Mark your calendars for a special evening on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, beginning at 7:00 PM. This year the VDR Symposium, which is the opening session of the Annual Meeting of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, will serve as a Festschrift for Dr. Jack Richman. More about Dr. Richman in a moment, but first permit me to elaborate on what a “Festschrift” is, in case you haven’t heard the term before.
The origin of the term is German, and it literally means a celebration (Fest) in print (Schrift), but in scholarly or academic circles has taken on the connotation of a celebratory event that can be multimedia in nature. The event itself is a tribute to a scholar of influence in a particular field, typically through writings or presentations by individuals representative of those whom the scholar has influenced.
In this instance, we’ll be having a print component in the COVD journal, Vision Development & Rehabilitation (VDR), to complement the live presentations at the Toronto Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. During the live Festschrift, brief video clips in tribute will be punctuate the presentations. The lineup for the on-site presentations, including our laureate, will be:
Dr. Leonard Press – Introduction/Broken Wheel Test/Richman Face Dot Test
Dr. Celia Hinrichs – Automaticity/Developmental Eye Movement Test
Drs. Maria/Harvey Richman – Brain Injury/Drug Recognition-Law Enforcement
Dr. Paul Freeman – On the Art of Mentoring
Dr. Jack Richman – Spheres of Influence
Even those among you who may not be familiar with Dr. Jack Richman have been touched directly or indirectly by his many contributions. His involvement in Optometry has been multi-faceted, and he has the well-earned reputation as being a pioneer in our field. This ranges from spearheading one of the first Residency Programs, to catalyzing the Diplomate Program in Binocular Vision & Perception at the American Academy of Optometry, and conducting item analyses for the written portion of the Certification Examination of COVD. He has lectured widely, been intimately involved in Optometric Education in multiple institutions, and has innovated in clinical testing. Outside of the conventional optometric milieu, Jack is iconic in the law enforcement community where he contributed to standardization and education in field sobriety testing (including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test) that police often administer to DUI suspects. You can learn more about his varied and celebrated contributions here.
While our field has many potential candidates for a Festschrift, Dr. Richman’s career accomplishments make him the ideal inaugural laureate. To our knowledge, this is the first Festschrift of its kind in Vision Development & Rehabilitation, and quite possibly within the profession at large. It can and should be part of the maturation and evolution of our profession as a scholarly clinical discipline. We anticipate that this year’s program will serve as a prototype that may set the stage to venerate deserving candidates in future years.