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Stephanie Messner, OD, FAAO

Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs; Associate Professor of Optometry





Why ICO?

Students who are interested in getting a superior clinical education should come to ICO. Our students receive outstanding experience in all areas of patient care including ocular disease, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation, binocular vision and primary eye care. Our classroom experience prepares students well for our challenging patient care environment, as evidenced by our students’ exceptional performance on all aspects of the National Board Examinations. Although ICO is a “large” optometry school, we have a very close-knit community. When I first came to ICO as a faculty member in 1985, I thought that I would probably stay for a few years. All these years later, I find that I still wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!


Dr. Messner joined the ICO faculty in 1985. Prior to her appointment as Academic Dean, she served in a variety of administrative roles, primarily related to patient care education and residency programs. In addition she has been an active teacher in the classroom, laboratories, and clinical program throughout her career. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and has served in a variety of professional organizations, including the Illinois State Optometry Licensing and Disciplinary Board, the ASCO Residency Affairs and Academic Leadership Committees and as past chair of ASCO's Chief Academic Officer's group. She currently serves as Chair of the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.

Special Interests

Primary Eye Care


2011, 2012 Pennsylvania State University, Academic Leadership Academy
1985 Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Primary Care Optometry Residency
1984 Pennsylvania College of Optometry, OD
1982  Pennsylvania College of Optometry, BSVS
1980 University of Pittsburgh, BS


1985-present Illinois College of Optometry

Awards & Honors

1998 ICO Distinguished Faculty Member Award
1984 Wildermuth Foundation Scholar
1984 Alumni Association Award
1982 Beta Sigma Kappa

Professional Organizations

Fellow, American Academy of Optometry
Member, American Optometric Association
Member, Illinois Optometric Association

Chair, Accreditation Council on Optometric Education


Reed K, Hoffman DJ and Messner SS: Specialization and Credentialing in Optometry. Optometric Education 28:3, 2003

Messner SS: Bacterial Corneal Ulcers. Optometric Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Onofrey (ed), JB Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1990; update 1997.

Messner SS: Corneal Trauma. Optometric Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Onofrey (ed), JB Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1990

Messner LV, Messner SS and Conto JE: Coats’ disease Clinic Eye Vision Care 1:3, 1989

Messner LV and Messner SS: Idiopathic preretinal fibrosis with concurrent cystoid macular edema Jrnl Am Optom Assn 58:112, 1987

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