Distinguished, outstanding, innovative optometrists receive honors from UH

05/27/04

College of Optometry bestows trio of awards at recent ceremony

HOUSTON, May 27, 2004 At the recent commencement ceremonies for the University of Houston's College of Optometry (UHCO), a trio of awards was bestowed on two alumni and one faculty member for a number of extraordinary achievements.

William Miller, a UHCO clinical assistant professor, received the Cora and J. Davis Armistead Faculty Teaching award for his innovative teaching and exemplary service beyond the classroom; Dennis Golden, a UHCO 1977 alumnus and current UH System regent, received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his service to the college and profession; and Kim Castleberry, a UHCO 1983 alumnus, received the Outstanding Volunteer Award for his part in helping UHCO maintain a presence in the Dallas area.

Established in 1999 to honor excellence and innovation in the classroom, the Cora and J. Davis Armistead Faculty Teaching Award honors recipients with a plaque of recognition and $5,000. In addition to accepting this most recent honor, Miller has received numerous other awards, including 'Teacher of the Year,' which he received three-years-running from 2000 to 2003. His teaching also extends beyond the classroom, as he is active in continuing educational programming for UHCO and is often an invited speaker on the local, regional and national levels.

"Dr. Miller's teaching is held in high regard by both faculty and students, and his teaching evaluations are consistently well above the college average," said Earl Smith, dean of UH's College of Optometry. "He has demonstrated exemplary service to the community, college, university and profession."

Miller is a dedicated scholar, whose research and teaching interest areas include the cornea, contact lenses and tear chemistry. He also has embraced an interest in expanding the scope of practice for the profession by developing his skills and knowledge in lasers, refractive surgery, injectable procedures, suturing and surgical environmental preparations. These areas of expanded scope of practice are universally allowed in all states, and Miller consequently provides UHCO with a well-developed, progressive set of educational experiences not found in other optometric institutions in the country or the world.

Golden, only the second optometrist to hold a spot on the UH System Board of Regents, has a private practice, Golden Eye Associates, in Carthage, Texas. He was chosen for this year's Distinguished Alumni Award for working tirelessly to promote the college and the profession, as well as always thinking of patients first.

"We are truly fortunate to have a former UHCO alumnus recently appointed to the UH System Board of Regents," Smith said. "Dr. Golden's presence assuredly will aid in furthering our profession, as well as the mission of our college to boost community outreach activities and research endeavors."

Active in the Texas Optometric Association (TOA), Golden also was a recipient of the prestigious 'Optometrist of the Year' award from TOA in 2003. Sharing the honor with his twin, Dixon Golden, it was the first time in TOA's history that two individuals received this award in the same year. The award is given for ongoing commitment to elevating the practice of optometry in Texas and assisting legislative efforts to increase the scope of practice, thereby assisting patients in getting the care they need.

Castleberry, who has a group practice, Plano Eye Associates, in Plano, Texas, played an integral role during the past year in establishing the BridgeBuilders Eye Clinic, a partnership with Dallas Housing Authority. In addition to investing time, Castleberry provides funding for much of the materials used in the clinic from his own practice and volunteers as an optometrist in the clinic, serving patients who are in desperate need of vision care but with no financial means to pay for it. Through his time, talent and resources, Castleberry also was instrumental in bringing UHCO into the clinic. Beginning this fall, UHCO will have a presence in the eye clinic, with a full-time UH faculty member based there and a UH student on externship rotation.

"Dr. Castleberry has given so much back to his alma mater through his efforts to improve eye care for the community around him," Smith said. "His penchant for going above and beyond is remarkable, and we are very much looking forward to begin participating in these efforts in the coming months as the UHCO component is established in the clinic."

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