Dr. Julia Appel.

NEW YORK—The SUNY College of Optometry Alumni Association has named Dr. Julia Appel its 2019 Alumna of the Year. The 1991 graduate will be recognized during the 16th annual Eyes on New York Gala celebration at Cipriani 42 in New York City on Friday, March 22. The award celebrates SUNY Optometry alumni who remain involved with the College through volunteerism and financial support; demonstrate dedication to the profession through education, organized optometry, publications or research; and participate in community service organizations and/or international missions.

Dr. Appel has served on the SUNY Optometry faculty since 1992 and is an associate clinical professor. She is the clinical education coordinator for third-year interns and develops assessment and remediation programs. She previously worked in private practice for 17 years and as director of the optometry service at the Spellman Center for HIV-Related Disease for 12 years. Dr. Appel was an integral member of the College’s alumni association board for two decades and championed its first capital campaign, helped establish the Pacesetter Award and advocated for the 2018 merger with the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY).

“We are delighted to finally have the opportunity to thank Julie for her incredible leadership, volunteerism and professional contributions,” said Dr. Anna Marie Fernandez, current president of the alumni association. “She is a true ambassador for the College and a voice for alumni.”

The Eyes on New York Awards Celebration is the signature event of the OCNY, which is the affiliated foundation of SUNY Optometry. At this year's event on Friday evening, March 22nd, OCNY will also honor Drs. Susan and Mark Fromer of Fromer Eye Centers and Regneron, a leading biotechnology company. Dr. Max Gomez, senior medical correspondent for WCBS-TV, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Proceeds from the evening will directly support patient care, scholarships and research at the College. For additional information, visit www.sunyopt.edu/gala.

Tickets and tables are still available as is participation in the Gala event journal; the deadline for journal ads is March 6.