Home 2024 Graduation Class of 2024 Top Graduates: South

Class of 2024 Top Graduates: South

Women in Optometry and our supporters celebrate the Class of 2024 in the South.

Companies congratulating the 2024 top grads

Inter American logo

Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry

Erika J. Santiago-Beltran, OD, top grad at interamerican u optometry
Dr. Santiago-Beltran
Erika J. Santiago-Beltran, OD, of Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, is studying to pass her boards and obtain her license. She looks forward to practicing and gaining more experience. Eventually, she hopes to have her own private practice focused on primary care and vision therapy.



Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

Class of 2024: 103 graduates (73 women, 30 men)

Dhruvi Patel, OD, top graduates at Nova Southeastern optometry
Dr. Patel
Dhruvi Patel, OD, of Tampa, Florida, is excited to move to Philadelphia to pursue a residency specializing in neuro-optometry and ocular diseases at The Eye Institute of Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry.



Rosenberg school of optometry

Rosenberg School of Optometry, University of the Incarnate Word

Jordan Calayag, top grad at Rosenberg Optometry
Dr. Calayag
Jordan Calayag, OD, of Milaca, Minnesota, is moving to Salisbury, North Carolina, to complete a one-year residency in ocular disease at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA. Her long-term career goal is to work at the VA full time.



Southern College of Optometry

Class of 2024: 131 graduates (88 women, 43 men)

Dr. Tori Pierce, one of three SCO top grads
Dr. Pierce
Tori Pierce, OD, of Eden, North Carolina, will join Colonial Eye Care and New Kent Eye Care, providing exceptional medical eye care and vision services to the communities of coastal Virginia.

Jessica Scheid, one of three top grads at SCO
Dr. Scheid
Jessica Scheid, OD, of Richmond, Virginia, is looking forward to providing comprehensive eye care to all of her patients.

Mallory Wright, OD, third of three top grads from SCO
Dr. Wright
Mallory Wright, OD, of Charleston, South Carolina, will complete her primary care residency at the UAB School of Optometry in Birmingham, Alabama.

Southern College of Optometry Class of 2024
Southern College of Optometry Class of 2024



The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

Class of 2024: 58 graduates (38 women, 20 men)

Sarah Browning Cooper, new top grad from UAB Optometry
Dr. Browning Cooper
Sara Browning Cooper, OD, of Valdosta, Georgia, plans to move back to her hometown with her husband, Chase, and practice at South Georgia North Florida Eye Partners.

In addition to three international program graduates, the school also had six students complete its dual OD/MBA program.

University of houston college of optometry

University of Houston College of Optometry

Class of 2024: 89 graduates (60 women, 29 men)

Dr. Melissa Kontos, one of two top grads from Houston college of optometry
Dr, Kontos
Melissa Kontos, OD, of Cutler Bay, Florida, will begin a one-year post-graduate pediatric optometry residency program at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. She says, “This residency program will advance my clinical training in order to provide high-quality, evidence-based pediatric eye care and prepare me for a career in the medical and/or academic setting.”

graduation photo of Zachary Ney, od, top grad from HCO
Dr. Ney
Zachary Ney, OD, of Primghar, Iowa, will return to northwest Iowa to join a private practice, Sibley Eye Care, as an associate doctor. He says, “I’m incredibly excited to be closer to family and embark on my professional career in the region where I grew up!”

University of Houston College of Optometry Class of 2024
University of Houston College of Optometry Class of 2024

University of pikeville

University of Pikeville, Kentucky College of Optometry

Class of 2024: 55 graduates (34 women, 21 men)

Seth Alexander Rhyne, top grad at kentucky college of optometry
Dr. Rhyne
Seth Alexander Rhyne, OD, of Knoxville, Tennessee, is joining his father’s practice. His father has been in practice for 50 years. Dr. Rhyne dedicated his valedictorian speech to his father, M. W. Rhyne, OD.



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