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On Saturday, June 11th, at the Rizzo Center in Chapel Hill, UNC Ophthalmology faculty, residents and fellows gathered to celebrate the end of the academic year and to honor four departing residents and two fellows at the Department’s annual graduation banquet.

Several graduating residents were honored with awards for teaching, leadership and clinical excellence. Awards included: 1) Arthur C. Chandler Outstanding Resident as Teacher: Dr. Jessica Duddleston; 2) Resident of the Year: Dr. Basil Mathews; 4) Resident Clinical Excellence Award: Dr. Basil Mathews; and 4) Team Spirit Award: Dr. Roma Pegany.

Graduating residents & Alice Zhang - June 2022
(L to R): Residency graduates Drs. Basil Mathews, Jessica Duddleston, R. Elliott Browning, Roma Pegany / Residency Program Director Dr. Alice Zhang

UNC Ophthalmology’s four resident graduates have now transitioned to competitive fellowship programs and entering independent practice:


Dr. Elliott Browning – Glaucoma Fellow, Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute, Jacksonville, FL
Dr. Basil Mathews – Glaucoma Fellow, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Dr. Roma Pegany – Cornea Fellow, OHSU Casey Eye Institute, Portland, OR

Dr. Jessica Duddleston – Comprehensive Ophthalmologist, Birmingham, AL

Like many UNC School of Medicine departments, UNC Ophthalmology honors a clinical faculty member for excellence in teaching each year at its graduation banquet. This year, residents honored Assistant Professor Dr. Michelle Go with the Resident Teaching Award for her exceptional contributions to their learning.

At the graduation banquet, UNC Ophthalmology Residency Program Director Dr. Alice Zhang presented departing residents with their graduation certificates and acknowledged their future plans and the support of their families during their residency training. Dr. Alice Zhang stated:

“Every June, I feel such pride for our graduating class of residents and sadness that they must leave us. Although they must leave us, I know that they are going onto bigger and better things and that they will all become contributors to the health of their future communities.”

Kittner Family Distinguished Professor and UNC Ophthalmology Chair Dr. Don Budenz noted:

“I am extremely proud of our four graduating residents. They have received outstanding education and training at UNC Eye, and I know they will take excellent care of patients as they practice all over the country.”