Steven H. Eyler, OD Class of 1977

Steven H. EylerDr. Steve Eyler is a proud member of the leadership-laden Class of 1977 and played on the infamous Episcotisters intramural basketball team, which claimed the Ohio State Grad-Championship. That Finals is remembered for classmate and point guard Dr. Joe Barr actually passing the ball to Dr. Eyler three times in that game, a record.

Dr. Eyler is the senior and founding partner of University Eye Associates, an eight-doctor, full-scope, primary care practice in North Carolina (NC). He is the team optometrist for UNC-Charlotte and Davidson College and has served as the emergency eye care provider for numerous NCAA Championship events. Dr. Eyler has served as President of the following: the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO), the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry, the North Carolina State Optometric Society, University City Rotary, and the Charlotte Basketball Committee. He has served on the American Academy of Optometry’s Admittance Committee for the last 11 years and has lectured on leadership at the Academy’s Annual Meeting the last five years. Dr. Eyler’s honors include: the University City Rotary Distinguished Service Award (1994), the ARBO Distinguished Service Award (1999), the inaugural NC State Optometric Society Dr. Robinson Clinical Excellence Award (2002), the NC State Optometric Society Dr. Costabile OD of the Year Award (2005), and the American Optometric Student Association Founders Award (2009).

Paulette P. Schmidt, OD, MS – Class of 1973 – Notable Alumna

Paulette P. SchmidtOpportunities characterized my career in our College from the front lines in optometric education to the rarefied air of governmental agencies and institutes at state and national levels. With a strong sense of professionalism instilled by mentors and dear colleagues, my goal was to develop each opportunity to the fullest extent possible and to benefit the College and profession. Several opportunities are especially memorable: 1) Developing the optometric technician (OT) curriculum/facilities at Columbus State University then integrating the OT clinical experience with the clinical teaching program at the College and leading the development of the American Optometric Association Paraoptometrc Section and registry exam was inspiring and exhilarating; 2) Establishing a significant pediatric curriculum and clinical service at the College informed by cutting edge infant vision research, which showed clearly the importance of clinical vision research to the evidence-based clinical pediatric vision care of the future; 3) The clinical research question that I pursued related to our longtime school vision screening program at the College established by Dr. Glenn Fry. My responsibility for the community-based vision screening program and related coursework generated the critical clinical question and led to the Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) Study and the University/Community Model Program. The VIP Study was a six-year, multi-center, inter-disciplinary, clinical study funded by the National Eye Institute. The Study Center and one of five Clinical Centers were located at our College. The VIP Study involved hundreds of heroic colleagues and thousands of three- to five-year old Head Start Preschoolers. These many achievements, along with other wonderful mentors, colleagues and a most supportive husband led to my retirement in 2009 as Professor of Optometry and Vision Science, member of The Ohio State University Graduate Faculty, and Professor Emeritus. What an honor!

Though the College of Optometry, University and optometric organizations kept “my dance-card filled,” an interest in art and artists continued to grow from my days as an undergraduate fine arts major at the University of Wisconsin. Now, I especially focus on painters and sculptors whose vision disorders may have affected their work. My current community service work for the Columbus Childhood League arises from my days as a young clinical instructor taking our students to screen the vision of these young handicapped preschoolers. Service remains a privilege.

Gregory J. Nixon, OD, FAAO – Class of 1996 – Notable Alumnus

Gregory J. NixonDr. Greg Nixon, Clinical Professor of Optometry at The Ohio State University College of Optometry writes: “Congratulations Ohio State University Optometry as you celebrate your centennial! It is truly remarkable to think about the tremendous impact this program has had over the last 100 years. Ohio State has produced innovative researchers whose discoveries have influenced the optometric community and changed the standards of care for our practices. Our clinical program has provided expert vision and eye care to benefit the lives of thousands of patients. The greatest influence of all, however, is that Ohio State Optometry has made dreams come true for its graduates.

