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Reflections on 50 years of the AOA News

November 7, 2013

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of AOA News, several optometrists and historians offered comments and shared their personal reflections of what the publication means to them.

“The AOA News has covered research-related developments well and made them accessible to its members. I think the coverage motivates optometrists to look for—and read—the original research articles, too,” said Karla Zadnik, O.D., optometric researcher and associate dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

“I look forward to receiving each issue of the AOA News to keep me informed about the many challenges and issues the profession must address. I have particularly enjoyed the information about the legal and legislative successes the member states have achieved over the past 50 years. My congratulations to the AOA Board of Trustees and all those staff members at the AOA who produce this very informative newspaper on its 50th anniversary,” said John F. Amos, O. D., retired professor and dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry and member of the National Optometry Hall of fame. Dr. Amos also noted: “I remember when the AOA News came in a sheet form rather than the nice large format, glossy paper with colored pictures.”

“I was editor of the Journal of the AOA in 1963 when the first issue of the AOA News appeared. The Journal in those days was not the peer-reviewed publication it came to be and a section of it was devoted to general news of the profession and the AOA. The job of juggling news items with scientific articles in a limited space was a herculean task, one that we may have done well but not well enough. Indeed, it was a sigh of relief when the AOA News came on the scene. And not a little sigh, I must say,” said Irving J. Bennett, O.D., noted optometric author and longtime volunteer.

“The AOA News documents 50 years of institutional history and highlights key events in the development of optometry of the profession. As the primary vehicle for the association to communicate with its members and affiliates, the AOA News is a complex timeline that provides snapshots of association activities in several areas including legislation, education, advances in the practice and science of optometry and other association activities. It not only has intrinsic value as an AOA publication, but also serves as a finding aid for and a way to contextualize our other collections,” said Kirsten Pourroy Hébert, Heritage Services Specialist for the AOA’s Archives & Museum of Optometry.

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