Marlee SpaffordAssociate Dean of Science, Undergraduate Studies


ODMSc (Waterloo), PhD (Toronto), FAAO

Telephone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 36286
Fax: (519) 725-0784
Office: OPT 337
Lab: OPT 247


    Marlee Spafford is the Associate Dean of Science, Undergraduate Studies, and a professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science.  She is an optometrist with an MSc degree in physiological optics and a PhD degree in theory and policy studies in education.  Professor Spafford has earned 7 awards for teaching excellence in areas such as communication, ethics, case analysis, and systemic disease.  She has held various administrative posts, including: Interim Director (2011-2013), Associate Director, Academics & Research (2006-2011), Clinic Director (1997-2003), Electrodiagnostic Clinic Head (1990-2013), and Admissions Officer (1986-1997). Her research program explores aspects of healthcare education, communication, socialization, equity and service delivery.  A Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a consultant for the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, Professor Spafford is a reviewer for numerous academic and professional journals and a member of the editorial board of Optometric Education.


    • Healthcare professional education, communication, socialization and equity
    • Professional gatekeeping
    • Service delivery
    • Approved PhD supervisor

    Teaching interests

    • Communication, ethics, systemic disease, visual electrophysiology, clinical techniques, case analysis

    Undergraduate courses

    • OPTOM 360 - Professional Ethics and Optometric Communication
    University of Waterloo

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