Senior Awards - Optometry

Graduating Student Awards

These campus-based awards are presented annually to graduating students at the Senior Awards Presentations & Reception, held Wednesday afternoon prior to Commencement.

Asian American Optometric Society Endowed Awards
These three endowed awards are offered by the Asian American Optometric Society (AAOS) in honor of Drs. Rodger Kame, Art Sugino, and William Yamamoto. Recipients are determined by an AAOS Committee. Selection is based on academic excellence, extracurricular activities and financial need.

Dr. Morris Berman Clinical Excellence Award (2014)
This endowment was established by Dr. Morris Berman, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs (1985-2013). This $1,000 award is presented to a fourth year intern judged by the clinical faculty as the stellar graduating clinician. The recipient must have demonstrated excellence in patient care, interpersonal skills, professional demeanor and ethical values. The selection is made by the Associate Dean for Clinical Education.

Council of Regents Endowed Achievement Award (2002)
The Council of Regents of the Southern California College of Optometry awards a $1,500 scholarship to a student who has demonstrated involvement in student leadership. Selection is made by the Award Committee.

Dr. Al Dennis Endowed Award (1971)
This $1,500 endowed award, established in memory of Al Dennis, a Student Association leader from the Class of 1971, is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated interest in, concern for, and dedication to assisting the development of student organizations in optometry. The recipient will have demonstrated dedicated service to fellow students. This is the highest service award given to a student at the College, and the recipient will be selected by the Student Association Board of Directors. A plaque at the College carries the names of past recipients.

Dr. Lawrence E. Gallarini Memorial Endowed Award (1988)
An endowment of $1,500 was established as a memorial to Lawrence E. Gallarini, O.D., '67. Dr. Gallarini served for 17 years as a clinical faculty member of the College. This award is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated innovative patient management skills in low vision rehabilitation. The selection is made by the Chief of the Mary Ann Keverline Walls Low Vision and Rehabilitation Service.

Graduation with Distinction in Research Award (2017)
This award is presented to a graduating student who submits a research thesis for evaluation by the Graduation with Distinction Faculty Committee. A research project must be conducted under the supervision of a faculty member, presented at a professional meeting, and a final report prepared that is to be judged to be of a quality that would make it acceptable for publication as a scientific article in a peer-reviewed journal. The award is recognized at The Senior Awards Program with a certificate and check in the amount of $1,000.

Hedda Jaanus Podrang Memorial Endowed Award (1997)
An endowment, established by SCCO Professor Emerita, Siret D. Jaanus, Ph.D., and her husband, Jaak Jurison, Ph.D., honors the memory of her mother, Hedda Jaanus Podrang. This $2,000 award was established to encourage interest in the discipline of ocular pharmacology and to recognize a graduating student who has demonstrated academic excellence and exceptional aptitude in ocular pharmacology and clinical ocular therapeutics. Selection of the recipient is made by the Ocular Disease Faculty.

Dr. Homer and Marie Hendrickson Memorial Endowed Awards (1984)
These two $1,000 awards are presented to graduating students who have demonstrated outstanding comprehension, aptitude and promise in the area of vision therapy. These awards were established as an endowment in honor of Homer H. Hendrickson, O.D., '38, Trustee Emeritus of the College, and his wife, Marie. The recipient is selected by the Studt Center for Vision Therapy Faculty.

Dr. K. Michael Larkin Memorial Endowed Scholarship (2001)
These two $1,000 scholarships were established by family and friends in memory of, K. Michael Larkin, O.D., ’73, Assistant Professor, who served as a faculty member at the College from 1973 to 2000. Dr. Larkin was also a very active lecturer and consultant on practice management and public health initiatives with the California Optometry Association and the American Optometric Association. These scholarships are awarded to graduating students for excellence in ocular disease based on a written case report. The recipient will be selected by the Ocular Disease Service Faculty.

Nick Meneakis Memorial Endowed Award (1978)
This $1,000 award, established as an endowment by the Class of 1978, honors the memory of Nick Meneakis, a fellow classmate. This award is presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding interest and ability in the area of ocular pharmacology. The selection is made by the Ocular Disease Faculty.

Student Leadership Development Certificate (2017)
The MBKU Student Leadership Development Certificate Program is for students who have a desire to make a positive difference in their University, College, community, and profession through leadership.  Students learn to lead with integrity through a program that combines academic and experiential learning which prepares them to become engaged and influential members of their future communities and professions.  Students who have fulfilled the program requirements are awarded with a Leadership Medal and Certificate of Completion. Note: The award consists of a certificate - no cash.

Dr. Ryan P. Zamanigan Memorial Endowed Student Travel Support Fund (2017)
This $1,000 award is presented to a 3rd or 4th year optometry student who has demonstrated exceptional engagement in college activities, appreciation for scholastic experiences and/or excitement for the extramural academic opportunities made available to optometry students at SCCO. This travel support fund is intended to recognize and memorialize the spirit of Dr. Ryan P. Zamanigan, SCCO ’15, and to create a legacy of support for student travel experiences. The award recipient is nominated by the faculty and administrators of SCCO, with the Dean’s endorsement.