My name is Camille Cohen. I am an OD '14 candidate. I am very honored to be named Member of the Year for NOSA and very grateful to WalMart for their generous award.
I was raised in Miami, FL in a home that was focused primarily on education. My interest in optometry stems from my personal fascination with sight - and the joy my optometrist seemed to find in his career.
In 2007 I earned my BS in Health Sciences from the University of Miami and in 2009, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Summer Enrichment Program at Salus University.
It has been an eventful journey as a first year student. The most rewarding part of my time at Salus University has been my participation in the various NOSA PCO SU events. My favorite event was the Science Discovery Day/OD's of Tomorrow initiative at Sheppard Elementary. The children were genuinely enthusiastic about dissecting eyes and learning about optometry.
I was blessed enough to be nurtured by caring educators as a child and I think that passing knowledge, specifically scientific concepts, to another generation is probably one of the most important acts I can perform.
As the incoming NOSA president for the 2011-2012 term, I intend to work diligently with the executive board in order to continue the organization's exceptional commitment to service and education in the minority community.
Thank you again for this incredible honor.
Undergrad Institution: University of Hartford (West Hartford, CT)
Major: Health Sciences (Pre-Optometry)
Interesting fact about yourself: I am avivd scrapbooker.
Why you became a member of NOSA: I became a member of N.O.S.A because I believe in the mission of the organization to advance the visual health of minority populations.
Undergrad: Indiana University-Bloomington
Interesting fact: I love all performance arts and have served as a hip-hop instructor/coach for kids.
Why I became a member of NOSA: NOSA is one of the few organizations that aims to serve the minority community. It has granted me valuable experience within the community I hope to serve upon graduation. NOSA is also very involved with student life on campus and organizes several events for students.
Undergrad Institution: University of South Florida
Interesting fact about yourself: I was born in Louisiana and I have attended the Essence Festival in New Orleans almost every year for about 15 years, only missing it when it was held in Texas after Hurricane Katrina, and again when I was here at Salus for the PCO Summer Enrichment Program this year.
Why become a member of NOSA?: I think that it is a great way to help minorities that need vision care and are afflicted most often by visual problems, but are not able to get the necessary help. I also think that it provides an opportunity to network and get to know your fellow students and future colleagues.
Interesting fact about yourself: My favorite birds are kestrels, pintails, and pheasants and my favorite fish are smallmouth bass, walleye, and stripers.
Why did you become a member of NOSA? NOSA is the most active group at PCO and has given me many opportunities to participate in volunteer community vision screenings, which are a great way to give back to the community while improving my optometry skills. NOSA also has offered many great events, from learning experiences such as last week's networking event, to the entertainment of PCO Eyedol and the Trolley Tour.
Undergrad institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Major: BS Biology
Interesting Fact about yourself: I played the alto sax for about 10 years. I served as horn line captain of my high school band. As part of the UNC Marching Band, I traveled to perform with the athletic teams. I still love to play, but of course time is limited with school.
Why did you become a member of NOSA?
NOSA provides an opportunity to increase minority representation within the optometric profession. With the high demand of optometric care everywhere, the importance of minority representation is imperative, in order to efficiently serve our communities. This organization serves as an awesome way to communicate and network with successful professionals who have traveled the path I am currently following.
In addition, I love community serve projects! With NOSA, the community vision screenings offer a chance to demonstrate my skills and give back to the surrounding communities. Apart from career opportunities, the mentorships and support system established within NOSA at PCO has been very beneficial and encouraging.
Undergrad institution: Jackson State University
Major: Biology Pre- Medicine
Interesting Fact about Yourself: I marched all four years of college in the Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band (baritone section leader), concert band: Euphonium
Why did you become a member of NOSA?: I grew up around the National Optometric Association (NOA) and was attracted by its rich legacy and heritage. I soon realized that this organization was really a group of colleagues who essentially became a family. NOSA embodies these same characteristics. As soon as I was given the opportunity to strive towards being an optometrist, I had to join NOSA so that I may be a part of something amazing.
Undergrad Institution: The University of Miami
Major: Health Science
Interesting Fact: I love cooking Jamaican food.
Why did you become a member of NOSA ?: I became a member of NOSA because I enjoy reaching out to those in need through the act of service.
Undergrad Institution: University of California, Riverside
Interesting Fact: No matter how cold it is, I wear flip flops year round unless it rains.
Why I became a member of NOSA: To do more community service throughout the local area.
Undergrad Institution: Xavier University
Interesting Fact: I like to ice skate.
Why I became a member of NOSA: I wanted to become a part of an organization that reached out to the minority communities. The National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) educates the community about eye health and the importance of annual eye examinations through community service and vision screenings.
Undergrad Institution: Francis Marion University (Florence, SC)
Interesting Fact: I can juggle. ;)
Why I became a member of NOSA: I wanted to be a part of an organization that gave a voice to the under-represented population in the optometry field and also strives to inform those that would otherwise have no knowledge of the benefits, as well as personal gratification that practicing optometry can give.