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Steve Chaplin
IU Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

IU alumnus named Optometrist of Year by American Optometric Association

July 24, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Dr. Melvin Shipp, a 1972 graduate of the Indiana University School of Optometry, has been named Optometrist of the Year by the American Optometric Association.

Shipp has served as dean of the Ohio State University College of Optometry since 2004. He was previously a professor and assistant dean for clinical services/director of clinics at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. He received his Master of Public Health from Harvard University in 1980 and his Doctor of Public Health from the University of Michigan in 1996.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in 1970 from the IU College of Arts and Sciences, and then a Doctor of Optometry in 1972, Shipp served in the United States Navy on active duty from 1972 to 1976 as chief of optometry service in Port Hueneme, Calif. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserves in many capacities including optometry officer, commanding officer and professional school liaison officer until 2001.

He is currently president of the American Public Health Association, the first optometrist to serve in that position.

A past president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry who has served as a member of the national board of directors of Prevent Blindness America, Shipp is also a member of the National Optometric Association and served as chair of the continuing education committee twice. He is currently a member of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

Shipp is an inductee in the National Optometry Hall of Fame, and he received the American Academy of Optometry Koch Medal, the National Optometric Association Founder's Award, the National Optometric Association Optometrist of the Year Award and the American Optometric Student Association Teaching Award for Excellence in Clinical Instruction.

He was recognized as Optometrist of the Year during the American Optometric Association's annual awards ceremony last month at the 115th Annual AOA Congress in Chicago. The American Optometric Association represents about 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians.

For more information, please contact Steve Chaplin, IU Communications, at 812-856-1896 or