For Immediate Release: Academy 2017 Chicago Attendance Exceeds Previous Meeting Records

Published November 7, 2017

For Immediate Release
October 24, 2017
Contact: Jenny Brown


Academy 2017 Chicago Attendance Exceeds Previous Meeting Records 

Academy 2017 Chicago, held October 11-14, 2017, was the 96th annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry. It was the largest meeting in the Academy’s history with a total of 7,692 registrants, including 4,799 optometrists and vision scientists and 1,206 students. Attendees engaged in high-quality continuing education sessions, experienced new products and technologies in the exhibit hall, and learned the latest in vision research that is advancing the profession.

The Plenary Session was titled “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice®: The Eye as a Mirror of the Brain.” Dr. Robert Sergott of the Wills Eye Hospital, Dr. Christopher Hudson from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry, and Dr. Marina Bedny of Johns Hopkins University, covered cutting-edge research on visual cortex adaptation, the eye’s involvement in central nervous system processes and its potential prognostic value in disease detection.

The third joint educational program of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “Ocular Surface Disease: What You May Be Missing,” took place in Chicago, and will also be presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting in November of this year. Moderators Drs. Stephen Pflugfelder and Barbara Caffery were joined by Drs. Victor Perez, Ellen Shorter and Carolyn Begley. The speakers each provided an in-depth analysis of an area of dry eye development and therapeutic management. This collaboration represents a continued effort by the two Academy organizations to work together to better prepare and support their members in delivering the highest quality eye care.

A highlight of the meeting was the confirmation of 256 new Fellows. Fellows of the Academy must complete a candidacy process that includes submitting written work demonstrating their skills as an optometrist or vision scientist, and sitting for an oral exam at the annual meeting of the Academy. It is estimated that 10% of practicing optometrists in the United States are Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). Optometrists, scientists, educators, librarians, administrators and editors are eligible to become Fellows of the Academy and earn the right to use “FAAO” after their name.

In addition, an impressive 10 individuals were awarded Diplomate status by Sections of the American Academy of Optometry. Diplomates are Fellows of the Academy who wish to demonstrate their skill in a specific area. Currently eight Sections offer Diplomate programs: Anterior Segment; Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry; Comprehensive Eye Care; Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies; Glaucoma; Low Vision; Optometric Education; and Public Health & Environmental Vision.

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), the Academy’s foundation supporting research and education, would like to thank registrants, sponsors, donors, awardees, and volunteers for making Academy 2017 Chicago another huge success. The meeting resulted in more than $250,000 in donations and new pledges. Approximately 200 supporters attended the Foundation’s Celebration Luncheon, resulting in more than $70,000 in donations and pledges at that event alone. Special thanks go to the nine individuals and couples who joined the Presidents Circle or moved up a level during the meeting by making pledges or donations of $10,000 or more. Because of their commitment, the AAOF Circle of Giving, which includes President’s Circle, now has more than 175 members. Additionally, the AAOF would like to thank the Alcon Foundation for their donation in the amount of $25,000, triggered by participants who cycled for a cumulative 2,020 minutes in the exhibit hall as part of the 20/20 Cycle for Sight event in recognition of World Sight Day.

2017 New Diplomates
Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry

Macarena Fernandez-Baca, Madrid, Spain (Clinical)
Cara Frasco, Dublin, Ohio (Clinical)
Erin Jenewein, Hatboro, Pennsylvania (Clinical)
Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies

Marsha Malooley, Elmhurst, Illinois (Clinical)
Graeme Young, Surrey, United Kingdom (Research)

Low Vision

Vijaya Gothwal, Hyderabad, India (Research)
Jonathan Jackson, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (Research)

Public Health and Environmental Vision

Barbara Cohn, Billings, Montana (Clinical)
Richard Hom, San Mateo, California (Clinical)

Vision Science

 Hua Bi, Davie, Florida (Clinical)

