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Dr. Angela To grew up in Canada and received her undergraduate degree in Natural Science with a concentration in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Calgary. She received her degree in Optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry and proceeded to complete her residency training in Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy at the Southern California College of Optometry.
Dr. To has recently joined ICO as a full-time faculty member with clinical and laboratory teaching responsibilities in the Pediatrics and Vision Therapy Department as well as didactic instruction in the Optometry sequence. She is involved with the Pediatric Outreach Program, in which she, along with 4th year clinicians, performs comprehensive exams on one to five year old children in different Head Start Preschools around the city.
I returned to ICO as it not only enabled me to promote and foster learning in an academic setting, but it also provided me the amazing opportunity to work alongside my former professors. I love working with students in a one on one environment and enjoy the fast paced clinic setting that ensures all students see a large volume of diverse and complicated patients each shift. I also love being back in the culinary and goldmine that is Chicago.
Dr. Pihos completed a residency in primary eye care at ICO in 2001. She joined the faculty following her residency and has enjoyed teaching at ICO ever since. She is active in the classroom, laboratory and clinical care settings. Dr. Pihos is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. She also served as the primary care residency coordinator at ICO from 2005-2009.
ICO is a great place to be. The administration and faculty are passionate and dedicated to providing students the best education possible. There is a diverse and active student body that takes advantage of all ICO and Chicago have to offer!
Dr. Keith joined the ICO faculty in 2009. Since then, he has primarily served in the clinic teaching students while seeing patients. He is chief of the Sidney Hillman Health Centre Eye Clinic, a fourth-year clinical rotation. He has also actively taught in several laboratories and in the classroom. Dr. Keith was among the first group of optometrists to be board certified by the American Board of Optometry. He also is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. In addition to his work at ICO, he is an instructor on the KMK team, an educational company that teaches a review course to optometry students preparing for their national boards and to optometrists preparing to take the board certification examination. Dr. Keith has had many influences on his philosophy of doctoring and teaching, one being his residency at the Kansas City VA Medical Center. While a resident he learned the teachings of Willis Hurst, MD, who said, “Mature persons realize they owe the world something. Certainly, the Earth would be a better place if each of us delivered a needed service to others. Service, I believe, is the arithmetic sum of knowledge plus caring."
Following residency, I wanted to stay in a high-volume medical optometry environment and have the opportunity to make an impact on my profession by teaching optometry students. Working at ICO while seeing patients at IEI allows me to do just that. The clinic at ICO exposes students to very complex cases in all of the specialties of optometry, which is a win/win for the students who are learning, the attendings who enjoy teaching, and the patients who seek our care.
Dr. Saeed joined the ICO faculty in 2006 after completing her residency training in low vision rehabilitation and ocular disease management. Since then, she has been involved in both clinical care and didactic teaching in the area of geometric and physical optics and low vision rehabilitation. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and enjoys designing and participating in clinical research projects related to low vision rehabilitation.
The Illinois College of Optometry offers our students the most thorough and extensive clinical experience by involving them in clinical care from their first professional year. Being involved in didactic teaching myself, I know how much ICO emphasizes critical thinking and clinical applications of all concepts learned from day one. From student’s perspective, the course content is more meaningful and interesting when clinical applications are emphasized, allowing them to appreciate the relevance of the subject matter. When I selected ICO as a student in 2001, the College’s exceptional results in National Board Examinations and extensive clinical training were the key factors that helped me in making my decision. After completing my training at ICO and now serving as a faculty member, I know that I made the right choice. ICO still strives to provide the best education in optometry.
Dr. Pang joined the ICO faculty in 2005. She is an attending optometrist in the Pediatric and Binocular Vision service at the Illinois Eye Institute. Besides active teaching in clinic, classroom and laboratory, Dr. Pang also is very engaged in research. She is participating in several NIH-funded multi-center studies and other research projects. She has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed papers and many peer- reviewed abstracts. Dr. Pang is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and has served in many professional organizations, including ASCO International Optometric Education Committee, ASCO Optometry Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee, and World Council of Optometry.
When I came to ICO for a job interview, I loved this institution right away, and I still love it seven years later. Patient care at ICO is outstanding. My passion is in clinical teaching and clinical research, both need good patient care.
If students are looking for a good clinic experience and want to be good clinicians, ICO is your place!
