Kefla Brown, OD MS – Class of 2001 – Notable Alumna

Kefla BrownKefla G. Brown, OD, MS received her OD and MS in Vision Science degrees in 2001 from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in Columbus, OH and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Xavier University in 1997. She is Director of Community Outreach in the Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry at Ochsner Health System (New Orleans, LA) and Director, Pediatric Optometric Services at Ochsner Children’s Medical Center. She provides primary eye care for children ages birth through 18, diagnoses and treats ocular disease, fits contact lenses and specialty pediatric contact lenses, and provides coordinated care of high risk patients in conjunction with Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Endocrinology, Genetics and General Pediatrics. She is involved in the optometric residency training program through the Southern College of Optometry, the Louisiana State University ophthalmology residency training program, as well as training of third and fourth year medical students at the University of Queensland.

Dr. Brown is a member of the American Optometric Association, Optometric Association of Louisiana, New Orleans Optometric Society, and The Greater New Orleans Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Her honors and awards include: Nominee for Young OD of the Year in the State of Louisiana, Vision Service Plan Scholarship Award for demonstrating excellence in the pursuit of primary care skills, Ohio Optometric Association’s Outstanding Senior Student Award for Outstanding Professional Interest and Public Concern, and First Prize in Philosophy, Xavier University’s Across Curriculum Thinking Program.

Her volunteer work and community service includes vision screenings at area churches, in the InfantSEE Mobile Eye Clinic, and at YMCA-sponsored activities. Dr. Brown has also lectured on “Protecting Your Sight in UV Light” – Guest Speaker for Shell, “Your Eyes, the Window to your Health,” – WLAE’s Hello Health on TV, and “The Facts about Macular Degeneration.”

Karen Riccio, OD – Class of 1982 – Notable Alumna

Karen RiccioDr. Karen Riccio graduated from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1982. She practiced at the Cincinnati Eye Institute for 10 years. While at the Cincinnati Eye Institute, she was involved in emergency eye care, pediatric eye care, medical glaucoma care, and peri-operative cataract surgery care. Upon moving back to Columbus, Dr. Riccio was the optometric director of a laser vision correction center. In 1997 she joined the Eye Designs team.

Dr. Riccio is actively involved in the American Optometric Association, the Ohio Optometric Association, and the Central Ohio Optometric Association. She is a past president of the Ohio Optometric Association. Dr. Riccio was appointed to the State Board of Optometry, for a five-year term, ending in 2013.

Dr. Riccio said, “As you can see, I have had many different jobs as an optometrist. This is one of the great things about optometry, all the possibilities! I am currently in a private practice Eye Designs founded by Doug Bloss (OD’87). My current business partner is MaryEllen Luebbers (OD’05). We have two offices and I have never been happier than I am now, having my own practice.”

Tara Jayne, OD – Class of 2003 – Notable Alumna

Tara JayneDr. Tara Jayne graduated from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 2003 as recipient of the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program. She started her career at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California for two years before moving on to Osan Air Base, South Korea where she worked as a liaison to the Republic of Korea Air Force and helped return several pilots to flight duty.

In 2006, Dr. Jayne transferred to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where she served as President of the Tri-Services Optometric/Paraoptometric Society (TOPS), coordinated information flow and tri-service coverage for the island of Oahu, and organized free continuing medical education for TOPS members. She represented optometry as a forensics expert by identifying the remains of repatriated military members found by the Joint Pacific Accounting Command over a three-year period.Tara Jayne

Once she moved to Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, she gained recognition for optometry as an “aerospace scientist” by providing analysis in the investigation for a destroyed unmanned aircraft, for which she developed an optical system standard in order to define a weapons design flaw, allowing the military to swiftly correct the flaw and keep the airframe from being grounded.

Due to Dr. Jayne’s diverse experiences while teaching optometry and ophthalmology examination techniques in austere environments to local national health care providers on humanitarian missions in eleven cities of four countries, she was selected by the USAF Optometry Chief Consultant to the Surgeon General to author the disease and injury training module for all Air Force optometrists to review yearly to assure their readiness status.

Amidst her duties to the Air Force, she attained her Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry in 2010.

