Name: Karen Mathew 2023 Student Visionary Spotlight

Class Year: 2023

List the award(s) / scholarship(s) you have received
MR. AND MRS. IRVING UNGER AWARD Excellence in Optometry

What does receiving this award or scholarship mean to you?
It is an incredible honor to receive this reward. I am truly humbled by this recognition and it has further motivated me to continue to strive for excellence in my profession. I am grateful for the guidance and encouragement provided by the faculty and advisors at SUNY Optometry. They have helped shape me into a clinician & enabled me to grow and succeed over the course of last four years. I will cherish this award and continue to use the knowledge base and clinical skills that I have garnered over the years to pursue my passion.

What are your plans following graduation?
I plan to work in private practice in NYC.

What was your most transformative experience during optometry school?
Being directly involved with patient care during 4th year clinical rotations was truly the most transformative experience over the course of the past few years. Externships allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and into the real world where I was able to see first hand the ocular diseases that I had only read about in a fast-paced & exhilarating setting. Applying the clinical knowledge that I have garnered over the years and making a difference in my patients lives on a daily basis has been incredibly rewarding.

What advice would you give incoming or prospective optometry students?
Optometry school is rigorous and requires consistent hard work and determination in order to succeed.It is essential to maintain a positive outlook & keep your eyes on the goal.The long hours in clinic & grueling late night study sessions will all be worth it when you're able to use your clinical knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on people's lives.