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By: Stacey Walters |
May 5, 2023
The University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) held its awards luncheon honoring the Class of 2023 in the Health Professions Education Building on May 5.
Jessica Johnson, O.D., of Clarkson, Ky., received the Dean’s Award. The award is presented to a graduating student who has shown outstanding leadership while maintaining high academic standards.
Johnson also received the Kentucky Optometric Association Advocacy Award. The award is presented to the graduating KYCO student who is a vocal advocate for organized optometry, seeks to advance and protect the profession, and demonstrates outstanding dedication and contribution to the profession, the Kentucky Optometric Association, and the legislative process.
In addition, Johnson was awarded the Pioneer International Senior Leadership Award. The award is presented to a graduating student who has helped pave the way for not only their classmates but also incoming students.
Aggie Bruemmer, O.D., of Jefferson City, Mo., received the President’s Award. The award is presented to the Class of 2023 Valedictorian.
Bruemmer was also awarded the Dr. Pierette Dayhaw-Barker Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Area of Medical Sciences. The award is presented to the KYCO graduating student with the highest GPA in the areas of medical science: anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry and microbiology.
In addition, Bruemmer received the Beta Sigma Kappa Highest Award, presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average.
Abigail Mitchell, O.D., of Pounding Mill, Va., received the Board of Trustees’ Award. The award is presented to a graduating senior who earned the highest score on Part One of the National Boards.
Colette J. Houssan, O.D., of Millbury, Mass., received the award in honor of the Dean at KYCO, Dr. Michael and Kelly Bacigalupi Family Award for Advanced Therapeutics. The award is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated special interest and skill in the area of advanced therapeutics and laser treatment by optometrists.
Houssan was also awarded the Ibironke Family Legacy and Leadership Award. Instituted in 2020 by Assistant Dean and Professor at KYCO, Josephine Ibironke, O.D., MPH, in honor of her parents, children and siblings, the award is presented to a graduate who consistently exemplifies discipline, empathy, dedication and humility in service to all patients.
In addition, Houssan received the EschenBach Low Vision Student Award. The award is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding clinical application, exceptional aptitude and interest in the field of low vision.
Ashley Richmond, O.D., of Winchester, Ky., received the Dr. Ronald McCoy Community Service Award, presented to a graduating student who exemplifies Dr. Ronald McCoy’s commitment to community service.
Jessi Sampson, O.D., of Gassaway, W.Va., received the College of Optometrists in Vision Development Award of Excellence. The award is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated strong interest and clinical skills in the area of vision therapy.
Jonathan Bunnell, O.D., of Glasgow, Ky., received the Dedication to Transforming the Delivery of Eye Care Award. The award is presented to a student who demonstrates leadership both personally among their peers and professionally within the optometry field to transform the delivery of eye care for years to come and lead the profession to even greater heights.
Rebecca Simmons Brown, O.D., of Searcy, Ark., was awarded the Contact Lens Clinical Excellence Award sponsored by Gas Permeable Lens Institute. The award is presented to a graduating student for outstanding enthusiasm and achievement with gas-permeable contact lenses in the clinical environment.
Brown also received the Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. The award recognizes an outstanding graduate clinician who has demonstrated excellence in contact lens patient care during their optometric education and must be a member of AAO.
Peyton Taylor, O.D., of Opelousas, La., and Miranda Koehler, O.D., of Springfield, Illinois, received the Contact Lens Excellence Award. The award is presented to two students who have demonstrated contact lens excellence.
Gabrielle Ault, O.D., of Vincennes, Ind., received the Good-Lite Pediatric Vision Care Award. The award is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated a high passion and excellence in pediatrics and binocular vision.
Philip Sowards, O.D., of Pikeville, Ky., received the Commonwealth of Kentucky Award, sponsored by David Cowen, M.D., FACS. The award is presented to a graduating student who is most passionate and committed to the excellence of eye care in Eastern Kentucky.
Yaadam Jobe, O.D., of Corona, Calif., received the Metro Optics Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care. The award is presented to an outstanding graduate clinician who has demonstrated excellence in contact lens patient care, including the student’s overall knowledge in the contact lens field and skillful, considerate and professional care of their contact lens patients.
Melanie Patterson, O.D., of Camden, Tenn., received the Metro Optics Excellence in Contact Lens Skills Award. The award is presented to a graduating student who has shown exceptional skills in the fitting of gas permeable and specialty contact lenses.
Caitlynn Estevez, O.D., of Jenkins, Ky., was awarded the National Vision Senior Award, presented to the graduating student with a grade point average of at least 3.25 and demonstrated service throughout their schooling through outreach programs offered by the school or through other avenues.
Estevez also received the Southern Council of Optometrists Clinical Excellence Award. The award is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding clinical performance.
Claire Beaird, O.D., of Farmerville, La., was awarded the Pioneer International Senior Excellence Award. The award is presented to a graduating student who has shown excellence in care, compassion and consideration for not only their patients but also for the field of optometry.
Kevin Turner, O.D., of Capon Bridge, W.Va., received the Optelec Excellence in Low Vision Award. The award is presented to a graduating student who has excelled academically or has contributed to a university service, and has a special interest in low vision.
Shelby Gelhaus, O.D., of St. Henry, Ohio, received the VSP Global Private Practice Award. The award is presented to a graduating student based on academic achievement, clinical and patient care, and leadership qualities with a special focus on private practice.
For more information about KYCO, visit upike.edu/kyco.