by Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology
Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald has had a long-term relationship with Southern College of Optometry (SCO) and has taught part-time as needed. This summer in the mini term at SCO during July-August she was asked to co-ordinate a seminar-type lecture series that involved several different health care disciplines. SCO faculty were interested in their optometry students knowing more about different health care disciplines and how optometrists could potentially co-ordinate patient care. CBU alumni were called upon to participate in this educational process, since Dr. Fitzgerald knew several different professionals through the CBU alumni network.
First to speak, on public health, was Ms. Katie Dyer, Biology 2000. She has a M.S. degree in Public Health from St. Louis University (2004) and has worked as an epidemiologist and developed curriculum and taught at Baptist Health College as well as at CBU. She is currently working with Health Memphis Common Table as a data analyst and grant coordinator in a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is particularly interested in maternal and child health.
The next speakers were Dr. Bobby Myers and Ms. Carrier McIvor. Dr. Bobby Myers, Biology 1998, graduated from Life University (2002) with a degree in Chiropractic medicine. While he was at CBU he was interested in sports, and Dr. Myers worked with the Riverkings from 2003-2007. He currently is working at James Chiropractic and Rehabilitation in Memphis and has mentored three CBU students in their senior projects. Ms. Carrie McIvor, Biology 2005, U of M 2007, 2011) has been working since 2006 at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Pediatric Oncology/ Hematology. Carrie just started her Ph.D.! Both of these individuals talked about their positions and the role optometry plays in their respective disciplines.
Dr. Robert Appling, Biology 2003, Barry University 2008, Surgery residency podiatry 2009, and Mr. Johnny Timmerman, Biology 2012, UTHSC 2015, discussed their professions next. Dr. Appling won for the grossest pictures of diabetic toes and feet on which he had conducted surgery. Johnny is currently in physical therapy school, so he was able to best relate to the students at SCO.
Our final speakers were Dr. Frank Ramirez, Chemistry 2008; Pharm. D. Union 2012, and Dr. Beth Sparrow, current faculty at SCO and the Optometrist at the Church Health Center. Dr. Ramirez is currently the manager of the pharmacy at Walmart and the discussed the importance of all individuals prescribing medications to have information about each other, frequently not disclosed by the patient. Dr. Sparrow not only has been an optometrist for several years and taught at the clinic at SCO, she presented information about the history and importance of the Church Health Center.
While this was the first time this class was taught, the CBU alumni shared their experiences with the second year optometry students (two of whom were CBU alumni). Many of these alumni also participated in “meet the professionals” night that Ms. Amy Ware of the CBU career center held on October 3rd. We as faculty at CBU appreciate the time and energy that all of our alumni put in to help with students that are beginning their careers.