College of Optometry Bestows Awards to Class of 2023

The Pacific University College of Optometry celebrated its 2023 optometry  graduates on May 19, bestowing recognitions on some of its top graduating students.

Students completing the program earned their doctor of optometry and/or a master of science in vision science, and/or a PhD in Vision Science the following day at Pacific’s May Commencement.

Vision Science Graduate Awards

  • Pacific Professor James Kundart PhD '23, OD ’99, Med ’99, Best PhD Dissertation Award, “Diagnosis and Treatment of Aniseikonia from Ocular Asymmetry.”
  • Yoshiyuki Araki MS ’23, Best MS Thesis Award, “The Effect of Accommodation on the Choroidal Thickness while Wearing Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses.”

Optometry Doctor Graduate Awards

  • Lupita Gomez OD ’23, CooperVision Travel Grants
  • Anna Paffrath OD ’23, CooperVision Travel Grants
  • Nicole Pacer OD ’23, CooperVision Travel Grants
  • Olga Kraushaar OD ’23, CooperVision Travel Grants
  • Sarah Ho OD ’23, CooperVision Travel Grants
  • Luke Boran OD ’23 Oregon Optometric Physicians Association Legacy Past Presidents Award, presented to a student who is committed to practicing in Oregon upon graduation.
  • Shane Kinzer OD ’23, and Marienne Santa Elena OD ’23, Vision Service Plan (VSP) American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) Practice Excellence Scholarship, presented to students who have demonstrated clinical and academic excellence and a commitment to enter the independent practice of optometry.
  • Shinobu Kajimoto OD ’23, Optelec Low Vision Award, presented to a student who has excelled academically and/or has contributed to university service in the area of low vision.
  • Shane Kinzer OD ’23, Dr. Newton K. Wesley Foundation Fund Endowed Scholarship Fund, presented to an outstanding clinical performance and demonstration of excellence in clinical skills for contact lenses.
  • Elizabeth Peters OD ’23, Dr. Dori Carlson & Dr. Mark Helgeson Endowed Optometry Scholarship Fund, awarded to an outstanding student who aspires to practice in a rural community.
  • Hunter Beaulaurier OD ’23, Eschenbach Low Vision Student Award, presented for exceptional aptitude and interest in the field of low vision.
  • Weston Sherwood OD ’23, Designs for Vision, Inc. William Feinbloom Low Vision Award, for a student who has shown outstanding achievement in the field of low vision.
  • Stephanie Youren OD ’23, Donald A. Bybee Memorial Award for Vision Therapy, for best performance in the area of Vision Therapy.
  • Alaina Jacobsen OD ’23, PUCO Outstanding Clinician Award for outstanding performance as an all-around optometric clinician.
  • Marienne Santa Elena OD ’23, Professional Eye Care Associates of America Award for Excellence in Future Private Practice, award supports students intending to pursue private practice Optometry following graduation.
  • Eric Barnier OD ’23, Drs. Dennis L. Smith and Nada J. Lingel Award for Excellence in Systemic Disease, in recognition and honor of a student’s hard work, skill and dedication to understanding systemic disease and providing comprehensive health care to their patients.
  • Kalli Marie Hirasa OD ’23, College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) Award for Excellence in Vision Therapy, awarded to a COVD student member who demonstrated a strong interest and excellent clinical skills in the area of Vision Therapy. Hiras is also the optometry Valedictorian of the Class of 2023 and a recipient of the Beta Sigma Kappa Silver Medal Award.
  • Drew Hargrove OD ’23, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care, recognizes an outstanding student clinician who has demonstrated excellence in contact lens patient care.
  • Anna Paffrath OD ’23, Tole Greenstein Award, for outstanding contribution to vision therapy or pediatrics through research or clinical application.
  • Calisandra Larson OD ’23, GP Lens Institute Contact Lens Clinical Excellence Award, honors a student who shows interest and enthusiasm in the fitting of gas permeable contact lenses in the clinical environment
  • Jesse Allen OD ’23, Brian Lee Hill Memorial Award, for friendship and leadership.
  • Jessica Vo OD ’23, Dean’s Award, recognizes overall academic excellence, leadership, community service and a commitment to fulfill the values of Pacific University’s mission.

The Pacific University College of Optometry offers a doctor of optometry program, residency programs in multiple specialties and a master of science in vision science program, and a PhD in Vision Science program that prepare students for teaching or research in the ophthalmic industry.

We also partner with the College of Education to offer a Master of Education/Visual Function in Learning program designed to provide specialized study to qualify the optometrist as an education vision consultant. The college also has a strong tradition of providing continuing education to help optometric physicians meet their requirements for license renewal.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023