Last Tuesday, the School of Optometry and Vision Science unveiled a portrait of Scientia Professor Fiona Stapleton in recognition of her outstanding work and service during her time as Head of School from 2007 – 2019.
The event was attended by Fiona’s colleagues and friends and supported with a visit from the Dean of Science, Emma Johnston. Warm speeches full of praise for Fiona were given by the current Head of School, Professor Lisa Keay (a former PhD student of Fiona, one of thirty-six) and Professor Simon Killcross, Head of School of Psychology and Deputy Dean of Strategy.
Under her tenure, the school has delivered new education programs including: a postgraduate entry degree in Optometry; the Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry; the Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics; the Doctor of Clinical Research in Optometry; the Masters in Community Eye Health; a Graduate Certificate in Myopia Management and a revised coursework Masters program.
She was also closely involved in the establishment for the Centre for Eye Health, a joint initiative between Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and UNSW Sydney.
Across these programs, the school has over 600 students; twice the number since Fiona started in 2007. To provide these students with an excellent learning experience, Fiona has successfully lobbied for 600sqm of new space and the refurbishment of existing space including the UNSW Optometry Clinic.
The school has also had a flourishing research program during her time as Head of School ranking in the top five schools in the discipline for research output internationally. Fiona herself one of the top three contact lens expert in the world (by articles published). She is a leading expert in Australia and a prominent figure internationally in the fields of vision research, dry eye, corneal infection and contact lenses.
Fiona is currently Scientia Professor in the school and course convenor for final year Ocular Therapeutics. She is a member of the School Executive Committee, is involved with women in STEM and is the Associate Dean of Enterprise in the Faculty of Science. Beyond UNSW she is currently the president of the International Society for Contact Lens Research, a think tank of the top 100 researchers in the field and sets the global agenda for its direction.
Once again, the school congratulates Fiona on her hard work and dedication to UNSW SOVS.