Opticianry Students

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Lisbeth Aquino
Middlesex Community College
Middletown, Conn.

Aquino was taking a few college courses but found the optical program at Middlesex, near to her home.

A single mom, she juggled work and classes while completing her program, getting a clinical fellowship at the Connecticut Eye Center, a contact lens specialty practice and also helping at the CL clinic on campus.

Aquino has also been taking a few classes at cosmetology school and some online courses as well. She passed the state boards and is now pre-optometry, inspired to continue her work in the vision care realm.

“It’s so amazing to help someone, to see people’s faces and make them happy about their vision.”

HER school SAYS...“She’s done a clinical fellowship, just passed her state boards and is pre-optometry. She’s a dynamo.”


Jeannel Bishop
New York City College of Technology
Brooklyn, N.Y.  

Bishop was very active in many department projects in the Vision Care Technology program, secretary of the Student Optical Society and responsible for keeping her fellow classmates up to date about new products by inviting guest speakers to the school. She has been working at LensCrafters for two years and with her ABO-NCLE certification will apply for her license in September.

After consulting with her professors, she has decided to begin studies this fall in pre-med and pursue ophthalmology.

HER school SAYS...“Her desire to learn and her commitment is impressive. Whatever she undertakes, she does with enthusiasm and motivation.”


Angela Crowley
Ogeechee Technical College
Statesboro, Ga.

Crowley had been managing a cell phone store for many years and when it closed, she was determined to find something else. She happened to go to the eye doctor that week for her yearly checkup and found herself intrigued by the exam, with the doctor even commenting that she might consider the vision industry.

When she enrolled in Ogeechee, she signed up for the opticianry program and with the encouragement of instructors Deborah Deloach and Scott Lloyd, she thrived.

Crowley was student advisor on the Optical Advisory Committee, became a certified children’s vision screener and was part of the National Technical Honor Society, graduating with honors. ABO-NCLE certified, she is studying to get her state license this fall.

HER school SAYS...“She is very hard working and is a non-traditional student in that she is older and returned to school after being out for many years. She is motivated to changing her life.”


Christina Henry
Indiana University School of Optometry
Optician/Technical Program
Bloomington, Ind.

Henry earned a BS degree in kinesiology from Indiana University but after graduation, felt that she wanted a more specific career path.

Wanting to stay in the healthcare field and remain in Bloomington, she was intrigued by the optician/technician degree offered by the IU school of optometry. Henry was class treasurer and received her class’ “Technician of the Year Award” for overall excellence in all areas as an optometric technician.

She is currently working as an ophthalmic assistant at The Eye Center of Southern Indiana and hopes to develop her career there.

HER school SAYS...“Christina excelled academically and clinically.”


Michelle Lynham
Cuyahoga Community College
Cleveland, Ohio

Although her parents have owned Family Optical in Middleburg Heights, Ohio since 1981, Lynham graduated from Kent State University with a BA in Communications. Returning to her family’s store as an apprentice, she attended Cuyahoga Community College long enough to pass the ABO exams.

Lynham finished her Associate’s degree in Optical Technology seven years later and was awarded a Digital Corneal Reflective Pupillometer by Essilor while there.

Having just taken the National Contact Lens Exam, Lynham plans “to take over the family business and keep it as successful as my parents have.”

HER school SAYS...“Michelle will be a leader in the ophthalmic community.”


Rebecca Morton
Roane State Community College
Harriman, Tenn.

Morton became interested in opticianry after working at an independent optical lab. “Once I became aware of the opportunities available to licensed opticians I enrolled at Roane State.”

Morton was a member of the Student Optical Society and student representative to the Opticianry Program’s advisory board. She currently works at LensCrafters and volunteers for Remote Area Medical (www.ramusa.org), providing no-cost health care to the needy.

She will also represent Roane State at the NFOS College Bowl competition this September at the OAA Convention/ABO/NCLE Education Conference.

HER school SAYS...“Was our leading female graduate, and selected Outstanding Opticianry Student of the Year by her fellow students.”


Quyen Nguyen
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Boston, Mass.

Nguyen graduated from Holy Cross in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in science and started to work at a private optometry practice called Newton Eye, assisting ODs with pre-testing duties. After about a year, she became more interested in the optical aspect of eyecare.

Nguyen started with just one lab course at Ben Franklin, and decided to obtain her opticianry license. Still working part time, she completed an accelerated one-year program and last November passed her ABO/NCLE exams. She is awaiting the state practical exam this September, the final step in obtaining her license.

HER school SAYS...“She is an outstanding student and remains motivated to succeed.”


Kristy Penna
Erie Community College
Williamsville, N.Y.

Penna, who hails from the Rochester area, wanted to be a dental hygienist, but through a friend discovered the opticianry program at Erie.

She was inspired by work she did making eyeglasses for the needy in the community, via a OneSight event as well as for a local doctor who traveled to third world countries.

Penna continues to volunteer and now also loves working full time in the field at Clarence Eyecare, an optometric practice in Clarence, N.Y. She said, “It’s a really high-technology office and a great place to learn new things.”

HER school SAYS...“Kristy has embraced the profession with enthusiasm.”


Jennifer Tramontana
Raritan Valley Community College
Somerville, N.J.

While working full time, as a single mother raising two sons, Tramontana passed all five of her state board examinations on her first attempt —an extraordinary accomplishment in N.J., her school reports.

Having worked for various opticians and optometrists since high school, Tramontana says after a tough divorce, she gave up her original college education to focus on her boys. But when ahe saw how well-established her sister, Emma, became in the industry as an optician through the Raritan Valley program back in 1996 with Brian Thomas as her professor/mentor, too, she enrolled in the program.

She is currently an optical manager for Dr. Bradford Ripps at Total Eyecare, Vernon, N.J.

HER school SAYS...“She was always engaged, prepared and made the intellectual connections that professors love to see in their students.”


Nura Zayed
Broward Community College
Coconut Creek, Fla.

Inspired by her father, who passed away when she was 8, Zayed has always had a passion for medicine.

While working in a medical office, she noticed elderly patients suffering with vision problems, and changed her major from nursing to opticianry.

Zayed is now ABO certified and in November will sit for the NCLE exams; she plans to transfer to a university to get her BA in business. A 22-year-old Palestinian Muslim, Zayed hopes to one day open her own optical business.

HER school SAYS...“Nura has the top academic scores in her classes and she also goes the extra mile to help her fellow classmates and patients.”