ASCO Announces Special Recognition Award Recipients

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ROCKVILLE, Md.—The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) announced the recipients of the 2020 Special Recognition Awards. Janice Scharre, OD is this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner and ASCO’s first female recipient. This award recognizes an outstanding individual who, over an extended period of time, provided exceptional leadership to ASCO and to optometric education; made outstanding contributions to the optometric community; and displayed exemplary commitment and dedication to the association. Dr. Scharre began her optometric career as a graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry, (ICO) in 1976.

Shortly after graduation, she joined the faculty at ICO, where she served in a variety of capacities. Among the awards she received at ICO was the Inaugural Dr. Joseph L. Henry Achievement Award in June 2007.


Dr. Scharre with her colleague, Dr. David Heath, developed and implemented the Association of Schools and Colleges Faculty Development Institute, a program designed to enhance faculty teaching and professional development skills.

In 2014, Dr. Scharre joined Salus University as the provost. At Salus, she had the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary educational setting with Pennsylvania College of Optometry as the founding college of the University. Dr. Scharre was recently awarded an honorary doctor of science degree by Salus University. She retired from Salus in 2018.

The ASCO Rising Star Award, sponsored by Oculus, is given to an outstanding faculty member or administrator with less than seven years of service who has made noteworthy contributions to fulfilling the mission, strategic objections, or programs of ASCO. This year’s Rising Star awardee is Erik Mothersbaugh, OD, MPH.

Dr. Mothersbaugh serves as the dean of student affairs at Illinois College of Optometry, where he is primarily focused on the areas of recruiting, admissions and student services. He is an alum of ICO, who after completing his doctor of optometry degree in 2012 stayed to complete a residency in primary care and ocular disease.

He then served full-time on ICO’s faculty before joining the president’s administrative cabinet in 2018. During his time as a faculty member he taught courses in visual optics and ethics in addition to patient care responsibilities in the primary care and urgent care services of the Illinois Eye Institute.

ASCO and the Ethics Educators SIG named Ryan Yuan, OD as the winner of the 2020 Student Award in Clinical Ethics. This annual national award, sponsored by Alcon, provides the winner with a $1,000 award check and an acrylic engraved plaque.

Dr. Yuan is a recent 2020 graduate of the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University. His winning essay, "Ethics of Ocular Pain Management," will also be featured in ASCO’s Journal, Optometric Education.