Pacific University College of Optometry alumnus and former faculty member Dr. Cristina Schnider OD ’82 will receive the Kamelia Massih Award for Distinguished Optometrist on May 21 at the Graduate and Professional Studies Opening Ceremony of the university, where she will also deliver the keynote address.
Schnider was already a star as a student in Pacific’s optometry program in the 1980s. She graduated from Oregon State University with high honors and a Bachelor of Science in 1979 and received several awards and scholarships while pursuing her doctorate in optometry at Pacific.
Throughout her career, she has balanced private practice, research and education, advancing the profession of optometry and the discovery of contact lenses.
Immediately after graduation, she worked as a clinical instructor at the SUNY College of Optometry, while performing vision therapy and contact lens fitting services in private practice, and conducting disease research. eyewear, contact lenses and binocular vision.
In 1985, she moved to Australia to lead studies on extended wear of gas permeable rigids in the Cornea and Contact Lenses Research Unit at the University of New South Wales.
In 1989, she returned to the University of the Pacific, where she taught and held the position of Chief of Contact Lens Clinical Services. She continued to teach in an ancillary role as she moved into leadership and continuing education roles at Menicon and then Vistakon (now Johnson & Johnson Vision Care). As of September 2015, she was Global Director of Professional Education for Johnson & Johnson, working on content development for eye care surgical professional education – a role from which she retired in 2019. She continues to work in as a consultant with expertise in professional and medical training. and communication, development and management, as well as planning and execution of clinical trials and publications.
Dr. Schnider is a member of the American Optometric Association, Contact Lens Section, and the Association for Research in Vision and Opthalmology. She served as a director of the Portland Metro Optometric Society from 1995-1996, chaired the American Academic of Optometry Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Section in 2019-2020, and served on several boards and advisory boards.
She was named one of the most remarkable women in optometry in 1999 and one of the 50 most influential women in the optical industry in 2004.
Her most recent recognition, the Kamelia Massih Award for Distinguished Optometrist, recognizes a graduate of the Pacific University College of Optometry who has had a significant impact on the profession. It was created by the family of Kamelia Massih, who was born and raised in Iran before immigrating to the United States during the Iranian Revolution to continue her education. Massih earned his doctorate in optometry at Pacific in 1985 and opened his own practice, Beaverton Vision World, in 1989, followed by locations in Portland and Tigard. She left the world in March 2010 after a battle with cancer. Massih cared deeply about others, donating countless hours of time and financial resources to a wide range of local and national charities.
“Kamelia had a strong affinity for the University of the Pacific,” said her brother, Fariborz Maseeh, when creating the award in her honor. “Our family hopes this gift will recognize the excellence of University of the Pacific optometry graduates and inspire other alumni to pursue Kamelia’s passion to serve our community and those in need.
Dr. Schnider will receive the award at the Pacific Graduate and Professional Studies Commencement Ceremony, which begins at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at Hanson Stadium in Forest Grove, immediately following the 9 a.m. undergraduate ceremony. Tickets for the opening ceremonies of the University of the Pacific are free. but mandatory for guests.