Friday, May 27, 2011


HH0521_163 by Pacific University
HH0521_163, a photo by Pacific University on Flickr.

Last weekend was Commencement. Despite a light pittar-patter of rain, it was a beautiful and wonderful day. Congratulations, Class of 2011!

Opt Wedding

So many of our students get married over the course of their four years here at Pacific.  Sometimes to each other (but if you decide to date a classmate, please, please don't break up during finals).  But in the 6 years I have worked here, I have never seen a bride integrate optometry into her festivities with as much fun and spirit as current third year (and Student Ambassador) Amber Dunn (nee Gatti).

Check it out!
 in front of Jefferson Hall, the building that houses the College of Optometry

 acting goofy

could you- should you- give an eye exam in a wedding gown?

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Heart Oregon

When I moved here seven years ago from Southern California, I had serious concerns about whether or not I would like living in Oregon.  The rain.  The gray.  The potential for turning into someone who wears Birkenstock's. 

Happily, I don't mind the rain.  I find the gray days oddly romantic.  And Birkenstock's (though I hear are comfortable) are still not part of my shoe repertoire.

And it is because of views like this that I find myself amazed... in awe... completely and utterly happy living in Oregon.  Hard to believe views like this are just 10 minutes from campus...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Restaurant Round Up: Lincoln


I love Lincoln

It is perhaps my most favorite restaurant in Portland.  (Well, one of my favorites.  Definitely in the top ten).

Lincoln is completely unfussy American bistro style food.  The ambiance is relaxed and warm.  The service is outstanding.  One wall is a big garage door that they open on sunny days so you can sit inside but enjoy the breeze of outside.  And the hanger steak... oh my... the hanger steak.

If you go to Lincoln, here is what you should order (in my humble opinion, of course):
  • Fried asparagus and semolina fritters with saffron aioli and pecorino-romano
  • Hanger steak with blue cheese butter and cornmeal onion rings
  • Hot fudge sundae with ice cream, hot fudge (or caramel) and toasted almonds
I dream about Lincoln's hanger steak and onion rings.  The decision to use cornmeal in the onion ring batter is genius, because it makes the onion rings so deliciously crunchy.  The steak is always tender and salty and when swirled with the blue cheese butter... oh my.

And who doesn't love finishing off a meal with an ice-cream sundae?  I mean, really.

P.S.  If you take your ridiculously adorable one year old to Lincoln, he will amaze the waitstaff by literally inhaling an entire adult-size portion of soft polenta with a poached duck egg, brown butter and sage.  At least, he will if he is anything like my one year old. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Amigos Trip Update: Nicaragua (Guest Post: Dylan Hatfield)

AMIGOS Eye Care is a non-profit organization of students, doctors and lay people affiliated with Pacific. AMIGOS is dedicated to providing quality vision care at no cost to underserved people in the Portland area and throughout the world. Since its establishment in 1975, AMIGOS has grown to become one of the largest eye care providing organizations in the world, bringing services to thousands of people at home and abroad.

Because so many prospective students are interested in AMIGOS, I have decided to ask 4 current students, who went on recent AMIGOS trips over Spring Break, to share their stories.  I hope you enjoy the series, the third of which is being written by current student, and AMIGOS member, Dylan Hatfield!

Hello, I am Dylan Hatfield.  I am a fresh third-year optometry student (and by fresh, I mean I just survived second year).  For those future optometry students out there, you will hear A LOT about second year, second semester.  Yeah, it was a doosey.  Anyway, on a lighter note, I am from Boise, Idaho and currently live in ‘The Grove’ with my wife and three children.  I know, three children, not much sleep going on around my place.