Recently, Dr. Jayne served the Air Force as the Optometry Flight Commander and the Biomedical Sciences Chief Executive officer at Lajes Field, Portugal and is currently at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. In 2013, Dr. Jayne won the Armed Forces Optometric Society Junior Optometrist of the Year award.

Dr. Jayne spends much of her non-duty time travelling with her seven-year-old twins, Bryson and Dakodah. They are proud to say that they have seen and experienced over 30 countries, and they enjoy their weekends at home kayaking and playing with their dogs.

Richard E. Weisbarth, OD FAAO – Class of 1980 – Notable Alumnus

Richard E. WeisbarthRick Weisbarth is a proud member of The Ohio State University College of Optometry Class of 1980. His Ohio State undergraduate and optometric education provided a strong foundation for his professional career and involvement in the optometric profession. Following graduation, he completed the Contact Lens Practice Residency Program at the University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Optometry. Next, he was in private practice in Tampa, FL for a short while. Most of his optometric career has been spent working in industry at CIBA Vision and Alcon Laboratories in the United States and Switzerland. There he has held a number of different positions in Clinical Research, Professional Development & Partnerships, and Professional Services. Currently, he is Vice President, Professional Affairs for Alcon and is based in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Weisbarth has published and lectured internationally on a variety of contact lens and lens care related topics. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Diplomate in its Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies. Dr. Weisbarth served on the Academy’s Executive Council and Board of Directors and was President of the Academy in 2007 – 2008. Additionally, he is a Past Chairperson of the Contact Lens Institute (CLI) and current Chair of the National Academies of Practice in Optometry (NAPO).

He and his wife, Pam, reside in Mansfield, Texas. They have two grown children, Tyler and Kristen. In his spare time, he enjoys landscaping, carpentry, and spending time with his family.

Melissa Bailey, OD PhD – Class of 2001- Notable Alumna

Melissa BaileyMy first official visit to The Ohio State University College of Optometry was in the summer of 1996 with the late John T. Mount, the former Ohio State Vice President and great-uncle of my childhood friend. At the time, I had no idea how important he was to Ohio State. Still, he unbelievably arranged for me to have a tour of our College, gave me a tour of the entire Columbus campus himself, and took me to lunch. During that visit, I decided to become an optometrist, and I only applied to Ohio State. I have been at the college since the fall of 1997. I was fortunate to be one of the students selected to join the first class of National Institutes of Health-funded Summer Trainees at the College of Optometry. After that, I received a doctorate of optometry and two graduate degrees in vision science (MS and PhD), and I have been very grateful for the excellent optometric and vision research training I have received. I was also blessed to have been accepted to train in the laboratories of fellow colleagues, Drs. Karla Zadnik and Donald Mutti. I know I could not have received better training as a vision scientist anywhere else.

I have often said that I chose a career in academia because I wanted to do more than practice optometry; I want to change how it is practiced forever. In addition to teaching our outstanding students, I have had the privilege to be the first researcher to conduct in-depth studies of the ciliary muscle in humans of all ages. In my laboratory, we have discovered that even though there are not yet any diseases or disorders associated with the ciliary muscle, it is not the same in everyone. It is curiously thicker in some individuals with myopia, and we now know that it continues to grow throughout the elementary school years. Graduate students in my laboratory have also helped me to learn more about how it functions during accommodation and its impact on a patient’s ability to sustain accommodation. For pioneering this area of research, I was awarded the Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Outstanding Young Researcher Award by the American Academy of Optometry in 2012.

In addition to studying the ciliary muscle, I have taken an interest in developing new ophthalmic devices. I was recently the winner of a $10,000 prize in the Big Ideas for Healthcare and Design at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for inventing a software application that will allow healthcare professionals to make multiple vision measurements on a single device, including autorefraction and eye alignment.

I know that I can speak on behalf of my husband of 17 years, Daniel Bailey, and our nine-year-old son, Luke, when I say that we are all grateful for my selection as a notable alumnus and all of the many educational and career opportunities that I have received from Ohio State over the last two decades.

