Meng C. Lin, OD, PhD – Class of 1996 – Notable Alumna

Meng C. LinFollowing her optometric education at Ohio State, Dr. Meng C. Lin completed her residency training at the University of Alabama School of Optometry in 1997. Thereafter, she pursued her PhD training in Vision Science at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). She received an NIH Clinician Scientist award (K12) for her post-doctoral training in epidemiology and thin-film theory. Today she is an Associate Professor of Clinical Optometry and Vision Science at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry, where her research laboratory focuses on ocular-surface physiology and mechanisms responsible for tear film stabilization. Dr. Lin is the founding Director of the UCB Clinical Research Center and has led the center since 2004. Dr. Lin also established the Dry Eye Clinic and Ocular Surface Imaging Clinic at UCB, both of which are specialty clinics that provide care to patients with ocular surface diseases. In addition, she is Co-Director of the newly established Translational Research CORE Facility in the UC Berkeley School of Optometry. Dr. Lin’s passion is training the next generation of clinician scientists who are interested in clinical and translational vision-related research. She writes, “I would like to congratulate my alma mater, The Ohio State University College of Optometry, on its centennial, a historic milestone in the history of optometry. Looking back at my career, I feel immensely grateful for the didactic and clinical foundation that the school provided. As an Ohio State Optometry graduate I have benefited greatly from opportunities to meet so many other alumni who are leaders in our field and who have helped me determine the path of my career. Thank you all, and Go Buckeyes!”

Dr. Cheryl Archer – Class of 1984 – Notable Alumna

Cheryl ArcherCheryl graduated cum laude from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1984 after first receiving her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University. She is a volunteer for the Ohio Optometric Association’s Realeyes classroom initiative, Vision USA, InfantSee, and iSee in-school eye exams. She participated in a VOSH eye care mission in Ukraine. Cheryl currently serves on The Ohio State University Optometry Alumni and Friends board of directors and served on the Dean’s Advisory Council. She is a past president of the Ohio Optometric Association and currently serves on the board of directors for the Ohio Optometric Foundation and Optometry Cares. She was recently appointed by Governor Kasich to serve on the Ohio State Board of Optometry.

Dr. Lois Bing – Class of 1948 – Notable Alumna

Lois Bing After receiving her AB and teaching credential in 1931 from the College of Wooster, Dr. Bing earned her optometry degree from Ohio State in 1948. She continued her interest in education through graduate studies at The Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, and Case Western Reserve University after becoming an optometrist.

She chaired the Visual Problems of Children and Youth Committee of the American Optometric Association for 12 years, from 1951 to 1963. During that time, she represented the American Optometric Association at the 1950 and 1960 White House Conferences on Children and Youth.

Beginning in 1951 and continuing for the next 45 years, she chaired the annual School Vision Forum and Reading Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. This interdisciplinary conference, which has been held at The Ohio State College of Optometry since 1997, always presents nationally-prominent speakers in the fields of optometry, education, and psychology. Her groundbreaking leadership in bringing these three independent and diverse professions together in 1951 set a high standard for formal communication and collaboration that did not previously exist.

In recognition of her work in the areas of vision and reading, Dr. Bing received the Apollo Award for Distinguished Service from the American Optometric Association. She has also been named an Honorary Life Member of three prestigious professional organizations: the American Academy of Optometry, the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association, and the Ohio School Psychologists Association. In 1997, she received the prestigious Carel C. Koch Memorial Medal Award from the American Academy of Optometry. In 2002, she was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame, and in 2006, she was honored by The Ohio State University Alumni Association with its Alumni Citizenship Award.

Dr. Bing and her son, Dr. James D. Bing (BS’60), established the Bing Pediatric Vision Library at the college in 2002, which provides students and faculty both historically-important and “cutting edge” knowledge in the field. Their library is now housed on the third floor of the college’s east (Starling-Loving Hall) wing.

Dr. Bing passed away on February 5, 2009.

Dr. Ruth Morris – Class of 1943 – Notable Alumna

Ruth MorrisWhile a student at Ohio State, Ruth Penrod funded her optometric education by working for 25 cents an hour at the White Haines Optical Company in Columbus. In her last year of optometry school, she married Warren G. Morris (BS’49). While her new husband was in the Army, she began her practice of optometry in Toledo with an established optometrist who, unfortunately, passed away only nine weeks after her arrival. For the next three years, Dr. Ruth Morris worked hard to learn the business side of an optometric practice; her efforts were so successful that her husband was able to join her after he returned from WWII and later earned his optometry degree from Ohio State.

