Alumni Focus 2022
December 1, 2022
Dr. Danielle Piser (OD’07) strongly believes that every person should have equal access to healthcare and proper healthcare education. As an educator and clinician, she aims to make sure that, “… we as optometrists are doing our part to give this opportunity to everyone in our community by reaching out to provide discounted/free care to underserviced or underrepresented individuals, as well as teaching our community the importance of regular eyecare and making better lifestyle choices for a better quality of life.”
November 1, 2022
As a teenager who did not enjoy wearing glasses, Dr. Angelica Polizzi (OD’20) was fascinated by contact lenses and saw them as a miracle. Today, as an optometrist in private practice in Medina, Ohio, she is seen by many as a miracle worker, serving patients for comprehensive exams, contact lens fittings, and managing medical conditions such as dry eye, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc. She credits her Ohio State Optometry education for guiding her to a rewarding and exciting career.
October 1, 2022
Dr. Bill Lay (OD’92) chose a career in optometry because he was “a farm kid with amblyopia who wanted to use microscopes a lot.” Today, he enjoys being in private practice with wonderful partners at four locations in Central Ohio. For #OSUopt students embarking on their optometric careers, he offers the following advice, “Strap in and get prepared; you never stop learning. It’s a fantastic career!!”
September 1, 2022
When Dr. Bryce St. Clair (OD’19) was deciding whether to pursue an OD or a PhD in Linguistics, his mother offered sage advice: Why choose? Today, he combines his love for languages (and ability to speak four!) with his passion for patient care as an Instructor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
August 1, 2022
Dr. Noor Abushagur (OD’18) loves being an optometrist at a private practice in Dallas, Texas, because “No two days are the same, and I love the variety found in private practice. It always keeps things interesting, and I still learn new things every day.” She says that choosing Ohio State Optometry “was the best decision I have ever made and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.”
July 1, 2022
Dr. Kaleel “Kelly” Shaheen (OD’72) was so impressed by his childhood optometrist, Dr. Harold Mylius, that he pursued a career in optometry. In turn, he has inspired many others to embrace the profession, including: his daughter, Kayla Knepper, who has an MBA and is an optician; son, Dr. KJ Shaheen II; and nephew, Dr. Michael Shaheen (OD’09), who are currently taking over his Canton, Ohio practice as he approaches retirement. Dr. Shaheen developed lifelong friendships during his time at Ohio State, and he has been instrumental in organizing the #OSUopt Golden Graduates reunion for the Class of 1972.
June 1, 2022
When Dr. Kevin Rodda (OD’18) graduated with his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Denison, he wasn’t quite sure which medical-related career he wanted to pursue. He worked in a lab in Cincinnati before making the life-changing decision to study optometry at Ohio State, where he says he had the experience of a lifetime.
May 1, 2022
There’s no such thing as a typical day for Dr. Eric Stocker (OD/MS’82), who is in individual private practice in Amherst, Ohio, and supervises the Contact Lens Clinic at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. “I might have an infant with concerned parents followed by a 90-year-old with macular degeneration and dry eyes,” he says. He truly enjoys helping to solve challenging patient issues, and his optometric education at Ohio State prepared him well for a career of nearly 40 years directly helping countless patients.
April 1, 2022
With graduation just around the corner, Dr. Dawn Hartman (OD’99), advises OPT-IV students, “Wherever you land after graduation, start creating your own resource network. Whether it's other doctors or professional associations, set yourself up to be surrounded by like-minded folks so you can continue to learn.”
March 1, 2022
In addition to working as a full-time public health lecturer online at the College of Micronesia, Dr. Sandra Wang-Harris (OD’97) provides vision care to children ages six through nine in rural Kazakhstan as an optometric physician. As she travels the world, she is proud of her BuckEYE Optometry education and notes that “in every country and continent, people (not even just Americans) know ‘The Ohio State University.’”
February 1, 2022
Drs. Jenna Zigler (OD’11) and Travis Zigler (OD’10) found love at The Ohio State University College of Optometry – for eye care, making the world a better place … and each other!
January 1, 2022
As a busy optometrist, Heather Bowen-Jones (OD’11) embraces the quality time she spends with each patient more than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic has taught her to embrace slowing down. She encourages her optometric colleagues to do the same, and focus on patient education. She says that one of the most concerning issues she’s faced in her career has been the lack of education surrounding diabetic eye care and its importance. She says, “It is astounding when I hear that people do not know they could have diabetes in the eyes. This is especially concerning in the brown and black communities.”