Yoongie Min, OD – Class of 1989 – Notable Alumnus

Yoongie MinDr. Min was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States at age 3. During his youth, he lived in Los Angeles, Texas, Philadelphia, and Wheelersburg, Ohio, where he attended high school.

Dr. Min attended Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State University and received his undergraduate degree in biology. Dr. Min is a 1989 graduate of the Ohio State College of Optometry. During optometry school, he served as class president for all four years and student council president for two. He received the Vistakon Award for Contact Lens Excellence and was also was named the Outstanding Senior Student by the Ohio Optometric Association.

Upon graduation, Dr. Min became the first optometrist to work at Lakeland Eye Surgeons, a multispecialty ophthalmology practice in Lorain, Ohio where he received extensive experience in pathology and pre- and post-operative care. In 1991, he decided to return to Columbus and enter private practice. Dr. Min opened Northwest Vision Center in the Dublin area and in 1992, he also purchased a practice in Chillicothe and has maintained both offices to this day.

Dr. Min has been active in the Ohio Optometric Association and has served on several committees in the past. He has also maintained ties to the college and has served as President of the Alumni Association and has also served on the Dean’s Advisory Council for several years. Dr. Min also is also a regular contributor to the online journal, Review of Optometric Business.

Dr. Min is married to Jackie, a graduate recruiter who works for the Ohio State College of nursing. Dr. Min met Jackie when he was a student clinician and he performed an eye examination on her. He has two sons, Andrew who is studying engineering at Ohio State and Alex, who is a junior at Hilliard Davidson High School. Dr. Min has spent many years coaching his sons and many other young athletes in multiple sports in the central Ohio area. In his spare time, Dr. Min enjoys cooking and traveling. He is a big Buckeye fan attending most home football and basketball games.

Dr. Min truly enjoys optometry as a profession and the relationships he builds with his patients and employees. He is also appreciative of all the friendships he made during optometry school, many of which are still very active.

Palmer R. Cook, OD – Class of 1964 – Notable Alumnus

Palmer R. Cook,Our Ohio State Optometry Class of 1964 was the last class that didn’t have the option of obtaining our optometric degree from The Ohio State University without returning for part-time, post-graduate studies. Five of us, John Allen, Roy Schlabach, Glenn Toth, Jack Youshak and I, elected to continue for our fourth year of optometric education at the University of Houston. Nevertheless I believe we all still consider ourselves to be Ohio State optometrists at heart. Following graduation in 1965, I practiced in Eaton, OH (the last exit on I-70 before reaching Indiana) for many years.

For my first 20 years in practice I did my bit in wearing out I-70, traveling to Ohio State to serve as a part-time instructor. I was encouraged in this as well as in the study of optics by one of my favorite professors, Brad Wild.

I have had a life-long interest in books and reading, and I owned and operated a bookstore café in Grandview for several years. I left the book business in 1995, and in January of 1996 I accepted an invitation to join Diversified Ophthalmics in Cincinnati on a full-time basis. Although I had a great interest in pediatric vision care while I was practicing, I decided to focus on optics and lens design after joining Diversified.

In 2003 I began writing feature articles for 20/20 Magazine and L&T (Lens & Technology) Magazine. Both publications are produced by Jobson Publishing. Although my articles do not always conform to the mainstream opinions of the large manufacturers, my editor at Jobson remains supportive of my efforts to keep clinical lens information within the bounds of fact and science.

When I joined Diversified, I don’t believe I had an official job title. That was probably because they were a bit unsure about what to do with me, a comment I’d heard before. Today I am their Vice-President of Practice Enrichment. I write a weekly bulletin for the Eye Care Practitioner (ECP) Network, a 1000+ member affiliate of Diversified. Both the bulletin and the ECP Network strongly support independent optometric practice. I also write a monthly column for Diversified’s newsletter and a weekly Bulletin for the ECP Network. I frequently consult on lens and eyewear design for optometrists coast to coast.

I have dabbled at writing fiction. The 2012 Goose River Anthology published one of my favorite short stories, Mr. Willy Talks about Tonsils, as its lead short story. At present I am still working full time. Developing a practical device to allow clinicians to measure the index of unknown lenses in-office is a current pet project. I also enjoy cooking, woodworking, reading, writing, and relaxing (in about that order).

Braden Kail, OD – Class of 1996 – Notable Alumnus

Braden KailAfter graduating from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1996, Dr. Braden E. Kail returned to his hometown of Waynesburg, Ohio to build his optometry practice. Dr. Kail began giving back to his profession by serving as a board member and President of the Ohio Optometric Association’s (OOA) Zone Three. Additionally serving his local community, he became an active member and past president of the local Lion’s Club, often providing free vision screenings at schools throughout the area.