Drs. Ruthie and Warren Morris practiced together for 37 years, until his sudden death in 1986. They served five generations of patients in Northwest Ohio. Their division of labor and love in the office was to have Dr. Ruth care for the vision needs of adolescent and adult patients, including contact lenses, while Dr. Warren cared for the children. Both emphasized visual performance and said, “Our patients must be able to use their vision comfortably and effectively at work and play or we have not done our jobs as optometrists.” Together, they assured that each child received vision care regardless of his or her parents’ finances. They educated their patients, as well as the teachers in their community, about the importance of eye safety, vision care, and reading performance.

They also “adopted” many optometry students who visited their office and provided invaluable counsel and resources to assure that each of their “optometry kids” achieved his or her own professional goals. Dr. Kevin Alexander, who was an Ohio State faculty member and then went on to become President of both the Ohio Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association, Dean at the Michigan College of Optometry, and (now) President of the Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton, California, said the Morrises loaned him some money to open his private practice in Columbus; he was told at the time, “Just pay us back whenever you can.”

Dr. Ruth served her community as well as her profession on the boards of Toledo civic and performing arts organizations. She participated vigorously at local, state, and national levels in Business and Professional Women (BPW). In her early BPW years, she developed a program to educate the public about seat belts and driver safety. In her later years, she established a vision clinic for indigent patients in Toledo. She chaired the education committee of the Ohio Optometric Association for many years and established the Optometric Recognition Award at the state and national levels for optometrists who attend a higher number of continuing education courses than the minimum necessary for annual licensure renewal. She also served on the American Optometric Association’s Council on Clinical Optometric Care, during which time she helped to establish quality assurance measurements for the profession.

One of the college’s most distinguished alumni, Dr. Ruth gave the Convocation address on June 13, 1991, to that year’s graduating class. She said, “Follow your dream. Be prepared to take some risks. Risk and change will be with you all your life. Both are synonymous with opportunity. Only you can know, shape, and control the dream you have in your heart tonight.”

Also in 1991, Drs. Ruth and Warren Morris (posthumously) were awarded the H. Ward Ewalt Medal for Service to Optometry by The Ohio State University College of Optometry. Because of the enduring legacy that Ruth and her beloved husband, Warren, gave to Ohio optometry, the Ohio Optometric Association’s highest annual award is named “The Warren G. and Ruth P. Morris Optometrist of the Year” for outstanding contributions to the profession of optometry and public service. The recipient of this high honor has the privilege of keeping Dr. Warren Morris’s mounted spot retinoscope for one year and then presenting it to the next year’s honoree at the OOA annual convention.

Marjorie Rah, OD PhD FAAO – Class of 1995 – Notable Alumna

Marjorie RahDr. Marjorie Rah received her Doctor of Optometry degree from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1995. She remained at Ohio State as a Cornea and Contact Lens Advanced Practice Fellow and received her MS and PhD degrees in Physiological Optics in 1997 and 2000, respectively. Following completion of her PhD, Dr. Rah joined the faculty at the New England College of Optometry, in Boston, Massachusetts in the fall of 2000. Dr. Rah also was a staff optometrist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary from 2002 to 2010. She became a Diplomate in the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies of the American Academy of Optometry in 2004. Dr. Rah has conducted research in specialty contact lenses and has written and lectured extensively.

Currently, Dr. Rah is employed by Bausch+Lomb Incorporated, a division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, where she Senior Manager, Medical Communications. In addition, she is near completion of a Master of Science degree in regulatory affairs at Northeastern University in Boston.

Dr. Debbie Hettler Class of 1980

Debbie HettlerDr. Hettler is the Clinical Director, Associated Health Education at VA Headquarters in Washington, DC, where she is involved with the policy and oversight for 40 clinical education disciplines. She is the first optometrist to work in the Office of Academic Affiliations at the Central Office and still sees patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, and carries an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor at Salus University. Prior to this position, she established and developed an optometric education program in the VA, which evolved into optometric externships and residencies with four optometry schools, internal medicine rotations, nurse practitioner observations, and interactions with an ophthalmology teaching program.

