Student Profile: Melanie Tolan “I came to the SUNY College of Optometry because of its fine reputation and large patient population. And I wanted to stay in New York City,” said fourth-year student Melanie Tolan from Hershey, Pennsylvania. As an undergraduate biology major at Barnard College, Columbia University, Melanie spent much of her free time pursuing her two passions: ballet and vision care. When she wasn’t performing at venues around the Northeast, she was often volunteering in the ophthalmology department at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Choosing SUNY has allowed Melanie to keep doing what she loves in the best city in the world for both her passions. Additionally, she served as the chair of the 2009 Eye Ball (the annual student dinner dance) and doubled student attendance from the previous year. She’s also served as Vice President of her class for four years and assisted in fundraising efforts. Now she’s in Colorado on the first of her two out-of-state externships. While leaving New York City and her friends upon graduation will be hard, she’s looking forward to practicing full-scope optometry in California or Hawaii, where her parents now live.

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Graduation 2009 Seventy-two graduates received the Doctor of Optometry degree at the 35th Commencement held at the Hudson Theater in Manhattan in June 2009. Dr. John Clark, former Interim SUNY Chancellor and former Interim President of the SUNY College of Optometry, gave the commencement address. Dr. Ian Howard, fromYork University in Toronto, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

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