I feel blessed to be among those whose dream to become an optometrist came true. As a nearsighted eighth grader, I was enthralled with the effect my first spectacle correction had on my view of the world. I gained a new clarity about my surroundings I had never known before. In a broader sense, this experience also focused my career interests toward being able to provide this benefit to others. Enrolling at Ohio State not only trained me to be the best optometrist possible, it has provided me the opportunity to train a generation of optometrists who have shared that same dream. Today, I am one of thousands of Ohio State alumni who is proud to be a Buckeye OD who has contributed to providing 100 years of great vision. I look forward to OSU striving to preserve and protect that vision for many years to come.”

Brian Pall, OD, MS, FAAO – Class of 1999 – Notable Alumnus

Dr. Brian Pall received his Doctor of Optometry degree from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1999. He remained at Ohio State as a Cornea and Contact Lens Resident/Advanced Practice Fellow and received his MS degree in Vision Science in 2001. In July 2001, Dr. Pall joined the Research and Development group at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. He also became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in the fall of 2001.

Currently, Dr. Pall is employed as a Senior Principal Research OpBrian Palltometrist at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Throughout his career, he has supported material development from prototype to approval followed by support of post-market clinical studies for all of the company’s currently marketed hydrogel and silicone hydrogel materials (etafilcon A, galyfilcon A, senofilcon A, narafilcon A, and narafilcon B). He is also the clinical lead for the combination product programs, including the development and optimization of a silver-containing antimicrobial lens and an anti-allergy contact lens material. Dr. Pall presents clinical research results and lectures on contact lens-related topics worldwide.

Dr. Pall and his wife, Michele, live in Jacksonville, Florida, with their three children: Ellie (born in 2006), Evan (born in 2006), and Abby (born in 2011). He enjoys traveling, playing golf, and spending time with his family.

Nancy Barr, OD, FAAO – Class of 1983 – Notable Alumna

Nancy BarrMy professional accomplishments include Fellow, American Academy of Optometry; Diplomate, American Board of Optometry; and past president of the Georgia Optometric Association. I have been in private practice for most of my professional career but spent several years working for Vistakon in their Professional Affairs department. I volunteer monthly for the Georgia Lions Lighthouse and have been on eye missions abroad as well.

In my newest pursuit (in addition to practicing), I developed a training program designed to teach optometric/ophthalmic assisting skills to young women who have been exploited by human traffickers. At the training center, we have, in addition to our lecture area, an exam lane filled with donated equipment. We have gotten commitments from local practitioners to allow these young women to “shadow” or intern at their offices. This endeavor allows me to combine my passions for female empowerment, education, and eye care!

Carol L. Alexander, OD, FAAO – Class of 1987 – Notable Alumna

Carol L. AlexanderDr. Carol Alexander began her journey in optometry as an optometric technician in 1981. As an accomplished technician, Carol was named to the AOA Paraoptometric Council and was instrumental in the development of the first Optometric Technician Certification program. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1987. Dr. Alexander’s leadership skills were recognized early by her classmates who elected her class president in the second, third, and fourth years. Following graduation, Dr. Alexander began working for two Toledo-area optometrists and in 1991 realized her professional vision to establish her own independent private practice in Sylvania, Ohio, Personal Eyecare. Throughout her career in patient care, Dr. Alexander was also very involved in organized optometry, serving on various committees in local, state, and national optometric associations. Early in her career she was recognized as both the state (’92) and national (’97) Young Optometrist of the Year. Her contributions included actively pursuing therapeutic legislation in the state of Ohio and spearheading quality assurance initiatives in the profession at both state and national levels, serving as Chair of the American Optometric Association Commission on Quality Assessment and Improvement (’98-99). She was elected to the Ohio Optometric Association (OOA) Board of Trustees in 1994 and was the first woman to serve as President of the OOA in 1999-2000. During her time as President, she chaired the Strategic Planning Committee to change the basic operations of the organization. She was named Ohio’s OD of the Year in 2006. In 2008, she successfully transitioned her practice to a young OD and took on a full-time role with Vistakon, where she currently serves as Director, Professional Communications and is responsible for doctor led peer-to-peer efforts for the company. In 2010 she was named by Vision Monday as one of the Most Influential Women in the Optical Industry.

