Alumni Award Winners
Celebrating Our Alumni!
Berkeley Optometry celebrated our 70th Reunion CE event on October 6 & 7, 2018. Over 400 alumni, faculty, students, and friends returned to campus for the Reunion CE Conference, the Sheldon M. Golden Translational Research Conference, an All-Alumni Celebration Dinner at Memorial Stadium, and numerous class-specific events planned by an all-star team of alumni volunteers.
The weekend offered OD attendees up to 13 hours of CE presented by Berkeley alumni and faculty members. Continuing the tradition established by the Berkeley Optometry Alumni Association, the Reunion CE program also includes award presentations honoring outstanding community members.
Dean John Flanagan opened the day with the Michel G. Harris Distinguished Service Award presented to an outstanding alumnus for his/her service to the Berkeley Optometry community. The parameters are broad to recognize the myriad ways in which alumni serve the school, from the classrooms of Minor Hall, to their involvement on a national stage. Deanna Alexander, OD ’87, has represented Berkeley Optometry at the highest levels of the AOA, and through her Colorado state and local societies. She stays connected to her alma mater through her service on the Alumni Board, and practices in Fort Collins, CO. Her volunteer leadership is award-winning, garnering her the AOA’s OD of the Year, the Colorado Optometric Association’s (COA) Optometrist of the Year, and the COA Distinguished Service Award over her 30-year career.
The Class of 1993 celebrating their 25th Reunion presented the Mert Flom Teaching Award to the instructor who most influenced their optometric career. The instructor-honoree is nominated and voted on by the class members from all their past faculty members, CE lecturers, colleagues, and mentors who have not yet won the award. This year’s winner, Bob DiMartino, OD ’84, worked to expand 4th Year clinical rotations nationwide in the early ‘90s because he “envisioned the students’ benefits of gaining exposure to other forms and scopes of Optometry that were not available to California at that time.” This in turn, inspired many of the Class of 1993 to pursue residencies, which was also unusual for the era. Dr. DiMartino was especially humbled to be recognized by his former students, and to be honored among past faculty winners who also taught him before he joined their ranks.
The Reunion CE program closed with the 2018 Alumnus of the Year Award, recognizing one graduate’s outstanding professional and personal achievements. Past winners include practitioners from every mode of practice, unforgettable educators like Dean Meredith Morgan, and former presidents of the AAO and AOA. The 2018 winner Lewis Reich, OD ’88, dedicates his life to educational leadership, bringing up the next generation of great doctors as the current President of Southern College of Optometry. Since completing his PhD at Houston College of Optometry under former Berkeley Optometry Dean Dennis Levi, he has worked in academic and student affairs while simultaneously holding faculty appointments. In 2016 the SCO Board of Trustees unanimously approved his appointment as President of the college. Celebrating this honor with his wife Diane and 30 of his Classmates of ’88 at their own 30th Reunion was surreal, and fun.
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Past Alumnus of the Year Winners
George (Bradley) Barnes
L. Bruce Mebine
Stephen R. Chun
Lee A. Goldstein
Michael G. Harris
Richard M. Hill
Pam P. Fong
Lawrence S. Thal
Ernest K. Takahashi
Albert Lee Scaief
Bernard J. Dolan
Edward J. Revelli
Past Mert Flom Teaching Award Winners
A. Lee Scaief
Michael G. Harris
Past Michel G. Harris Distinguished Service Award Winners
Pamela P. Fong