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NECO Announces Award Recipients for 2024 Commencement

Join NECO’s 130th commencement at Boston’s Symphony Hall on May 19, 2024.




(PRESS RELEASE) BOSTON, MA — The Board of Trustees at New England College of Optometry (NECO) has announced its honorary degree recipient, two Presidential Medal awardees, and six valedictorians as part of its 130th commencement exercises to be held on May 19, 2024 at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

NECO Announces Award Recipients for 2024 Commencement

Jane Gwiazda, PhD

NECO will confer an honorary degree upon Jane Gwiazda, PhD, who received her doctorate from Northeastern University and was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at MIT before joining the NECO faculty in 1995. Currently professor emerita at NECO, Dr. Gwiazda was the director of Research and director of Graduate Studies. Her research has focused on risk factors and treatments for myopia. Dr. Gwiazda chaired the Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial, a multi-site, 17-year study funded by the NEI/NIH. She was a member of the National Advisory Eye Council from 2014-2019 and currently serves on the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee for the BLINK study.

The Presidential Medal is awarded to eye care professionals or professional groups who have made a unique impact on the College and its constituencies. This year, two awards will be presented to these leaders in the optometric industry:

NECO Announces Award Recipients for 2024 Commencement

Marjorie Axelrad

Marjorie Axelrad is the editorial director emeritus of Vision Monday and VMAIL. She served as the senior vice president and editorial director of Vision Monday and VMAIL, part of the Jobson Optical Group, from 1988 to March 2024, when she retired from her long-time role.

NECO Announces Award Recipients for 2024 Commencement

Marc Ferrara

Marc Ferrara is the former CEO of Jobson Publishing’s Information Services division and now serves as executive consultant for Jobson Optical Group.. In his former role, Marc had a wide-range of responsibilities, including the business units 20/20, Frames Data, Vision Monday, Review of Optometry, Review of Ophthalmology, Jobson Research, Jobson Internet Solutions and Jobson’s international business in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, as well as US Pharmacist.

NECO also celebrates an unprecedented achievement with six students achieving the title of “valedictorian” by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average throughout the four-year program.

The 2024 Valedictorians include:

Kaylee Brann, Kylie Donahue, Sarah Curtin,
Bonnie Loh, Zach Turple, and Zamaan Valani.

NECO Announces Award Recipients for 2024 Commencement


NECO’s Commencement Exercises will begin at 10:00am at Symphony Hall, located at 301 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. The ceremony will be livestreamed and may be viewed here.



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