Kent Daum, OD, PhD, FAAO – Class of 1976 – Notable Alumnus

Kent DaumDr. Kent M. Daum graduated from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1976. He subsequently received his MS and PhD degrees from Ohio State under the tutelage of Dr. Richard Hill and Dr. Glenn Fry. He has been a faculty member at four optometric institutions (Ohio State, the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Optometry, the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO), and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry (MCPHS) and served as Dean of Academic Affairs at ICO and MCPHS. His achievements have included chairing the curriculum committee; directing a faculty intramural practice; managing budgets; recruiting and mentoring faculty; designing, building and renovating new and renovated facilities; and teaching, precepting, and providing patient care. He played a role in the Chicago Vision Outreach program providing eye and vision care to thousands of Chicago schoolchildren and also contributed to the development of the Black Belt Eye Care Consortium. He published a textbook as well as a number of papers in the peer-reviewed literature. He served on the Environmental/Occupational Vision Committee in the American Optometric Association; chaired the Student-Faculty Liaison Committee of the American Academy of Optometry; and served in several roles within the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. He provides vision care to patients at the Mobile County Health Department in Mobile, Alabama. Dr. Daum has been married to his wife, Kathy, for 42 years. He enjoys people, running, swimming, reading, and sports.

Mary Jo Stiegemeier, OD, FAAO – Class of 1983 – Notable Alumna

Mary Jo StiegemeierDr. Mary Jo Stiegemeier is a 1983 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry where she earned the Bausch and Lomb Contact Lens Award. Dr. Stiegemeier was also presented with a Distinguished Teaching Award from Mt. Sinai Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Stiegemeier founded Western Reserve Vision Care, a private optometric practice in Beachwood and Hudson, Ohio, where she specializes in therapeutic contact lens fitting. She also is Staff Optometrist at the Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Specialty Contact Lens Clinic, Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Stiegemeier is the 2009 recipient of the American Optometric Association Contact Lens and Cornea Section’s Luminary Award for Distinguished Practice. She has also been recognized by the National Academies of Practice as a distinguished practitioner in Optometry.

Dr. Stiegemeier has faculty appointments as an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor at the Pacific University College of Optometry and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis College of Optometry. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate in the Academy’s Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry. Dr. Stiegemeier is one of the founding board members of Women of Vision, an organization dedicated to helping female optometrists.

In addition to her work in optometry she enjoys family life with husband Andrew, four children (Alex married to Danielle, Tyler married to Lori, Trevor married to Brittany, and Lauren Stiegemeier), and grandchildren, Brooke Rae and Dane Michael, born to Trevor and Brittany.

She writes, “What a great beginning Ohio State University has afforded me! I appreciate every second of my education there!”

Michael D. Twa, OD, PhD, FAAO – Notable Alumnus

Michael D. TwaAlthough he has lived many years outside of Ohio, Dr. Twa is a native Ohioan. He completed his optometry training at the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry and then practiced in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego for 11 years in general optometry and corneal refractive surgery before returning to pursue a PhD in Vision Science at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. While at the College, he was awarded a Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award by the National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute to pursue research related to biomedical imaging and machine learning methods. Upon completion of his doctoral training, Dr. Twa was appointed as a Research Assistant Professor. In 2007, he moved to the University of Houston College of Optometry,where he was recently promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Twa became a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in 1993 and has served as the Chair of the Academy’s Scientific Program Committee since 2011.

At the University of Houston, Dr. Twa’s teaching assignments include human anatomy and histology. He leads an NIH/NEI summer research fellowship program for students interested in pursuing careers in academia or as clinician scientists. His current research focus is on the development of elastography imaging, a non-invasive way to determine the stiffness of ocular tissues using optical coherence tomography imaging. The goal of this research is early disease detection and monitoring the effects of clinical treatments. This work has direct applications for ocular diseases like keratoconus and treatments like corneal cross-linking.

Dr. Twa has been married to his wife, Jeanette, for 24 years, and they have three children Emily (20), Joli (18) and Guy (16). Together, they have traveled the world and now call Houston, Texas their home. Dr. Twa writes, “My journey in this profession has been been very rewarding. I could never have imagined the number of things I would experience, the places I would travel, the people whose lives I would have an opportunity to touch and who would touch mine. None of this journey would have been possible or nearly as fulfilling if it were not for the love, support and sacrifice of my wife and children.”