Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry Announces Special Recognition Awards


ROCKVILLE, Md. – The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) announced the recipients of the 2014 Special Recognition Awards including the Inaugural Rising Star Awardee.

Dr. Yi Pang, assistant dean for research and associate professor, Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) won the inaugural Rising Star Award. Dr. Barbara Fink, associate professor of Optometry and Vision Science and chair of the Diversity Enhancement Committee at the Ohio State University College of Optometry is the recipient of the Dr. Jack Bennett Innovation in Optometric Education Award. Finally, Ryan Anderson, Midwestern University and Arizona College of Optometry, won the Student Award in Clinical Ethics.

The ASCO Rising Star Award, sponsored by Oculus, is given to an outstanding faculty member or administrator with less than 10 years of service. Dr. Pang was recognized for her outstanding contributions to ASCO, most notably in the area of international optometric education and for her achievements at ICO.

“It is my greatest honor to receive the first ASCO’s Rising Star Award,” said Pang. “I have been enjoying my teaching, research, and administration work at ICO since I graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2005 and hope to continue my contribution to the profession of optometry.”

Named after Dr. Jack Bennett, a creative leader in optometric education who served as dean at three optometric institutions, ASCO’s Dr. Jack Bennett Innovation in Optometric Education Award recognizes an ASCO volunteer for an outstanding innovation in optometric education through ASCO. Dr. Fink received the Bennett award in recognition of her outstanding work to facilitate the implementation of the ASCO Cultural Competency Curriculum Guidelines at the schools and colleges of optometry.

“I have a high regard for Dr. Jack Bennett, and I feel privileged to receive this award that was named in his honor,” Fink said. “The list of previous award winners is humbling. I am pleased that my efforts for ASCO have been deemed valuable.”

Optometry student Ryan Anderson won the Student Award in Clinical Ethics, sponsored by International Vision Expo, for his essay titled “Tough Talks and Patient Privacy.”

“I’d like to thank ASCO for selecting my essay for the Student Award in Clinical Ethics. It’s an honor to share my experience and I hope it helps other future optometrists in making the right ethical decisions,” Anderson said.