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Kentucky College of Optometry announces administrative executive council

December 16, 2014 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
Andrew Buzzelli, O.D., M.S., vice president for optometric education and founding dean, has appointed the executive council as the founding members of the new administration for the Kentucky College of Optometry.

After an extensive national search and vigorous interview process, the individuals were selected from a very competitive applicant pool as the best candidates to build the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry into a national leader in optometric education. Donald Egan, O.D., has been chosen as the associate dean of academic affairs. He comes to the college as a full professor with additional teaching responsibilities, to include contact lenses and primary care optometry. Egan received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He became a faculty member at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science after completing a post doctorate residency program with an emphasis in clinical optometry and contact lenses. Thereafter, he joined the faculty at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and developed the contact lens program for the newly established school of optometry.

Egan later joined the prestigious Geisinger Medical Center, a dynamic physician-run tertiary care health organization in Danville, Pa., as an associate in the department of ophthalmology where he provided patient care and developed an instructional program for ophthalmology residents and the technical staff. Prior to his appointment at Pikeville, Egan served at the Western University of Health Sciences’ new college of optometry where he developed the contact lens program serving as course leader for the contact lens curriculum.

“We feel Dr. Egan’s extensive background in optometric and ophthalmologic education and administration, coupled with years of working in inter-professional health care, will be a major asset in developing our professional education program here at the University of Pikeville,” said Buzzelli.

Roya Attar, O.D., has been chosen as the director of student affairs and a senior clinical instructor for primary care optometry and anterior segment. Prior to her appointment, Attar was a practicing optometric physician serving patients in San Antonio, Texas. Attar graduated in the top tier of her class and was a member of the inaugural class of the Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio. She has received numerous local and national awards and recognition for her academic, professional and service achievements.

“Dr. Attar had extensive experience in marketing in the business community prior to her matriculation in optometry,” said Buzzelli. “Her previous success in business will be crucial in her role to recruit highly qualified students nationwide for the new program.”

Heather Keene will serve as the executive assistant to the dean of the Kentucky College of Optometry, as well as the director of support personnel. Keene’s responsibilities will also include teaching business management and rural health care. A native of the Appalachia region of Pikeville, Ky., Keene received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Morehead State University where she graduated with honors. Buzzelli noted that Keene has a thorough understanding and knowledge of all administrative tasks and will serve a vital role within the Kentucky College of Optometry’s Executive Council.

The Kentucky College of Optometry is the fourth college under the University of Pikeville banner. The college of optometry reflects the university’s mission of service and is a continuation of “Vision 2020,” the institution’s strategic plan directed by University of Pikeville President Dr. James Hurley.

The University of Pikeville is in the process of applying for accreditation to become the 22nd educational institution in the country to have a college of optometry. The very specific mission of the Kentucky College of Optometry is to provide health care in the underserved areas of Appalachia and rural America. The school will serve as a venue to offer access to professional education for the first generations of rural populations.

The Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Pikeville is ranked nationally among the top five schools in rural medicine. The university has also been recognized in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Almanac of Higher Education 2014 as one of the “fastest-growing colleges in the nation.”

Construction is currently under way to build a new, state-of-the-art, six-story educational facility to house the Kentucky College of Optometry. Sixty students will be admitted per class, for a total of 240.

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