Alumni Focus 2020

Alumni Focus on Dr. Tiffany Procaccini (OD'09)

December 1, 2020

Michelle LiebDr. Tiffany Procaccini ('09) is the sole optometrist at a busy optometry practice in Willard, Ohio. Although 2020 has been a difficult year for so many, Dr. Proiscaccini is optimistic. She says, “The COVID-19 experience has reminded me that we are more than just optometrists. This year, I have listened to patients more and had more heart to hearts with them. Some days I feel like a therapist. I have at least one patient per day tell me that coming to their eye exam has been their first time out of their house since March. They don’t all need new glasses, they just need someone to talk to and I am happy to be that person.”



Alumni Focus on Dr. Michelle Lieb (OD'10)

November 1, 2020

Michelle LiebDr. Michelle Lieb (OD’10) works for a thriving private practice in Northeast Ohio, where she sees patients ranging in age from a few months to 106 years old. She thinks that for optometrists, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that “we are essential workers and our patients need us.” The experiences of 2020 have been “eye-opening,” prompting optometrists “to slow down a little bit and truly see what we want our patient experience to be like from beginning to end.”



Alumni Focus on Dr. Bethany Martinez (OD’04)

October 1, 2020

Bethany MartinezDr. Bethany Martinez (OD’04) spends her days helping veterans and educating residents as the Director of Low Vision Optometry and Optometry Residency Supervisor at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. Her passion for low vision rehabilitation began during her time as an Ohio State Optometry student under the tutelage of Dr. Roanne Flom and Dr. Nicklaus Fogt (OD/MS’92, PhD’96). She says that Ohio State Optometry “is where I earned a top-notch education and formed lifelong friendships.”



Alumni Focus on Dr. Ryan Corte (OD’12)

Septmeber 1, 2020

Bryan HeitmeyerDr. Ryan Corte (OD’12) is an optimistic person by nature. As co-owner of Northlake Eye in Charlotte and Concord, North Carolina, he improves patients’ lives each day through the power of sight, whether he’s providing primary eye care or working behind the scenes on administrative tasks. In addition, he taps into his entrepreneurial spirit through consulting opportunities and business endeavors. He advises current optometry students, “Never stop learning! As a student, your job is to soak up as much knowledge and experience as possible. However, what escaped me as a student is that those who truly succeed remain committed to lifelong learning.”



Alumni Focus on Dr. Bryan Heitmeyer (OD’04)

August 1, 2020

Bryan HeitmeyerDr. Bryan Heitmeyer (OD’04) moved to Seattle on a whim in 2004 soon after graduating from The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He says the cross-country move was one of the best things he’s ever done. Today his busy practice in Kent, Washington is thriving, and he sees a variety of deeply loyal patients. He advises OPT IV students to be unafraid to taking risks now, because, “it is easy to step outside your comfort zone when you are young and much harder to do as time passes.”



Alumni Focus on Dr. Moriah Chandler (OD’03)

July 1, 2020

Moriah ChandlerEven before the COVID-19 global pandemic, there was no such thing as a typical day for Dr. Moriah Chandler (OD’03). On any given day, you’ll find her creatively making a difference as an educator, clinician and researcher at the University of Houston College of Optometry. In her free time, she cherishes every moment with her family – Dr. Eric Ritchey (OD’01, MS’03, PhD’11) and their children – and makes masks for healthcare workers, friends, family and neighbors. Since March, she has made and donated over 400 masks.



Alumni Focus on Dr. Shane Foster (OD’08)

March 1, 2020

Shane FosterAs the owner of Athens Eye Care, a three-doctor practice in Athens, Ohio, Dr. Shane Foster (OD’08) has become an expert multi-tasker. Whether he’s serving as a preceptor to fourth-year optometry students, managing a schedule of all types of patients , seeing study patients (his practice participates in clinical trials), or serving in volunteer roles with the AOA, OOA and OOF, he is passionate proponent of optometry.



Alumni Focus on James Hardie (OD’10) and Holly Hardie (OD’10)

February 1, 2020

Holly and James HardieAlthough Drs. James and Holly Hardie both earned their undergraduate degrees at Michigan State, they didn’t officially meet until they became Ohio State Optometry students. Their time here was life-changing, in the best possible way. Dr. Holly Hardie explains, “Ohio State is where I discovered who I was and what kind of person and doctor I wanted to be.” Dr. James Hardie adds, “The College of Optometry gave me fantastic lifelong friends and amazing faculty who taught me everything I needed to know to become a great doctor.”



Alumni Focus on Dr. Cynthia Heard (OD'92)

January 1, 2020

Cynthia HeardDr. Cynthia Heard (OD’92) knew she wanted to be an optometrist after her very first eye exam. “I was 13 years old … It was the first time that I felt my opinion or preferences mattered. I was prescribed a small refractive error that made the distance clearer. The idea of becoming an optometrist was born in my heart that day.”