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UPIKE-KYCO dean selected to serve on diversity committee

October 02, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, KY
Andrew Buzzelli, O.D., M.S., vice president for optometric education and founding dean of the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry, has been selected to serve as the chair of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee. The goal of the committee is to assist the schools and colleges of optometry in the preparation of a diverse pool of optometric clinicians who will be clinically ready to address the vision and eye care needs of a multicultural and global community.

Buzzelli, a long-time advocate of diversity, will serve as the chair of the committee for the 2017-2018 cycle. ASCO and its member institutions have embraced the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism in optometric education and in the profession. With generous financial support from Walmart, ASCO has been implementing a multi-year project focusing on cultural competence.

A graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry and a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, Buzzelli is also recognized as an authority in the field of binocular vision and visual perception, having taught programs in the diagnosis and treatment of acquired brain injury, pediatric optometry and binocular vision, as well as child abuse and intimate partner violence. Buzzelli is one of only 36 optometrists in the world recognized as a diplomate in binocular vision and perception by the American Academy of Optometry.

During his tenure with the U.S. Air Force, Buzzelli held command positions as the chief of optometry for the 105th Military Airlift Wing and commander of the 105th Medical Group. He served as the assistant to the command surgeon for Air Force Material Command and was selected as the chief advisor to the Air Force Surgeon General on matters of policy, operations and utilization of the entire 107,000 membership of the Air National Guard. The author of more than 25 articles in both optometric and military publications and a recognized expert in the field of chemical and biological weapons, Buzzelli authored the first-ever ophthalmic textbook series for the treatment and management of injuries resultant from terrorist attacks.

The Kentucky College of Optometry is the fourth college under the University of Pikeville banner and reflects the institution’s mission of service and strategic initiatives. The American Council for Optometric Education has granted the Kentucky College of Optometry the pre-accreditation classification of “Preliminary Approval.” The University of Pikeville is the 22nd school in the country to have a college of optometry. Construction was recently completed on a new educational facility to house the Kentucky College of Optometry. Sixty students will be admitted per class for a total of 240. The university expects to provide for the underserved in Central Appalachia and other rural areas of the country. 

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