Name: Avalena Linsky 2023 Student Visionary Spotlight

Class Year: 2023

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

List the award(s) / scholarship(s) you have received
Billie M. Lyons Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the College Community

What does receiving this award or scholarship mean to you?
It is an honor to be recognized for my contribution to the community. I have loved my time at SUNY and it was a pleasure being able to support other students and to serve as a resource.

What drew you to the field of optometry?
My great-grandfather had concurrent macular degeneration and glaucoma, and I remember feeling helpless when I learned how little visual function he had. I wish he had the resources we offer to our patients regularly. I keep him in mind every day and will continue to strive for the best level of care for my patients.

What are your plans following graduation?
I am starting my ocular disease residency at Atlantic Eye Physicians in July!

What was your most transformative experience during optometry school?
My most transformative experience was going to my grandfather’s appointments for injections for wet AMD, looking at his OCTs and FA with his ophthalmologist, and being able to participate in his care from a knowledgeable standpoint.

What advice would you give incoming or prospective optometry students?
Don’t be afraid to lean on your peers. This is a tough four years and everybody struggles, whether they show it or not. Give yourself grace and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It is always okay to ask for help.