MBKU Provost Dr. Morris Berman Receives 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award

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The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry has announced that Morris Berman OD, MS will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership, outstanding contributions and exemplary commitment and dedication to ASCO and optometric education.

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Morris Berman OD, MS

"In his role as university provost, Dr. Berman has been responsible for the academic quality of all MBKU’s programs, and his leadership has been instrumental in making the transition to a university," said President Kevin Alexander, OD, PhD.

Dr. Morris Berman has served Marshall B. Ketchum University for more than 30 years, joining the administrative team in 1985 as the dean of academic affairs, then as vice president and dean of academic affairs, followed by serving as senior vice president, before becoming the university’s first provost in June 2014. Prior to joining the Southern California College of Optometry, Dr. Berman was the assistant dean for education at the Illinois College of Optometry and also served as a faculty member at the University of Houston College of Optometry. After a long and distinguished career, Dr. Berman plans to retire from MBKU later this year.

"In his role as university provost, Dr. Berman has been responsible for the academic quality of all MBKU’s programs, and his leadership has been instrumental in making the transition to a university," said President Kevin Alexander, OD, PhD. "I am not at all surprised that ASCO is honoring Dr. Berman with this prestigious award."

A second generation optometrist, Dr. Berman completed his optometric training in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1967. He completed a residency program at the Optometric Center of New York in 1968, and earned his Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in Physiological Optics degrees at the University of Houston College of Optometry. He has taught many courses, ranging from strabismus/amblyopia to electro-diagnosis and ocular physiology. Dr. Berman is currently teaching an interprofessional education course in medical ethics at MBKU. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and his scholarship includes more than 30 articles on clinical topics. He also co-authored the Dictionary of Visual Sciences and Related Clinical Terms.

“I was delighted to learn that Dr. Berman is to be honored by ASCO,” said Dean of SCCO Stanley Woo, OD, MS, MBA. “He has been a champion for professional ethics and played a significant role in developing curriculum at SCCO. Through his work as chair of the Ethics Educators Special Interest Group, he shared his experience, influenced many programs across the country and established the annual ASCO Student Award in Clinical Ethics in 2002.”

Dr. Berman has also served the profession in several capacities. He chaired the AAO Education Program Committee (formerly Ellerbrock Memorial CE Committee) in 2001-02. He has served as the chair for the Academic Affairs Committee of ASCO and as the first editor of ASCO’s publication Eye on Education. Dr. Berman also chaired a national conference on the Optometry Curriculum Model in 1992 which formed part of the Summit in Optometric Education series and led to teaching innovations including problem-based learning at several schools and colleges of optometry.

Dr. Berman recently served as chair of the AAO Nominating Committee and the American Optometric Association Ethics and Values Committee. He served on the Task Force on Para-Optometric Continuing Education of the California Optometric Association from 1987-88, as well as the TPA Study Committee of the COA in 1996-97. He has lobbied in Sacramento, on behalf of the COA, to expand the scope of practice for doctors of optometry in California.

“Throughout his entire career, Dr. Berman has exemplified what it means to be a leader in optometric education, having made — and continuing to make — outstanding contributions,” said ASCO Executive Director Dawn Mancuso, MAM, CAE, FASAE. “He has displayed extraordinary commitment and dedication to SCCO and MBKU, ASCO, optometric education, the profession and to the public, both in the US and abroad.”

Dr. Morris Berman will receive ASCO’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award at the association’s annual leadership luncheon this June in Boston, Massachusetts.

ASCO is the academic leadership organization committed to promoting, advancing and achieving excellence in optometric education. Since 1941, ASCO has achieved this vision by representing the interests of institutions of optometric education, enhancing the efforts of these institutions as they prepare highly qualified graduates for entrance into the profession of optometry and serving the public’s eye and vision needs. ASCO proudly represents all accredited schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico. ASCO’s activities cover a wide range of programs including applicant development and diversity, faculty and executive development, advocacy, residency promotion, data development and communications.

About Marshall B. Ketchum University
Located in Fullerton, CA, Marshall B. Ketchum University is an independent, private, non-profit, accredited educational institution. MBKU is now home to the Southern California College of Optometry, the School of Physician Assistant Studies and planned College of Pharmacy. Named after the founder of the optometric institution in 1904, the change to a university structure addresses the growing demand for highly skilled health care professionals. The university confers a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS) degree. MBKU’s School of Physician Assistant Studies under the College of Health Sciences awards a Master of Medical Sciences (MMS) degree. MBKU is establishing a College of Pharmacy and plans to welcome its first class in the fall of 2016. MBKU owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers – University Eye Center at Fullerton and University Eye Center at Los Angeles. In the spring of 2016, MBKU will open its newest facility, Ketchum Health in Anaheim, CA. The health care center will be the new home of the University Eye Center, currently housed at MBKU’s main campus in Fullerton, CA. Ketchum Health will deliver expanded, state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment facilities to Anaheim, CA and the surrounding communities including specialty eye care, primary health care for families, as well as pharmacy services. Ketchum Health promises to expand on the exceptional clinical experience offered at MBKU and to provide patients a strategically integrated, comprehensive team approach to care.

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Katie Santos-Coy
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