“We had a time!” was a familiar phrase uttered during and after the National Optometric Association (NOA) conference in Fort Lauderdale this year. The annual conference, in its 54th year, began with their hallmark service day where doctors and students provided full eye exams and glasses to community members, generously sponsored by VSP.
Service day continues to be a staple of this annual meeting, with the NOA’s mission being to “advance the visual health of minority populations.” This was followed by days of compelling continuing education. Dr. Shoge was a panelist on the “Empowering Diversity in Optometry” discussion sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Berkeley Optometry was well represented by several of our students, faculty, and alumni, many of whom received awards during the awards banquet:
- Joanna Lopez (Class of 2025) won three awards – the NOSA Executive Board Award, The Academic Award, and the NOA National Vision Award.
- Mihret Girum (Class of 2024) won the prestigious Empowering Diversity award sponsored by VSP and Black Eyecare Perspective.
- Joy Harewood, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO (Class of 2011) won Educator of the Year.
- Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, FAAO (OD Class of 1982 and PhD Class of 1992) won Dean of the Year, the inaugural recipient of this award.
The planning for the 2024 NOA Conference is already underway and will be held in Philadelphia July 11-14th.