Professional Programs Graduates Ready to Help Others


Intermittent rain showers did little to dampen the joy and exhilaration felt by nearly 320 Pacific University professional programs students and their supporters at commencement on Saturday, May 18.

The afternoon ceremony held at Lincoln Park Stadium on the university's Forest Grove Campus culminated countless hours of coursework and clinical practice for soon-to-be occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physical therapists and teachers.

President Lesley Hallick expressed admiration for students from the colleges of Education, Health Professions and Optometry by noting that an advanced degree is a special accomplishment.

"As graduates of our professional programs here at Pacific University, you now have the opportunity and responsibility to go out into the world of your choosing and make a difference," Hallick said. "I know you will carry forward the spirit and mission of Pacific as you do so."

College of Education dean Mark Ankeny ceremoniously "hooded" 40 master's of education or teaching degree candidates.

An additional 29 students within the School of Occupational Therapy received their hoods from director John White to signify a master of occupational therapy degree.

School of Pharmacy dean Sue Stein bestowed hoods on 95 doctor of pharmacy degree candidates, and School of Physical Therapy director Richard Rutt did the same for 39 doctor of physical therapy degree candidates.

College of Optometry dean Jennifer Smythe welcomed 83 doctor of optometry degree candidates to the optometric profession by hooding them as well.

Earlier in the ceremony, the university and College of Optometry honored alumna Dori Carlson '89 OD as the third recipient of the Kamelia Massih Prize for a Distinguished Optometrist.

The honor is named after the late Kamelia Massih, a 1985 College of Optometry alumna who passed away in March 2010 following a three-year battle with cancer. Massih served her patients and members of her community with a level of compassion and care that exemplifies Pacific University College of Optometry alumni.

Carlson, an optometrist based in Park River, N.D., became the first female president of the American Optometric Association and is currently immediate past president. She has served on the organization's board since 2004, serving as a liaison to many different committees and project teams.

She developed a "School Readiness Summit," which evolved into a joint statement signed by 30 different organizations calling for comprehensive eye exams to be the foundation of children's vision care.

Carlson is also the first AOA board member to travel to all 20 schools and colleges of optometry in the United States in an effort to convert students to active AOA membership status upon graduation. 

Additionally, Carlson has recently been elected to the Pacific University Board of Trustees. 

Prior to commencement, student award winners were announced in ceremonies held by each school or college. Following are the award winners:


School of Occupational Therapy - Christine Harrison-Beard, Man Wa Shing

School of Physical Therapy - Tracie Nygaard

College of Optometry - Christopher Lowe

(Many students in the School of Pharmacy and College of Education met or exceeded criteria for Valedictory status)

School of Occupational Therapy

Director’s Award -  Man Wa Shing

Professional Development - Ryan Farwell

Global Citizenship - Megan Kelly

School of Pharmacy

Dean’s Excellence Award - Sarah Fondse

Professionalism Award - Matthew Ford, Joshua Yoder

Leadership Award - Ellen Cheng, William Crabtree III, Shaleen Singh, Susan Suchomel

Community Service Award - Uriel Sanchez, Theresa Nguyen, Jayen Panchal, Anthony Tran

Boxer Spirit Award - Ester Choi, Mimi Thi Ho, Anthony Penera, Christine Pham, Radha Prasad, Hetty Tsai

School of Pharmacy Ambassador Award - David Nguyen, Nicolle Rychlick

Facts and Comparisons/Lexi-Comp Excellence in Clinical Communication Award - Kayla Brisson

Lexi-Comp Excellence in Drug Information Award - Christina Garcia, Ashley Kanda

Eli Lilly Excellence in Diabetes Care Award - Matthew Guzman

The Merck Award - Shuk Wai Chan, Sophia Maeda

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Excellence in Pharmacy Award - Hana Camarillo

Natural Products Database Award - Emily Holcomb

Pfizer Excellence in Patient Care Award - Nathan Pingle

Purdue Pain Management Award - Jonathan Quirk

Excellence in Acute Care Award - Alexander von Kantzler Polk

Excellence in Ambulatory Care Award - Ryan Nishikawa

School of Physical Therapy

Outstanding Service to the School of Physical Therapy - Bryan Lang

Community Service Award - Kelsey Kallioinen, Timothy Mansour

Director Award - Heather Robinson

College of Optometry

Alcon Clinical Case Report Award - Joel Causey

AOA Advantage Scholarship - Amber Dunn

AOF/Vistakon Award of Excellence in CL Patient Care - David Ruckman

Brian Lee Hill Memorial Award - Allen Kim

BSK Chapter Award for Exceptional Research - Jacinta Yeung

BSK Silver Medal Award - Christopher Lowe

COVD Award for Excellence in Vision Therapy - Allecia Shoemaker

Dean’s Award - Leslie Hellebush

Designs for Vision William Feinbloom Low Vision Award - Collin Robillard

Donald A. Bybee Memorial Award for Vision Therapy - Kayla Stewart

Eschenbach Low Vision Award - Stacie Zollman

Essilor Award for Excellence in Clinical Dispensing - Hayden Nguyen

GP Lens Institute GP CL Clinical Excellence Award - Jaclyn DeHayes-Rice

Marchon Practice Management Award - David Bisbee

MiraMed Award for Excellence in Primary Care Optometry - Sasha Kean

NBEO Part 1 Highest Score - Christopher Lowe

PECAA Award for Excellence in Future Private Practice - Korbin Koch

Outstanding Clinician Award - Collin Robillard

PUCO Private Practice Scholarship - Eric Drake, Haley Menge

Tole Greenstein Award - Matthew Carlson, Jacinta Yeung

VSP Scholarship - Roslyn Howell, Kelci Rolfstad

Saturday, May 18, 2013