2011 -2012 NOSA Officers
The National Optometric Association (NOA) was founded in 1969 by Dr. C. Clayton Powell and Dr. John L. Howlette. Its focus has always been on the needs of minority communities; specifically, addressing the need of accessibility to health care service.
The National Optometric Association created the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) in 1979 as an effort to recruit and support the retention of minority students in optometry schools across the country.
The Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus University NOSA chapter has taken the mission of "addressing needs of minority populations" by directing multiple on-campus and community initiatives.
On campus, NOSA has established a mentoring program in which first year optometry students are paired with second year students. Through this program, first year students are offered a strong support system inside and outside of the classroom. Some of the most favored events include a Mural Tour of Philadelphia in the fall semester and quarterly potluck dinners.
In the community, NOSA hosts vision screenings, clothing drives, and the distribution of Thanksgiving baskets. The NOSA "ODs of Tomorrow" initiative addresses minority representation in education by reaching out to students at various educational levels in the community. Last year, NOSA visited Sheppard Elementary School and explained not only the importance of vision and health care, but also the anatomy of the eye through the dissection of pig eyes.
All of the various on-campus, community and fundraising events throughout the year culminate in an annual Spring NOSA Awards Banquet. The banquet celebrates and recognizes the efforts and achievements of PCO faculty, NOSA members, and graduating fourth year students.
For more information regarding NOA and NOSA at the national level, please visit the NOA website at http://www.natoptassoc.org and the new NOSA national website at www.wix.com/natoptstudentassoc/nosa. Also, visit our Facebook page! Just type "National Optometric Student Association" in the search engine.
Camille F. Cohen ’14
NOSA Chapter President,
Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University
|To reach this student organization: NOSA@salus.edu|
|President||Camille Cohen||Class of 2014|
|Vice President||Jennifer Luckie||Class of 2014|
|Treasurer||Kennard Herring||Class of 2014|
|Secretary||Adrian Sutton||Class of 2014|
|Parlimentarian||Shazeen Manji||Class of 2014|
|Community Service Chairperson||Yolanda Wiggins||Class of 2014|
|Fundraising Chairperson||Xavier Thompson||Class of 2014|
|Historians||Constance Berryman||Class of 2014|
|Charita Smith||Class of 2014|
|ODs of Tomorrow Chairperson||Whitney Roberson||Class of 2014|
|Link to www.natoptassoc.org|
Undergrad Institution: University of Rhode Island
Major: Exercise Science: Kinesiology
Interesting fact about myself: As a child I played the accordion and won first place in a competition. For those of you who don't know what the accordion is..... think Steve Urkel!
Why I became a NOSA member: I became a NOSA member to get involved at Salus University. So far, the NOSA event I have enjoyed most was the MLK Vision Screening because I was assisting the community while practicing my clinical skills.
Undergrad Institution: University of Rochester
Major: Biology (minor in Public Health)
Interesting fact: I have a little pet turtle.
Why I became a member of NOSA: To meet other optometry students (especially upperclassmen for their advice for the years to come!) and to stay in the loop with interesting opportunities like vision screenings, speakers, etc.
Undergrad Institution: Bucknell University
Interesting fact about yourself: I am getting married in June next year to the most amazing man I met at my undergraduate University.
Why you became a member of NOSA: God has given me so many blessings that I felt a calling to serve the minority population and children in Philadelphia.
Undergrad: Eastern Washington University
Major: Biology w/ Chemistry minor
Interesting fact about myself: I love Christmas! By far my favorite time of the year. I love the snow, caroling, house decorations, the works! There's not a day that goes by, where at some point, I'm not whistling a Christmas carol - haha.
Why I became a member of NOSA: I grew up in a low income household, so my family relied on groups like NOSA for our basic healthcare needs. Now that I have skills that can help improve someone's life, it's only fitting that I share them with those less fortunate, like someone once did for me. Helping those in need is what NOSA is all about, so becoming a member was the perfect fit.
Undergrad Institution: University of Delaware
Interesting fact about yourself: I speak three languages and can only wink with one eye ;).
Why you became a member of NOSA: I joined NOSA because it is an organization that reaches out to people in need.
Undergrad Institution: Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Interesting fact about yourself: I have been hang gliding in the Outer Banks!
Why you became a member of NOSA: I decided to become a member of NOSA because it seemed like a great opportunity to serve within the local community, as well as a way to meet other optometry students outside of the classroom setting. I love working with people because each individual has a unique personality with which I must strive to effectively communicate. It is my hope that if I can connect with my community while in optometry school, I will then be able to use these experiences as a springboard for community vision care education and involvement throughout the remainder of my professional career.
Undergrad Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Interesting fact about yourself: I lettered as a freshman during the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) track meet in the 4X4m relay.
Why you joined NOSA: I love NOSA because it provides a service-learning springboard for ambitious, like-minded students, who aspire to helping those in underserved communities improve their plight. I am proud to have joined an organization that strives to provide effective, preventative eye care - be it through general education or screenings - to people who might not have the resources for, or access to, this type of care otherwise. This organization’s admirable mission drew me in, and I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of its endeavors. NOSA also gives me a unique enrichment experience, allowing me, along with my peers, to gain professional skills, serve our new community, network, and create friendships that will last well beyond our years at PCO at Salus.
