November 15, 2023

The UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry (RSO) celebrated the 10-year reunion of its first graduating class the weekend of July 7-9. To commemorate the milestone anniversary, the Class of 2013 came together for companionship, continuing education, and faith. During their reunion visit, a few of these fabulous graduates shared updates on life since graduation and how RSO prepared them for their professional lives. 

Chidinma Odoemenem, OD ’13 

Today, Odoemenem works for Eyecare Elements, serving two clinic locations. When asked about the impact that UIW has had on her life, Odoemenem shared the following.  

UIW and RSO have been instrumental in a lot of my success post-graduation.  

The stellar education I received at RSO was further enriched by my additional year of residency training there. This intense period, filled with a demanding patient schedule, student precepting, case report writing, presentations and research was challenging, yet incredibly valuable. In addition, I was exposed to seasoned professionals who I could learn from both professionally and personally and those who would eventually become mentors to me.  

It was invaluable working with doctors who had families and hobbies outside of work. They were up close examples of having a work-life balance, the most inspiring being those who managed motherhood and full-time work. This let me know I could do it as well. Being a working mother of three is no easy feat, but having seen other mothers do it, is inspiring.  

In addition, joining RSO and its residency program at its infancy enabled us all to witness firsthand the expert leadership of our dean and doctors in navigating the growing pains experienced when starting a new program. Having a vision, ensuring you have the right structure and team, staying the course and not being afraid to change course as problems arise have imparted lessons to me which I drew from in founding a non-governmental organization , The Santa Lucia Eyecare Foundation, and in managing changes in my personal life and the office. Many people at UIW have left lasting impressions on me.  

UIW's foundation as a faith-based institution was another important facet of my experience. The communal spirit fostered by the institution allowed me to grow both professionally and spiritually. Afternoon mass with friends in my class at our local church during our lunch breaks was a cherished ritual, helping me maintain my faith. 

Nevi Ramsey, OD ‘13 

Ramsey splits his time between the four clinical locations that he owns. He started his first clinic in June 2015, opened his second in a different city in February 2018, and later acquired two established clinics (40+ years) in October 2019. He currently sees patients on a part-time basis. Ramsey also spends a considerable amount of time at a fifth company he acquired in March 2021. This was an established company (since 1965) in the industrial sector with four locations in Alberta, Canada.  

I feel that UIW RSO prepared me in a very comprehensive way to join the health care system as an optometrist. UIW RSO’s optometric education was provided by passionate and dedicated doctors who were also very well-known in their respective fields. UIW RSO also gave us excellent preparation regarding the business aspect of becoming an optometrist. This is worth mentioning because it is unique amongst other optometry schools in the U.S. and Canada.  

Jose Correa, OD ’13 

Correa has worked in Texas City, TX, south of Houston at Texas City Eye Consultants for eight years. 

UIW helped me prepare for my current position by providing a vast number of opportunities via rotations under clinics and doctors who practiced medical optometry, allowing me to learn the physician aspects of eye care and some of the business dynamics. I always knew I wanted to own my own practice and being able to select rotations that specialized in this mode of care allowed me to develop the skills as a physician to provide the best care to my patients while getting exposed to the demanding side of being a business owner. 

Odoemenem, Ramsey, Correa and all members of the RSO inaugural class have forged their own successful paths and improved the lives of their patients. These accomplishments honor their dedication to excellence and speak to the outstanding leaders and educators at the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry.  

See photos of their reunion weekend below.