Stephanie Sengwe, Contributing Editor

Stephanie's coverage includes independent retailers and ECPs and reports on optical boutique/eyecare practice news and trends including local events, social purpose initiatives and store openings. She is the editor for several VM print features, such as Local Diary, Trending, In/Store, HearSay and Endpage. Stephanie is also the social media coordinator for Vision Monday's social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Contact Stephanie at ssengwe@jobson.com


Vady Khalil Instagram Page Serves as a ‘Beacon of Light’ for Potential Optometry Students

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, January 18, 2019 11:07 AM For Vady Khalil, a second-year optometry student at the Western University of Health Sciences—College of Optometry, his journey to the U.S. was not an easy one. Khalil came to the U.S. as a refugee in 2008 after having migrated within the Middle East for five years. His father, who was an employee at the United Nations in Iraq, was severely injured when his office building was bombed in August of 2003 and eventually had to be moved to Europe for treatment, causing Khalil to be separated from his family—his mother and two younger brothers moved to London to be with his father while he and his sister moved to Jordan. After living in Jordan for two years, Khalil and his sister were once again forced to move to Syria because without Jordanian citizenship, they couldn’t complete their education. After spending three years in Syria, he finally came to the U.S. in 2008 and is now an optometry student.

Husain Patanwala’s ‘Sight Humour’ is All About the Funnier Side of Optometry

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, January 11, 2019 12:17 PM Sight Humour is a carefully curated Instagram page that offers lighthearted, witty and surely relatable optometry-themed memes for anyone who deals with the eye. A brain child of Husain Patanwala, Sight Humour is only three months old, but has already managed to gain over 1,000 followers. Patanwala, who is a consulting optometrist at the Asian Eye Hospital and Laser Institute in Pune, India created the page with the hope of bringing some laughter and trivial material to an otherwise very serious and sometimes intense profession. “My friends always commented that I have a quirky and weird sense of humor and I would usually crack up in serious situations. It came quite easily to me that I should start a funny page about something I know so much about,” Patanwala explained.

Ringing in the New Year With a Little Nostalgia

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, January 4, 2019 3:57 PM The end of the year always seems to bring an atmosphere of reflection with it. We tend to look back on what we could have done better, what we wish we would have done and above all what we’ve learned and how those lessons can usher us into the coming year. On social media, people use the end of the year as an opportunity to connect a bit more by sharing personal anecdotes. From sharing highlights and regrets from the past year, New Year’s resolutions and even baby announcements, the New Year gives people reason to get a bit more nostalgic and sentimental on social media than usual.

Arra Apikian Is All About Fitness and Optometry

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, December 21, 2018 2:29 PM Arra Apikian is a second-year optometry student attending the Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry in Pomona, Calif. Though he is of Armenian heritage, he was born and raised in Iraq and moved to the U.S. when he was 17-years-old. Growing up, Apikian says, he was an active and energetic kid whose father taught him the importance of agood work ethic and taking pride in workmanship. Though his hometown often didn’t have electricity and he had to study by candlelight, his tenacity to pursue a higher education motivated him and eventually led him to optometry school.

ECPs Promote Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

By Stephanie Sengwe
Monday, December 17, 2018 12:30 AM November was Diabetes Eye Health Month and according to a recent Prevent Blindness study, Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, more than 8.1 million Americans suffer from diabetic retinopathy. This projected total will increase to 10.9 million by 2032, and 13.2 million by 2050, the study said. Diabetic retinopathy patients are on average of 66 years old, which is the youngest of all the leading eye diseases including cataracts, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration.

Shelby Brogdon, OD, Is the New Optometrist on the Block

By Stephanie Sengwe
Monday, December 17, 2018 12:30 AM Shelby Brogdon, OD, graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, Texas this past May. A native of Benton, Ark., she moved back home after graduation and now practices at Simmons Eye Care and Teague Eye and Vision Clinic in Little Rock. Though she is just starting out as an optometrist, (she has a bachelor’s from Arkansas State University), she has cultivated her Instagram page, Eye Brog Doc, for about a year now and it’s sure to keep growing as she moves forward as an optometrist.

