Home Newsmakers Leaders Meet the Student Advisory Board: Deanna Dale, KYCO

Meet the Student Advisory Board: Deanna Dale, KYCO

Deanna Dale

Meet Deanna Dale, a second-year student and our student advisory board member representing University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO). The Grundy, Virginia, native is highly active on campus—she’s the SGA Class of 2026 senator, a student ambassador and serves as the SVOSH president, which she says has been “one of my favorite parts of school.”

Dale got her first pair of eyeglasses in elementary school but didn’t think of optometry as a career option until her senior year of high school. With an interest in science and math, a shadowing experience at her local eyecare clinic caused her to “fall in love with the profession.”

“I’ve known from a young age how important vision is,” Dale says. Combined with her passion for giving back, she knew she could “positively impact the lives of others through this career.”

Dale with a patient during a Humanitarian Clinic with SVOSH in Siguatepeque, Honduras.

“My favorite patients to see when I was a technician were kids,” Dale says. “Children who have vision trouble often struggle in other areas of life. I remember struggling to see the board in class. My fourth-grade teacher was the first person to notice that I might need glasses. This focus would allow me to help kids grow in the best ways possible.”

Almost to the halfway point in her student career, Dale says that her main challenge has been balancing classes and practicing hands-on. However, she says she knows it’s all part of the process.

“It’s important to try new things even if you aren’t immediately great at them, at school or in life,” Dale says. “Being afraid to fail held me back when I was younger, and I am still working on it. But there is no better feeling than when I can understand and apply a topic we learned about in class in real life.”

Dale with her cat, Kiwi

Dale keeps herself motivated by leaning on her strong support group. “It’s so important to have a good group of friends and to allow myself to have study breaks for fun activities,” she says. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her “lovely friends” and her “absolute best friend” of a younger sister. She also has a cat named Kiwi and enjoys hiking, reading, volunteering and “anything involving the outdoors.”


Check back soon to meet the other student advisory board members!

Read more newsmaker stories from WO here.

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