Student Focus on Tallon Kramer

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Tallon KramerName: Tallon Kramer
Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Grande Prairie, AB, Canada
High School: Grande Prairie Composite High School
Undergraduate Institution: University of Jamestown, Selkirk College and University of Victoria
Anticipated #OSUopt Graduation Year: 2025

Q&A

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

My mom took me to the optometrist every year for my annual checkups as a kid. I can’t say I remember my first one, but I do remember being fascinated by the phoropter and all of the other equipment, and I always had fun trying to read all the letters. I never had a prescription or any ocular health problems, so the exams were always pretty quick and easy!

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

It was in grade 11 when I started doing career aptitude tests in school. Among a few others, I was always getting Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Optometry as suggestions. I started to look into the options and I first looked at Dentistry, but ultimately decided teeth weren’t something I was too interested in. Next, I looked at Pharmacy but decided I didn’t want to be stuck in the back of a grocery store or drug store. My mom suggested Optometry and I actually said “What is optometry?” because I had only ever referred to the optometrist as an “eye doctor.” I probably would have looked into it sooner had I known what that word meant! I’ve always been fascinated by eyes, outside and in. I'm particularly fascinated by the variations of colour in people’s irises, but also how we can even see in the first place. For the brain to be able to flip the image we see and perceive colours just blew me away. Additionally, to be coordinated enough to hit a baseball or stop a hockey puck flying toward us is absolutely incredible. The lifestyle and working environment is desirable, and the salary will allow me to enjoy a great life with my future family. For me, Optometry is a diamond in the rough and I couldn’t be happier to have found it.

Why did you choose Ohio State Optometry?

I chose Ohio State because of its high rankings for the board exams. But additionally, being a big sports guy, I was attracted to Ohio State for its sports teams and the ability to go and watch games as a student. Another major factor for me was the in-state tuition program, which allows me to afford optometry school while coming from another country!

What was your first impression of Ohio State Optometry?

My first impression was WOW. Walking into such a welcoming optometry family of both friends and faculty from day one made the transition super easy. The campus is also huge and so different from what I experienced in undergrad. I am so thankful to have been accepted into such an incredible program and I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else.

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

The atmosphere and the buzz around the city on football game days. It is such a cool and unique experience to see the entire city up and tailgating as early as 6 a.m.!

Which clubs/organizations have you joined at Ohio State?

I am a part of the Epsilon Psi Epsilon (EYE) Fraternity, the Sports Vision Club, the Private Practice Club, and the Optometry Ambassador Club!

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

Dr. Earley. Right from my interview when he gave his speech about Ohio State Optometry, I was blown away by the passion he has for our field. When I arrived and had him as a professor I realized very quickly that he is the smartest man I’ve ever met; he is a walking Google machine! He is someone I look up to and strive to be like.

How are you spending your summer between OPT I and OPT II year?

I will be spending my summer back home in Grande Prairie, Alberta, working for the city mowing parks. On the weekends I’m hoping to be out at the lake or on the golf course as much as possible!

What advice do you have for the class of 2026 as they start optometry school this fall?

You are all incredibly smart and can handle what you are about to go through. But most importantly, don’t forget to have fun. Optometry school gives you plenty of opportunities to go out and experience all sorts of events, and there's nothing better than bonding with your classmates and future colleagues.