Dr. Darrell Groman has practiced for 28 years in a private solo practice in the rural northwest Ohio village of Pandora (pop. 1,000). He has witnessed first-hand countless individuals whose lives have transformed for the better with optometric vision care. As an optometry student, he helped in the transition of The Amigos Project to an official student chapter of the Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (S-VOSH.) Once in private practice, he helped organize VOSH-Ohio and served as its first State Director (1987-1992) and newsletter editor until 1997. He served as mission leader or co-leader for 12 overseas VOSH missions in India, Tanzania, Ukraine, and six countries in South America and Latin America. He writes, “I observed the smiles of many who were happy to see better, instantly, with simple used glasses that could have easily been discarded.” He volunteered side-by-side on the VOSH missions with optometrists from Australia, Denmark, India, Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom, ultimately serving as Vice President of VOSH/International in 1991-1994. In 1987, Dr. Groman helped organize the VOSH-Ohio Lay Team’s Eyeglass Sorting Center in Pandora, which continues to process donated used eyeglasses, passing the two million mark a few years ago.
Dr. Groman thanks “… Jesus, [Emeritus] Dean Frederick Hebbard, College Secretary Mr. James Noe, and the OSUCO faculty for conferring my optometry degree.” He is a career-long member of the American and Ohio Optometric Associations, serving as a zone governor in 1990-1991. He resides in Bluffton, Ohio with two teen-aged sons, Michael “Misha” and Christian.
Following graduation from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1990, Dr. Brian Mathie finished a residency in the Veterans Administration system under the mentorship of Drs. Bob Newcomb and Bill Schuler. Dr. Mathie has been Clinic Director for both the Ohio Eye Alliance–where he set up a residency and externship affiliated with the Ohio State College of Optometry–and Roholt Vision Institute. He holds the position of Assistant Clinical Professor at the college. He is a past president of the Ohio Optometric Association (OOA) and lectures nationally and internationally on ocular disease and comanagement of ocular surgeries. He was named the OOA’s Warren G. and Ruth P. Morris Optometrist of the Year in 2010. He is currently a member of the Cross Eyed Missions board and has recently participated in a mission trip to Honduras.
Dr. PremNandhini Satgunam received her Bachelor’s degree in Optometry from the Elite School of Optometry (Sankara Nethralaya), BITS, Pilani. She was awarded the Best Outgoing Student in her class. After working as a clinical faculty member in her school, she came to The Ohio State University College of Optometry to pursue her graduate studies. She received her MS (2004) and PhD (2007) in Vision Science under the guidance of Dr. Nick Fogt. She received her postdoctoral training in low vision rehabilitation at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School. While in the United States, she was actively involved with community activities through Ohio State’s Global School Bus program and with the student organization, Association for India’s Development (AID), through both the Ohio State and Massachusetts Institute of Technology chapters.
After spending 10 years in the US, Dr. Satgunam returned to India in early 2012. Upon her return, she first conducted a free vision-screening program for the victims and survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster. Now she is a research faculty member at L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), India, where she has set up an independent vision rehabilitation lab. She recently was awarded a Fast Track grant from the Department of Science and Technology, India, to pursue research in the area of pediatric vision rehabilitation. She also teaches at LVPEI’s Bausch + Lomb School of Optometry and says that she continues to draw her inspiration from her mentors and teachers at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.
Dr. Sylvia L. Jones, a native of Toledo, Ohio, came to The Ohio State University by way of the Ohio State Young Scholars Program. This program provides support throughout high school and full scholarships to academically gifted minority students. In 2002 she graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS in Biology. During her undergraduate studies, she worked at The OSU College of Optometry under the direction Dr. Mark Bullimore and Dr. Karla Zadnik. After graduation Dr. Jones applied and was accepted to the College of Optometry to pursue her OD degree. While at the College she served as the President of the National Optometric Student Association chapter at Ohio State, participated in the National Eye Institute-funded T-35 research program, and was a part of the combined OD/MS program. Dr. Jones graduated in 2006 from The Ohio State University Optometry with a Master’s in Vision Science and a Doctorate of Optometry.