New Fellows Class of 2017

Mirjeta Abazaga, Rochester, New York

Ansu Abraham, Mount Prospect, Illinois

Rajni Kumari Acharya, Mickleton, New Jersey

Kayla E. Akers, Chicago, Illinois

Desireh Akhamzadeh, Beverly Hills, California

Nathan Lee Anderson, Fort Detrick, Maryland

Nicole West Anderson, Glendale, Arizona

Tobin Ansel, Hillsdale, New Jersey

Melissa Joyce Anstett, Elk Grove, California

Emily J. Aslakson, Stanwood, Michigan

Justin Atherton, Beckley, West Virginia

Bibifatemeh Roya Attarhosseini, Pikeville, Kentucky

David Au, Los Angeles, California

Dara Auyeung, Johnson City, Tennessee

O. Vanessa Avery, Oakland, California

Feyi Aworunse, Brentwood, Tennessee

Negar Babaei Omali, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Rima Gopal Bakhru, Brooklyn, New York

Utham P. Balachandran, Saint Charles, Missouri

Stephanie Barbara Bandelow, Berlin, Germany

Amanda E. Beaudry, Santa Barbara, California

Kriti Bhagat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jeffrey Binstock, Redmond, Washington

Alex A. Black, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Angelina Bonner, Matteson, Illinois

Alison K. Bozung, Iowa City, Iowa

Michelle J. Buckland, Columbus, Ohio

Emily Ann Burgon, Raleigh, North Carolina

Amy K. Burke, Hermon, Maine

Justine Nicole Butler, Sugar Land, Texas

Rachael Canania, Cleveland, Ohio

Andrew Carkeet, Kelvin Grove, Australia

Emily Rose Carr, Delaware City, Delaware

Bobbie Jo Casey, Lake Jackson, Texas

Daphne Wai Ping Chan, San Francisco, California

Adrienne Chan, Memphis, Tennessee

Hyewon Lee Chang, Pflugerville, Texas

Carol Antzy Chang, New York, New York

Rebecca Charlop, Brooklyn, New York

Jasmine Huanjing Chen, Sunnyvale, California

Tiffany Chen, Dallas, Texas

Reema Chokshi, Los Angeles, California

Luke Chong, Berkeley, California

Eric Chow, Davie, Florida

Naomi Chun, Houston, Texas

Richard T. Claiborne, Clackamas, Oregon

Kathryn Elizabeth Clare, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jamie Dale Cornett, San Antonio, Texas

Ashley Cowart, Jacksonville, Florida

Danielle Crane, New York, New York

Jacqueline A. Crow, Peoria, Illinois

Melissa Cuan, Milford, Connecticut

Shannon Currier, Dillon, Montana

Luke Gregory Cyr, Hermon, Maine

Kathryn Dailey, Tacoma, Washington

Jansi Damarla, Cincinnati, Ohio

Jennifer A. Dang, Los Angeles, California

Jaya Dantam, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Ashley Deemer, Baltimore, Maryland

Cirous Dehghani, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

Daniel Deligio, Lake Villa, Illinois

Michael DeWit, Granger, Indiana

Laura DiMeglio, Baltimore, Maryland

Amber Egbert, Evanston, Illinois

Caitlin A. Eleftherion, Danbury, Connecticut

Jamie Ellsworth-Neiman, Levittown, Pennsylvania

Brian Douglas Engesser, Bel Air, Maryland

Melissa Engle, Denver, Colorado

Tara Leigh Engstrom, Columbia, South Carolina

Daniel Epshtein, Brooklyn, New York

Debby Feinberg, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Michael Ferri, Yorktown Heights, New York

Jennifer Fisher, San Francisco, California

Trevor J. Fosso, Sartell, Minnesota

Irene Frantzis, Garden City, New York

William Eade Garrison, Lakewood, Washington

Reza Gharebaghi, Tehran, Iran

Nicholas Gidosh, Whitehall, Pennsylvania

Abigail Gillogly Harsch, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania

Laura Ann Goldberg, Syracuse, New York

Marisol Nabila Gomez, Austin, Texas

Jennifer Gonzalez, Windermere, Florida

Benedicte Gonzalez, Torrance, California

Eve Nicole Grelle, Indianapolis, Indiana

Anita Gulmiri, Melrose, Massachusetts

Amanda Kanwischer Gutierrez, APO, AE, Germany

Jin Ha, Baltimore, Maryland

Casey Michelle Hamm, Saint Louis, Missouri

Paul Hammond, Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Kathryn Hannis, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Katherine R. Hastings, Sagamore Hills, Ohio

