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Who Are the OPS Fellows and What Do We Owe Them?
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Since January we have been celebrating 50 years of the existence, success, and dedication of the Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society.  Of course no organization is an entity unto itself, but rather a collection of individuals who work together to accomplish its mission and goals.  Every member of an association is important but some people choose to go beyond just membership and devote their time and expertise in service to meet those ends. 

Wikipedia gives the definition of a Fellow as “a member of an academy, learned society or group of learned people which works together in pursuing mutual knowledge or practice.”  To recognize extraordinary service, the Society has a special honor it bestows on those who serve with distinction in numerous capacities.  In the case of the OPS, one does not become a Fellow based on how many years you have been a member of the organization, but by nomination by other Fellows as a recognition of outstanding service and dedication.  An article in the upcoming 50th Anniversary commemorative edition of the Journal of Ophthalmic Photography explains the inspiration for the development of a Fellowship for the OPS. 

Our Fellows are a group of OPS members who have been selected by their peers to be recognized for their commitment to work for the Society. They are chosen, nominated and elected by members of the Fellowship Committee for their dedication and contributions to the OPS and to the field of ophthalmic photography.

Since 1977, 83 individuals have been bestowed the honor of Fellow.  The first 10 Fellows were the Society’s Founders.  They and the people who followed have served the OPS as Board members, certification examiners, educational program developers, educators, and administrators.  They have done so as volunteers, individually or as a team, bringing their expertise and gifts to help maintain the programs of the Society, and serve the membership. 

While the Fellows are special, they are not elite!  Anyone who has been a member of the OPS for at least 5 years, and has been an ophthalmic imager for 10 years may qualify, but service and contributions are what motivates peers to want to recognize a member’s endeavors.  Running for a Board, assisting in conducting meetings, actively promoting the OPS, teaching and assisting at educational programs are all paths that may lead to recognition as an important contributor to our Society.

We owe the success of the OPS to the members who have served and carried the organization into its 50th year.  It is a great accomplishment that is the result collaboration, dedication, volunteerism and love of the profession of ophthalmic imaging.   While many of our early Fellows have passed on there is a desire to continue to build the ranks of the OPS Fellowship.

As we celebrate our 50th year, we honor the Fellows who have served our Society so well and brought us to this impressive milestone. 
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