SECO 2019 Moves to a New City

SECO 2019A team of faculty, staff and students from the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) descended into New Orleans, La., to attend the year’s first and largest educational optometric conference, Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) February 20 through 24.

As the first year held in New Orleans, the conference itself also included new education formats, new technologies and continuing education for practitioners as well as many presentations and talks.

Melissa Trego, OD, PhD, PCO dean; Rachel Brackley, OD, assistant professor; Andrew Gurwood, OD, professor; Alissa Coyne, OD, assistant professor; Laine Higa, OD, assistant professor; Erin Draper, OD, assistant professor; Katharine Funari, OD, resident; Alice Lim, OD, resident; Hang Nguyen, OD, resident; and Shruti Desai, OD, resident attended.  

Dr. Gurwood was a speaker for three different topics: The Modern Management of Ocular Occlusive Disease, Ocular Urgencies and Emergencies, and SECO Optometry Board Review: Part 1.

Dr. Brackley presented on three different topics:
  • PA Mandated Training – Child abuse, its definition, statistics, and the process of mandated reporting
  • Prism: The Ups and Downs, the Ins and Outs – What a prism is, how they work, and why they are used in patients
  • The How and Why of Entrance Testing – The procedure of entrance testing and the clinical significance of these tests.
Group Shot SecoThis was Dr. Brackley’s first SECO conference.  Prior to attending she said, “I look forward to the professional development that the conference offers.”

Dr. Coyne attended as a member of the Executive Board of the American Society of Optometric Surgeons (ASOS) – a newly formed organization - in which they had their first general meeting in addition to a board meeting during the conference.

It was during the SECO dinner on Thursday, February 21, that the 2019 Rick Bay Excellence in Eyecare Education Scholarship winner was announced. Congratulations are in order for Celeste Gomez ‘19OD who is the recipient of this $5,000 scholarship. Gomez was unable to attend, but feels honored to be chosen as the recipient. She plans on putting the majority of the award toward paying back loans. 

The Rick Bay Excellence in Eyecare Education Scholarship recipient is chosen annually based on qualities embodying Rick Bay’s commitment to the profession including integrity, compassion, partnership and dedication to the greater good. 

SECO-Alumni-Reception-Larry,-trego,-dennis.jpgA lifelong resident of Philadelphia and an alumnus of Temple University, Rick Bay began his career at Chilton Publishing Co. in West Philadelphia. He also served his country as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. Bay eventually rose to the position of vice president at Chilton Publishing after more than 40 publications. After the 1999 acquisition of the Reviews, Bay became publisher and president of the Review of Optometry and Review of Ophthalmology. Those who worked for him say he was a leader whose essence was based in a fierce and boundless loyalty. He is remembered for his unique array of skills and dedication to exceeding the expectations of those around him.

On Friday night, the SECO Alumni and Friends reception was held in the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street with a view overlooking the Mississippi River. In attendance were Dennis Washington, vice president for Institutional Advancement and Community Relations; Lawrence Green, director of Institutional Advancement; and Kate Braemer, coordinator for Alumni Relations and Special Events. It was a nice turn out of about 60 people and all enjoyed the local New Orleans fare.