In 1999, Dr. Kail was offered the opportunity to provide eye care for a school farther away in Honduras. This trip began Dr. Kail’s passion to provide free eye care and glasses for people in third world countries and resulted in the establishment of Cross Eyed Missions in 2000. Since then, Dr. Kail has led 18 mission trips to Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, Haiti, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. His teams have seen 19,000 people and distributed 17,000 pairs of used eyeglasses with the help of local Lions Clubs. For these accomplishments he has been recognized with the Lion’s Club International President’s Award (2002), Capital University’s Young Alumni of the Year (2003), OOA’s Young Optometrist of the Year (2004), and Ohio State’s William Oxley Thompson Award (2005).

In addition, Dr. Kail has remained an active member of his community. He has served as President of the Waynesburg Business Association, a board member of Quad Ambulance, and is active at Newpointe Community Church. He has also been integral in the development of youth sports in the Sandy Valley Area. He established the Sandy Valley Little Dribbler’s program, teaching children basketball fundamentals and then co-founded the Press News Basketball League for boys and girls in 2006, providing youth basketball for children in grades 3-6. He also served on the Waynesburg Baseball Association and Sandy Valley Little League boards, coaching Little League Baseball from 2000-2008. He is currently the pitching coach at Sandy Valley High School.

Dr. Kail resides in Waynesburg with his wife, Suzanne, and four children: Jake, Luke, Elizabeth, and newly born Addison.

David S. Loshin, OD, PhD – Class of 1975 – Notable Alumnus

David S. LoshinDavid S. Loshin received his BS degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and his MS (74), OD (75) and PhD (77) in Physiological Optics at The Ohio State University. While at Ohio State he was privileged to perform his graduate studies under the supervision of Dr. Glenn Fry. Dr. Loshin served as a Teaching Assistant in the College of Mathematics the entire time he was enrolled in the optometry program. As a fourth year student he applied for and was awarded an NIH Postdoctoral to complete his Ph.D. After graduation, he served as a member of both the professional and graduate faculty at the University of Houston for 18 years. During his last five years there, he also held administrative roles as Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration and Chair of the Residency Programs. He has served as Dean and Professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry since 1997.

Dr. Loshin has taught a variety of courses in both the professional and graduate programs with emphasis on geometrical and physical optics. He has also served as a clinical preceptor in primary care and low vision clinics. Dr. Loshin has participated on 18 MS and PhD graduate committees. His major research interests involve design and evaluation of the image quality of lenses and lens systems and assessment of the visual system primarily for patients with visual pathology and low vision. He received grant funding from the National Eye Institute/National Institutes of Health, the NASA Johnson Space Center, the State of Texas, as well as from the university and a number of corporations. He has published over 70 papers, abstracts and technical reports related to his research interests as wll a text book on geometrical optics.

Dr. Loshin has held positions on a variety of college and university committees and professional organizations including serving as President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry for two terms. He has received several professional and service awards, including the American Optometric Association’s Low Vision Section’s Vision Care Award, Nova Southeastern University Academic Dean of the Year, and Florida Optometric Association’s Optometrist of the Year and is a Research Diplomate in Low Vision from the American Academy of Optometry.

Dr. Henry Hofstetter – Class of 1939 – Notable Alumnus

Dr. Hofstetter was born in Windsor Mills, Ohio, on September 10, 1914, to immigrant parents, Kaspar and Augusta (Kresin) Hofstetter. His father, a dairy farmer, was born in Switzerland, and his German mother was born in West Prussia, now a part of Poland. Dr. Hofstetter had three brothers and seven sisters. He was eighth in the birth order, “Henry the Eighth,” as he sometimes pointed out. Dr. Hofstetter was raised on the family farm near Huntsburg in northeastern Ohio. Growing up in a large family may have a played a role in the development of his remarkable organizational skills. He once recalled that neatness, tidiness, and orderliness were paramount at all times in the Hofstetters’ home. There was one hammer in the house used by 13 people, but it was always put back in its place and easily found when needed. Dr. Hofstetter had no clear career plans in high school, and the Great Depression appeared to make farming a good choice, although the crippling of his left hand by polio at the age of 16 may have steered him away from farming. He wrote the words to the school song for his high school and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in his graduating class of 11 students.

