Home News A Round of Applause for the 2021 Top Optometry Graduates

A Round of Applause for the 2021 Top Optometry Graduates

Each year, Women In Optometry sends a special shout-out to the students who graduated at the top of their optometry school class. Congratulations on this achievement, 2021 top graduates! The team at WO wishes you the best in your future careers!

Dr. Bringhurst, Dr. DeStefano, Dr. Skorseth and Dr. Adams

Arizona College of Optometry, Midwestern University: Garret Bringhurst, OD, of Highland, Utah, will join an established group practice of 5 ODs and 5 MDs in Utah County and will work in partnership with the glaucoma surgeon. He plans  to make glaucoma and its comorbidities the emphasis of his career.

Chicago College of Optometry, Midwestern University: Michael DeStefano, OD, of Palatine, Illinois, will be working two part-time jobs in the Chicago suburbs; at a vision therapy practice, Behavioral Vision in Crystal Lake, and at a practice that provides a combination of myopia control, vision therapy and primary eye care services, 730 North Optometry in Libertyville.

Illinois College of Optometry: Claire Skorseth, OD, of Milaca, Minnesota, will be completing a residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois.

Indiana University School of Optometry: Mattie Adams, OD, of Celina, Tennessee, will be completing a residency in Ocular Disease at Bennett & Bloom Eye Centers in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Bertemati, Dr. Williams, Dr. Toor and Dr. Arnold

Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry: Jessica Bertemati, OD, of
Las Vegas, Nevada, is considering a residency in ocular disease or contact lenses. She says that as a part of the small group of female Hispanic optometrists, she proudly looks forward to providing excellent vision care for both the under-represented Hispanic community in their language and her future patients, as well.

Kentucky College of Optometry: Emily Williams, OD, of Galax, Virginia, is returning to her hometown to work at Blue Ridge Eye Care Associates.

MCPHS University School of Optometry: Saadia Toor, OD, of Connecticut, is moving to Houston, Texas, and looks forward to working in private practice.

Michigan College of Optometry, Ferris State University: Kaitlyn Arnold, OD, of Jackson, Michigan, will be working at Premier Eyecare in her hometown.

Dr. Horstman, Dr. Cook and Dr. Zakhary

New England College of Optometry: Alyssa A. Horstman, OD, of Frankenmuth, Michigan, will be starting a residency in cataract, refractive surgery and ocular disease at the Moyes Eye Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry: Kayla Cook, OD, of Guthrie, Oklahoma, will complete an ocular disease residency at Clay-Rhynes Eye Clinic & RGB Eye Associates in Durant, Oklahoma, and Sherman, Texas.

Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry: Caroline Zakhary, OD, born in Cairo, Egypt, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, will complete a residency at the Bay Pines VA in St. Petersburg, Florida, in primary care, ocular disease and low vision rehab.

Dr. Tacastacas, Dr. Warner, Dr. Muckin and Dr. Rackus

Ohio State University College of Optometry: Erlien Tacastacas, OD, of Cleveland, Ohio, will will enter a residency at the Salisbury VAMC.

Rosenberg School of Optometry, University of the Incarnate Word: Rachel Lindsey Warner, OD, of Missoula, Montana, will be completing an ocular disease residency at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry: Traditional: Andrew Muckin, OD, of Lake Winola, Pennsylvania, has accepted a position with Northeastern Eye Institute, a multi-specialty integrated ophthalmology and optometry practice based in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He will primarily be working in the Montrose, Pennsylvania, office seeing patients of all ages. Scholars Program: Natalee Rackus, OD, of Whitehall, Pennsylvania, will complete a residency in low vision rehabilitation at the William Feinbloom Center at Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry.

Dr. Habib, Dr. Schwartz, Dr. Shahnazi and Dr. Harris

Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University: Michael Habib, OD, of Covina, California, will be completing a residency in ocular disease at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. Emily Schwartz, OD, of Camarillo, California will join an established private practice in Westlake Village, California. Kevin Shahnazi, OD, of Northbrook, Illinois, will be completing a residency in ocular disease at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Southern College of Optometry: Samantha Harris, OD, of Iowa City, Iowa, will be an associate at Axis Vision Care, a three-location practice in Iowa.

Dr. Farmer, Dr. Hutchings and Dr. Haq

State University of New York College of Optometry: Raymond Bryant Farmer, OD, of Boston, Massachusetts, President of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) at SUNY Optometry, Dr. Farmer graduated among the top three of the Class of 2021  pursuing a Residency in Ocular Disease/Primary Care at the VA Boston Medical Healthcare System.

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry: Tracy Elaine Hutchings, OD, Madison, Alabama, will complete a 12-month ocular disease residency at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida.

University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry: Shazib Haq, OD, of Irvine, California, received the school’s prestigious Gold Retinoscope Award. He is starting a residency in ocular disease at the Baltimore VA.

Dr. Karson, Dr. Ong, Dr. Fehlhafer and Dr. Visin

University of Houston College of Optometry: Nicole Alexandra Karson, OD, of Riverton, West Virginia, will be a brain injury and vision rehabilitation resident at the University of Houston College of Optometry. Alexandra Ong Labrador, OD, of Sugar Land, Texas, plans to travel the country and then will work at a private practice in Austin, Texas.

University of Missouri, St. Louis, College of Optometry: Marisa Fehlhafer, OD, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is completing a residency in ocular disease and low vision rehabilitation at the Minneapolis VAMC. Janessa Visin, OD, of Iowa City, Iowa, will begin a residency in ocular disease, glaucoma and low vision at the Kansas City VA.

Dr. Tanasescu, Dr. Shan and Dr. Nakasone

University of Montreal School of Optometry: Cristina Tanasescu, OD, of Montreal, Québec, plans to join a private practice and is also starting a Masters of Science at University of Montreal with a focus on post-concussion care.

University of Waterloo School of Optometry: Cindy Shan, OD, of Vancouver, British Columbia, will be completing her Cornea and Contact Lens Residency at the Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry.

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Optometry: Camila Nakasone, OD, of Aiea, Hawai’i, will pursue a residency at the VA Portland Healthcare System in primary care and ocular disease in Portland, Oregon.

Editor’s note: The top graduate at Pacific University College of Optometry was not available at our publishing date.

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