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Welcome to the July issue of our newsletter.

As we resume some level of normal operations under Level 1 – with our clinic reopening to the public on June 2 – we have a packed issue reporting on the activities of SOVS staff.

In terms of the school, we are considering the lessons learned during lockdown. In particular we are exploring ways for staff to work more flexibly, and for our teaching programme to make more extensive use of the online delivery platforms we have become so familiar with. Our goal here is to keep the programme engaging for students, and to ensure that workplace-practice within SOVS supports both the productivity and the quality of life of its staff.  Another lesson I have learnt is that our students appreciate regular but less formal updates on the programme, and we will be continuing to hold regular Zoom meetings to let them know what is going on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.

One person behind the scenes, quietly maintaining the very highest standards of teaching, is Kerry Atkinson. I was delighted to learn that Kerry is a recipient of one of the 2020 Dennis Pickup Clinical Educator Awards. Kerry will receive this prestigious award at a prizegiving ceremony in the FMHS atrium on 29 July. Kerry is singularly one of the most positive educators I know and his unwavering enthusiasm for optometry is infectious. Congratulations Kerry from all at SOVS on a well-deserved award.

Finally, warmest congratulations to Professional Teaching Fellow Michelle O’Hanlon, and her husband Tristan who welcomed their daughter Sarah Frances O’Hanlon into the world on 1 July. All the very best from SOVS to you both.

Ngā mihi

Professor Steven Dakin
Head of School, Optometry and Vision Science
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Steven Dakin