Arol Augsburger, OD
I fell in love with optometry when my family optometrist, an ICO alumnus, fitted me with PMMA contact lenses in 1961. I was a 13-year-old freshman in high school and a three sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball.) It was challenging to wear my sport specs under my football helmet, or deal with getting my glasses mangled while rebounding the basketball, or fumble with flip down sunglasses over my spectacles while playing 1st base on the baseball team… all before contact lenses.
Those contact lenses changed my life. I lettered in every sport all four years of high school, and we won the conference in football twice with me playing defensive end and linebacker with my contact lenses. Then, when it came to choosing a major at Earlham College, I gravitated to the pre-professional study courses that would be needed to gain entry into optometry.
Sandra Bury, OD ’95
I fell in love with optometry after I had my first eye examination shortly after getting my BFA in fine art. I was passionate about vision, perception, and light, and was frustrated that there was no clear path to earning a living with those interests. It was also important to me to do something positive for humanity.
It was during that examination and dilation that I knew optometry would combine everything I loved already in a fantastic profession that was helping, positive, and exciting. I was not afraid of the additional six years of school, and am grateful every day for the opportunity to follow my dreams.
Choosing optometry was the best decision that I ever made and my passion for helping my patients grounds me and carries me through all of the crazy directions that life takes me.
Diane Galbrecht, OD ’06
When I was in high school, I always thought I would be an elementary school teacher. Then one day, we had to take the ACT. I remember scoring much higher in math and science compared to the other sections, making me wonder why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place.
That same month, I saw my optometrist for my yearly exam. I had been seeing him since 1st grade. I asked him if I could shadow him for a day. Well, that day opened my eyes to the optometry world, what I could do with my life, and how much I could impact my community.
As I was going through school, I thought every day, “What am I getting myself into?” Jump forward to my pediatric residency; I finally answered that question. I was seeing children who were all disabled, on the autism spectrum, or developmentally delayed. I remember sitting down one evening after a long day of vision therapy thinking, “WOW, I really do love my job. I can’t wait to come back tomorrow.”