September 2016

Our goal at the College has always gone beyond simply educating highly qualified eye care providers and researchers. While we certainly want to produce the best and brightest doctors possible, we’ve always believed that the best doctors are also leaders who can take on the challenges of health care and drive it forward. We want to nurture innovation and ingenuity in our graduates so that they can blaze new trails and find new solutions that move our profession forward.

We work to develop our students’ leadership skills in a variety of ways at the College. From encouraging their participation in clubs and professional organizations, to providing curriculum offerings like our MBA certificate program, we make a concerted effort to offer our students a variety of opportunities that will enable them to build their leadership skills. We’ve had a long-standing commitment to this goal and it is a point of pride for our institution.

There are two articles in this issue of FY Eye that help to illustrate how this legacy of leadership at SUNY Optometry has existed since the College’s inception forty-five years ago. First, we honor our founding president, Dr. Alden N. Haffner, who regrettably passed away last June. Dr. Haffner was a true giant of the optometric profession who, through his prescient vision, helped to set both the College and optometry itself on a glidepath for success. Dr. Haffner’s leadership, from the earliest days of the College, offered a shining example for generations of students who proved this point through their own subsequent successes.

One of those alumna, Dr. Andrea Thau, perfectly encapsulates this example. As you’ll read here, last July, she was inaugurated as president of the American Optometric Association. Dr. Thau’s leadership skills and strong advocacy for the profession have helped to bring her to this important post. And under her guideane, the AOA will undoubtedly continue to strengthen the profession even more.

At the beginning of the new academic year, it is an ideal time to remind you of this proud legacy. Our new Class of 2020with an average GPA of 3.6has a very strong academic profile but we always look well beyond academic performance when it comes to admissions. We’re also looking for leadership experience and indicators that our students will succeed in ways beyond the classroom and clinic. Given our yield, which at 66 percent is the highest in the College’s history, it is clear that most of our students were looking for what SUNY has to offer as well. My hope is that we will continue to inspire our students to strive for greatness, not just as practitioners but as game-changing leaders.

I wish you all much success at the start of the academic year.   

David A. Heath, OD, EdM

 This summer we had a strong showing as part of SUNY system's first-ever appearance at the NYC Pride Parade. Click the image to see more photos
UEC News

Students put sports vision into action at Fenway Park more

Scholarly News 
Here's the latest scholarly news from the College more 
Remembering our Founder, Dr. Alden Norman Haffner
In Pictures: Welcome Class of 2020 more
College Names Chief Diversity Officer 
Alumna Sworn in as President of AOA 
New Director of Communications Joins the College 
Associate Vice Prsident for Alumni and Government Relations Joins College more
SUNY Researchers Examine What Governs Visual Attention more
Registration is now open for Envision 2016
click to register