Spotlight on our 2016-2017 Optometry Student Grant Program Winners

Last month, we were proud to announce the winners of our 2016-2017 Grant Program for third- and fourth-year optometry students. The winning students were selected by a panel of judges based on their entries addressing “Technological Advancements and the Impact on the Optometry Profession.”

We recently caught up with the winning students and asked them to share a bit about themselves and what they’re excited about for the future.

Congratulations to all!

Picture of Stephanie HuubbardStephanie Hubbard, Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry, Class of 2018

First place ($5,000 grand prize)

What inspired you to become an optometrist?

“Growing up I was the only one in my family who didn’t need glasses; nonetheless, I always had regular eye examinations. Upon one of my visits when I was younger, my optometrist noticed some suspicions with my optic nerve which led to a series of visual fields, MRIs and other testing that frankly I had no idea optometrists performed. Through that experience, I realized that in the midst of prescribing lenses day in and day out, optometrists play a much larger role in the preservation of vision and their scope of practice extends beyond just refraction. It sparked my interest, which has been strong ever since.”

What are you looking forward to most about entering your fourth year and preparing for life after graduation?

“What I am looking forward to the most about my fourth year is the opportunity to gain exposure to a variety of different optometry settings. At the moment with my third year wrapping up, it seems as if the opportunities for life after graduation are abundant whether it be residency, corporate or private practice; however, I feel after gaining experience in those different settings and practices it will be easier to know what I want and what I don’t want to pursue for my career.”

About Stephanie:

Picture of Dea SatrioDea Satrio, University of Houston College of Optometry, Class of 2018

Runner-up ($1,000 prize)

What inspired you to become an optometrist?

“Being very near-sighted, I always looked forward to going to the eye doctor growing up, because it meant I could get new glasses and potentially see better! I know my life would be very different without glasses/contacts, and I will always be grateful for these devices. This sparked my interest in optometry, and with the help of local optometrists in my hometown (Frisco Eye Associates), I had some exposure to the field and found that I really, really love working with patients.”

What are you looking forward to most about entering your fourth year and preparing for life after graduation?

“In my fourth year, I am looking forward to spending more time with patients and refining my clinic skills. It will also be a nice year of travel and new scenery as I move to Austin, TX and Albuquerque, NM for my rotations. I’m excited to be in the field of optometry as it relates to both private practice and the VA system, and I appreciate the differences in practice that these places offer. After years of studying it will be nice to have the chance to apply my skills within a learning environment.

I am grateful for companies like National Vision that support optometry students throughout the country. I have been blessed by the support of many entities throughout my educational career, and I can say that the generosity of others does not go unnoticed. Thank you!”

About Dea:

  • Vice President of the UHCO Student Chapter of American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
  • Marketing Chair for Houston Hands in Health (an interdisciplinary global heath group)

Picture of Jenna WayneJenna Wayne, University of Houston College of Optometry, Class of 2018

Runner-up ($1,000 prize)

What inspired you to become an optometrist?

“I’ve always been interested in health care. I had an internship with a hospital that allowed me to observe many different specialties, including surgeries, emergency care and pediatrics. I was intrigued when I observed an eye doctor looking at images of a retina, while also providing patient care. I began shadowing optometrists to learn more about what they do and what a typical day was like. Having worn glasses since elementary school, I could definitely relate to many of the patients. The optometrists explained to me that optometry is a lot more than just prescribing glasses and contacts. They sometimes are the first person to tell a patient they have a systemic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension, and they even have the ability to refer patients for suspected brain tumors. Being able to help people with their vision and overall health is very rewarding, and learning all of this, I knew optometry was the career for me.”

What are you looking forward to most about entering your fourth year and preparing for life after graduation?

“I can’t wait to begin my fourth year and be in the clinic all day. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more patients and learning from each experience. I hope to do a residency after I graduate so that I can specialize in a certain area. Optometry school is going by pretty quickly but I can’t wait to use everything I’ve learned and begin my career as an optometrist.”

About Jenna:

Carly Schenck

Carly Schenck

Communications Manager at National Vision
Carly Schenck is the Communications Manager within our Professional Services department, supporting our network of Optometrists. She is a passionate and driven marketing and communications professional with more than six years of experience in the optical industry. Carly has been with National Vision since 2014 and is proud to be part of a company that is dedicated to making quality eye care and eyewear more affordable and accessible for all.
Carly Schenck