Dr. Hettler previously was a full- time educator and has also worked clinically in interdisciplinary settings including VA, HMOs, contact lens research clinics, union occupational health offices, and private practices. She is a Regional Quality Assurance Representative conducting office inspections and record audits and consulting with eye care practitioners on improving clinical skills and documentation of patient care. Additional accreditation activities include acting as a consultant for the Council on Optometric Education and the Council on Education for Public Health and as a National Board of Optometry Examiner.

Dr. Hettler is recognized as an expert in optometry-related public health as demonstrated by her Diplomate status and leadership position in the American Academy of Optometry’s Public Health and Environmental Optometry Section and her Distinguished Practitioner in and Co-chair of the Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Practice in Optometry. She has served as chair of several committees and sections of the American Optometric Association, including the Multidisciplinary Practice Section and the Public Health Task Force. She has been an elected leader in local optometric societies in New York, Illinois and Missouri. Currently, she is a VA representative to the Federal Education and Training Interagency Group working on public health and medical education training standards for disaster medicine. She has also been an active leader with APHA and served in all offices of the Vision Care Section and has been the Chair of the APHA Education Board, Co-Chair of APHA Joint Policy Committee, Treasurer of the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association, and an ex officio member of the APHA Executive Board and the Affiliate Representative Governing Councilor for Region 3 representing Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and District of Columbia in the Council of Affiliates.

Nadine Forché, OD MS – Class of 1997 – Notable Alumna

Nadine ForchéDr. Nadine Humen Forché graduated in 1997 with her Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in Physiological Optics and then completed a Veterans Affairs residency in Columbus and Chillicothe. During that year she married another optometrist, Dr. Jon Forché, and they moved to Birmingham, AL where she was an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. Although she loved teaching, she and Jon decided to join a private practice in Athens, GA, Five Points Eye Care. Early in her career she became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and lectured on clinical cases and coding. She has been actively involved in the Georgia Optometric Association (GOA) where she was the President of the Northeast Georgia District and is now the Trustee for her district and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. She is also the GOA Third Party Coordinator for Georgia. Dr. Forché became a Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry in 2013. She is the preceptor for the extern program at Five Points Eye Care which has students from The Ohio State University College of Optometry and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. She truly enjoys teaching fourth-year optometry students and watching them grow during their rotations in her practice. Besides running a private practice, she is also mom to boy-girl twins named Hayden and Adelyn “Addie” and is the Chairperson of the Advisory Council and the Development and Marketing Committees for their school.

Terri Gossard, OD, MS – Class of 1992 – Notable Alumna

Terri GossardDr. Terri Gossard graduated from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1992 with her Doctorate of Optometry and Masters Degree in Physiological Optics. She moved to Cincinnati upon graduation and shortly thereafter began practicing in a multidisciplinary group, providing comprehensive eye and vision care for the past 15 years. She has served on the Ohio Optometric Association’s (OOA) Board of Directors since 2007 and is currently the President-Elect. She will become the Association’s fifth female president in October of 2014. Dr. Gossard has served on the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) Professional Relations Committee, collaborating to present the AOA’s School Readiness Summit in 2011 that contributed to the “essential” designation of the vision benefit within the Affordable Care Act. She now serves on the AOA’s Health Center Committee.

Starting in 2010, as the OOA’s Children’s Vision Task Force Chair and the Ohio Optometric Foundation, Dr. Gossard began serving on the Executive Team of the nation’s first self-sustaining, school-based vision center at Oyler School. During the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year, the center provided 2,766 patient encounters and 1,830 pairs of glasses (a 70% need) to the at-risk population of students within Cincinnati Public Schools. The vision center serves as a national model for other cities throughout the country. Dr. Gossard was privileged to present the project to the National Assembly of School Based Health Centers and the AOA Advocacy Meeting celebrating the first 100 days of the pediatric essential vision benefit.

Dr. Gossard is married to Ted, a family physician, and has a daughter Maggie (12) and a son Will (10). Having grown up in Columbus, she bleeds scarlet and gray but is also a fan of both the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals. She is thankful to Ohio State for both a superior education and lifelong friendships, including those of three of her bridesmaids, and she still wonders about the leaf room from time to time.

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.”