Alumni Focus on Steve Rosinski (OD '11)
DR. ROSINSKI’S STORY
Which degree(s), related to optometry, did you earn at Ohio State?
Who were your mentors at the College of Optometry? Who had a positive effect on your education?
I feel so fortunate to have attended Ohio State Optometry, where I had so many engaging, brilliant and down to earth professors. It is hard to pick just three, as every professor helped sculpt who I am as an OD today and for that, I thank you. If I had to choose three, they would be:
- Dr. Nicky Lai (OD/MS’03) - He gave me an extremely strong foundation regarding contact lenses that I have used throughout my career; it was however, the combined enthusiasm, engagement and education that really had the profound influence on me.
- Dr. Mike Earley (OD/MS’88, PhD’92) - He is one of the most impactful people in Ohio State Optometry history. I would call it a love/hate relationship I had with him. I loved how he pushed me, how he kept me engaged but hated (at the time) how much material he made us learn!
- Dr. Nick Fogt (OD/MS’92, PhD’96) - He made ocular disease fun! The way he taught and the education he provided gave me confidence as a young OD. “Refer, refer, refer!”
DR. ROSINSKI’S CAREER IN OPTOMETRY
Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.
Senior Manager, North America Professional and Academic Affairs
Give us a glimpse of your typical day as an optometrist.
As head of Academic Affairs, OD Speaking Bureau, Best Practices Program and other responsibilities, I feel fortunate that each and every day is different. Whether I am helping with educational opportunities for students, talking/listening to doctors, or supporting my CooperVision team, everything I do on a day-to-day basis is about elevating the optometric profession and helping ODs be successful. I feel lucky to have a role at CooperVision where I am provided a megaphone to help colleagues and patients alike. If I can help a few thousand ODs be successful, that translates to helping a few million patients.
Which optometric issues concern you the most?
If contact lenses become deregulated. We need to keep the doctor in the center of the doctor-patient relationship. That is why I am proud to work at CooperVision; we are a charter member of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety and we aim to keep the doctor at the forefront.
Why did you choose a career in optometry?
Since I was 13 years old, I knew I wanted to be an OD. At that age, I was huge into baseball but also highly myopic and wearing thick, brown glasses with a black strap on the back! After some time, I was finally able to convince my parents that I wanted/needed contact lenses. After getting fit for my first pair of contact lenses, my world was changed forever! I knew that I wanted to help as many people as I could experience how awesome contact lenses are. I also loved the fact that there are so many different avenues you could take as an optometrist. From clinical practice, to research, to industry, to academia, our field is so diverse. I was also very fortunate to have a very supportive OD growing up, Dr. Cary Kazdan, in Rochester, NY. Through his guidance, my interest continued to build through high school, undergrad and through Ohio State Optometry. It all came full circle when I had the privilege of practicing with him for two years right after graduating. Twenty years have passed since I knew I wanted to be an optometrist, and to this day, I am proud of my career path. I also am still amazed at how a contact lens that is so small can have such a tremendous impact on so many lives.
Where do you hope to see your optometric career in five years?
I hope to make an impact on the field of myopia management. Being a 9.00 diopter myope, married to a myope with two kids (three-year-old son and six -month-old daughter), this is particularly personal. I want to do my part in bringing awareness to the world and help ODs be at the forefront in tackling this epidemic.
What is one piece of advice you can give OPT IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?
Get involved, build relationships and keep an open mind. There are so many great ODs out there with passion, drive and willingness to take young ODs under their tutelage; I would not be where I am today without the support of so many. With their support, they may help guide you down a path you would not have expected. For instance, going into industry after practicing for eight years was a huge career shift but I whole heartedly embraced this opportunity and I am glad I did!
DR. ROSINSKI’S OHIO STATE EXPERIENCE
What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?
Looking back on my four years, I have so many great memories. The one that stands out the most goes back to first quarter of my first year. I had this brilliant idea that I was going to run on the varsity track team at Ohio State and use up my final season of NCAA eligibility. The school worked with me as much as they could to make it possible, but in the end, the rigors of academics and athletics became too much. I ended up contracting mono toward the end of that first quarter and it hit me very hard. So hard, that I really couldn’t get out of bed for a week, let alone study. The support staff and professors worked with me and allowed me to take finals a week later giving me time to recuperate. Everyone at Ohio State was so supportive – they bent over backwards to help me succeed and make sure I was taken care of. It is the family mentality that I love most about being an Optometry Buckeye!
What does Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?
Ohio State has a special place in my heart. I am proud of what Buckeyes are doing to elevate the OD profession and I enjoy connecting with so many in my travels. There are Buckeyes everywhere and I love yelling O-H and getting an I-O in return whether I am in California, Florida, Italy or even Iceland! I am also excited to share many Buckeye traditions with my children – we can only hope they will be Buckeyes too! Dean Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, has already done such a great job sending Brutus Buckeye onesies for each of my two children - starting them out right!
How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?
Being involved in Academic Affairs at CooperVision, I cherish being able to connect with Buckeyes whether they are in Columbus or elsewhere. I had the privilege of speaking to the Ohio State Optometry Contact Lens Club just the other day! A huge thank you for all the social media posted at the school to keep us up-to-date with all the great things being done!
DR. ROSINSKI’S FUN FACTS
What are your current hobbies, volunteer work, interests?
During optometry school, I joined the OSU Triathlon Club looking for an outlet from the rigors of academia. I always gave myself an hour each day to train no matter what. After graduating in 2011, I made the decision to take triathlon seriously and see where it could take me. I stopped working a full-time schedule as an OD, started training more, eating right and getting proper sleep. Within a year of graduating, I earned an elite license through USA Triathlon by excelling at a few select races and was able to start racing on the professional triathlon circuit. After thousands of hours spent swimming, biking and running, the help of several sponsors, my employers at the time and a very understanding wife, I was finding the success I was hoping for. In 2014, which I would consider might best racing season, I finished 10th American at the US Pro 70.3 Triathlon Championships in St. George Utah. Triathlons, like Optometry, have taken me to many beautiful destinations (including internationally) where I have built some amazing relationships. As my pro triathlon career has winded down, I still try to swim, bike and run as much as I can but it is harder now more than ever.
Tell us about your first-ever eye exam.
When I was seven years old, I was obsessed with baseball. However, when I went out to really play for the first time, I realized I could not see the ball or what my other teammates could. I went to my OD and had a great time going through the exam process. In the end, he showed me how much glasses would help me (I went and looked at my first exam notes and I was a -3.00!) and I was blown away with the difference in made in my vision. I still remember walking out of the office with my glasses on for the first time seeing the leaves on the trees and even reading every street sign for the 20 minute drive home.
If not an optometrist, I would be ...
College Track/Cross Country Coach