ICO News

Catch up on the latest happenings at ICO.

Welcome ICO Residents!

On July 1, 2020, we welcomed 10 new residents to the Illinois Eye Institute. For some, they are first-timers in the Eye Institute, for others, it was like “returning home”, as one resident said.

Our residents geared up with their face masks and ready for whatever will come next.

We welcomed this month five residents in primary care and ocular disease, two in pediatrics/binocular vision, two in low vision, and one in cornea and contact lenses. Independent of their chosen field, all came to deepen their understanding of optometry and to become specialists ready to take on the most complex of medical cases and to set themselves apart after a year of intense training.



Christina Nguyen (ICO), Kelly Cohen (Salus)

Binocular Vision and Pediatric Optometry Residency

Kyle Martin (Ohio)

Cornea and Contact Lens Residency

Arnoldo Trevino (Houston), Katie Walker (NECO)

Low Vision Rehabilitation and Geriatric Ocular Disease Residency

Megan Byer (NOVA), Nora Kuby (ICO), Pedram Pourhosseini (ICO), Maria-Alessandra Roa (ICO), and Negar Sohbati (ICO)

Primary Eye Care and Ocular Disease Residency


But, beyond their specialties, who are they really? Dr. McLeod put together a few questions we thought we’d share:


First they love to eat: They’ll happily eat Thai, Mediterranean, Italian, vegan/vegetarian, Mexican, Chinese or make their way to Little Goat Diner.

Other responses to favorite cuisines included:

  • “I live for good Indian food (the spicier the better), I also like good Mexican home cooking, and Pizza!"

  • “Anything Italian. Essentially anything with bread."

  • “Sushi, BBQ, mango smoothies (not at the same time)"

  • I’m not picky but I’m always in the mood for Thai or Mexican! "


It seems that nearly half binge watched (and would recommend binge watching) Dead to Me during quarantine.

And one resident, well they were in the US far away from their family so they have quite a few TV shows to recommend:

  • "Money Heist

  • Imposters

  • Love Island UK Season 5

  • Dear white people

  • Selling Sunset

  • Dead to me

  • … I’m just going to stop here – even though there is more, I was stuck in the States with nothing better to do other than refresh my Visa update page!!!”

Other responses to favorite TV Shows included:

  • “The Office (at all times even before COVID!)"

  • I rewatched Avatar: The Last Airbender and it’s still fantastic."

Dr. Colip conversing with recent ICO grads (and now residents!) Dr. Nora Kuby and Dr. Negar Sohbati.


Quarantine has been strange and hard for many of us. For our residents it meant boredom, time and dates losing all meaning, missing important milestones and even being isolated in a different country. But it also meant it gave them time to restart meditating and yoga, time to snuggle with their beloved Boston terrier and time to FINALLY go through the closet and donate…. many shoes!

It also gave them an opportunity to:

  • “Become more organized and take on tasks that they had been putting off."

  • “Not do their hair every day!"

  • “Cook, watch movies, and paint."

  • And very important: "Wear pajamas 24/7!"

Four of them are snoozers, two of them wake up immediately, one always manages to wake up 5-10 minutes before any alarm. Two prefer to set several alarms rather than snooze.

They come from Arizona, Ohio, Florida and many more places. Wherever they come from, and whether they are recent grads or new to ICO, we are super excited to welcome them!


To our outgoing residents, we heard from your residency coordinators how well you have adapted to these new difficult circumstances and what a pleasure it was to work with each of you. We wish you the very best going forward. We are sure each of you will do unbelievably well in all of your future endeavors.

Cheers to our residents both old and new! To our residents going out: It has been a pleasure to work with you. To our residents coming in: We are excited to see what this year will bring.

A special shout out to all of the residents off-campus:

Off-Campus Residencies

Noelle Bock (Ketchum) Residency in Anterior Segment Disease and Medical Contact Lenses, Davis Duehr Dean

Julia Osowski (ICO)

Cornea and Refractive Eye Care, Minnesota Eye Consultants

Lucas W. Schmidt (ICO)

Ocular Disease Residency, Associated Eye Care

Grace Amsler (Indiana), Jacob Conditt (SCO), Jessica Burtner-Islam (MCPHS) Ocular Disease and Low Vision Rehabilitation Residency, Jesse Brown VAMC/ Hines VA Hospital

Kristen Nordby (Indiana)

OD Residency in Refractive and Ocular Surgery Care, Vance Thompson Vision

Gabriella Finger (UAB), Kenny Fritz Jr. (ICO)

Primary Care and Ocular Disease Residency, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

Joshua Falk (Western), Megan Horter (Midwestern)

Primary Care/Brain Injury and Low Vision Rehabilitation Residency, Minnesota VA