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Honoring Excellence

2018 Theia Award winners recognized for their contributions and influence

By Marjolijn Bijlefeld, WO Managing Editor

The annual Theia Awards of Excellence are a highlight of the year at Women In Optometry (WO). While ultimately a handful of ODs are selected, the WO professional advisory panel and editors spend some anxious time deliberating—as well more than 100 nominations came in, many of them with personal and heartfelt testimonials about the impact that an OD makes in her community. Here are the 2018 winners.

Leadership: Glenda B. Secor, OD, FAAO, of Huntington Beach, California

What a nominator said: “She is one of the truly outstanding colleagues whom I have admired over the years because of her unique leadership skills and her willingness to give of her many talents to help move the profession forward.”

Innovation: Debby Feinberg, OD, FAAO, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

What a nominator said: “In her persistence and passion, she has brought to life the new optometric specialty of neurovisual medicine so that the millions of people suffering from any form of subtle vision misalignment can receive the life-changing care they need.”

Innovation: Whitney Hargrove Hauser, OD, of Memphis, Tennessee

What a nominator said: “Her passion for treating patients is palpable…She has become a respected teacher and mentor, recognized for her efforts at spreading the gospel of dry eye disease awareness and motivating people to recognize and appropriately treat this disease.”

Mentoring: Pamela A. Lowe, OD, FAAO, of Chicago, Illinois

What a nominator said: “She has mentored many young and more seasoned practitioners on medical model eye care before it was more commonplace. She has been very valuable in supporting legislative issues in optometry, lecturing around the country, and she balances it all with kindness and grace.”

Mentoring: Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, of Austin, Texas

What a nominator said: “With humor and a passion for business success, she lectures and consults on staff management, practice efficiencies, keratoconus and contact lenses.”

Education: Jenny Coyle, OD, MS, FAAO, Dean, Pacific University College of Optometry

What a nominator said: “She’s a wonderful colleague with unique education and leadership skills and a willingness to give of her many talents to help advance her students, the college and the profession.”

Young OD: Rachael A. Wruble, OD, FAAO, of Charlotte, North Carolina

What a nominator said: “Locally, we joke that Dr. Wruble is a part of everything and we wonder when she sleeps. Her many roles have given her knowledge to help optometrists dream big and shoot for goals in their future.”

You can read about 2016 and 2017 honorees, as well.

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