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


The Optometrist Next Door: Lili Liang Is the OD You Want to Check Your Eyes and Hang Out With

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, March 15, 2019 11:39 AM Lili Liang is a spunky, Taiwan-born optometrist who now resides in Vancouver. After moving to Canada at 13, Liang continued her education in the Great White North until she moved to Montreal to attend university. She later came to the U.S. and attended Salus University—Pennsylvania College of Optometry, where she graduated with a dual degree as a Doctor of Optometry and Master of Public Health in 2016. Post-graduation, she took it back home and started working at Durant Sessions, which was a boutique optical store and she was brought into the optometry practice that same year.

Vady Khalil Instagram Page Is as a ‘Beacon of Light’ for Potential OD Students

By Stephanie Sengwe
Monday, March 11, 2019 12:30 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.

#BlackGirlMagic: Nishan Pressley Is All About Representation on Social Media

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, March 1, 2019 12:20 PM Nishan Pressley is a third-year optometry student at the Salus University—Pennsylvania College of Optometry. The first African-American candidate to be accepted into the Accelerated Scholars Optometry Program, (which allows students to get their doctorate in three years versus the traditional four-year program) she will officially be Doctor Pressley on May 23, 2019. Her Instagram page, Nishvn, is a display of all aspects of her life—from her journey through optometry school, her relationship with her boyfriend and her love for travel.

Jennifer Centeno’s ‘Opticianista_LA’ Combines Her Love for Luxury Retail and Optical

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, February 22, 2019 12:31 PM Jennifer Centeno is a California-based optician who’s been practicing for four years. Her Instagram page, Opticianista_LA is a hub of eyewear, inspirational quotes, tips on lash care and eye-related trinkets. Before becoming an optician, Centeno was a luxury retail manager and she has carried her love for the finer things in life into her practice as an optician. “Opticianista_LA is space for me to discuss my thoughts on topics ranging from frames, lens treatments, fashion, beauty, and day-to-day operations,” she said. “I love combining my experience in luxury retail, and optical because the two are really similar.”

February Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

By Stephanie Sengwe
Thursday, February 14, 2019 3:31 PM With Valentine’s Day right in the middle of the month, February is, of course, known as the month of love and while there’s sure to be a perfect pair of frames for your loved one at your local eyecare practice, many practitioners are creating awareness for a different cause on social media. This month, ECPs are urging patients to show their eyes a little more love by drawing attention to the fact that February is age-related macular degeneration (AMD) awareness month.

Dr. Joseph Allen’s ‘Dr. Eye Health’ Focuses on Teaching the Sciences of Eyecare

By Stephanie Sengwe
Monday, February 11, 2019 12:45 AM Doctor Eye Health is a 6-month-old educational YouTube Channel geared toward anyone who is interested in knowing more about the eyes, disease and vision products. Its creator, Joseph Allen, OD, is a graduate of the Rosenberg School of Optometry who did his residency in ocular disease and vision rehabilitation at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. Though he has been working on Doctor Eye Health since January of last year, his first video didn’t launch until July 2018 due to the amount of research he wanted to conduct prior.

Doing it for the Ladies: Dr. Brasfield’s Instagram Aims to Make Women Feel ‘Beautiful and Fabulous’

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, February 8, 2019 12:18 PM Dr. Athena Brasfield’s eponymous Instagram page, drbrasfield, is a hub of color and scenery reflective of the woman who runs it. Brasfield launched the page in October of 2018, and today it stands at 4,066 followers. The aim was to create a space that showcased not just the clinical side of optometry, but also the more fun, fashionable and creative side of the science as well. “I used to want to work in the fashion industry when I was a young girl, but I wanted to do something with more meaning, such as helping communities and giving back to others,” she stated.

Areen Hosein, OD, Uses ‘EyeDocAreen’ to Pay It Forward

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, February 1, 2019 11:22 AM Areen Hosein graduated from Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry in May 2018 and she has made it her mission to document her life as a transitioning student to working professional on her Instagram page, EyeDocAreen. The page, which was created a little over a year ago, has already garnered over 1,000 followers.

Dr. Joseph Allen’s ‘Dr. Eye Health’ Focuses on Teaching the Sciences of Eyecare

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, January 25, 2019 3:01 PM Doctor Eye Health is a 6-month-old educational YouTube Channel geared toward anyone who is interested in knowing more about the eyes, disease and vision products. Its creator, Joseph Allen, OD, told VMail Weekend, “I have always been a visual person. I grew up watching a lot of movies and playing video games.”

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

By Stephanie Sengwe, Contributing Editor
Monday, January 21, 2019 12:32 AM 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.

Ringing in the New Year With a Little Nostalgia

By Stephanie Sengwe, Contributing Editor
Monday, January 21, 2019 12:32 AM 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.

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. Last year, he turned his personal Instagram page into The Photometrist—an eyewear photography-based, carefully curated page, with a distinctive rustic aesthetic.

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.