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Recent Posts

  • Boucher, Cochran Named to Hall of Fame
  • Wroten Named AOA’s Young OD of the Year
  • Arkansas Alumni Honored
  • ‘69 Graduate Retires
  • Al Schoen, OD ‘72 Honored
  • ‘55 Graduate’s Adventurous Life
  • In Memory of Harold Winston, OD ‘41
  • Sharpe Profiled in Story
  • Alumni Named Fellows
  • ‘59 Graduate Honored

  • March 2015
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  • Boucher, Cochran Named to Hall of Fame

    Two outstanding SCO graduates – James Boucher, OD ‘61, and SCO President Emeritus William E. Cochran, OD ‘68, were among the five inductees into this year’s National Optometry Hall of Fame. They were inducted in a special ceremony held during the American Optometric Association’s meeting in Chicago.

    boucher-picDr. James Boucher

    Dr. Boucher is a 1961 graduate of the Southern College of Optometry (SCO). After graduation, he served in the United States Air Force until 1964. Since 1966, he has been in practice at the Snowy Range Vision Center in Laramie, Wyo.

    Dr. Boucher has held leadership positions with several optometric organizations. He was on the AOA Board of Trustees (1979-1982), chair of the Education and Manpower Division, Executive Committee (1973-1974), chair of the Contact Lens Section (1986-1987), and chair of the Commission on Ophthalmic Standards (1977-1979). Dr. Boucher served as Wyoming Optometric Association president from 1976-1978.

    Dr. Boucher has taught at numerous institutions, including: Illinois College of Optometry; University of Houston College of Optometry; and Pacific University College of Optometry. Dr. Boucher has received many honors, among them are Lifetime Achievement Award (SCO) in 1999, The Harvey W. Wiley Medal/ Food and Drug Administration Commissioner’s special citation in 1995, and the AOA Optometrist of the Year in 1978.

    William Cochran_300Dr. William “Billy” Cochran

    Dr. Cochran, a third-generation optometrist, graduated from SCO in 1968. He then served as a captain in the U.S. Army’s Medical Service Corps. After completing his military service, Dr. Cochran spent 13 years in a private-practice, primary care optometry partnership in Mississippi.

    In 1984, Dr. Cochran was named president of SCO, and he began to make changes to move the college beyond its regional image and into the national arena of optometric education. Under Dr. Cochran’s leadership, SCO began working to fund scholarships and to improve academic standards. He implemented a student recruitment program that saw student enrollment grow from 90 to 120 entering students per year.

    By his second decade as SCO president, Dr. Cochran had improved and stabilized the college’s finances. This strengthened the college’s ability to meet the educational, clinical and technological needs of the students.

    By the late 1990s, the college had outgrown its clinical facilities. SCO launched capital campaign to construct The Eye Center at SCO, a freestanding clinic designed as a long-term teaching and patient care facility. The Eye Center at SCO opened in 2002 as the largest facility of its kind in the United States.

    Within the AOA, Dr. Cochran served on the Task Force on Negotiations in 1974. He also served on the Nominations Committee and in the House of Delegates. He spent four years on the AOA’s Leadership Development Committee and five years as AOA Keyperson.

    Dr. Cochran was active in the Mississippi Optometric Association (MOA). He served as the MOA’s Legislative Committee chairman from 1972-1974. He spent three years on the MOA’s board before becoming president in 1978.

    Dr. Cochran was also on the board of ASCO. He spent nine years on ASCO’s Executive Committee and served as president in 1991. Additionally, Dr. Cochran served on the Board of Directors of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO).

    Congratulations to both of these outstanding alumni!

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    Wroten Named AOA’s Young OD of the Year

    chris wrotenChris Wroten, OD ‘02, was recently named by the American Optometric Association (AOA) as the AOA’s Young OD of the Year. Dr. Wroten graduated summa cum laude from Southern College of Optometry (SCO) in 2002 and then completed a residency in hospital-based primary eye care at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

    He practiced at West Tennessee Eye in Memphis for several years before returning to Louisiana in 2005 to join what is now the Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic, a multi-location group practice. Dr. Wroten founded the clinic’s residency in family practice optometry, for which he serves as residency supervisor, in addition to creating and overseeing its externship programs. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at SCO and the University of Incarnate Word – Rosenberg School of Optometry.

    Dr. Wroten has served as vice president of the West Tennessee Optometric Society, president of the Southeast Louisiana Optometric Society, and in every elected office in the Optometry Association of Louisiana (OAL), including two terms as OAL president. He is co-chair of the OAL Education Committee, continues to serve on numerous other committees, is the keyperson for several state legislators, and has been an instrumental part of numerous legislative victories for organized optometry in Louisiana.