Please feel free to email me with any questions that you might have, regardless of the topic. 
 my family and I at the Woodburn Tulip Festival
One of the reasons that I chose Optometry as a career is the potential to impact other’s lives for good.  Imagine, for one second, helping people see!  How awesome is that?!  When I interviewed at Pacific, I learned about Amigos Eye Care and was instantly interested.  It is one thing to help those with means but even more special to help those who otherwise would not receive adequate care.  That is why I am involved in Amigos Eye Care.
This past Spring Break, I had the opportunity to go with other members of Amigos to Nicaragua.  This was my second trip, as I was able to go to Costa Rica during my first year.  Yeah, that is two Spring Breaks in a row that I have left my wife and children to travel to third-world countries.  Let’s just say that I have the best wife in the world!  (There is my mushy plug for this post.  I promise to refrain from any more juicy details about my marriage).
Okay, back to Nicaragua.  Amid exams, proficiencies and mundane busy work, fellow students and I packed up bins full of glasses, meds, equipment, and other random stuff and headed down to a tropical paradise.  For those of you who don’t know, it rains about 363 out of 365 days here in Oregon.  Okay that MIGHT be an exaggeration.  It is actually really beautiful weather here in the PAC NW.  (Sorry for all the tangents. Focus, Dylan.)
When we got down to Nicaragua, we got to spend a few days enjoying the country.  We spent time in downtown Granada, which was the first city where we held clinic.  We shopped, ate, enjoyed the culture, and meandered.  We also got to do some fun stuff like take a tour of the Volcano Bombacho, visit one of the 365 small islands on Lake Nicaragua, and visit the beach.
Las Isletas (the small islands on Lake Nicaragua)
On our tour of the Volcano Mombacho
Now to the nitty gritty.  This Amigos trip was unique and awesome because we had a ‘traveling clinic’.  We got to travel around Nicaragua and set up clinic in different cities.  We did clinic in five different locations within three different cities.  We even held a half day of clinic at a ZOO!  (Strange, I know.  It was crazy how close we were able to get to the animals.  I could literally touch them!) 
The majority of the locations were actually assisted living centers, so we went down to see a pretty specific demographic. 
Clinic in Juigalpa
Here are a few details of what we accomplished:
  •                 738 patients seen
  •                 65 referrals to ophthalmologists
  •                 Over 800 glasses dispensed
  •                 Over 500 sunglasses dispensed
  •                 About one gazillion artificial tears dispensed
In Juigalpa, as I mentioned above, we spent half a day holding clinic at a zoo.  There was a small building that was quite nice and spacious.  That morning there was one elderly man who was quiet and kept to himself.  He sat and patiently waited his turn for each and every portion of the exam.  By the time he got to me, I was ready to dispense him some sweet glasses.  The catch was, finding the perfect pair of glasses is always difficult.  When you are using recycled glasses, the chances of finding a pair of lenses with the perfect sphere, cylinder, and axis is VERY rare.  Well, my friends, for this kind individual, we hit the jackpot.  I found one pair of glasses that fit the far and near prescription and went and tried them on his face.  He looked up at something far away, and then looked at something close up.  He then lifted his head up at me and said, as simply as he could, “Miro bien!”   I explained to him about the useage of the glasses and all of the proper patient education and he was on his way.  I walked away from him and said to myself, “That right there, is why I choose to come on these trips!”
Also note the right exotropia!
There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes along with Amigos trips.  I strongly urge each and every one of you reading this blog, whether you are a current student or hoping to be a future optometry student, to go on an Amigos trip.  I can make you a guarantee that if you do, you will not regret it! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In Honor of Alumnus Dr. Robert M. Lohr

Happy news today!  I am thrilled to share with you the announcement of the establishment of the Dr. Robert M. Lohr Scholarship Fund in honor of the late alumnus, made possible by a gift of $100,000 from the Robert and Mary Lohr Trust.
The fund will support a scholarship for a Pacific optometry student who is pursuing a career in optometry after being employed in a different profession (career changers, take note!). Recipients will be selected by the University's Admissions Committee and the dean of the College of Optometry.

Dr. Lohr himself embarked on a career as an optometrist after starting out as a pharmacist. He developed a unique contact lens cleaning solution in the early 1960s, and in the process, became interested in the field of visionary healthcare.  He earned his doctorate in optometry from Pacific in 1969 and soon after opened both a practice and Lobob Laboratories in San Jose, Calif.

Jennifer Smythe, dean of the College of Optometry, said the bequest illuminates Dr. Lohr's affection for a university that gave him an additional arena in which to serve others.

“Dr. Lohr's commitment to the well being of those he served was the focal point of his life's work," Smythe said. "He strived to enhance the lives of as many individuals as possible, and that legacy lives on through this gift. Dr. Lohr's brilliance as both a scientist and optometrist, and as a mentor to aspiring practitioners, set a very high standard of excellence."

While he solidified his role as a practitioner, Dr. Lohr's innovative abilities in the pharmaceutical sphere continued to flourish.  In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration approved his AUTOLENS System kit for contact lens cleaning. Lobob Laboratories has expanded to a facility of more than 20,000 square feet and today markets lens cleaning products throughout the world.

Throughout his life, Dr. Lohr generously supported his alma mater, both in monetary gifts and time.

Financial support includes Dr. Lohr's memberships in the Sidney Harper Marsh Society and Evergreen Club; regular gifts to the College of Optometry - including the Carol Pratt Scholarship Fund, Pioneer's Fund, academic building remodel; and Planned Equipment Replacement Program.  As chair of the University's National Optometry Steering Committee, Dr. Lohr helped the College launch a successful Optometry Leadership Matching Challenge fundraising initiative.  He also contributed to Pacific's Century and Heart of Oak campaigns, the latter of which resulted in funding for a new library and residence halls on the Forest Grove campus, as well as the Health Professions Campus in Hillsboro.

Dr. Lohr was a very active civic leader as president of Toastmasters, the Lions and Kiwanis service clubs and a contributing member of the Glaucoma Foundation. An Army veteran who landed at Normandy on D-Day during World War II, Dr. Lohr earned numerous honors, including a Silver Star and Purple Heart with Cluster. He passed away in January 2010 at the age of 86.