Student Focus on Liz Nickell


Liz NickellName: Liz Nickell
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Hometown: Wheeling, WV
High School: Wheeling Park High School
Undergraduate Institution: University of Kentucky
Undergraduate Degree: Human Health Sciences
Anticipated #OSUopt Graduation Year: 2024


How old were you when you received your first eye exam? What was the experience like for you?

My first eye exam was when I was in middle school. I do not wear any correction, so it was a straightforward and easy experience.

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in optometry?

When I was in high school I got a severe concussion from soccer. Due to my injury, I had to go to vision therapy and undergo many other treatments over the next year. Throughout my recovery, I absolutely fell in love with my optometrist and became passionate about the field and … the rest is history!

Are there any optometrists in your family?


Why did you choose Ohio State Optometry?

OSU was always one of my top schools due to the outstanding reputation, but interview day really solidified my choice. I connected instantly with all of the people, especially the ones in my interview group, most of whom are in my class and are now some of my best friends.

What was your first impression of Ohio State Optometry?

From day one, I always felt so incredibly supported. Even though our first year was not a traditional one, all the faculty went above and beyond for our class.

What surprised you most about Ohio State and/or Columbus?

Since it was such an unusual first-year experience due to the pandemic, I did not get to have a normal first-year experience in terms of the larger Ohio State community. I am looking forward to these experiences this year and am sure to be surprised by some traditions.

Which clubs/organizations have you joined at Ohio State?

I am a member of AOSA (American Optometric Student Organization), Private Practice Club, and am a current Albert Schweitzer Fellow. The Schweitzer fellowships provide an opportunity for students to design and carry out a yearlong service project to address unmet community needs. For my project I am focusing on increasing the knowledge of vision health in school age children, specifically those in underserved areas of Columbus through education and screenings

Who has most positively affected you during your time as an optometry student so far?

My roommate (another now OPT II). First year is challenging and the pandemic added a whole new level of difficulty. This year, it was nice to have somebody to experience all the ups and downs with academically and personally.

What’s your favorite way to relax or unwind after a busy week in class and/or clinic?

Going for a run or taking an OrangeTheory class! Or getting a blizzard from Dairy Queen-- It really could go either way.

How are you spending your summer?

This summer I am doing the Graduate Business Minor through the Fisher College of Business! It is the core of the MBA condensed into one summer and tailored towards heath care professional students. It has been a nice change of pace from optometry classes (you have your first summer off). I have learned SO much that I will carry with me as I hope to run practices in the future.

What are you looking forward to next semester?

I’m looking forward to learning clinical skills especially how to use my brand-new shiny Heine Omega 600 BIO!!

What advice would you give to a new student starting optometry school this fall?

Congratulations and enjoy the journey!