With the help of an older sister, Dr. Hofstetter attended Western Reserve University for two years and Kent State University for a summer, after which he obtained an Ohio teacher’s certificate. Then, for three years, he taught all eight grades in a one-room country school in Middlefield, Ohio, where he also performed janitorial duties. His students thought that he had eyes in the back of his head when he wrote on the blackboard in class; what they didn’t realize was that he could see their reflections in the glass covering the portrait of George Washington that hung over the chalkboard. At a 50-year class reunion, many of these students recited to Dr. Hofstetter the poems he had written for them to deliver at Christmas performances.

While teaching in Middlefield, he lived with one of his older sisters and her husband, a jeweler, who also fitted spectacles and encouraged Dr. Hofstetter to consider optometry as a career. Dr. Hofstetter then entered The Ohio State University, receiving a BS degree in optometry in 1939. He received an MS and PhD in physiological optics at Ohio State in 1940 and 1942, respectively, under Dr. Glenn Fry. He was Dr. Glenn Fry’s first graduate student and also the first recipient of a PhD degree granted by a graduate program in physiological optics in any optometry school or college. It was at Ohio State that he met his wife, Frances Jane Elder. They married on July 5, 1941, in Pasadena, California, her home state. Frieda Shute, the sister with whom Dr. Hofstetter lived while teaching elementary school, also attended optometry school at Ohio State after she was widowed. She graduated in 1946 and practiced for many years in Middlefield.

Dr. Hofstetter’s thesis research was a haploscopic investigation of accommodation and convergence relationships. After completion of his PhD, Dr. Hofstetter accepted a teaching position at Ohio State. He later recalled, in his typically humble fashion, that he became valuable to the school because he was classified 4-F by his physical handicaps and would probably never be drafted for World War II. During the successive depletion of able-bodied students and faculty from the classroom during the war, he had the unique opportunity to teach almost every course in the curriculum to the few remaining students.

In his six years as a faculty member at Ohio State, Dr. Hofstetter advanced from instructor to associate professor. In January 1949, he became dean of the Los Angeles College of Optometry (now the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University). Some of the adjectives used to describe his deanship there were business-like, organized, and efficient.

In 1951, Indiana optometrists were successful in their efforts to convince the Indiana legislature to establish an optometry school at Indiana University in Bloomington. The Indiana University administration wanted a person with excellent credentials to head the new program, and Dr. Hofstetter was recruited for the job. Though he wasn’t seeking to leave Los Angeles, he was convinced to take the position of director of the Division of Optometry at Indiana University starting in 1952. The curriculum, which he designed for the optometry students entering in the fall of 1953, reflected his educational and teaching experiences and philosophies in that it included a broad-based scientific background in optics, visual physiology, and related topics rather than a purely applied-optics approach. One of his early priorities was the establishment of a graduate program in physiological optics, which admitted its first students in 1954. His years guiding the Indiana University program also saw the construction of its current building and the development of an optometry branch library. Dr. Hofstetter served as head of the optometry program until 1970, when he returned to the classroom full-time. He became the Rudy Professor of Optometry in 1974. He formally retired in 1980 but remained very active in optometric organizations and writing. Dr. Hofstetter advised 15 MS and 11 PhD students at Indiana University.

Dr. Hofstetter authored four textbooks, including Optometry: Professional, Legal, and Economic Aspects (1948, reprinted 1964) and Industrial Vision (1956), and more than 500 scientific papers. He co-edited five editions of the Dictionary of Visual Science, with the fifth edition, now titled Dictionary of Visual Science and Related Clinical Terms, published in 2000. He published on several topics, including accommodation, binocular vision, color vision, visual optics, refractive errors, occupational vision, presbyopia, strabismus, optometric education, and international optometry. He also wrote extensively for the newsletter of the Optometric Historical Society and served as one of its editors for more than 30 years. He felt strongly that optometrists should know more about their history because optometry is a discipline with as noble and pervasive a heritage as any, and because historical study shows optometry’s centuries-long existence. Its development from a mercantile trade to its present academic and professional stature shows a truly proud history that includes many prominent and accomplished personalities.

He served many dozens of optometric, scientific, university, and community committees and organizations. He was president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, the American Optometric Association, and the Optometric Historical Society. He served on the Bloomington, Indiana hospital board for six years. He was a member of Rotary International for 40 years, served as president of the Bloomington Rotary Club, and visited hundreds of rotary clubs worldwide. He was a consultant to the National Academy of Science, the United States Public Health Service, the Highway Research Board, the United States Air Force, and the National Science Foundation.

