The Most Interesting People in Higher Education Podcast

Episode 9: Dr. Howard Purcell

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On this week’s episode we are excited to have the President of the New England College of Optometry, Dr. Howard Purcell on the podcast. Howard tells Lee about his childhood dreams of becoming a drummer, and how his father encouraged him to pursue a profession in optometry. Howard talks about how he got his start in academia, how his outspoken nature worked to his benefit, and later, what makes a good leader.

Lee and Howard dive deeper into the field of optometry and why it's important for all medical fields to have diversity. The two have a fascinating discussion on the future of optometry, and some of the experiences Howard had working in the industry, including working with famous Olympians.

Finally, near the end of the interview, Lee and Howard discuss NECO’s brand new partnership with Noodle to bring their doctor of Optometry program online, and how the two organizations can work together to build the best possible program. We are very thankful to Howard for taking the time to talk with us, and are excited for you to listen. 


Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, Diplomate and FNAP has been President and CEO of the New England College of Optometry (NECO) since July 2018. Before assuming his leadership role at NECO, he served as Senior Vice President at Essilor of America and Senior Director at Johnson and Johnson Vision Care.