OOA Trustee Michael Earley, OD, PhD, has been awarded the 2013 American Optometric Association Educator of the Year. He is the Assistant Dean for Clinical Services at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.
Dr. Earley is a 1988 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry. During his graduate studies, he was twice awarded an Ezell Fellowship from the American Optometric Foundation and the Auxiliary Fellowship from the American Optometric Association. He received his PhD in Physiological Optics from The Ohio State University in 1992.
Many graduates of the Ohio State University College of Optometry consider Dr. Earley the best teacher in their entire academic career. His encyclopedic knowledge of anatomy, neurology and pediatrics is remarkable; in fact, many students secretly lament that Dr. Earley doesn’t forget anything. But what makes him unique is his ability to communicate information that is, at times, dry, detailed, and abstract in an energetic, humorous, and memorable way. This rare combination of uncanny intelligence and clever wit is recognized and appreciated by his students, as seen in their Facebook pages dedicated to his more memorable quotations and their election of Dr. Earley to the Ohio State University’s highest teaching award, The Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. This award is granted as a result of student and alumni voting, which makes the honoring Dr. Earley even more special as the College of Optometry is roughly 1/250 the size of the overall university enrollment.
In addition to being an educator of future optometrists, Dr. Earley is also a valuable educator outside of the college. He has been the key speaker for the OOA at multiple Ohio School Nurse Symposia since 2004, presenting information to school nurses concerning ocular anatomy, eye health, and eye safety in his charismatic way. On behalf of the AOA, Dr. Earley was a keynote speaker at the 2011 AOA School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision in Alexandria, Virginia which included a national group of educators, health care professionals, and policy makers.
Clinically, Dr. Earley primarily works with children with special needs and patients with traumatic brain injury. He is the recipient of numerous awards in his career including OSU’s highest teaching award, the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and was inducted into the Ohio State University Academy of Teaching. He has authored more than 80 abstracts, book reviews, publications and has lectured nationally at more than 50 venues.
His is president and coordinator for Optometric Educators, Inc. He serves on the Association for Schools and Colleges of Optometry’s clinic directors’ special interest group. Dr. Earley is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Optometry.
He and his wife, Tracy, reside in Powell; they have three children.