Scholarship to attract 'top students' for optometry

11/30/04

Distinguished UH alum Desiree Hopping named most recent recipient of honor

HOUSTON, Nov. 30, 2004 A four-year scholarship designed to attract top-notch students for optometry with high-caliber research and leadership potential recently was created in honor of Desiree T. Hopping, O.D., a University of Houston College of Optometry alum.

The Foundation for Education and Research in Vision (FERV), the support organization for the UH College of Optometry (UHCO), awarded Hopping, a 1981 UH alum and outgoing president of FERV, a Presidential Endowed Scholarship in her name. The first Dr. Desiree T. Hopping Presidential Endowed Scholarship will be given next fall. The award is aimed at entering freshmen or first-year professional students based on their outstanding academic achievements in combination with their leadership in school or community activities. The scholarship is renewable for eight semesters as long as the student continues to meet eligibility requirements.

Established in 1955, FERV works at improving the quality of life for others through promoting education in the field of vision, as well as releasing pertinent information to the public concerning vision needs and care. The organization also seeks to encourage and foster the study of human vision and related fields by providing resources for student scholarships and loans, research and state-of-the-art equipment. FERV functions as the non-profit support foundation of UHCO, helping generate and manage funds for optometric study.

"FERV is critical to the growth of optometry in Texas by recruiting top students to be the best possible optometrists and conduct top research," Hopping said. "Without FERV, the UH College of Optometry would rely only on state funding, which would inhibit its ability to keep up with the growth of the profession. I've been committed to UHCO and have worked hard for its support organization by getting others involved in FERV and creating good will."

Involved with FERV for the past 20 years, Hopping held the presidency for 12 years and presently serves as the organization's treasurer. Her past accomplishments also include efforts to increase scholarship awards available to optometry students, as well as receiving the UH Distinguished Optometry Alumna Award for her service to the college, profession and her local community.

Hopping currently specializes in family and children's vision with emphasis on learning disabilities in an optometric practice in Clear Lake, Texas, where she resides with her husband, Ron Hopping, O.D., a fellow optometrist, and her two sons. Before graduating from UH with her doctorate in optometry, she received her bachelor's degree in biology from Rice University and graduated from Thomas K. Gorman High School in Tyler, Texas.

"UH has given me my whole career and expert training in my profession," Hopping said. "I appreciate and love my profession because it allows me to help people, especially children. It is a very gratifying and rewarding profession, and I encourage anyone interested in people to pursue optometry."

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