LRP facultyClockwise from top left: Anna Ablamowicz, O.D.; Stephanie Cox, O.D.; Andrew Pucker, O.D., Ph.D.; Jillian Ziemanski, O.D., M.S.In exchange for biomedical research in vision science, the National Institutes of Health are repaying the optometry school student loans of four faculty members at the UAB School of Optometry.

The faculty members who have annual contracts with the NIH Loan Repayment Programs are: Anna Ablamowicz, O.D., clinical assistant professor; Stephanie Cox, O.D., clinical assistant professor; Andrew Pucker, O.D., Ph.D., assistant professor; and Jillian Ziemanski, O.D., M.S., clinical assistant professor.

The programs repay up to $35,000 annually of a researcher’s qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research. The programs were established by Congress to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers.

Ablamowicz has had a contract with the program since 2014. In exchange for the assistance with her student debt, she investigates causes and consequences of dry eye disease—a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, isn’t completely understood and is therefore widely underdiagnosed and undermanaged, she says.

Zach M and Doug C Alumnus of the YearFrom left: Zachary McCarty, O.D., immediate past-president of the UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association, and Douglas Clark, O.D., the 2017 Alumnus of the Year.The UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association named Douglas Clark, O.D., its alumnus of the year at the annual Continuing Education and Alumni Weekend, held Aug. 18-20 on the UAB campus.

Clark, who graduated from the School of Optometry in 1982, was named the alumnus of the year based on his service to the School of Optometry, to the profession and to his community. Each year, the board members of the Alumni Association select a member as the alum of the year based on these criteria.

“It is always an honor to be recognized by your peers for doing something you enjoy,” Clark says. “I consider them my optometric family and enjoy staying connected with them.”

Clark is owner of three primary eye care practices in Alabama: Calera Family Eye Care, Clanton Eye Care and Pelham Eye Care.

He was president of SECO International, a globally-recognized association for optometry, in 2007. He also served as an international ambassador for SECO International.

He was president of the Alabama Optometric Association, the Birmingham Optometric Society, and he serves on the Southern College of Optometry Board of Trustees. Clark is a member of the American Optometric Association and the Alabama Optometric Association -- the latter of which named him the Alabama Optometrist of the Year in 2000.

The UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association inducted new officers, and scholarships were awarded to students at the annual Continuing Education and Alumni Weekend, held Aug. 18-20 on the UAB campus.

The officers inducted include:
President: Zach Steele, O.D., ’03 (Birmingham, AL)
President-Elect: Caleb Gardner, O.D., ’08 (Greenville, AL)
Treasurer: Bill Tillman, O.D., ’86 (Andalusia, AL)
Immediate Past-President: Zachary McCarty,  O.D.,’06 (Nashville, TN)

Board Members at Large
Expiring 2018
Kristen Sullins, O.D., ’07 (Huntsville, AL)
Jamie Crockett, O.D., ’08 (Prattville, AL)
Glenda Brown, O.D., ’81 (Suwanee, GA)

Expiring 2019
Rob Pate, O.D., ’07 (Auburn, AL)
Candice Turner,  O.D.,’03 (Birmingham, AL)
David Britton, O.D., ’09 (Russellville, AL)               

Expiring 2020
Sharon Day,  O.D.,’87 (Birmingham, AL)
Susan Persall, O.D., ’01 (Hartselle, AL)
Jamie Hill, O.D., ’09 (Charleston, SC)

Immediate past-president Zachary McCarty, O.D., says the board seeks new ways to serve the students and the School of Optometry.

“We have also looked for ways to help mentor students as they seek to enter our profession as colleagues,” he says. “I am excited to have Dr. Zach Steele assume the presidency, as I know he and the new officers will continue this excellent work.”

Maggie Bailey and Kim DuongMaggie Bailey, O.D., and Kim Duong, O.D., M.S.Two new faculty members have joined the UAB School of Optometry as clinical assistant professors.

Maggie Bailey, O.D., sees patients and works with students in Pediatrics, Primary Care and Community Eye Care at UAB Eye Care, which is the School of Optometry’s clinical operation.
Bailey received her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Alabama and then received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the UAB School of Optometry. She also completed a residency in binocular vision and pediatric optometry at the Illinois College of Optometry.

Bailey has provided clinical care and supervised optometry students as an attending at the Illinois College of Optometry. She has provided care in specialty clinics, including Community Eye Care at Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired.

She has researched topics such as esotropia and uveitis, and recently presented a case study at the American Optometric Association Optometry’s Meeting 2017. She also has presented at the College of Optometrists in Vision Development Annual Meeting and at the American Academy of Optometry annual meeting in 2016.

As a student at the UAB School of Optometry, she participated in the Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity and was a member of the National Optometric Student Association. She was also a student member of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association.