"Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has been a major topic we have explored in-depth this year. One of the many strengths of ICO’s educational program has always been the diversity of our patients and the varied pathologies we see regularly that enhance our students' experience. Anyone observing ICO’s entering classes over the years has noticed an increase in the diversity of our student body. Recently, I heard an employee say, “at ICO, we celebrate our diversity every day.” In this column, I try to share with you various perspectives, from respected individuals, on the issues at hand. I hope you enjoy reading the perspectives of key ICO alumni on this important topic."

“The year 2020 is a symbolic and important time for optometry. As the profession looks toward the future, we see standards of care evolving for many eye conditions. In addition to glaucoma and myopia control, dry eye is  a priority for the Illinois College of Optometry in 2020 and beyond. As ICO’s dry eye experts, what innovations do you see being made in its diagnosis and treatment?

“With a history dating back to 1872, ICO’s alumni network spans generations. A significant number of our students first hear about ICO through an influential mentor or family member. How did you become a mentor, and what impact has the act of mentorship made on your life? Your alma mater? The profession? Has your attitude about mentorship changed over time?”

"Since the appointment of Dr. Yi Pang as Associate Dean for Research, ICO has significantly ramped up its research-based efforts. At any given time, ICO has multiple ongoing research projects. Current topics include myopia, dry eye, and other important concerns. Please highlight one of your current research projects, briefly explaining what it is, what we hope to learn, and how it will impact our students, patients, and alumni."