Women In Optometry: New Graduate Sees Opportunity to Influence Minorities to Consider Optometry

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In 1969, C. Clayton Powell, OD, and John L. Howlette, OD, met with a select group of African American optometrists in Richmond, Virginia. Their mission with their new organization, the National Optometric Association (NOA), was to give a voice and platform to minority doctors around the country. Fast forward to 2019, when a recent graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, Nishan Pressley, OD, was appointed to be the director of communications for the NOA. Dr. Pressley finished the school’s relatively new accelerated three-year program, and she was the first African American to do so. When Whitney Roberson, OD, saw Dr. Pressley’s capabilities, she made it a point to get her around other ODs involved in the NOA. “It was great because those doctors looked like me,” Dr. Pressley said of her new colleagues. “The NOA brings us together—doctors who can relate to my cultural experiences. There is this hub of diversity and knowledge.” Read More