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I am a fourth year optometry student at NECO in the lovely city of Boston, Massachusetts. I am originally from Lakeland, Florida, and attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando. I majored in molecular biology and microbiology, joined the Pre-Professional Medical Society at UCF, and found myself interested in optometry after listening to the optometrist guest lecturers.

Starting in high school, I felt research was a field I could succeed in and enjoy. I worked in a cardiovascular research laboratory at UCF and also at a clinical research facility at the Florida Hospital during undergrad. After I was accepted into NECO’s OD program, I was eager to apply to NECO’s OD/PhD program, in which you earn your OD and PhD degrees at NECO and Boston University, respectively.

I am very excited to be a part of the OD/PhD program and have already done two lab rotations at BU. I have worked in an angiogenesis research lab and an immunology research lab in the summer of 2012. My last lab rotation will continue in the summer of 2013. I greatly appreciate that my time at BU and my studies at NECO do not overlap so I can give each 100% of my effort and attention. The faculty members involved in the OD/PhD program at both schools are very supportive and work with us to help us along this challenging and rewarding journey.

I love Boston and all the culture it has to offer. Every time I step out of my apartment building, I get to appreciate the gorgeous architecture and history inherent to the streets of the Back Bay. Any weather is perfect weather for running, according to the local runners, I have observed. The city feels lively, productive, and full of possibilities.