On June 30 2012, Dr. Ralph Chou will retire after 30 years of distinguished service to Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science. During his career, Dr. Chou established expertise in the areas of ophthalmic standards, eye protection, environmental vision, occupational safety, and clinical competency assessment.
Professor Chou began his post-secondary training at University of Toronto, where he earned a BSc in Astronomy in 1973. At Waterloo, he completed his
Doctor of Optometry in 1979 and Master of Science in Physiological Optics in 1982 before joining the School’s faculty. In his capacity as an educator, Ralph has taught Doctor of Optometry and Vision Science graduate students the full spectrum of ophthalmic optics and has supervised students in both the primary care and ocular health clinics.
Ralph also has a long history of service to the profession, which includes extensive involvement with bodies such as the Canadian Examiners in Optometry, the College of Optometrists of Ontario, and the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO). Since 1989, he has held the position of Academic Editor of Canadian Journal of Optometry. He has represented optometry’s interests at the Canadian Standards Association, where he serves as Chair of the Technical Committee on Industrial Eye and Face Protection. His contributions even extend internationally through positions such as Chair, Global Commission on Ophthalmic Standards for the World Council of Optometry (2008-2011).
Dr. Chou’s tireless work with the Standards Council of Canada and the International Organization for Standardization has informed his teaching and influenced international policy development. While his research has received ongoing support from Canadian Optometric Education Trust Fund (COETF), the Department of National Defense of Canada, and industry partners such as Hoya, he has evaluated everything from the quality of new lenses to eye safety assessments and protective eyewear. He has also published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference abstracts, almost 50 industry reports, and 10 books and book chapters; he has also delivered 60 invited lectures.
While maintaining his involvement at the School and University, Dr. Chou continues to make significant contributions to the community through organizations such as Scouts Canada, the Science Teachers Association of Ontario, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). Ralph’s passion for astronomy has led to lifelong involvement with RASC, where he has performed numerous roles and is currently serving as President of the Society’s Toronto Centre, Director of the E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory, and Membership Secretary! He has been known to spend his spare time giving public presentations on astronomy, solar eclipses, and observing the sun.
While these many accomplishments are impressive, Dr. Chou is quick to point to the most important part of his life – his wife, Lucy, and their children, Richard and Steph. On behalf of the faculty, staff, students, and alumni at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, I thank Ralph for his tireless efforts in education,
scholarship, and service
– Dr. Marlee M. Spafford