Because of his interest in international optometry, his extensive travels, and his work in numerous professional and scientific organizations, Dr. Hofstetter was known by optometrists worldwide. While at Indiana University, he took three sabbaticals to study modes of optometry practice and the status of optometric education in South Africa, Australia, and Europe. He carried out regular correspondence with optometrists and optometric leaders from all over the world, providing them guidance and encouragement. In 1991, he was recognized as the International Optometrist of the Year by the International Optometric and Optical League. In 1999 he received the first Distinguished Service Award from the World Council of Optometry. That same year, he was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame. Some of his other awards and recognitions include five honorary doctorate degrees, the American Academy of Optometry’s highest award, the Prentice Medal, the American Optometric Association’s Apollo Award, the American Optometric Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the Indiana Optometric Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Orion Award from the Armed Forces Optometric Society.

Clayton Nathaniel Hicks, OD – Class of 1970 – Notable Alumnus

Clayton Nathaniel HicksDr. Clayton Nathaniel Hicks is the founder and owner of Driving Park Vision Center. For 44 years, Dr. Hicks has provided vision care services to 30,000 patients on Columbus, Ohio’s eastside. In 2010, he was recognized by the Molina Healthcare of Ohio as a respected, community leader and advocate, receiving the Community Champions Award. Passionate about reducing health disparities especially in the Driving Park Community, Dr. Hicks founded the Driving Park Walking Club, which currently serves as a model walking club for the City of Columbus. Since 1976, Hicks has served as the vision care consultant for the Ohio Medicaid Department, using his experience and expertise to ensure those individuals in need of eyecare services receive them. Committed to ensuring that minorities are recruited and provided educational opportunities, Dr. Hicks has served as a Past President of the National Optometric Association and is the current Executive Director of the National Optometric Foundation.

Dr. Hicks is committed to serving others and has demonstrated this commitment through his lifetime service in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., which recently celebrated his 50-year membership. He is also actively engaged in the Alpha Rho Lambda Education Foundation where he serves as Executive Director. He is a Life Member of the American Optometric Association and the Ohio Optometric Association, a member of Epsilon Psi Epsilon Professional Fraternity, and has served the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners in several capacities. From 1970-1986, Dr. Hicks served as a clinical instructor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He has also served on the Ohio Avenue Elementary School Parent/Community Advisory Board, the Near East Health Advisory Committee, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Task Force and was President of the Livingston Avenue Collaborative for Community Development.

Dr. Clayton Nathaniel Hicks has received numerous honors, awards, and recognitions for his service. Some of his recognitions include National Optometric Association’s “Optometrist of the Year (1982),” Who’s Who Among Black Americans (fourth edition), “Community Building Award” from Ohio Governor Bob Taft (2003), Political Leadership Award 29th District Caucus (1986), OSU Black Alumni Society’s “Outstanding Alumnus Award (1995)”, Alpha Kappa Alpha’s “Human Service Award (2002)”, Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Commission “2003 Community Building Award”, Alpha Phi Alpha “Theodore Berry Community Service Award (2007)”, Cheryl Boyce Excellence in Healthcare Award (2008), and Esteemed Alumnus in 100 Years of African-American Achievement at The Ohio State University (2011).

Dr. James Gregg – Class of 1948 – Notable Alumnus

James GreggDr. James R. Gregg received two degrees from Ohio State, a BS in Business Administration in 1937, and a BS in Optometry in 1942. He then moved to a warmer climate and earned his OD degree in 1948 from the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO, then known as the Los Angeles College of Optometry). He served on the SCCO faculty for 37 years (1947 to 1984). He was also the interim dean of Academic Affairs at SCCO from 1975 to 1976 and grants administrator there from 1976 to 1984. At his retirement in 1984, he was named Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Gregg was a highly-respected educator and prolific author. He wrote three popular history books for the profession: The Story of Optometry, American Optometric Association: A History, and History of the American Academy of Optometry, 1922–1986. His writings appeared in 200 different magazines or journals, totaling more than 500 articles. In addition to the 15 books he authored, he also wrote more than 900 newspaper columns that appeared in more than 150 newspapers, and about 100 brochures on vision.

He also was successful as an outdoor writer. He published hundreds of articles on fishing, conservation, camping, and travel including cover stories for Field and Stream magazine. He combined his technical writing on optometry and his love of outdoors and became a leading writer on vision for the sportsman; and wrote the book The Sportsman’s Eye.

Dr. Gregg received numerous awards and accolades over his long career, including “Optometrist of the Year” from the California Optometric Association in 1956 and the “Distinguished Service Award,” from the American Optometric Association in 1982.

