A Closer Look: CE by the Sea (1991-2000)

St-Maarten-1994.jpgImagine: It’s a sunny day. Cool blue water is gently lapping on a long stretch of sandy, white beach. Draping palm trees sway as the warm ocean breeze rustles through them. Not bad for a classroom, huh? Back in the day, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) held continuing education (CE) courses for optometrists on sponsored island getaways. It was called “CE by the Sea” and ran its course from 1991 until 2000.

“CE by the Sea” offered a special opportunity for PCO alumni and other optometrists to relax and escape the cold winter temperatures while earning CE credits. Lectures were given by PCO faculty and distinguished alumni. The program aimed to bring together optometrists from all over North America for lectures on various topics and research. It was also a chance for guests to network and interact with old and new friends.

CE Brochure - BarbadosHowever, there was just as much play as work during these getaways. Group social activities were scheduled, consisting of a welcome reception, beach barbeque parties, friendly beach Olympics, local excavations and a farewell banquet. Many attendees were able to soak up the island life in between lectures, taking part in snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis and duty-free shopping. There was plenty of fine-dining and dancing too.

So, how did “CE by the Sea” begin? Under the supervision of Dr. Sheree Aston, director, Office of Planning and Development[AA1] , Donna Dagnon coordinated the program. It was designed to be a one-week program featuring lectures and group activities to talk informally with fellow optometrists. The program was advertised by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and several optometric magazines. Sponsors such as Alcon, Allergan, Humphrey Instruments, and Nidek were among those that helped offset costs of the trip.  

The first “CE by the Sea” was held on the island of Barbados. It was aimed to provide advanced clinical updates on contact lenses, ocular disease and lasers in eye care. Guest speakers included Drs. Joel Silbert, Felix Barker, and Edward Deglin. These trips continued to offer guests the chance to fulfill CE requirements while having fun in the sun until PCO said “bon voyage” to the program on its last trip, a Disney cruise in 2000.

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Destinations of “CE by the Sea” Through the Years:
  • CE I: Barbados 1991
  • CE II: Barbados 1992
  • CE III: St. Maarten 1993
  • CE IV: St. Thomas 1994
  • CE V: St. Thomas 1995
  • CE VI: Cozumel 1996
  • CE VII: Cozumel 1997 
  • CE VIII: Cozumel 1998
  • CE IX: Disney World Cruise 2000

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