Fatemeh Heidary, Tehran, Iran

Laine S. Higa, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Alison Hixenbaugh, Morgantown, West Virginia

Dieu-Hong Ho, Houston, Texas

Kevin Q. Hoang, Corpus Christi, Texas

David James Holler, Apex, North Carolina

Megan Holmes, Avon Lake, Ohio

Hannah L. Holtorf, Little Rock, Arkansas

Ying Hon, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Catherine Huang, Pasadena, California

Lauren Renee Hunt, White City, Oregon

Stephanie Ivor-Smith, Sherman Oaks, California

May Jarkas, Mascouche, Québec, Canada

Molly O'Shaughnessey Johnson, North Miami, Florida

Danae Adrianne Johnson, Tampa, Florida

Jessica Jose, Chicago, Illinois

Anju Kanikunnel, Temple, Texas

Costas Katsoulos, Athens Greece, Greece

Mandip Kaur, East Elmhurst, New York

Joshua Israel Keil, FPO, Armed Forces

Stacey M. Keppol, Red Bank, New Jersey

Kristen L. Kerber, Somerville, Massachusetts

Riyad Khamis, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Adnan Khan, Brisbane, Australia

Vincent Khou, Sydney, Australia

Ayesha Kidd, Spanish Fort, Alabama

Francesca Kim, New York, New York

Byung Josh Kim, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Suzanne Kim, Richmond, Virginia

Britney Kitamata-Wong, Lafayette, California

Emily Korszen, Yakima, Washington

Jason Koschmeder, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Jenna Koskey, Eugene, Oregon

Sandra Kou, Morrisville, North Carolina

Justin Paul Kozloski, Poway, California

Carl E. Kramer, Lawrence, Kansas

Yocheved Shira Kresch, New York, New York

Christie Krolczyk, Rochester, New Hampshire

Christopher Kruthoff, Norfolk, Virginia

Jamie Kuzniar, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Cristina La Rosa, Jacksonville, Florida

Tammy Labreche, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Alan Labrum, Chicago, Illinois

Bryan Lallathin, El Paso, Texas

Meredith B. Lanham, Louisville, Kentucky

Christopher Lee, New York, New York

Sophia Leung, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Crystal Lewandowski, Medford, Massachusetts

Grace Liao, Covina, California

Albert Simon Licup, Highland Park, Illinois

Zhi Lin, Guanghzou, China

Anna-Kaye Logan, Houston, Texas

Ashley R. P. Luke, Honolulu, Hawaii

Michael Brayden Lundquist, Goodyear, Arizona

Angelica Ly, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia

Megan Lynott, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Ashley Kay Maglione, Trenton, New Jersey

Michelle K. Man, Chicago, Illinois

Neli Z. Marcheva, Charlestown, Massachusetts

Jesus Gabriel Martinez, Los Angeles, California

Michael C. Martorana, Louisville, Kentucky

Lauren Kay Matthews, York, Pennsylvania

Holly Knight McCarthy, Gorham, Maine

Brandon McFadden, Spokane, Washington

Breanne Beatrice McGhee, New Orleans, Louisiana

Elizabeth Dorothy McMahon, Los Angeles, California

Andrew Lee Meagher, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Amasa Mecham, APO, Armed Forces

Gauri Mehta, Rego Park, New York

Siva Meiyeppen, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Michael Meyer, Jacksonville, Florida

Iris Miao, Birmingham, Alabama

Harpreet K. Minhas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Diana Mae Monea, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Kelsey Leigh Moody, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

Ann M. Morrison, Columbus, Ohio

Masoud Nafey, Mountain House, California

Mashael Namaeh, Arlington, Virginia

Cari Nealon, Lakewood, Ohio

Jenna Kay Nelson, Alexandria, Minnesota

Alan Ng, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

Bee Fang Saoirse Ng, Singapore

Thuy-Lan Nguyen, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Thien Huong K. Nguyen, Houston, Texas

