Notable Alumna


Karen Winters, OD
Class of 1988




Karen Winters is in her twenty-second year as the owner and sole practitioner at Point of View Optical near Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. She lives on the shores of Otisco Lake with her husband, optometrist Dr. Paul Schwartz (SUNY ’86). There they raised two daughters, who are now off to change the world—hopefully in a good way. Although she greatly enjoys her work as an optometrist, she is especially proud of her role as an author and advocate for the advancement of our collective understanding of mental illness. A sought-after speaker at mental health association events and conferences across the country, she is the author of two engaging novels that directly address mental illness, Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family's Journey Through Bipolar Disorder (Goodman Beck, 2010) and Reis's Pieces: Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia (Goodman Beck, 2012). These books and presentations are tools to opening up discussion about the need for empathy and the impact of the negative stigma associated with mental illness, along with its far-reaching, devastating effects. She is also an active board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Syracuse.

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