Marlee Spafford

Marlee Spafford
Professor Emerita, Adjunct Professor, Special Advisor to the Provost on Student Experience


Marlee Spafford is a professor emerita, who holds an adjunct professor appointment at the School of Optometry and Vision Science. Her training included a Doctor of Optometry degree (Waterloo), an MSc degree in physiological optics (Waterloo) and a PhD degree in theory and policy studies in education (Toronto). Professor Spafford earned seven awards for teaching excellence. She held various administrative posts, including: Associate Dean of Science, Undergraduate Studies (2013-2020), Interim Director (2011-2013), Associate Director, Academics & Research (2006-2011), Clinic Director (1997-2003), Electrodiagnostic Clinic Head (1990-2013), and Admissions Officer (1986-1997). She became the Special Advisor to the Provost on Student Experience in 2020 and continues with this work. Her research program explores aspects of healthcare education, communication, socialization, equity and service delivery. A Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, Professor Spafford is a reviewer for numerous academic and professional journals and a member of the editorial board of Optometric Education. In 2023, she received the Michael G. Harris Family Award for Excellence in Optometric Education.

Research Interests

  • Healthcare professional education, communication, socialization and equity
  • Professional gatekeeping
  • Service delivery
  • Telehealth
  • Vision Rehabilitation
  • Vision Services


  • OD, MSc (Waterloo), PhD (Toronto), FAAO


  • OPTOM 360 - Professional Ethics and Optometric Communication
    • Taught in 2019, 2020

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.