Dr. Stone joined the ICO faculty full-time in 2005, before which she worked in private practice. She sees patients primarily in our Primary Care and Advanced Care departments. Dr. Stone also currently co-teaches the Neuro-Ophthalmic Disorders course, and she is the coordinator of the Communications Curriculum. She has also been active in our pre-clinic laboratories. Dr. Stone is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and a consultant for the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.
I chose ICO for my education and career because of its fantastic clinic and top notch clinicians. We see a lot of patients here, many of whom have ocular pathology. This provides a superior educational opportunity. You leave here ready to manage difficult cases. Additionally, the leadership at the College really listen to students’ concerns and accommodate them whenever possible. The faculty members are also very happy here. Both of these things lead to a fulfilling experience for students at ICO.
Dr. Newman joined the ICO faculty in 1998. Initially, she participated in the didactic program co-teaching the retina and neuro-ophthamic disease courses. Currently, she serves as a clinical instructor for fourth-year students and optometric residents. She serves an administrative role as chief of the Center of Advanced Ophthalmic Care in the Illinois Eye Institute. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a member of the Illinois Optometric Association, and is a staff optometrist at the Chicago Eye Institute.
Prospective students should come to ICO for the outstanding clinical training they will receive at the IEI. Our students are well-versed in managing complex ocular disease cases prior to graduation. Additionally, our didactic program and its’ dedicated faculty, continually helps our students excel on the National Board Examinations.
Dr. Kelly received her PhD in physiological psychology at Syracuse University. Her area of specialty was vision science. Since she has been at ICO, she has worked with many clinicians investigating clinical problems with non-invasive psychophysical techniques. This kind of partnership is stimulating and useful and can make a contribution to the field of optometry. Dr. Kelly has worked with many students over the years and believes they have made significant contributions to optometric research.
The ICO clinical faculty and the ICO clinic population provide an excellent environment for clinical training. In addition, the Basic Science faculty are a small but dedicated group who work closely and well with our first- and second-year students. Both the Basic Science Faculty as well as our clinical faculty are actively engaged in research and publication and provide interested students with opportunities to participate. ICO may have a large class size, but it eels much smaller and faculty know and interact with all students on a regular basis. There are multiple support systems in place to assist those who need additional academic assistance or clinical instruction. And, of course, ICO exists right in the midst of a vibrant and beautiful city on the lake!
Following completion of her Ocular Disease residency, Dr. Klemencic worked in a private OD/MD practice in Ohio before joining the faculty at the Illinois College of Optometry in 2007. She currently is coordinator of ICO’s primary care and ocular disease residency program. She focuses her time in clinical education and patient care with second-, third- and fourth-year interns and residents in the Primary Care and Urgent Care clinics of the Illinois Eye Institute. Additionally, she teaches in first- and second-year student optometry skills laboratories and lectures on a variety of ocular disease topics in third- and fourth-year and resident conferences.
ICO is focused on producing excellent clinicians in eye care. The Illinois Eye Institute is one of the largest providers of eye care services in the United States, giving students an amazing patient care experience in all aspects of optometry. Students here also benefit from the experience and leadership of faculty with a variety of expertise and backgrounds. Finally, state of the art classroom, laboratory and clinical equipment and facilities make ICO top rate!
Dr. Ruth Trachimowicz completed her PhD in anatomy at the University of Michigan, a postdoctoral fellowship in retina research at Boston University School of Medicine, and upon completion of her post-doc she accepted a teaching position in anatomy at the NY College of Osteopathic Medicine. After four years, she decided to change career directions, completing her OD degree at the New England College of Optometry in 1987. Immediately after graduating from NECO, she joined the faculty at ICO. She teaches the human and ocular anatomy courses and also is actively involved in the first- and second-year optometry laboratories as well as the neuroanatomy labs. She has served on the NBEO Ocular/Visual Biology Subcommittee and has attended NBEO item writing conferences. She currently serves on Optometric Education's Editorial Review Board.
The desire to be able to combine my love of teaching & my clinical skills led me to choose a career at ICO, where a full-time anatomist was actively being sought. Twenty five years later, I still thoroughly enjoy working with the students and remarkably dedicated didactic & clinical faculty at ICO who are eager to share their knowledge and assist the students to become very competent clinicians well prepared for the National Board Examinations and well prepared to enter the field of optometry when they graduate from ICO.