: Janelle Davison, OD, CEO/Founder of Brilliant Eyes Vision Center and Premier Dry Eye Spa, in  Smyrna, Georgia; and Amanda Rights, OD, founder and creative director of SimplifEYE Social, and OptomEyesLife in Boone, North Carolina.

Janelle Davison, OD


Amanda Rights, OD


Featured image: iStock/Getty images

“No Photo Available” image: Grace Maina, Getty images



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