Dr. Gregg died at the age of 94 in September 2009. He was inducted, posthumously, into the National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2010.

Dr. Lyle Gassmann Jr. – Class of 2002 – Notable Alumnus

Lyle Gassmann Jr.During his fourth year of study at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Lyle waged a courageous fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He passed away on December 4, 2001, following a bone marrow transplant. A very organized and well-prepared student, Lyle quickly became a leader in his class. His charisma, friendliness, and service to others marked his experience at Ohio State. He was genuinely interested in other people and made friends quickly, probably because people wanted to be around his joyful spirit. Lyle’s determination and his infectious enthusiasm for life will be remembered fondly, and sadly missed by all who knew him.

Dr. Cynthia Heard, Class of 1992, was an Ohio State Optometry clinical faculty member from 1993 to 2007 and remembers Lyle Gassman well. “I think I was the first person that Lyle Gassman spoke to about his diagnosis. He happened to be in primary care that day he received the call from the nurse regarding his diagnosis. He sat in my office and cried. He willed himself to control his emotions and went back to seeing patients. He was a phenomenal guy! I donate every year to the fund named in his honor by his family since it was established. There were many caring people at OSU optometry that helped Lyle and his family get through those tough months before his passing. He is truly missed.”

Dean Emeritus Dr. John P. Schoessler was dean of the college when Lyle passed away in 2001, and he also remembers him fondly. “I remember Lyle as a servant/leader among his classmates. The Optometry Class of 2002 was a tightly knit group. Lyle encouraged and inspired his classmates, and his classmates surrounded him with compassion and reassurance as his disease progressed. He leaves a testimony of bravery, courage and selflessness. The Doctor of Optometry Degree was conferred to Lyle at convocation in June 2002. The diploma was presented to Dr. Gassmann’s family as a memorial and remembrance of his heartfelt desire to become an optometrist and to serve others through the optometric profession.”

The Gassmann family honored Lyle’s life through an endowment. The Lyle Aloysius John Gassmann Memorial Award Fund in Optometry was established December 6, 2002, with gifts from family, friends, and classmates. The annual investment income from this endowment is awarded in its entirety to the graduating optometry student who best exemplifies Lyle’s humanitarian characteristics, leadership qualities, and service to others. The individual student is selected by the dean of the College of Optometry, a representative of the college’s student affairs office, and a representative from the College of Optometry faculty.

Dr. Vincent J. Ellerbrock – Class of 1940 – Notable Alumnus

Vincent J. EllerbrockDr. Vincent J. Ellerbrock was a professor of physiological optics and optometry at Ohio State for 18 years, beginning in 1947. He was a native of Delphos, Ohio and received three degrees from Ohio State: BS (1940), MS (1941), and PhD (1947).

The late Dr. Ellerbrock began his distinguished academic career as an assistant professor on the optometry faculty in 1947 and was promoted to associate professor in 1950; he became a full professor in 1957. He also had a small private practice located on the first floor of the Canterbury Apartments building on Olentangy River Road. He was the author of numerous articles in optometry and vision science, including a textbook and a clinical manual used by Ohio State optometry students.

He chaired the American Academy of Optometry’s postgraduate educational courses for many years; because of his extraordinary love of and contribution to the Academy, the organization’s Executive Council named the continuing education portion of its annual meeting after him.

Dr. Theodore Grosvenor – Class of 1946 – Notable Alumnus

Theodore GrosvenorDr. Theodore Grosvenor was born on April 19, 1923, and earned his BS-Optometry degree from Ohio State in 1946. He then practiced for 10 years in Franklin, Ohio, located in the southwestern part of the state. Apparently, private practice was not intellectually stimulating enough for him, because he decided to return to Ohio State for a PhD degree under Dr. Glenn Fry, which he received in 1956.

He served on the Ohio State Optometry faculty for a short time before moving on to faculty appointments at the University of Houston College of Optometry, the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, the University of Montreal, the Illinois College of Optometry, and Indiana University School of Optometry. He was the founding head of the Diploma in Optometry Program at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and was also an adjunct professor at the Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon later in his career.

Dr. Grosvenor had an international reputation in optometric education for students in both the United States and abroad. He authored or coauthored seven optometric textbooks, including The Myopia Epidemic-Nearsightedness, Vision Impairment and Other Vision Problems in 2002, which was intended for the public. He also chaired the Scientific Program Committee of the American Academy of Optometry for many years and was honored with the Academy’s Garland Clay Award in 1988 and Life Fellowship in the Academy in 1995.

He passed away on March 3, 2009, in Tucson, Arizona.