Women In Optometry Recognizes Seven Women ODs for Excellence With 2018 Theia Awards

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(Clockwise from top left) Theia award winners included Glenda B. Secor, OD, FAAO, of Huntington Beach, California; Debby Feinberg, OD, FAAO, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Whitney Hargrove Hauser, OD, of Memphis, Tennessee; Rachael A. Wruble, OD, FAAO, of Charlotte, North Carolina; Jenny Coyle, OD, MS, FAAO, Dean, Pacific University College of Optometry; Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, of Austin, Texas; and Pamela A. Lowe, OD, FAAO, of Chicago, Illinois.

NEW YORK—Women In Optometry’s 2018 Theia Awards of Excellence were presented at the annual American Academy of Optometry Meeting in San Antonio, Texas on Nov. 8, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Seven women ODs were honored for their contributions to the profession. The Theia Awards of Excellence are named for Theia, the Greek goddess of vision or sight. This year, Women In Optometry expanded the categories included under the Theia Awards of Excellence to honor women ODs in five categories. The honorees included:

Glenda B. Secor, OD, FAAO, of Huntington Beach, California was honored in the Leadership category. She was recognized for “her unique leadership skills and her willingness to give of her many talents to help move the profession forward.”

Debby Feinberg, OD, FAAO, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan was honored in the Innovation category. She was honored for “in her persistence and passion, she has brought to life the new optometric specialty of neurovisual medicine.”

Whitney Hargrove Hauser, OD, of Memphis, Tennessee was honored in the Innovation category. She was recognized “for her efforts at spreading the gospel of dry eye disease awareness.”


Karen Dell, MBA, FAAO, Sr. Manager, Professional Affairs at Alcon, with Weslie Hamada, OD, FAAO, Associate Director Professional Affairs at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., at the 2018 Women In Optometry Theia Awards of Excellence reception.

Jenny Coyle, OD, MS, FAAO, Dean, Pacific University College of Optometry was honored in the Education category. Coyle was honored for her “unique education and leadership skills and a willingness to give of her many talents to help advance her students, the college and the profession.”

Pamela A. Lowe, OD, FAAO, of Chicago, Illinois was honored in the Mentoring category. “She has mentored many young and more seasoned practitioners on medical model eyecare before it was more commonplace.”

Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, of Austin, Texas was honored in the Mentoring category. Sorrenson “lectures and consults on staff management, practice efficiencies, keratoconus and contact lenses.”


Former Women In Optometry Theia Award recipient Dori Carlson, OD, and 2018 Mentoring award winner Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, stop for a photo with Pete Kehoe, OD, FAAO, FNAP.
Rachael A. Wruble, OD, FAAO, of Charlotte, North Carolina was honored in the Young OD category. Her many roles have “given her knowledge to help optometrists dream big and shoot for goals in their future.”

Previous Theia award winners presented the awards, acknowledging their friendships, mentors and influential peers in the audience. While only a handful of ODs were honored, the WO professional advisory panel and editors spent some anxious time deliberating—as well more than 100 nominations came in.

“The tremendous number of nominations that we’ve received for the Theia awards reinforces the impact that women ODs are making on the profession. Nominators often send in heartfelt, detailed forms saying how the OD they’re nominating has affected their lives and their careers,” said Marjolijn Bijlefeld, Women In Optometry editor.