Central World Council

The Central World Council directs and manages the affairs of the Society. CWC members elect officers every two years.

Current Officers

Lindsay Elkins, OD, FAAO

Dr. Lindsay M. Elkins received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003. She completed her Doctor of Optometry degree at the Southern College of Optometry in 2007 and a hospital based Primary Care residency at the Memphis Veterans Medical Center in June 2008. She joined the SCO faculty in July 2008 and currently holds the rank of Assistant Professor. Her roles include Coordinator of School Screenings as well as Clinical Lab Director for The Eye Center where she also serves as a clinical instructor in the adult primary care clinic. Dr. Elkins received the Young Alumni award from SCO in 2014 and is the current faculty advisor for the SCO chapter of Beta Sigma Kappa as well as the South Carolina students' club. Dr. Elkins is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry in Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry (ACMO). She is a member of local, state, and national optometric organizations and has been an active fellow of the American Academy of Optometry since 2011.

William H. Ridder, III, OD, PhD

William H. Ridder,III, OD, PhD is a tenured Professor at the Southern California College of Optometry, Marshall B. Ketchum University where he teaches courses in Ocular Physiology and Neurophysiology of Amblyopia, and runs the Electrodiagnostic Service. He is also the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies. He received his OD degree from the Illinois College of Optometry and his PhD from the University of Houston. His areas of interest include animal and human electrophysiology and human visual performance. He has published over 55 papers in refereed journals, 4 book chapters, and has given over 125 invited lectures at major meetings in the United States, Asia, and Europe. He is on the editorial board of Documenta Ophthalmologica and the Austin Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology. Dr. Ridder is a member of the American Academy of Optometry, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology and Vision, the Society for Neuroscience, the Vision Sciences Society, and the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society.


Daniel Deligio
O.D., F.A.A.O., FSLS Assistant Director of Rotations

Dr. Daniel Deligio earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the
University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana in molecular and cellular
biology. He then received his Doctor of Optometry degree from
Midwestern University – Arizona College of Optometry and earned the valedictory award upon graduation. He completed his residency
training in cornea and contact lenses at the University of Alabama at
Birmingham School of Optometry. Dr. Deligio is a Fellow of the
American Academy of Optometry, Scleral Lens Society, and Board
Certified by the American Board of Optometry. He also is an Advisory Board member for the GPLI, columnist for Contact Lens Spectrum and Vice Chancellor for BSK.

He is a member of the Illinois and American Optometric Association
since 2016. Dr. Deligio is the Assistant Director of Rotations and
Associate Professor at Midwestern University – Chicago College of
Optometry where he teaches the Anterior Segment Ocular Disease and Soft Contact Lens Courses as well as supervises fourth year optometry students during clinical care. He specializes in medically necessary contact lenses, ocular prosthetics, orthokeratology, and other corneal diseases.

Ilana Gelfond-Polnariev, OD, FCOVD.

Dr. Gelfond-Polnariev is a 2002 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Optometry. She completed a residency in Vision Therapy and Head Trauma Rehabilitation at the State University of New York College of Optometry, where she continues to be an Assistant Clinical Professor working with fourth years students in a pediatric clinic for over nine years. Dr. Gelfond also has a successful private practice in Staten Island, NY in which she specializes in vision therapy and head trauma rehabilitation for children and adults. She is a recipient of the Dr. Martin Birnbaum honorary award for extensive knowledge in behavioral vision therapy. She is currently a NYS coordinator for College of Optometrist in Visual Development (COVD), Board Member at Children’s Vision Coalition in New York State, and National Treasurer for Beta Sigma Kappa organization.  She is a member of the Allied Health Staff at Staten Island University Hospital.


Executive Director
Mira Silbert Aumiller, OD, FAAO

After completing her undergraduate degree at Rutgers Universtiy, Dr. Aumiller completed her optometric training at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 2002. She completed her residency in primary care optometry at The Eye Institute of PCO in 2003. Dr. Aumiller currently serves as an attending optometrist at the Wilmington VA Medical Center where she works directly in patient care as well as supervision over students and residents. She holds adjunct faculty positions with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, the State University of New York, and the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Aumiller is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry in Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry (ACMO) and has attained board certification in medical optometry by the ABCMO. She has been an active fellow of the American Academy of Optometry since 2004. She has had multiple publications and actively serves as a peer-reviewer for multiple ophthalmic journals. Dr. Aumiller has also served as a course reviewer for national educational programs through the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) and the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) since 2006. Along with her duties as Chancellor for BSK, Dr. Aumiller has acted as the executive director since 2012. 



Board of Regents

The Board of Regents reviews applications for Beta Sigma Kappa research grants and makes recommendations to the CWC.

