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Class notes: Winter 2016


MBKU is proud to have such an astounding family of alumni from SCCO and LACO. Here are some of the pieces of news we have received recently.

American Academy of Optometry New Fellows Class of 2015

Dr. Amy Aldrich ’14 Dr. Son Ly ’13
Dr. Naro Babaian ’15* Dr. Maria Magana ’14
Dr. Judy Cao ’15* Dr. Brooke Messer ’10
Dr. Nancy Chan ’13 Dr. Heidi Miller ’14
Dr. Allyson Chun ’14 Dr. Anna Moore ’14*
Dr. Jessie Dinkel ’13 Dr. Elizabeth Peguese ’14
Dr. Breanne Flores ’13 Dr. Mimi Phan ’14*
Dr. Tiffany Gates ’14 Dr. Brianna Ryff ’14
Dr. Carrie Ho ’13* Dr. Kyle Ryff ’14
Dr. Ryan Johnson ’12 Dr. Julius Tiu-Lim ’11
Dr. Jill Kronberg ’12 Dr. Christopher Walsh ’14
Dr. Jamie Kuhn ’12 Dr. Helen Yang ’13
Dr. Damilola Lajubutu ’14 *SCCO resident alumni


DAVID GOLDEN, ’87, and his wife Sheila hosted a special book-signing reception at their home in Burbank to recognize Dr. Henry Oster, ’57. Dr. Oster’s inscribed book, The Kindness of the Hangman, was made available to all guests, compliments of PERC Alliance.

DONALD E. STUDT, ’51, attended the 150th Studt Practicum for Vision Therapy. More than 160 guests helped celebrate his 89th birthday, including alumnus and speaker Dr. Eric Ikeda, ’86, who presented “Rehabilitation of Sports Related Concussion.”  


ROBERT GMELIN, ’66, knows better than anyone that breast cancer affects men as well as women. Dr. Gmelin was diagnosed with carcinoma and underwent a partial mastectomy this past July. Dr. Gmelin shares, “As a senior citizen breast cancer survivor, I proudly wear my male blue/pink cancer-awareness pin.”

MBKU’S 5TH ANNUAL GALA was held on October 1, 2015. The sold-out event included the following alumni attendees: Drs. Mor­ris Applebaum, ’68; Carmen Barnhardt, ’95; Cindy Blancq, ’00; Ken Brookman, ’73; Matthew Brown, ’88; Jeff Dougal, ’67; Robert Downs, ’80; Catherine Heyman, ’93; Marsha Howard, ’93; Rach­elle Lin, ’13; Lynne Louie, ’87; Charles Luu, ’86; Harue Marsden, ’87; Dawn Miller, ’83; Eunice Myung Lee, ’99; Art Pazornik, ’66; Maureen Plaumann, ’15; Mark Sawamura, ’91; Peter Shaw-Mc­Minn, ’78; John Spaeth, ’73; Rod Tahran, ’80; Judy Tong, ’91; Joe Vehige, ’84; Lorraine Voorhees, ’71; David Wakabayshi, ’70; Eric White, ’86; and Pat Yoshinaga, ’83.

SAVE THE DATE for MBKU's 6th Annual Gala on September 29, 2016!

THE MBKU BOARD OF TRUSTEES was pleased to welcome alumni Dr. Cindy Blancq, ’00; Dr. Lynn Gabriel, ’78; and Dr. Charles Luu, ’86 to its ranks in 2015. The three join fellow alumni: Dr. Morris Applebaum, ’68; Dr. Gene Calkins, ’68; Dr. Akio Kanai, ’72; Dr. Joseph Mallinger, ’72; Dr. Dawn Miller, ’83; and Dr. Rod Tahran, ’80.

Professional accomplishments

DENISE A. VALENTI, ’84, presented an abstract related to cognition, cannabis and driving at the International Cannabinoid Research Society conference held in Halifax, Canada, in June. Dr. Valenti is a residency-trained, low-vision/blind-rehabilitation optometrist with additional education and expertise in the field of age-related neurodegenerative diseases with an emphasis on Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

LORRAINE VOORHEES, ’71, was selected as one of Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical. Dr. Voorhees was cho­sen from a large pool of reader-nominated candidates to appear on the publication’s annual list of influential women in the optical industry.

JONATHON ROSS, ’15, joined Drs. Chan, Moon and Associ­ates at their practice located in Grass Valley, CA.

PETER SHAW-McMINN, ’78, published an article recently in Review of Optometric Business on why moving to introduce new diagnostic technology in your office is important to your patients and your practice growth.  


ROBERT L. PAZEN, ’62, was the first eye care professional, optometrist or ophthalmol­ogist, chosen to receive the prestigious Vision Care Specialist of the Year Award by the Ventura County Medical Resource Foundation which was presented at the 21st Annual David Fainer, MD and Leo Tauber, MD Awards Dinner.

BRENDA LIEN, ’06, was recognized for her volunteer work at the Remote Area Medical Health Clinic, where hundreds of families received no-cost medical, dental and vision care on October 3-4, 2015.

CATHERINE HEYMAN, ’93, was awarded a grant from Pacific Life Foundation to further her work with SCCO residents to bring much-needed eye care to low-income, blind and low-vision children at Blind Children’s Learning Center.  


DICKSON CHEN, ’92, and Jungmi Kim’s wedding was held on July 18, 2015. Friends, family and fellow alumni were able to join whether near or far via an interactive livestream wedding webcast.