Home News Women in the News- July 2023

Women in the News- July 2023

Congrats text with golden confetti
Carol Yepes, Getty Images

Women In Optometry regularly recognizes the awards and accomplishments of women ODs in the profession and in their communities in the “Women in the News” series. Have you received an award or acknowledgement for your contributions to optometry or your community? Send us a note: MBijlefeld@jobson.com.

Congratulations to all honorees.


Wynde Mathis Ashman, OD, of Muncie, Indiana, is the new president of the Indiana University School of Optometry Alumni Association. Dr. Ashman has served on the IUSO Alumni Board since 2015 in numerous roles, including secretary and vice president.


Vicky Wong, OD, of Rockville and Shady Grove, was installed at the president of the Maryland Optometric Association.


Photo credit: Chun AuYeung, OD
The Maryland Optometric Association named its 2023 board: (l-r) Immediate Past President Whitney Fahrman, OD; Secretary/Treasurer Saadia Tariq, OD;  Second Vice-President Katherine Funari, OD; First Vice-President Heather Atcherson, OD; President-Elect Natalie Sukontasup, OD; and President Vicky Wong, OD.


National Vision Optometrist Recognition of Excellence Award Winners
Catherine Dees, OD
dr veronica fowler Veronica Fowler, OD, MBA, FAAO
Kristine Lynn, OD
Susannah Lee, OD

Also awarded: Ryan Johnson, OD; Thomas Paar, OD; Vinh Vu, OD; Anthony Giallombardo, OD; David Teed, OD; Ishan Gandhi, OD; William Roberts, OD; Jonathan Elin-Calcador, OD; Tom Fickes, OD; Jerome Brendel, OD.

Debbie Jones, BSc, FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, received the 2023 President’s Award from the Canadian Association of Optometrists.


Maryland Optometric Association Meeting Awards
Whitney Fahrman, OD, of Easton, won OD of the Year.
Laura Goldberg, OD, MS, FAAO, Dipl. ABO, of Baltimore, won Young OD of the Year.
Helen Hooper OD, of Westminster, received the Mel Waxman Award.


National Optometric Association Awards
janette dumas pepper Janette Pepper, OD, FCOVD, FAAO, of Southern College of Optometry, received the Dr. Paula Boone Community Service Award.


Jacqueline Davis, OD, Clinical Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, was named  Optometrist of the Year.
Autumnn Wooten, OD, of Houston, Texas, was awarded the Melvin Shipp Young Optometrist of the Year Award.

Shirmarie Starks, UAB School of Optometry ’25, was awarded the Dr. Henry Moore Memorial Scholarship.

Emely Minino Soto, New England College of Optometry ’25, was awarded the Dr. Will Kelley Memorial Scholarship.

Jamesha Hughley, Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry ’25, was awarded the Dr. Ollie Powe Scholarship.

Crystal Wade, University of Pikeville Kentucky School of Optometry ’25, was awarded the Dr. Charles Comer Community Service Award.

Elouse Bureau, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University ’23, was awarded the Dr. Robert Johnson Pediatric & Vision Therapy Award.

Joannadria Brown, Southern College of Optometry ’25, was awarded the Dr. David W. White Jr. Memorial Scholarship.

Azalea Roach, NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry ’24, was awarded the Dr. C. Clayton Powell Georgia Student Scholarship and the Empowering Equity Scholarship. 

Joanna Lopez

The Academic Award Presented by Walmart was awarded to Adrianna Simmons, NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry ’24;

and Joanna Lopez, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry ’25.

Kass Wu

The Leadership Award Presented by Walmart was awarded to Kass Wu, SUNY College of Optometry ’24;

Priscilla Egbosimba, MCPHS School of Optometry ’24;

and Allision Tahdooahnippah, University of Pikeville Kentucky School of Optometry ’25.

Laura Medina

Charlene Ubah

The Future Contact Lens Leader Scholarship was awarded to Laura Medina, Sunny College of Optometry ’24;

Charlene Ubah, Indiana University School of Optometry, ’25;

and Mackenzie Coyne, Ohio State University College of Optometry, ’25.

Laura Medina

Joanna Lopez

Christine Chou

The Putting Passion Into Practice Awards were given to first place winner Laura Medina, SUNY College of Optometry, ’24;

second place winner Joanna Lopez, University of California Berkeley College of Optometry, ’25;

and third place winner Christine Chou, SUNY College of Optometry ’24.


Khaliah Knighten

Babirekere Bakama

Laura Medina

Isa Prude

The Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Awards were given to Khaliah Knighten, IAUPR ’26;

Babirekere Bakama, IAUPR ’25;

Laura Medina, SUNY ’24;

Danielle Ewert, UAB ’24;

and Isa Prude, NOVA ’24.


Crystal Wade

Kayla Hawkins

Joanna Lopez

Charlene Ubah

Kass Wu

The NOSA Executive Board Awards were given to Crystal Wade, University of Pikeville Kentucky School of Optometry ’25;

Kayla Hawkins, PCO ’24;

Joanna Lopez, UCB ’25;

Charlene Ubah, IU ’25;

and Kass Wu, SUNY ’24.


Sophia Johnson

Araba Otoo

The NOSA Poster Winners are first place winner Sophia Johnson, SUNY ’23;

and the People’s Choice winner Araba Otoo, OSU ’22.

Also awarded: Demetric Jones, Dr. John L. Howlette & Dr. Clayton Powell Student Founders Award winner; Jacon Wilson, second place NOSA Poster winner; Raymond Farmer, OD, Resident Ocular Disease Award; Jacory Clayton, Nijewel Holiday Memorial Scholarship; Kelly Echeta, Nijewel Holiday Memorial Scholarship


To read more news from WO, click here.

Women in the News – June 2023 | Women In Optometry

Women in the News – May 2023 | Women In Optometry

Women in the News – April 2023 | Women In Optometry

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