Willard B. Bleything, OD, MS, FAAO, FCOVD, FNAPO
Dr. Willard B. Bleything holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Optometry and Public Health and is assigned additional administrative duties as Director of Graduate and International Programs within the College of Optometry, Pacific University, Oregon. Prior to this he served for 17 years as dean of Optometry at Pacific University that practiced in Central Oregon for 16 years. His research interests center around health care delivery issues including international optometry as well as pediatric optometry. He has over 40 publications in various professional journals and has lectured widely in countries such as China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and Germany. Along with serving as the president of his state optometric association, he has been a state board president and president of the schools and colleges of optometry. He currently holds the position of Secretary-General, Asia-Pacific Council of Optometry and as Member, Education committee of the World Council of Optometry. The WCO named him 2002 International Optometrist of the year.

Ann E. Clark, OD, FAAO
Dr. Clark has been on staff at the Wheaton Eye Clinic in Wheaton, IL since 1993. She is certified by the Illinois Board of Optometric Examiners for the practice of optometry and in the use of diagnostic and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.  Her specialty areas include pre-operative and post-operative co-management of cataract and refractive surgery patients, visual rehabilitation following retinal surgery and geriatrics.

Dr Clark did her undergraduate training at Michigan State University, where she was a member of the Honors College.  She graduated cum laude from the Illinois College of Optometry, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Visual Science degree in 1976 and Doctor of Optometry degree in 1978.

Dr Clark is a member of the American Academy of Optometry and was made a Fellow in 1987.  From 1988 through 2010, she served as an officer for the Primary Care Section of the AAO, acting as section chair from 2004-2008.  In addition to the national level of the AAO, Dr Clark is a member of the Illinois Chapter and is a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa International Honorary Fraternity.

She serves as a course reviewer for national educational programs through the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) and the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE).  Dr Clark is a reviewer for grant proposals for Beta Sigma Kappa and the American Optometric Foundation (AOF).

Anthony P. Cullen, MSc, OD, Ph.D., DSc, FCOptom, FAAO, DipCLP
Dr. Tony Cullen is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo where he taught full-time in the School of Optometry from 1978 to 2004 and also served as Director of the School. He was cross-appointed to the Departments of Biology and Systems Engineering. He holds academic credentials in optometry, ophthalmology, vision science, radiation biology and ocular therapeutics. His clinical experience includes private primary care and contact lens practice, hospital and military optometry, and academic optometry and ophthalmology. He is a Past President and Life Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Life Fellow of the College of Optometrists (UK). Dr. Cullen has served as an advisor to optometric organizations and universities in a number of countries around the world, and acted as a consultant to government agencies and industry. Dr. Cullen has been an invited lecturer in more than thirty countries worldwide and was named the 2001 International Optometrist of the Year by the World Council of Optometry. He has an extensive list of publications including several key textbook chapters. He has been a member of the Editorial Board or referee for more than a dozen journals devoted to optometry, ophthalmology, vision science, physics, photobiology and toxicology. He was designated a Noteworthy Educator by BSK in 1983 and has served on the Board of regents since 2002.

Thomas F. Freddo, OD, Ph.D, FAAO
Before coming to the University Waterloo School of Optometry as Director of the School in 2006, Dr. Freddo served for 25 years as Professor of Ophthalmology and Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine where he also served as Director of the Eye Pathology Service and maintained a hospital-based practice of optometry. He also directed an NIH-funded research program in anterior uveitis and glaucoma for over 20 years. He has served on the editorial boards of Experimental Eye Research and Optometry and Vision Science, and on several federal and foundation grant review boards and is the Immediate Past President of the International Society for Eye Research. He has won numerous teaching awards at Waterloo and The New England College of Optometry and was the 1992 recipient of the Glenn A. Fry Award for excellence in eye/vision research. He has served on the Board of the American Academy of Optometry and in 2010 was honored by the Academy with the Carel Koch Medal for his contributions to the enhancement of relationships between optometry and other professions. He has received honorary doctorates from the State University of New York and theUniversité de Montréal and was most recently appointed to the Scientific Review Panel of Prevent Blindness America.

Elizabeth Hoppe, BS, OD, M.PH, DrPH
Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe received her B.S. and O.D. at Ferris State University College of Optometry, M.PH at Yale University, and Dr.PH at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Diplomate Public Health and Environmental Vision. Her teaching appointments took her to University of Houston College of Optometry, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, New England College of Optometry, Southern California College of Optometry, and Western University of Health Sciences as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor with Tenure Awarded. While at SCCO she was faculty advisor for student senior research projects and supported research programs in her prior role as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at The New England College of Optometry. She currently serves as the Founding Dean of the College of Optometry at Western University of Health Sciences. She has presented an extensive number of papers to the AAO, American Public Health Association Annual Meetings and numerous other organizations and has authored material appearing in a long list of publications.

