Class Notes: Fall 2023
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Class Notes: Fall 2023


Montgomery Vickers, OD ‘79, published "Love Makes the World Go Round” in the April 2023 Review of Optometry. Dr. Vickers received his optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in 1979 and was clinical director at Vision Associates in St. Albans, West Virginia, for 36 years. He is now in private practice in Dallas, where he continues to practice full-scope optometry. 


Andrew Gurwood, OD ‘89, FAAO, published “Skin in the Game — It's wise to evaluate areas beyond the eyes and ocular adnexa, as they may reveal definitive clues to diagnosis” in the April 2023 Review of Optometry. Dr. Gurwood is a professor at PCO/Salus, where he is also  co-chief of Primary Care Suite 3 at The Eye Institute. He is also an attending medical staff member in the ophthalmology department at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. 


Alan Kabat, OD ‘90, FAAO, and Canaan Montgomery, OD, travel across the United States to speak about inconsistencies in conjunctivitis treatment protocols between pediatric practices and the influence of parents and school districts on treatment options.


Ilana Polnariev, OD ‘02, received an award after serving on the International Examination and Certification Board at the College of Optometrists in Visual Development (COVD) in Toronto. She will continue to serve as a past chair next year.

Grace Dumayas-Booth, OD ‘05, FAAO, will shortly be on terminal leave from U.S. Army Fort Leonard Wood and will finally be retiring!

Yasmin Battat and pediatric patientYasmin Battat, AuD '09, is part of a group called Entheos Audiology Cooperative, Inc. — a collective of hearing professionals committed to reconnecting with the larger purpose across their private practices - and has also opened a branch of a nonprofit called Hearing the Call, which provides audiology services to people in need. Additionally, Dr. Battat is studying the testing and treatment of a part of the audiology profession focused on auditory processing disorders. When not practicing clinically, she plays volleyball, hikes, and takes her three children exploring Central New Jersey. 

Michael Davenport, AuD ‘09, has no immediate plans to retire, but when he does, he would like to return to activities he pursued in his 20s. He loves playing guitar, recording, and visual arts such as painting, drawing, and photography. He enjoys gardening and volunteering time at his church. While he previously volunteered with Friends of the Wissahickon, a nonprofit group that helps conserve the beauty and wildness of the Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia, retirement would give him more time to dedicate to the cause or even possibly work with some local animal shelters and to spend more time with his wife Margaret and their cats.


Jacobi Cleaver holding his awardJacobi Cleaver, OD ‘11, FAAO, was awarded the Dr. Edwin C. Marshall Emerging Leader Award” at the National Optometric Association meeting in June 2023. 

Essence Johnson, OD ‘10, FAAO, was a 2022 Theia winner, given to women who have been extraordinarily influential in the optometry industry. As an advocate for public health, she is a "Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) made," residency-trained community and correctional health optometrist. Dr. Johnson is passionate about improving patients' health and achieving health equity among underrepresented populations. She is the executive director of Black Eyecare Perspective, redefining the color of the eyecare industry one percent at a time through advocacy, action, and accountability. Dr. Johnson is also making a difference in the career paths of scholars and alumni as the director of Healthcare Careers at Uplift Education.

Ada Noh, OD ‘15, made major pivots in her life and career. She relocated from the Philadelphia area to Little Rock, Arkansas, where she opened Noh Eyes in late 2022 with the catchy tagline, Noh Eyes Left Behind.

Katharine and husband on their wedding day2020s

Katharine A. Funari, OD ‘18, married Jim (James) Harris on June 10, 2023 in Potomac, Maryland. 

Lauren Bunnell, MMS ‘22, accepted an urgent care position in Middletown, New York. Further down her career path, she may explore specializing in geriatric care.