    He is also an active member of the AOA, serving or having served on the AOA’s Federal Relations Committee, Drive for 65 Campaign, Nominating Committee, Eye Care Workforce Study Expert Panel, and Resolutions Committee, in addition to numerous years of involvement in the AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference and as a delegate to the AOA House of Delegates.

    Dr. Wroten was the first optometrist appointed to the Louisiana Emergency Response Network Board by the governor of Louisiana, as well as to the Bayou Health Quality Assurance Committee, which oversees Louisiana’s Medicaid managed care programs. He is also a multi-term president of the Board of Directors for Child Advocacy Services, sits on the Alumni Council at SCO, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence.

    Dr. Wroten has given numerous continuing education and community lectures, published many eye care articles, and presented posters at national optometric conferences, in addition to participating in clinical research and pharmaceutical drug trials.

    In 2011, Dr. Wroten was named the recipient of both the OAL’s Young Optometrist of the Year Award and SCO’s Young Alumnus of the Year Award. In 2012, he was also recognized with the Southern Council of Optometrists Young OD of the South Award.

    In practice, Dr. Wroten serves as the Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic’s chief operations officer, in addition to providing primary eye care services and overseeing the clinic’s educational programs. He is also an InfantSEE® provider and works closely with his local Lions clubs as a volunteer.

    Dr. Wroten is married to Sarah Wroten, O.D., and they have two children, Emily and Ben.

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    Arkansas Alumni Honored

    Several Arkansas alumni who attended Southern College of Optometry were recently honored at their state’s annual spring meeting in Little Rock. Among those receiving recognition were:

    • Darrell Broadway, OD ‘49; Lifetime of Excellence Award
    • Garry Haas, OD ‘67; Lifetime of Excellence Award
    • Audie M. Teague, OD ‘83; Optometrist of the Year
    • Matt Jones, OD ‘09, Young Optometrist of the Year
    • Russell Simmons, OD ‘83; Distinguished Service Award

    Congratulations to these graduates!

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    ‘69 Graduate Retires

    Brian Dolphin,  OD ‘69, is retiring after 42 years of service to his patients and community in Michigan. Read more about how optometry enabled him to travel and about his retirement plans in this story.

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    Al Schoen, OD ‘72 Honored

    Family, friends, staff and community members recently gathered to honor Allan Schoen, OD ‘72, founder of Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, Mississippi.

    Coldwater Vision has served Coldwater and Tate County since 1978. The center recently underwent numerous renovations. To commemorate the newly remodeled building, Kristopher May, OD ‘01, and Rhetta Conn, OD ‘09, presented Dr. Schoen, and his wife, Sherry, a plaque during a dedication and renaming ceremony.

    The newly renamed Schoen Building will continue to provide quality eye care to its many faithful customers. Congratulations to Dr. and Mrs. Schoen!


    Photo courtesy: Cathy Tarver

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    ‘55 Graduate’s Adventurous Life

    Donald Lubin, OD ‘55, has spent a remarkable life filled with flying adventures and military service, including a stint in the Korean War. Now retired in Arizona, he was recently profiled in this news story about his life and career.

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    In Memory of Harold Winston, OD ‘41

    Harold Winston, OD ‘41, a noted Tennessee optometrist who had served as president of the Tennessee Optometric Society during his long career, died on December 19, 2011.

    Dr. Winston was the father of two SCO alumni, Jerry Winston, OD ‘67, and Barry Winston, OD ‘74, and the grandfather of a third generation legacy optometrist, Sam Winston, OD ‘11.

    Read more about his life or sign his memorial book online here.

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    Sharpe Profiled in Story

    Travis Sharpe, OD ‘o6, was recently profiled in a positive story about his journey in becoming an optometrist and attending SCO. Read more in this article from the Salina, Kansas Journal.

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    Alumni Named Fellows

    Four SCO alumni were among the new Fellows of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD) announced at the COVD’s annual meeting recently held in Las Vegas. Congratulations to:

    • Charles Shidlofsky, OD ‘88
    • Heidi Wise, OD ‘98
    • Audra Steiner, OD ‘00
    • Lynn Lowell, OD ‘08

    Several alumni also were named Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting held recently in Boston, including:

    • Lindsay Elkins, OD ‘07, SCO faculty
    • Melissa Turner, OD ‘08
    • Terri Steddum, OD ‘08

    Congratulations to all of these alumni for their achievement!

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    ‘59 Graduate Honored

    Don Kuehn, OD ‘59, was recently named Humanitarian of the Year by Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) International at the organization’s annual meeting in Boston.

    Dr. Kuehn is seen here at right receiving his award from another SCO graduate, Ellis Potter, OD ‘67, the new VOSH International President.

    Congratulations to Drs. Kuehn and Potter for their humanitarian service!

    VOSH award

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