Name: Breanna Tran 2022 Student Visionary Spotlight

Class Year: 2022

What is your specialty or area of focus (if applicable)?

List the award(s) / scholarship(s) you have received
Dr. Benjamin Freed Memorial Award for Community Service 

What does receiving this award or scholarship mean to you?
Receiving this scholarship reminds me of how much I loved contributing to SUNY’s community and the difference all of our efforts can make. It inspires me to work hard not only in my upcoming role as a resident but to continue to devote time to organizations that matter to me. I look forward to becoming involved in local chapters of organized optometry and hope to volunteer internationally as an OD.

What drew you to the field of optometry?
My interest in optometry stems from my family. I am inspired by my late grandfather, who was blind. He did not let his disability stop him from leading a strong, fulfilling life. As an eye care provider, I will be able to help my patients prevent vision loss and blindness. I also had exposure to the profession as a young child through my uncle, where I spent many weekends at his private practice growing up. I greatly enjoyed seeing how happy his patients were to receive his care and how he positively contributed to our local community in San Jose, CA.

What are your plans following graduation?
I will be a Pediatric Optometry resident at SUNY College of Optometry. I am excited to gain further knowledge and skills to more comfortably manage and treat pediatric cases.

What was your most transformative experience during optometry school?
The beginning of 4th year was most transformative for me. The many patient encounters at the beginning of externships solidified all the concepts we spent learning and studying during our first few years of school. It was extremely rewarding to begin working with patients on a daily basis and my confidence in clinic increased all throughout our last year.

What advice would you give incoming or prospective optometry students?
Don't lose sight of your purpose and goals. There may be difficult courses and overwhelming moments but if you remember that you ultimately are preparing to help and serve your patients to your best ability, it makes all the hard work worth it. Try to become involved in different aspects of optometry school not just classes. Networking and finding your interests or passions are valuable experiences as well. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for help from your peers, professors and mentors!