Alumni Focus on Kaleel Shaheen (OD'72)



Canton, Ohio

Which institution did you attend for your undergraduate degree? What was your major?

I started out at Malone College and ended up at The Ohio State University. My major was Biology.

Which degree(s), related to optometry, did you earn at Ohio State?

OD'72 (Physiological Optics)

Who was your mentor at the College of Optometry? Who had a positive effect on your education?

Dr. Richard Hill


Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.

I am self-employed. I started my solo private practice in 1972 in Canton, Ohio.

Give us a glimpse of your typical day as an optometrist.Kaleel Shaheen


I start at 8 a.m. and usually work through lunch with my day ending around 5 p.m., sometimes later.

Which optometric issues concern you the most?

Online ordering of glasses and contacts has become very popular and not in the patient’s best interest.

Why did you choose a career in optometry?

I was always interested in the health profession field. I wore corrective lenses all my life, and my optometrist, Dr. Harold Mylius, was very impressive.

Where do you hope to see your optometric career in five years?

I am currently semi-retired. My son, Dr. KJ Shaheen II, and my nephew, Dr. Michael Shaheen, are currently taking over the practice. My daughter, Kayla Knepper, who has her MBA and is an optician, is running the whole office.

What is one piece of advice you can give OPT-IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?

Always look for the best interest of your patients, and always remember that word of mouth is your best advertisement. Also, always give back to your community.


What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?

Receiving my white coat and passing Dr. Eskridge’s oral exam, and living at the fraternity house and making really close friends.

What do Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?

My son graduated from The Ohio State University as well. We are all big, loyal Buckeye fans.

How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?

Dr. Michael Greenberg and myself have sponsored a room in the new Optometry building, and I try to attend CE courses at the school when I am able to.

What has the COVID-19 experience taught you about patient care?

We must look for the well-being of the patient’s complete health as well as their eye health.


What are your current hobbies, volunteer work and interests?

I love to play tennis and golf. I try to keep active and do something physical every day. I try to stay active in our church community as well.

What is a fun fact about you?Kaleel Shaheen


My nickname is Kelly. I love cigars, bourbon, or a nice glass of wine.

What’s the best eye pun you’ve ever heard?

“I’ll keep an eye out for you.

If not an optometrist, I would be…

Somewhere in the health profession field, as it has always intrigued me.