Dr. Jones has a passion for public health. While pursuing her Master’s degree, she worked with the Ohio Optometric Association to assist in the treatment of diabetic patients. She developed a tool that is now used nationwide by optometrists to efficiently communicate with other healthcare providers about the ocular health of diabetic patients. In 2009, she purchased Dr. Jackie Davis’s private practice and is now the owner and CEO of Divine Family Eyecare, Inc. Through her private practice she serves her community by providing comprehensive vision care. Dr. Jones is a member of the Ohio Optometric Association, the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Dr. Jones is happily married and has three beautiful daughters.
Doctor Thomas Nye completed his undergraduate work at Ohio State and is a 1987 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry. Along with his required coursework, Tom completed rotations at the Veterans Administration Hospitals in Columbus and Chillicothe and was employed part-time by alumnus Dr. Lamar Zigler in his private practice. Tom also found time to be an active member of the Epsilon Psi Epsilon Fraternity while a student in the College of Optometry.
Since starting in private practice immediately after graduation, Tom’s professional activities have been many. He has been a Zone Governor of the Cincinnati Optometric Association, Executive Board Member of the Ohio Optometric Association, and Board Member and Treasurer of the American Optometric Association Political Action Committee. In 1991, he was named Ohio’s Young Optometrist of the Year for his outstanding professional and community service, and he was named the 2006 Ohio Key Optometrist of the Year in recognition of his legislative activities. Currently, Tom serves on the Ohio State Board of Optometry and is the Vision Source Administrator for Greater Cincinnati.
Tom, a resident of Hamilton, is active in a number of local civic and youth organizations. He currently serves as Trustee of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates, Board Member of the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, and Treasurer of Dayton Lane Historic Area. Tom is also a former Mayor of Hamilton. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three very active almost-grown children, and are quickly transitioning toward the “empty nest” lifestyle.
Tom has been blessed with a broad range of life experiences, both personally and professionally. He feels strongly that these opportunities would not have come his way “but for Ohio State” and our wonderful optometric profession. He will forever be grateful for the classmates, colleagues, and mentors that have been there for him along the way. Go Bucks!
I graduated from the College of Optometry in 1991 and immediately went to work with Dr. Ted Smiley in a practice in Columbus, Ohio. In 1997, we became business partners and formed Columbus Eyecare Associates, Inc., which has become an extern practice site for students from the college. We have had a few contact lens studies published in Contact Lens Spectrum as well as being progressive in fitting all types of specialty contact lenses.
I married Sherry Hohman, an optometrist from the class of 1994, who now practices as Dr. Sherry Dollenmayer in Marion, OH. We have four great kids: Simone (15), Ben, Alex, and Renee (all 13 years old). My great family allows me to perform in three bands, playing guitar and singing, both of which have always been an important part of my life. One of those bands happens to be Bad Habits, “The Official Eye Docs of Rock,” who perform nationally at most of the major optometric meetings.
After graduating from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1995, Dr. McCloy pursued his dream to practice in Jamaica through a volunteer internship at a public hospital while also working in a private setting. The early years he spent practicing in Jamaica developed his global perspective and passion for caring for the underserved, a passion that has continued throughout his career. Doug eventually returned to Ohio and worked in a variety of settings until purchasing a private practice in Marion, Ohio, which he has owned and operated for the last 15 years.
In 2002, Dr. McCloy and his wife Rhonda made a leap of faith and returned to Jamaica to serve with the Mission Corps of the Church of the Nazarene. Out of the need to financially support their volunteer assignment in conjunction with the desire to deliver eyecare, Dr. McCloy opened the first of four present-day practices. As a result, Professional Eye Care now serves the Southern and Western regions of Jamaica with full scope eyecare services to a population that is both underserved and economically challenged.
