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!

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 :).

Preparation for Board Examinations aka, March Madness!!!

Today I received my KMK review materials for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, which is coming up in a few months. I’m very nervous but thankfully our school has it all planed out for us. We have already started review classes. To start things off, we broke the preparation down in phases which will take place in the following order:

Phase 1: Content Review

OK let’s get started!! This phase is comprised of review sessions on each major topic area to provide us with an outline of what we should study. This will help us to see the big picture and know what is most important in the subject. This will run every Friday afternoon during the month of September

Phase 2: Trivial Pursuits

..or as I like to call it the fun phase! We will have a series of Optometry Trivial Pursuit style challenges during October and November. This is a good time to evaluate our knowledge and know what our weaknesses are so we can tackle those problem areas before January!!!

Phase 3: Q&A

Alright… you better know it all by now! In January and February there will be a series of Q&A review sessions on Friday afternoons. These are designed so if we have any questions after studying for the past few months and maybe have questions to fill in the gaps.

Also, we will have two KMK review sessions during two separate weekends. All of these should help us get organized. So with good planning and productive studying I think we can all succeed … Right class of 2014???

Linh Phan

My name is Linh Phan, and I am part of the Class of 2014 at the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry.  As a Student Ambassador, I help represent the school and assist with student recruitment, admissions, and public relations functions.  I have participated in photo and video shoots, served on student panels, and helped with greeting and tour guides during admission interviews and open houses.  This is a very rewarding and fun role as I am able to interact with individuals who are interested in optometry and help them decide if UIWRSO would be a great fit for them.

I grew up in Anahuac, Texas, and I attended The University of Texas at Austin.  Hook ‘em Horns!  I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology and also completed the Business Foundations Program.  My interest in optometry began after I built an eye model for a fourth grade science project.

I decided to apply to UIWRSO because of its location, and I choose to attend UIWRSO because of its welcoming and friendly staff, knowledgeable faculty, new and advanced equipment and resources, and extensive curriculum, among many other things.  I know that the novelty of the school is a significant and decisive factor for many individuals, but I view it as a unique opportunity to be a part of the school’s history and to help build a strong foundation for one of the leading optometry schools in the nation.

My favorite thing about San Antonio is definitely its basketball team.  Go Spurs Go!  San Antonio also has many restaurants that have been featured on various shows on the Food Network and the Travel Channel, and it’s always fun to visit any of these restaurants.  Another great thing about San Antonio is that it is only about an hour away from Austin, a city with great food, shopping, nightlife, and a myriad of activities to do.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my decision to attend UIWRSO.  There have been countless opportunities for leadership roles and community involvement, and I know that I am receiving a comprehensive education and extensive clinical training to be a great future optometrist.  I am proud to soon be a UIWRSO alumnus.