February,2013 - Members of the PCO NOSA (National Optometric Student Association) participated in the 18th Annual Greater Philadelphia MLK Day of Service at Girard Colllege in Philadelphia. The students, along with faculty preceptors Dr. Neal Nyman, Dr. Ruth Shoge, and Dr. Selena Chu, gathered patient histories, performed visual acuities, stereo, color, confrontational fields, pursuits, ret rack, pupils, direct ophthalmoscopy, and given the appropriate indicators: checked intraocular pressures. They collected data sheets and referred over 40 patients to The Eye Institute, the College’s clinical facility for optometry students.
According to Cerina Buchanan, NOSA Community chairperson, not only was this event beneficial to community residents, but it was also a great learning experience for the NOSA volunteers, especially given the “great company and supervision of the preceptors.”
The day was a great success as people took advantage of additional screenings offered by students from Jefferson Medical College and Temple University School of Dentistry, and volunteers from the American Diabetes Association, National Kidney Foundation, and numerous other organizations.
Participants included Class of 2016: Tiffany Hooks; Sadia Kalsoom; Bomee Kim; Chaz Truesdale; Tara Vereka; Joseph Wadas; Ting Wei; Shirley Yan.
Class of 2015: Cerina Buchanan; Candace Ellis; Jennifer Lee; Tamara Mendez; Gina Pelaez; Charlene Pineda; Ruchi Shan; Bryttani Sylvain
Class of 2014: Camille Cohen
Photos of the day’s events are posted on the NOSA Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/NOSAPCO)
November, 2012 - NOSA, the National Optometric Student Association chapter at PCO, would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Salus Community for the overwhelming support of our
annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.
Because of this generosity, we collected over 300 assorted food items and were able to assemble 24 baskets - each including a turkey! Additionally, we collected close to $60 for the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.
We were very pleased with the number of families we were able to reach for this holiday!
Thank you again for your generous donations.
NOSA PCO chapter officers:
Candace Ellis, Ruchi Shah, Shanee Chandler, Gina Pelaez,
Cerina Buchanan, Charlene Pineda, Bryttani Sylvain,
Gustie Christopher, Sasha Balwan
by Candace Ellis
On Saturday October 20, the Salus University Chapter of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) participated in the Healthy Palooza Health Fair hosted by the Living Hope Fellowship in Northeast Philadelphia.
We were proud to be among the key sponsors of the event, which included CBS Philly and the Temple Fox Chase Cancer Center. Our NOSA chapter provided free vision screenings during the fair. Several community members were present to benefit from the services that we provided.
We gathered history, performed visual acuities, stereo, color, confrontational fields, pursuits, ret rack, pupils, and direct ophthalmoscopy. We saw a number of interesting cases ranging from binocular pterygiums, blindness due to trauma, several cataracts, untreated glaucoma patients, and much more. Not only did community members benefit but this event, but it also served as a great learning experience for the PCO at Salus students.
Dr. Mary Jo Thomas served as the faculty supervisor, and her thoroughness and engagement with each patient was admirable.
NOSA student volunteers:
|Nathalia Broderick '16
Gustie Christopher '15
Boris Drizik '15
Vaughn Huynh '15
Andy Mai '16
Gina Pelaez '15
Rasraj Rana '14
Bryttani Sylvain '15
Joseph Wadas '16
Shirley Yan '16
| Cerina Buchanan '15
Camille Cohen ’14
Candace Ellis '15
Caitlyn Kim '16
Tamara Mendez '15
Charlene Pineda '15
Ruchi Shah '15
Donald White '16
Pictured from left to right are: Charlene Pineda '15OD; Xavier Thompson '14OD; Chaz Truesdale '16OD; Tyler Doersam '14OD; Vittorio Mena '14OD; Kennard Herring '14OD; John Weathers, Jr. '16OD and Cerina Buchanan '15OD.
The annual NOSA (National Optometric Student Association) dinner this year was even more of a special occasion than usual.
In addtion to the induction of new officers and a NOSA awards ceremony, members honored University president, Dr. Thomas L. Lewis, and vice president and Dean of Student Affairs, Robert E. Horne, for their many years of service.
The 26th annual awards banquet was held at the Blair Mill Inn in Hatboro, PA, and included the announcement of Candace Ellis '15OD as NOSA Member of the Year, raffles, a song from NOSA historian Connie Berryman '14OD and an original poem from NOSA Community Service Chair Yolanda Wiggins '14OD.
Highlights of the evening included posters of "then and now" photos of the evening's honorees and a biography and award presentation to Dr. Lewis by current vice president Jennifer Luckie '14OD, and by current president Camille Cohen '14OD to Dean Horne. The students had collected video from students to Dean Horne, which were played for everyone to enjoy.
A symbolic candlelight ceremony between the outgoing and incoming NOSA officers also was held. The new NOSA officers for 2012-2013, all members of the PCO Class of 2015, are Candace Ellis, president; Ruchi Shah, vice president; Daphney Lezin, treasurer; Shanee Chandler, secretary; Cerina Buchanan, community service chair, and Charlene Pineda, fundraising chair. The postions of historians and parliamentarian will be appointed in the fall.