One of the greatest impacts of Dr. McCloy’s optometric purpose lies in the functioning of the Gamertsfelder Mission Centre in Jamaica. Created in honor of Dr. Paul Gamertsfelder, this multi-purpose medical, dental, optometric, and eye surgery center serves as a sustainable clinic that also facilitates mission-minded doctors, students and allied professionals to care for the physical and spiritual needs of the Jamaican people.
“To be recognized as a notable alumnus is an honor above my imagination and proof for how God can take the little we have to offer and turn it into much. When reflecting on the events and people who helped form me as an optometrist, I realize the many exceptional faculty and alumni from the College who made significant contributions to my career (Dr. Michael Earley, Dr. Joe Barr, Dr. Marjean Kulp). My mentors in private practice include, Dr.’s John and Cheryl Archer, as well as Dr. Andy Feltz who partnered with me through some of the most rewarding and challenging years of my career. The ‘living example’ of Dr. Paul Gamertsfelder who’s life of service helped create in me a drive for purpose far greater than any I could reach with relying on my own efforts. Without the trust of Denise Thiel in Ohio and Karen Brunk in Jamaica to manage the offices, there wouldn’t be the outreach we now experience in both countries. And saving the best for last is my incredible wife Rhonda and four amazing children who have served with me as a family to fulfill what we believe is God’s purpose for us through the great profession of optometry.”
“In addition to this great support, if it were not for the opportunity the College of Optometry at Ohio State provided me, I couldn’t be who I am today. So a HUGE THANKS to the College for taking a chance on an ‘average Joe’ of a student like me.”
Upon graduation from The Ohio State University College of Optometry, I was honored to join the practice of my father, Dr. Ron Gilbert, and brother, Dr. Marc Gilbert. I served on the Ohio Optometric Association (OOA) Board for eight years including a term as President in 2011. My father and I were the first father-son pair to both serve as OOA President; his term was in 1977-78. Throughout my career I have been actively involved in advocacy programs such as InfantSEE, Realeyes, Vision USA, and Prevent Blindness of Ohio.
Volunteering in my local Jewish community has always been important to me. I served as President of the Dayton Jewish Community Center and have chaired many different committees and events. I have been happily married to my wife, Rachel, for seven years. We have a six year-old son, four year-old daughter, and a newborn.
Dr. Ronald Gilbert graduated from the Ohio State College of Optometry in 1955 and then served as an Optometry Officer in the U.S. Air Force for three years. He then went into private practice in Dayton, Ohio with Dr. Charles Thomas, who started the practice in 1939. Dr. Gilbert participated in many optometric activities such as the Miami Valley Society of Optometrists, the Ohio Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association, the American Academy of Optometry, and Vision USA. He was joined in practice by his two sons and has a grandson at the college. He was a key man for several Ohio and national legislators receiving the Ohio Key Man award in 2004. His other achievements include the Ohio Optometric Association’s Warren G. and Ruth P. Morris Optometrist of the Year Award in 1967 and President of the OOA in 1977-78.
Some of his local activities and awards included eye care provision for the Dayton VA, Chairman of the Montgomery County Health-a-Rama, President of the Lions Club, Chairman of the Provider Board of CareSource Health Plan, Sunday school teacher, member of the Board of the Dayton Interfaith Forum, and an active participant in the Greater Dayton Jewish Federation.
He retired at the end of 2012 after 57 years of practice. His son, Dr. Heath Gilbert, also served as President of the OOA. His wife, Shirlee, served as President of The Women’s Auxiliary to the OOA.
These are the things of which I am most proud:
- The Ohio State University College of Optometry graduate in 1981
- Solo private practice in Columbus for 22 years
- Appointed to the Ohio State Board of Optometry by the governor of Ohio. Served for 10 years and was elected twice as president of that board.
- VRICS and PAM Committee member and Chief Examiner for the Clinical Skills test for the National Board of Optometry
- Returned to OSU and earned a Masters in Public Health in 2008
- Member of the National Optometric Association and American Optometric Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
- Currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Optometry at Ohio State
- Mother of two sons and wife of a retired Columbus firefighter
Thanks again for this great honor!