Gilbert E. Pierce, OD PhD FAAO – Class of 1989 – Notable Alumnus

Gilbert E. PierceI am a 1989 graduate of the OSU College of Optometry, received a PhD in physiological optics in 1994, and have been a full-time faculty member at the College since 1996. I was inspired by mentors that I have had over the years as an optometry student, graduate student, and faculty member – luminaries such as Arol Augsburger, Joe Barr, Mike Polasky, and Karla Zadnik.

At the College, I am currently a Professor of Clinical Optometry and serve as a member of the Admissions Committee. I am also the faculty advisor to Epsilon Psi Epsilon and the Optometry Student Council. I am passionate about recruiting and admitting the 64 best possible students to each year’s entering class. I love educating the outstanding students here at Ohio State and have been privileged to receive both the Herbert G. Mote Award from εψε and the American Optometric Student Association Faculty Member of the Year Award.

In addition to my passion for the College, I also have a strong commitment to service to the optometric profession. I served on the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Optometric Association (OOA) from 2003 – 2011 and as OOA President in 2010. Additionally I have served the American Optometric Association (AOA) as a member of the AOA Faculty Relations Committee from 2004-2012 (chair 2007 – 2012). I also served on the AOA Publication and Education Committee. I also serve the American Academy of Optometry, previously as a member of the Faculty – Student Liaison Committee and now as a member of the Admittance Committee. Additionally, I have served the National Board of Examiners in Optometry as Clinical Skills Exam Site Coordinator at Ohio State from 1998 – 2011 and as a member of the Clinical Skills Examination Development Committee from 2006 – 2012. But for Ohio State, I cannot imagine how different my life would be.

Joshua Josephson, OD – Class of 1968 – Notable Alumnus

Joshua JosephsonDr. Josh Josephson is a luminary in the area of cornea and contact lenses and is proud to hail from Ohio State Optometry. His publishing record speaks for itself in journals like Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science and Optometry and Vision Science, and he is easily recognized all over the world as a result of his countless talks and continuing education presentations. Prior to his retirement, he had the largest contact lens practice in Canada and was the only Canadian among the founding members of the International Society for Contact Lens Research. Dr. Josephson, however, is notable beyond these “numbers.” In 1978, he published the first observations of corneal infiltrates associated with contact lens wear in International Contact Lens Clinics.

Dr. Josephson was appointed by the Canadian government as Canada’s expert and head of delegation to the International Standards Organization contact lens meetings. Since 1984, he has served for many years as Chairman of the Standards Council of Canada Subcommittee responsible for all ophthalmic device standards (contact lenses and contact lens care products).

Dr Josephson is a founding shareholder and a director of NoNO, Inc., a private, clinical-stage biotherapeutics company. It is dedicated to the research, development, and commercialization of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of common disorders with unmet needs, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, and pain. Its drug to prevent the complications of stroke is about to enter Phase 3 clinical trials.

Dr Josephson loves to eat and cook and enjoys traveling and eating around the world. He recently launched an on-line site ( Dr Josephson continues to publish his restaurant experiences around the world and in Toronto, on this site, and they can be found on the site link titled “Blog Highlights”. He is also the former president of the Toronto chapter of the International Food and Wine society, a member and director of La Chaine des Rotisseurs, and a member of Les Chevalers du Tastevin (the Toronto chapter of the Burgundy Wine Society).

Jason Miller, OD MBA – Class of 1999 – Notable Alumnus

Jason Miller,I am a partner in a three-doctor private practice in Powell, Ohio, an adjunct faculty member for The Ohio State University College of Optometry, and the Secretary-Treasurer on the Ohio Optometric Association board. In addition, I have had the opportunity to consult alongside Drs. Chuck Brownlow and Walter Whitley with the American Optometric Association as one of the “ask the coding experts” answering coding questions and performing monthly webinars on a variety of coding and medical records concerns.

I have been fortunate to consult, lecture, and perform research on a wide variety of eye care areas, including contact lenses, myopia control, dry eyes, allergic conjunctivitis, practice management, electronic health records, and billing and coding issues. I am actively involved in writing and have been published in many of eye care national publications; including a regular monthly column on contact lens care in Review of Cornea & Contact Lens, Contact Lens Spectrum and Optometric Management.

Within my community, I am active in the Olentangy Rotary Club and have participated in an international eye care mission trip to El Salvador. I reside in Powell, Ohio with my wife, Melanie and our three great kids, Jake (14), Josh (12) and Megan (10).

