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New England College of Optometry Appoints New Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs

New England College of Optometry (NECO) is pleased to announce that Erik Weissberg, OD, FAAO, has been selected to serve as the next Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs. The appointment of Dr. Weissberg comes at the conclusion of an extensive search process during which the committee met with a talented pool of candidates from across the country. He will assume the role on May 1, 2019.

Dr. Weissberg’s professional career embodies his commitment to the College, optometric education, and clinical excellence. After graduating from New England College of Optometry in 1997, he completed a Residency in Pediatrics in 1998. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Specialty and Advanced Care that same year and was promoted to Professor of Optometry with tenure in 2009. He was named Director of Clinical Education in 2008 and has served in that role ever since, continuing to develop and lead the clinical program at the College.

Dr. Weissberg has been equally dedicated to classroom and clinical teaching, research, and service throughout his career. This diverse set of experiences has provided him with a broad perspective on the different aspects of optometry that he brings to his new position as Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs.

With over twenty years in the pursuit of scholarship, education, and service to optometry, Dr. Weissberg has found countless ways to contribute to the profession. He has been an active part of the scientific research community as an investigator in several multi-centered clinical studies, serving as a grant reviewer for the NIH (National Institute of Health) and leading his own research focused on strabismus and international eye care delivery. He has developed clinical expertise in pediatric optometry with a focus on strabismus and amblyopia and has authored numerous manuscripts and lectured nationally and internationally in this area.

Throughout his career at NECO, Dr. Weissberg has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to leadership, mentorship, and the role early and diverse clinical experiences play in preparing students to become optometrists. Dr. Weissberg has been recognized with teaching awards and honors by students, faculty, and the Massachusetts Association of Optometrists. He is passionate about the role of mentoring and seeks opportunities to help students and colleagues develop new skills and find opportunities to advance optometry, appreciating the mentors who have helped him forge his academic and professional path.

President Howard Purcell notes, “I am very enthusiastic and confident that Erik will continue the significant growth and development that has been achieved over the past several years and will help lead the college during a time of change in the profession, healthcare, and higher education.”

“The appointment of Dr. Erik Weissberg as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College is a testament to our ongoing commitment to excellence,” notes Pano Yeracaris, MD, Chairman of the Board. "He brings high level knowledge as well as strong relationships with the faculty and deep experience with the College.”

"It’s an honor to be given this opportunity from an institution that has meant so much to my personal and professional development,” says Dr. Weissberg. “I am eager to work alongside students, faculty and staff to promote an environment and offer experiences that inspire the next generational leaders of our profession.”

New England College of Optometry is an independent graduate college of optometry that educates students for careers in eye care delivery, research and education. NECO was founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, and is the oldest continuously operating school of optometry in the United States. NECO prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, leaders, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. Through a vast network of clinical affiliations, our students put patient care first, providing vision care to children, older adults, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities through our mobile eye clinic, satellite clinics in schools, homeless shelters, community health centers, and VA medical centers.

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