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Newly-qualified optometrists graduate

Research awards and fellowships were also presented at the College of Optometrists’ annual Diploma Ceremony

College of Optometrists ceremony

The College of Optometrists welcomed 284 newly-qualified optometrists at its annual Diploma Ceremony, which was held at Central Hall Westminster on Tuesday, 14 November.

Presentations were also made to optometrists who have completed higher qualifications, including the professional certificate in glaucoma, the professional certificate in low vision and the professional certificate in medical retina.

Speaking at the ceremony, president of the College, Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt, said: “Congratulations to all of the young and talented diplomates here today. It’s a great pleasure to welcome them into the profession and wish them well in their career.”

The College also recognised six optometric researchers with its Research Excellence Award.

Optometrist Dr Keziah Latham was presented with the Neil Charman Medal for Research for her research on the assessment and effects of low vision.

The George Giles Postgraduate Research Prize was presented to optometrist Deanna Taylor for her focus on visual disability in dry age-related macular degeneration.

Professor Ian Morgan and Professor Kathryn Rose accepted the Bernard Gilmartin OPO Award for their paper, Myopia and international education performance, which analysed the relationship between myopia, educational performance and engagement in after-school tutorial classes.

Optometrist Dr Valldeflors Vinuela Navarro was awarded the Giles Van Colle Memorial Award for her work to characterise eye movements in children with learning-related difficulties. 

The Philip Cole Prize was presented to optometrist Steven Whittaker for his evaluation of the practicalities and outcomes of independent prescribing optometry at two Scottish practices.

The College also presented three life fellowships, two honorary fellowships and two fellowships by portfolio.