Alumni Focus 2021
Alumni Focus on Dr. Lauren Haverly (OD’14)
October 1, 2021
Dr. Lauren Haverly (OD’14) became an optometrist because, “I wanted to feel fulfilled with my career, and optometry absolutely does that. We make our community happier, healthier and safer.” During her time as an #OSUopt student, she made some of the best friends of her life, and even met her future wife! Dr. Haverly opened Prism Eye Care in St. Paul, MN in March 2020 (she can laugh about her impeccable timing now), where she practices full scope optometry. She sees patients all day, doing everything from myopia management to glaucoma and dry eye.
Alumni Focus on Dr. Denise Weirick Carter (OD’93)
September 1, 2021
Dr. Denise Weirick Carter (OD’93) decided to become an optometrist after her great-grandmother became blind as a result of glaucoma. “I wanted to do all I could to keep that from happening to other people,” she says. Each day at Sungate Medical Group in Beaufort, SC, Dr. Carter does everything in her power to give her patients the best vision possible.
Alumni Focus on Dr. Julie Thums (OD’04)
August 1, 2021
Dr. Julie Thums (OD’04) owns HealthView Eye Care Center in Medford, WI, where she has worked since graduating from The Ohio State University College of Optometry. Her days as an optometrist/business owner are busy and unpredictable, and she says, “the variety keeps us on our toes and allows us to use our education to the fullest potential.”
Alumni Focus on Dr. Steve Schnulo (OD’90)
July 1, 2021
Alumni Focus on Dr. My-Hanh Vu (OD’10)
June 1, 2021
Dr. My-Hanh Vu (OD’10) owns a busy contact lens-heavy practice in midtown Manhattan, where she and her team also screen, manage, and treat ocular disease. At the beginning of each day, she and her team share their three major focuses for the day, as well as any positive reviews they received the previous day. Dr. Vu says that Ohio State Optometry gave her the opportunity to find herself and her niche. She fondly remembers a lifechanging SVOSH trip to Peru with her classmates, and she admits to actually missing cramming for exams with her friends!
Alumni Focus on Dr. Kenneth Boltz (OD’85)
May 1, 2021
Dr. Kenneth Boltz (OD’85) needed his first pair of glasses at age seven, although he admits he wasn't a very good glasses wearer. When he was able to get contact lenses in middle school, he was hooked on the life-changing nature of optometry. “I knew from that time on that I wanted to be an optometrist,” he says. His soon-to-be 13-year-old daughter wants to become an optometrist too, and Dr. Boltz says he would love to hand off his successful Dublin, Ohio private practice to her one day.
Alumni Focus on Dr. Amber Slezak (OD’14)
April 1, 2021
During her fourth year of undergrad, Dr. Amber Slezak (OD’14) shadowed an optometrist at a nursing home providing mobile eye care. She remembers coming home to her parents’ house and saying, “I will NEVER do that." Ironically, today she splits her time between nursing/assisted living facilities and private practice, seeing a wide variety of patients. And she loves it! She advises students, “Don’t limit yourself to what you think you do or don’t know or do or don’t think you’d like. Make sure your fourth-year rotations are diverse so you can experience a wide range of specialties within the eye care field to better help you find where you want to land upon graduation.”
Alumni Focus on Dr. Kacie Kreifels (OD'14)
March 1, 2021
Dr. Kacie Kreifels (OD'14) fondly remembers her time as an Ohio State Optometry student, most notably being mentored by Dr. Jacqueline Davis (OD’81), her Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Advisor. Today, as an optometrist at Quigley Eye Specialists in Ft. Myers, Florida, Dr. Kreifels enjoys a rewarding schedule, seeing a wide variety of patients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Kreifels learned just how much her patients value her. “During a crisis such as a pandemic, your patients need you more than ever,” she says. “They need your patience, kindness, and empathy as much as your optometric knowledge.”
Alumni Focus on Dr. Joanna Cammenga (OD'16)
February 1, 2021
Joanna Cammenga (OD'16) was naturally drawn to health sciences at a young age. “I was very interested in pursuing a career that can impact others' lives directly,” she says. Optometry was the perfect fit, and guidance from her optometrist jumpstarted a path of discovery that led to Ohio State Optometry and a rewarding career. She adds, “I love being able to connect with patients one-on-one and hopefully create a welcoming environment where patients feel they can ask me anything and trust me to help them to the best of my abilities.”
Alumni Focus on Dr. Brandon McFadden (OD’14)
January 1, 2021
Dr. Brandon McFadden (OD’14) looks back on his time as an Ohio State Optometry student fondly. “The camaraderie and kindness we had in school was unmatched,” he recalls. Today, Dr. McFadden works at a large interdisciplinary clinic in Spokane, Washington, where he is part of the primary care team. He credits his Ohio State education, VA residency and American Academy of Optometry fellowship for preparing him to tackle any challenge a patient presents. To current optometry students, he says, “If you are considering a residency, I would strongly recommend it. I would not be where I am without it.”