Special Note: Dr. Jason Miller is scheduled to receive the Early Professional Achievement Award in October 2014.

Alan Lewis, OD PhD – Notable Alumnus

Alan LewisFresh from active Navy duty in Southeast Asia, I earned my Masters and PhD degrees at Ohio State in 1971 and then joined the faculty of the newly established State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry as its first full-time faculty member. After 20 years at SUNY, where I also served as assistant dean and director of graduate studies, I moved to the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University as dean in 1990; several other alumni of the OSU graduate program were also on the faculty there. In 1999 I became the president of the New England College of Optometry (my OD ’65 degree alma mater) and retired from there in 2007. My research activities focused primarily on the interactions between the visual environment and human performance, which also led to international involvement in technical committees of CIE. In 2005-2006, I served as president of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (somewhat unusual for an optometrist) during its centennial year and currently am serving a second term as president of the United States National Committee of CIE. I remain active in research with funded projects at NECO and Virginia Tech and continue to serve several professional societies. The multi-disciplinary nature of the Ohio State graduate program has served me well and made my career both interesting and rewarding. I treasure the unique opportunity to have studied under the guidance of such luminaries as Professors Glenn Fry and Carl Ingling, who so importantly influenced my career. I can imagine no better educational experience.

Dr. Jim King – Class of 1955 – Notable Alumnus

Jim KingDr. Jim King was recognized by the South Dakota Optometric Society with its Distinguished Service Award, only the fourth person ever to receive the award. Clearly, people who receive these kinds of awards are leaders in our profession, but Dr. King’s breadth and depth of service to the profession was unique and inspiring. He has served as an Army optometry officer, been in private practice in South Dakota since 1958, was on the forefront of diagnostic and therapeutic privileges for South Dakota, served as President of the South Dakota Optometric Society, is a charter member and Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, chaired a local vision screening day for elementary school students for over 40 years, served as editor of the Focal Point newsletter for the South Dakota Optometric Society for 13 years, lectured extensively on children’s vision issues, won five national awards in the Optometric Editors’ Association International Journalism Contests, and helped form the South Dakota Association for Children with Learning Disabilities.

These were substantial accomplishments on their own, but Dr. King’s uniqueness was really highlighted by two other areas of accomplishment that go well beyond the traditional list of accomplishments used for folks receiving these kinds of awards. First, Dr. King was the “K” of the MKM Reading Systems and the MKM Monocular and Binocular Reading Test. As a child, he experienced many vision and reading problems personally. He remembered having problems keeping print in focus, reading in front of a group, and remembering how to spell words from one day to the next. Finally, in the sixth grade, with the help of his family optometrist, Dr. Stewart Kirkpatrick (BS’26), and a stereoscope, he experienced stereopsis for the first time. Perhaps those memories were the impetus for his research into the area of visual memory and reading. In the early 1960s, he was the primary author and developer of the MKM Reading Systems. Over 5,000 hours behind a portable Smith-Corona typewriter and the input of Dr. Leland Michael and assistant Arlene Moorhead resulted in methods of detecting, remediating, and sometimes preventing learning-related visual problems.

Second, his hobby of magic took him to places few optometrists have been. His father was a dentist and was the kind of guy who enjoyed practical jokes: joy buzzers, whoopee cushions, and the like. That influence and visits to the Palmer House Magic Shop in Chicago guided Dr. King to learn about magic, which had been his hobby since prior to his first magic show in the seventh grade. The hobby allowed him to meet all sorts of people, including Las Vegas showmen Siegfried and Roy. The manual dexterity of his left hand and a substantial amount of perseverance netted him an appearance with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show” in 1985. Dr. King was able to move four pennies from the fingers of his left hand and stack all four on his thumb, using just his left hand. Additionally, he could contort his fingers in ways that defied reason and move the tendons on his hand as if they were the keys on a piano. He was a loyal Buckeye fan who rarely missed an alumni weekend with his wife, Margaret, and school chums Drs. Lowell Hone (BS‘55), Dick Ball (BS‘55), Will Stamp (BS‘55) and Don Lewis (BS‘54). Dr. King passed away in April of 2012.