Gerald E. Lowther, OD, Ph.D
Dr. Lowther received his B.Sc, O.D., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University. He has been on the faculties of The Ohio State University College of Optometry, the Michigan School of Optometry and the School of Optometry, University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was professor of Optometry and then dean of Indiana University School of Optometry. Following retirement from Indiana University he was Chair Professor of Vision Science (part-time) under the Distinguished Scholars Program of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for two years. He is a past-president of the American Academy of Optometry, the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the International Society for Contact Lens Research and past chair of the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators. He served as the chair of the Education Committee of the World Council of Optometry from 2011 to 2017.. He was co-editor of both the International Contact Lens Clinic journal and the Contact Lens Update series. He has carried out an active clinical research program in the areas of contact lens materials, contact lens design, aftercare problems, care systems, and dry eye. He has served on FDA panels. He received the John Neill Medal from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Award for Distinguished Research on the Cornea and Contact Lenses from the University of Houston College of Optometry, the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Michigan Association of Governing Boards, and gave the 1994 Max Shapero Memorial Lecture at the American Academy of Optometry meeting. Dr. Lowther was elected as a distinguished scholar to the National Academies of Practice and Life Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry and inducted into the Optometry Hall of Fame. He received an honorary Ph.D. degree from the Ramkamhaeng University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has authored three books, numerous chapters for other books and has over 100 published papers. He has lectured extensively nationally and internationally including in Europe, Australia, Africa, South America, Thailand and China.

Joan A. Stelmack, OD, MPH
Joan Stelmack received her OD from Illinois College of Optometry and her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At the Hines VA Hospital Blind Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Stelmack serves as Co-Director of the Optometry Residency in Ocular Disease/Low Vision Rehabilitation, Preceptor of a Low Vision Rehabilitation Rotation for ICO students, Supervisor of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic and Director of the Low Vision Research Program. Dr. Stelmack also serves a Director of the Low Vision Service at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine.

Dr. Stelmack has faculty appointments at Illinois College of Optometry and the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine. Dr. Stelmack is a past Chair of the AOA Low Vision Rehabilitation Section. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and a Diplomate in the Public Health Section.

Dr. Stelmack’s research focuses on the outcomes of vision rehabilitation. She directed development and validation of the 48-item and the 20-item Low Vision Visual Functioning Questionnaires used by patients with low vision to self-report the difficulty they have performing daily activities before and after vision rehabilitation. Dr. Stelmack is the principal investigator for two clinical trials measuring outcomes of low vision rehabilitation for patients with macular diseases, VA Low Vision Intervention Trial and VA Low Vision Intervention Trial II.

David Troilo, PhD, FAAO, FARVO
David Troilo joined the SUNY College of Optometry in July, 2008 as Professor, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs from The New England College of Optometry, where he was Professor of Biological Science and Director of Graduate Studies. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Dr. Troilo received his Ph.D. in biology from the City University of New York. He did post-doctoral research training at the University Laboratories of Physiology at the University of Oxford, and the Departments of Neurobiology and Behavior and Psychology at Cornell University. His research interest is on the visual control of eye growth and development of refractive state. As chief academic officer at SUNY Optometry, Dr. Troilo is responsible for the professional degree program in optometry and the graduate degree programs in vision science. His other areas of responsibility include faculty development, residency programs, library services, and continuing professional education. Dr. Troilo has made growth of research at the college an institutional priority and has helped develop collaborative, translational, and clinical research initiatives. Working with the University Eye Center, the college’s clinical institution, Dr. Troilo helped create SUNY Optometry’s Clinical Vision Research Center. He is also a founding member and co-director of the SUNY Eye Institute, which brings together the vision researchers from across the university’s Academic Health Centers.

Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD
Karla Zadnik is the Associate Dean at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. She received her OD and PhD degrees from the University of California , Berkeley School of Optometry. She was on the clinical faculty of the University of California , Davis School of Medicine for 14 years. In 1999, she became the Glenn A. Fry Professor in Optometry and Physiological Optics at Ohio State . She chairs the Biomedical Sciences Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the IRB Policy Committee for Ohio State. Professor Zadnik is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate of its Section on Cornea and Contact Lenses, the Immediate Past President of the Academy, and chair of the American Optometric Association’s Council on Research. She received the American Optometric Foundation’s Glenn A. Fry Award in 1995 and the Ohio Optometric Association’s Warren G. and Ruth P. Morris Optometrist of the Year Award in 2009. She served on the National Advisory Eye Council of the National Eye Institute (NEI)/National Institutes of Health from 2000 to 2004.



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