Picnikins Patio Café

So being a food lover that I am, I go around the town and find new exciting places to dine. I recently came across a place called Picnikins Patio Café. It’s not too far from UIWRSO. I absolutely love this quaint little place. Service was very good.

The atmosphere is relaxed and food is fresh which makes up for the steep price …

I personally recommend the Meatloaf!  The Mediterranean platter with fresh toasted pita triangles is also very delicious. This place is perfect for table of 2-4, but more than that may be a bit of a wait.

I would highly recommend this bistro restaurant which serves delicious food and has a great atmosphere.

Introduction to Shital Choksi

Hi! This is Shital Choksi, class of 2014. I was born and raised in India and immigrated to this country about 9 years ago. I had a long journey to the UIWRSO while transitioning to a whole new array of careers. I did my B.S. in Biochemistry from State University of New York. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I explored, researched and compared many different career paths. The Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) was attractive to me due to a variety of reasons such as schedule flexibility, modes of practice and job satisfaction. It is the only profession where I have not met a single individual who complained about their profession. I interviewed with at least 5 other programs for optometry. There are a number of factors what attracted me to UIWRSO such as the small class size, personal attention to individual students, flexible schedules of professors, and the school’s mission statement to not just graduate students but to train you to be the best clinician.

I am from “Gatorland” Gainesville, FL, so the transition of traveling across the country to another state and city was not stressful because the majority of my classmates went thru same thing.  At UIWRSO, my classmates are from all four corners of this country as well as from Canada. I love how everyone of us has to take same coursework at the same time and in the same classroom which turns the classroom into a family environment. Professors are also a key part to this family for the entire four years that I’m here. Student Affairs is a great place for me to just walk in and discuss anything at all and be cared for, cherished and is a place I always feel conformable visiting. It is like a home away from the home 🙂

When I joined UIWRSO, I was among the second class to be admitted. It may seem a scary thought but trust me, if you see thru my eyes then you will see it as a huge opportunity. It is special to have seen each and every student organization being built by my fellow classmates. It is a great teaching tool for your upcoming life where you may not have everything ready for you. In the future, there will always be transitions and changes occurring everyday.  Building new organizations can create options which you may have never discovered before, and this is key to your future success.

Since my undergraduate career, I have always been a leader and UIWRSO is no different for me and the school has provided tons of opportunities to grow as a student leader. Currently, I am serving as Vice President of the Contact Lens (CL) Society and Treasurer of the College of Vision Development (COVD) Society. There is always something to learn and a chance to add to your skills and get to know each other at those meetings. There are other student communities which I am proud to be a part of like Big Sib/Lil sib and serving community with the Student Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH).
My motto for life is to keep working till you achieve perfection. So join me and keep reading!

Dr. Denise Doyle Recognized by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Dr. Denise Doyle, Chancellor of UIW, was recently recognized by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for her extraordinary efforts in the creation and advancement of UIW’s new optometric education program – the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO).

Dr. Doyle has brought a level of leadership and professional expertise to the establishment of UIWRSO that has resulted in its profile as a well-defined, excellence-oriented health professions institution guided by a mission of preparing future leaders in optometry through excellence in education, patient care and vision research in an environment committed to personal growth in a context of faith, human dignity and social justice.

In a statement by the Board of Directors of ASCO it formally lauds the work of Dr. Doyle in the establishment of the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry, “which has brought great credit to the School, the University and the optometric profession.”

Founded in 1941, ASCO is a non-profit education association representing the interests of optometric education. ASCO’s membership encompasses the schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico. ASCO is committed to achieving excellence in optometric education and to helping its member schools prepare well-qualified graduates for entrance into the profession of optometry.

Congratulations Dr. Doyle.  We are privileged and honored to work alongside you.

School Lately…

Us at Kona Grill
At Kona Grill. From left to right: Nandi (Anjli Jasrotia’s little sister from Dallas); Riddhi Desai, ’16; Me (Neda Esmaeili) ’15; Diana Truong, ’15; Anjli Jasrotia, ’15.

A couple of weeks ago, a few of my classmates and I went to a nearby restaurant called Kona Grill. It is located in this really nice outdoor shopping mall called La Cantera. They have a happy hour menu that includes yummy appetizers and dishes for amazing prices–perfect for a student budget!

This year, UIWRSO started this program called Big Sib’ Lil Sib’ which arranges us with first year students so we can help them out with questions and someone who is familiar with the school and the city.

I decided to invite my Lil Sib Riddhi Desai out with us so I could get to know her better and help her bond with some other people at our school. It turned out to be lots of fun. I always love an intimate gathering with great food…not to mention the great shopping!

So exciting!

Recently, I got to dilate a classmates eye and of course, the same was done to me. It is really cool how much better we can see the back of the eye with a slit lamp biomicroscope when the pupils are enlarged. This is how my eye looks when only one eye is dilated:


o_O. Literally.
o_O. Literally.


Another really cool thing we did today was help out at a vision screening. Vision screenings are mandatory as second years here at UIWRSO. It prepares us for dealing with real-life patients and is a precursor to working in the clinic as an intern.

We were at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School and we screened 8th graders. They are super adorable by the way! I was excited to put a few of the skills I have learned in lab to good use and help out.


At this weeks vision screening. Left to right: Neha Jhawar, '15; Samantha Giang, 15'.
At this weeks vision screening. Left to right: Neha Jhawar, ’15; Samantha Giang, 15′.


The vision screening.
The vision screening.


Neda Esmaeili
Class of 2015

Neda Esmaeili

Neda Esmaeili
Neda Esmaeili

Hi! My name is Neda Esmaeili and I am a student in the class of 2015 at the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry.

I graduated from the University of Houston with a BBA in business management and a minor in biology. I have known I wanted to be an optometrist since I was in middle school and my sister had a severe traumatic injury to her eye that almost left her blind! She is perfectly fine now but seeing how optometry saved her vision really affected my career choice.

However, at the beginning of my college education, I realized science was just not my thing and I became skeptical of the career path I was heading towards. Some time and soul searching later, I decided to stick with my original decision.

Not only was optometry something I wanted since I was young, it was also going to provide me with the lifestyle I had always imagined. More importantly, I am gaining the personal fulfillment of helping others and servicing my community. It honestly can’t get any better than that!

I chose UIWRSO for many reasons. In San Antonio I am far enough away from home to not be distracted by my friends and family in Houston, Texas but close enough to hop in the car and visit them when my schedule permits. I love the fact that our class size is small and we can all get to know our fellow classmates and people of other classes fairly well.

My undergrad was at a huge university and every little administrative process took forever which was really annoying and frustrating. At UIWRSO, everything is done in a quick and swift manner, which is a relief.

Also, being currently the only faith-based optometry school in the U.S. gave me a sense of security. It assured me that I would be surrounded by warm and inviting people who are in this profession as honest people for an honest living.  And so here I am to portray to you, through my eyes, the world that is UIWRSO and the family we have created! I hope you enjoy it :).