Women In Optometry Theia Awards Recognized Nine ODs

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Nine women ODs were honored during the fourth annual Theia Awards of Excellence from Women In Optometry magazine. As has become the tradition with Theia ceremonies, previous winners presented to the 2019 awardees.

Caroline Guerrero Cauchi, OD, FAIOMC, of La Mesa, California, the mentorship Theia award winner, said, “No one ever rises to the top without the help of somebody. In the intervening years, I gave back, serving as a role model,” she said, helping young Latina women especially and also optometrists seeking fellowship in the International and/or American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control.

Many of the awardees also noted the importance that mentors and the community of ODs have played in their career. Nicole Quinn, OD, of New England College of Optometry, education winner, said, “The reality here is that every day an optometric education is an adventure. It’s almost always a great adventure. When I see the people surrounding me in this room, I’m thankful for every moment I’ve had.”

Leadership was also a strong theme for the evening. Michele Andrews, OD, of CooperVision, who won the industry award, said, “Leadership starts with you finding yourself good at something, and there you are, teaching someone else. You go from teaching your little brother how to read to being an advocate with your peers on Capitol Hill.”

The additional 2019 Theia Awards went to:

Naheed Ahmad, OD, of Roswell, Georgia, president of the American Association of Corporate Optometrists for leadership.

Dori M. Carlson, OD, FAOO, of Park River, North Dakota, first female president of the American Optometric Association, for leadership.

Jennifer Smith Zolman, OD, FCOVD, of Charleston, South Carolina, former president of the South Carolina Optometric Physicians Association, for leadership.

Jennifer Stewart, OD, of Norwalk, Connecticut, for innovation. In addition to being a private practice co-owner, Dr. Stewart has opened a sports and performance training center.

Jessilin Quint, OD, FAAO, of Augusta and Bangor, Maine, for young OD.

Joan Ploem Miller, OD, of Hillsboro, Oregon, and creator of OD Divas, a Facebook community for women ODs, for social media influence.