Kimberly Chan, OD, Is All About Creating a Work-Life Balance

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, December 14, 2018 2:28 PM Kimberly Chan, OD, fell in love with her profession when she got her first pair of contact lenses as a young girl. With contact lenses, Chan, who has had bad eyesight since she was six-years-old, felt as though a new world had opened up to her; suddenly, she didn’t feel restricted by her thick glasses and was able to explore her potential in sports and other hobbies with a new boost of confidence. Years later, she got her Doctor of Optometry Degree from the New England College of Optometry and currently practices in her home city of Toronto.

Shelby Brogdon, OD, Is the New Optometrist on the Block

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, November 30, 2018 11:42 AM Shelby Brogdon, OD, graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, Texas this past May. A native of Benton, Ark., she moved back home after graduation and now practices at Simmons Eye Care and Teague Eye and Vision Clinic in Little Rock. Though she is just starting out as an optometrist, (she has a bachelor’s from Arkansas State University), she has cultivated her Instagram page, Eye Brog Doc, for about a year now and it’s sure to keep growing as she moves forward as an optometrist.

Danielle Richardson, OD’s ‘Fierce Clarity’ is All About Accessibility and Relatability

By Stephanie Sengwe
Wednesday, November 21, 2018 11:56 AM Danielle Richardson is a fulltime optometrist at Optometrix in Hollywood, Calif. A graduate of Indiana University School of Optometry, she created her Instagram page, Fierce Clarity as a way to combine her love for all things health and wellness—from yoga, plant-based recipes, meditation, motivational quotes and personal development.

ECPs Promote Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, November 16, 2018 11:47 AM November is Diabetes Eye Health Month and according to a recent Prevent Blindness study, Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, more than 8.1 million Americans suffer from diabetic retinopathy. This projected total will increase to 10.9 million by 2032, and 13.2 million by 2050, the study said. Diabetic retinopathy patients are on average of 66 years old, which is the youngest of all the leading eye diseases including cataracts, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration.

Erika Mabus, OD, Takes Readers into the World of Organic Products

By Stephanie Sengwe, Contributing Editor
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:30 AM NEW YORK—On Instagram, Organic Optometrist is an airy page, with carefully curated posts whose color schemes mostly feature green, blue and white. Curated by Erika Mabus, OD, Organic Optometrist is not just a page made to please the eye, it was made purposefully to educate its viewers on some of the skincare products in the ever-changing organic product market. Created in January of this year, Organic Optometrist has garnered over 1,000 followers in just 10 months.

Nicole Nguyen’s ‘Eye Scribbles’—a Therapeutic Hobby That Turned Into a Business

By Stephanie Sengwe
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:30 AM Chantilly, Va.—Nicole Nguyen, OD, has been a fulltime practitioner in the northern Virginia area for a little over a year now and her time as a full-time optometrist at MyEyeDr. in Chantilly, Va. inspired her to create Eye Scribbles, an Etsy shop that features eye-related artwork tailored for fellow doctors and lovers of all things eyewear.

Nadia Afkhami’s ‘Eye Am Nadia’ Functions as her Social Media Personal Diary

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, November 9, 2018 12:57 PM Nadia Afkhami is a second-year optometry student at the Western University of Health Science in Pomona, Calif. With a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Barry University in Miami, Afkhami made the decision to pursue optometry after observing the relationships optometrists often make with their patients. After having lived in Orlando for most of her life, (she was born in Iran and migrated when she was 2), Afkhami decided to create Eye Am Nadia in an effort to chronicle her life as a budding optometrist in California for her friends back home to see. Now with over 2,000 followers, the Instagram page has become a community.

Sathi Maiti, OD, Shares Her Obsession With ‘Eyeballs and Stuff’

By Stephanie Sengwe

Thursday, November 1, 2018 3:45 PM Sathi Maiti has been a practicing OD for about four years now. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry, she currently subleases inside SEE Eyewear, an optical boutique in Seattle. In Sept. 2017, Maiti created Dr. Maitis Eyeballs and Stuff, a fun Instagram page that shares optometry-related content that interests her, and she thinks will be interesting to others.