College of Optometrists Vision Development Awards 2013

The Optical Journal - Optical News With Independent Views

AURORA, OH-November 14, 2013 – Seven individuals received awards for their contributions to developmental optometry during the Awards Luncheon held at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), October 11, 2013, in Orlando, Florida. Receiving recognition were Drs. Kelly Frantz, Ron Bateman, W. C. Maples, Paul Abplanalp, Richard T. Hull; Dr. Robert and Mrs. Linda Sanet, COVT; and Certified Optometric Vision Therapist, Robert Nurisio.

The 2013 A.M. Skeffington Award for outstanding contributions to the optometric literature in the areas of behavioral vision care and vision therapy was given to Kelly Frantz, OD, FCOVD. Dr. Frantz is an optometrist on faculty at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois. She has contributed scores of articles to the literature on strabismus and amblyopia.

Ron Bateman, OD, FCOVD, of Fort Collins, Colorado, received the 2013 G.N. Getman Award in recognition of his contributions to optometry and optometric education, including his advancement of knowledge in the use of vision therapy to treat strabismus, his contribution to the testing and advanced diagnosis of visual information processing disorders, and his service to COVD on the IECB and to the profession on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

The President’s Award was presented to W. C. Maples, OD, FCOVD, for his tireless work promoting developmental optometry across the world, his leadership in the substantial improvements to the fellowship and therapist certification processes, and his decades of exceptional service to COVD.

Robert Nurisio and Linda Sanet
Robert Nurisio and Linda Sanet

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. Robert and Mrs. Linda Sanet for their continued support of COVD and the SAFE (Students Are Our Future Endowment) Fund. Their support helps make it possible for COVD student members to be awarded travel grants to attend the COVD Annual Meeting. In 2013, in memory of Dr. Donald J. Getz, the Sanets agreed to donate $1,400 annually to COVD to help VT Residents attend the COVD Annual Meeting.

The Optometry & Vision Development Award for best published article during 2012 was given to First Author, Paul Abplanalp, PhD, OD for the article, “Considerations of Informed Consent by Proxy in Pediatric Optometry” (OVD 43-2 pg 60-66). Second author was Richard T. Hull, PhD.

The 2013 Certified Optometric Vision Therapist of the Year Award was given to Robert Nurisio for his outstanding dedication to behavioral optometry and patient care. Mr. Nurisio works at the Austin Eye Gym in Cedar Park, Texas with COVD Fellow, Dr. Mary McMains.

These awards are given annually at the COVD Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon. Nominations for the awards are reviewed by selection committees compiled of past award recipients and members of the Board of Directors and Journal Review Board.

In addition, five travel scholarships and 24 travel grants were presented to optometry students and residents to help defer expenses for their attendance at the COVD meeting. COVD received donations from COVD members to help fund these grants and scholarships. Special thanks to Drs. Richard Laudon and Jack Richman for the NECO travel grant and Dr. Robert and Mrs. Linda Sanet for the four SUNY VT Resident travel grants.

About COVD

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation, and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy and COVD, please visit or call 888.268.3770.

A series of public service announcements (PSAs) are available at to help raise awareness that vision problems can not only interfere with learning, but sports performance, and other activities of daily living. These PSAs also address vision problems that impact individuals who have autism spectrum disorders or those who have suffered a head injury.


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