MCO Students Complete American Academy of Optometry Fellowship Process

Ferris State UniversityEleven students from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University have completed their American Academy of Optometry student fellowship process.

These MCO students attended the AAO’s Academy 2015 in New Orleans, La., last October, and have met their continuing education requirements as prescribed by the organization:

Margaret Baumgartner, Trenton, Mich.
Jacquelyn Cosgrove, Gaylord, Mich.
Amber Cumings, Montague, Mich.
Kimberly Kindt, Big Rapids, Mich.
Lindsay Kleinschmit, Shelby Township, Mich.
Danielle Lefevre, Battle Creek, Mich.
Tiffany Rowland, Portage, Mich.
Felicia Slate, Hesperia, Mich.
Gabrielle Smiley, Big Rapids, Mich. (originally from Minneapolis, Minn.)
Tara Stacey, East Lansing, Mich.
Ellery Vassallo, L’Anse, Mich.

MCO professor Dr. Amy Dinardo is an AAO fellow and organizer for this fellowship group. Dinardo said that the AAO is focused on bringing the latest research results into practice, and Ferris’ student fellows indicated that their trip to New Orleans was an enriching experience.

“Those who go say their classroom learning was being reinforced in the meetings,” Dinardo said. “Student fellows can apply what they have learned at the AAO Academy to their patient examinations in Big Rapids, at the University Eye Center. It’s clinically relevant and a source of inspiration.”

Dinardo said that the AAO gathers researchers, practicing optometrists and other industry specialists to further the spread of information on the latest research, in hopes of promoting the art and science of vision care. Their events also provide student fellows the opportunity to network, and consider specialized fields of practice and research.

“It shows initiative, that they are self-learners and will continue this in their practices,” Dinardo said. “We have the ability to go above and beyond, professionally, by pursuing new technology and staying appraised of the latest research, diagnoses and treatment options.”

Dinardo said that the MCO hopes to gather this group of student fellows soon to present their AAO certificates.

“This is a record number of new fellows,” Dinardo said. “We will be encouraging our students to attend AAO Academy 2016, in Anaheim, Calif.”

PHOTO CAPTION: The Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University offered its first classes on Sept. 8, 1975.