The Texas Optometric Association named Dr. William L. Miller of the Rosenberg School of Optometry as this year’s TOA Educator of the Year. Dr. Miller has had a long and distinguished career in optometric education. He has served as a member of the faculty and administration at three separate institutions and over the life of his career has received recognition as “Outstanding Educator”, “Teacher of the Year”, or “Outstanding Clinical Educator” on eleven separate occasions. In each case, his dedication to educating the future of the profession was clearly demonstrated. His skills in optometric education have benefitted his students and served him well in his role as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. With his expertise he serves as an excellent resource to junior and senior faculty who look to him to lead the education of students in the professional program. When they consult him on an issue related to a career as a faculty member, he is able to relate to them firsthand accounts of similar issues in his personal experience. His credibility is enhanced by the fact that he still spends time in the classroom and relates to his students in the same manner as the rest of the faculty.
In his current role as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, he is responsible for curriculum development. He has continuously stressed creating a model that prepares students for the future of the profession by incorporating technology into the entire curriculum and is a recognized authority on procedures such as injections and ophthalmic lasers, which are being added to the scope of practice for optometry in many states. He has worked with the schools of pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, and medicine to create opportunities for interdisciplinary education so that students and faculty can work with, and learn from, each other for the enhancement of patient care and a better understanding of their role in the health care system.
In addition to his excellence in teaching, he has contributed to the science of the profession through his scholarship and continues to do so in spite of his many responsibilities. He has a plethora of publications and grants that attest to him being someone on the forefront of knowledge in his clinical area. His achievements mark him as one of the outstanding individuals in optometry and optometric education.