Name: Melody Kordnaij 2022 Student Visionary Spotlight

Class Year: 2022

What is your specialty or area of focus (if applicable)?
Cornea and Contact Lenses

List the award(s) / scholarship(s) you have received
Alcon Award for the Outstanding Case Report on the use of an Alcon Contact Lens Product Optelec Low Vision Award For Excellence in Low Vision Gold Key International Honor Society (President)Beta Sigma Kappa International Honors Society CooperVision Best Practices Student Scholarship VSP and AAOF Practice Excellence Scholarship Milton Scholarship

What does receiving this award or scholarship mean to you?
The past four years at SUNY Optometry have been challenging but incredibly rewarding. I am very honored to receive these awards recognizing my hard work and achievements.

What drew you to the field of optometry?
Optometry plays such a vital role in the betterment of patient lives - whether that be by offering life changing vision with specialty contact lenses, preserving vision with management of ocular disease, or helping patients care for their overall health. As an optometrist we not only diagnose and treat ocular conditions, but can often times be at the forefront of detecting systemic conditions with ocular manifestations. Some of the most meaningful patient encounters have been ones in which I was able to collaborate with health care providers in different specialties to treat the patient holistically.

What are your plans following graduation?
After graduation, I am pursuing a residency in Primary Care/Cornea and Contact Lenses at Nova Southeastern University. I am very excited for the opportunity to continue my education in sunny south Florida!

What was your most transformative experience during optometry school?
Starting externships at the beginning of fourth year completely transformed my optometric education. It has been extremely rewarding cultivating personal relationships with all of my patients and expanding upon my clinical knowledge. The gratification of improving patient lives has made all the late night studying and exams worth it!

What advice would you give incoming or prospective optometry students?
Involve yourself with clubs/organizations at SUNY that interest you. The experiences you will gain will allow you to develop fundamental leadership qualities and foster relationships with other students, faculty members, and optometrists.