Posted: Fullerton, CA, May 25, 2012
|Highlighting today's one-hundred and eighth Commencement Exercise of the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO), was the recognition of 98 Doctor of Optometry degree candidates; the delivery of the Commencement Speech by the President-Elect of the American Optometric Association (AOA); the presentation of the College's prestigious Distinguished Service Award; the announcement of SCCO's Distinguished Alumnus of the Year; and the acknowledgment of 36 optometrists who have successfully completed one-year residency programs. More than 1,000 guests attended the outdoor event on the College's Fullerton campus.|
SCCO's Class of 2012 includes 68 women and 30 men and boasts four graduates who are second-generation optometrists. Twelve members of the graduating class earned Summa Cum Laude honors; seven earned Magna Cum Laude honors; and nine students attained Cum Laude recognition. Overall, they have completed 66 classes totaling 236 quarter units.
The new Doctors of Optometry represent 19 states and Canada. In addition to California, the states include: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
The Class of 2012 Valedictorian, Michelle Nguyen Kirk, B.A., grew up within miles of SCCO in neighboring Placentia. A 2000 graduate of Valencia High School she then enrolled in California State University, Fullerton, and earned a B.A. in Communicative Disorders in 2004. She taught math at Fullerton's Troy High School for a year before applying to SCCO. Throughout her studies at CSUF and SCCO she maintained a 4.0 GPA.
AOA President-Elect Ronald L. Hopping, O.D., M.P.H., delivered the Commencement Address, "The Family Secret." A graduate of SCCO's Class of 1978, Dr. Hopping also received the Distinguished Service Award for his service and contributions over time that have advanced the stature and integrity of the College. He is in private practice in the Clear Lake area of Houston, TX.
Garden Grove Optometrist Dawn M. Miller, O.D., was honored as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year during the 10 a.m., Commencement Exercise. The 1983 SCCO alumnus, has an impressive record of volunteer service to her community, the profession of optometry, and her alma mater.
Thirty-six optometrists were recognized during the ceremony for completion of their one-year residency programs. SCCO residency programs provide specialized training in cornea and contact lenses, ocular disease, low vision rehabilitation, pediatric optometry and vision therapy, and primary care optometry.