Linda Nguyen, San Jose, CA

Meggie Nguyen, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio

Lynh Nguyen, Alamogordo, New Mexico

Eric Noll, Duncannon, Pennsylvania

Mark A. Obenchain, Pensacola Beach, Florida

Stephen Ocansey, Cape Coast, Ghana

Morgan Christopher Ollinger, Memphis, Tennessee

Zachary Olsen, Bloomington, Indiana

Sylvia Panora, Flushing, New York

Jaymeni Patel, Chicago, Illinois

Ravisa Patel, Indianapolis, Indiana

Megan Patterson, Tecumseh, Michigan

Baley Petersen, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Aaron Peterson, Clarksville, Tennessee

Christine Pham, Pasadena, California

Yasmine Lian Pilz, New York, New York

Steven L. Plaxco, Jr., Radcliff, Kentucky

Nicole Pogue, Roxbury, Massachusetts

Donald Joseph Pole, Big Rapids, Michigan

Matthew Polster, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho

Cindy Easheen Pouw, Houston, Texas

Steven Charles Quan, Chicago, Illinois

Viswanathan Ramasubramanian, Bloomington, Indiana

Harneet Randhawa, Chicago, Illinois

Alina Reznik, Boston, Massachusetts

Matthew Roe, Glendale, Arizona

Matthew Rosner, Houston, Texas

Mark S. Rosner, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Leticia Rousso, Davie, Florida

Roberto Saenz, II, San Antonio, Texas

Jill Saxon, Randolph, New Jersey

Jennifer Gail Schad, Big Rapids, Michigan

Michael J. Schumacher, Kayenta, Arizona

Sepinood Sebghati, Woodland Hills, California

Vivian Phan Shibayama, Los Angeles, California

Sarin Siriamonthep, Hamden, Connecticut

Leslie Small, Miami, Florida

Michael Wayne Smith, Dallas, Texas

Melissa Smith, Baltimore, Maryland

Olivia Steinberg, Winfield, Illinois

Brandi E. Stewart, San Antonio, Texas

Shantise M. Story, Smyrna, Georgia

Nicole Catherine Stout, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

Kelly Christine Summers, Fishers, Indiana

Jennifer Sutter, Mount Vernon, Indiana

Anthony Swanholm, Louisville, Kentucky

Alexandra A. Talaber, Boulder, Colorado

Jenny Tan, Alameda, California

Li Li Tan, Singapore, Singapore

Wenny Tan, New York, New York

Megan Taylor, Madison, Alabama

William Lee Thibodeaux, Decatur, Alabama

Marsha Ann Thomas, Pearland, Texas

Maryjo Ann Thomas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Emily M. Thompson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Paige Thompson, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chung T. To, Tampa, Florida

Truyet Tran, San Francisco, California

Anthony Tran, Sydney, Australia

Toan Minh Trinh, APO, Armed Forces

Eva C. Tsui, Brooklyn, New York

Kelly Varney, Phoenix, Arizona

Antonella Vecchies, Pondenone, Italy

Sandra Vidacic, Las Vegas, Nevada

Celina Villanueva, Boerne, Texas

Tracy Wang, Castro Valley, California

Anna Seohyun Wang, San Francisco, California

Kimberly Warner, Madison, Indiana

Cassandria Warr, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Marie Elizabeth Wehner, Saint Louis, Missouri

Jamie Weiser, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Nurit Ariel Wilkins, Baltimore, Maryland

Dianne Louise Williams, Hanahan, South Carolina

Veronica Gee Wong, Kingwood, Texas

Elizabeth Yanting Wong, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Eric A. Woo, Downers Grove, Illinois

Shun-nan Yang, Forest Grove, Oregon

Kevin Yuan, Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Ting Zhang, Goldsboro, North Carolina

Wenlin Zhang, Los Angeles, California

Tina Zheng, Anaheim, California


About the American Academy of Optometry

The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) enhances excellence in optometric practice by fostering research and disseminating knowledge in vision science through its journal, Optometry and Vision Science, and the continuing education presented at its annual meeting. Fellows of the Academy are committed to the premise that learning is a lifelong obligation of a professional, as is the commitment to expand the profession’s knowledge base through ongoing fellowship and exchange.

About the American Academy of Optometry Foundation

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) is a 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization that develops and provides financial support for optometric research and education in vision and eye health to improve patient clinical care. The AAOF is a proud affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry.

The next annual meeting of the Academy will be November 7-10, 2018 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. For more information, visit: