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College of Optometrists Life and Honorary Fellowships for outstanding contributions to the profession

News posted: 08/11/2018

The College of Optometrists awarded two new Life Fellowships and one Honorary Fellowship at the Diploma Ceremony on 6 November 2018. The Life Fellowships recognise members of the College for their contribution to the College or to their profession. The Honorary Fellowship recognises individuals involved in the wider eye healthcare and vision science professions for their outstanding contribution to optometry or to the College.

The two new Life Fellows of the College of Optometrists:

Ruth Brough BSc FCOptom
Ruth Brough is being recognised for her contribution to the development and implementation of the Scheme for Registration as the former Lead Assessor for the College. Ruth’s capacity for hard work enabled her to organise the work-based assessment in record time, producing a high quality Scheme.

Professor Jennifer Craig PhD FCOptom FAAO FBCLA FCCLSA

Professor Craig aided the development of the profession through teaching and education, especially in the area of ocular surface disease. Jennifer’s determination and ability to succeed has made her an extraordinary role model to all, both in her academic and clinical career.

New Honorary Fellow of the College of Optometrists:

James Russell Hon FCOptom FBDO FEAOO

James has helped to build collaboration between optometrists and dispensing opticians, which has encouraged and strengthened greater cross-professional working.


Professor Edward Mallen MCOptom, President of the College of Optometrists, said:
“Fellowship is the highest award granted by the College and, acknowledges the most outstanding achievements made by those working within the profession. It is a great privilege to present these awards, that recognise the value of the extraordinary contribution and commitment made by these individuals to the advancement of the profession and ultimately to the benefit of our patients.”

The College has also awarded four Fellowships by Portfolio to recognise achievement in the workplace:

Dr Stefan Bandlitz BSc FCOptom has been awarded a Fellowship of the College recognising his optometric research, optometric education and higher qualifications in vision science.

Kamlesh Gohil BSc FCOptom has been awarded Fellowship of the College in recognition of his clinical practice, optometric education, provision of visual or wider healthcare, and management of visual healthcare.

Alison Matthews BSc FCOptom DipCLP DipTp(IP) has been awarded Fellowship of the College in recognition of her clinical practice, provision of visual or wider healthcare, management of visual healthcare and higher qualifications in vision science.

Andrew Millington BSc FCOptom has been awarded Fellowship of the College in recognition of his clinical practice and optometric education.