For many years – beginning with Dr. Barbara Brown (’88) – the College of Optometry has provided comprehensive one-day programs on a regular basis to educate anyone considering optometry as a profession or committed to pursuing the profession and desiring to learn more about both optometry and UMSL. In recent years the Optometry Showcase has been under the direction of the very capable Nick Palisch, Director of Student and Alumni Services. He feels this represents a great opportunity for anyone interested in our profession: “The Optometry Showcase day has been growing over the past several years and is a strategic recruitment tool for the college. The showcase day gives prospective students and families the opportunities to speak with faculty, staff, and students. It also gives the opportunity to tour the new Patient Care Center as well as learn about how to become a competitive candidate for admission.”
Held three times a year (Fall, Spring, and Summer) from 9:45 am to 3 pm on a Saturday, attendees obtain a comprehensive overview which includes the following:
1) Tour of both Marillac Hall and the new Patient Care Center provided by our excellent group of student ambassadors.
2) A Faculty Panel. This typically consists of several faculty members who serve on the Admissions Committee. For the most recent Optometry Showcase, held March 10, participating faculty included Drs. Angel Simmons (‘03), Erin Brooks (’11), and Ed Bennett.
3) A Student Panel. Attendees have the opportunity to have their questions answered about the program from a knowledgeable team of student ambassadors.
4) A Very Informative Presentation by Nick Palisch. Nick discusses the profession of optometry and its benefits, the advantages of the UMSL College of Optometry, the requirements for admission, how to apply, the components of a successful applicant, and how to fund your education.
More information, as well as registration for a future program, can be found on the workshop page. The next Optometry Showcase will be held June 9, 2018.
It is evident that the attendees leave well informed and very satisfied with their decision to attend, as Harding University student Caralee Lynch can attest to. “Mr. Palisch is one of the only people who can talk about finances and keep my attention. I really enjoyed how the day was orchestrated and how you can see Mr. Palisch’s passion for the students he serves. I also really enjoyed how I was able to meet fellow future optometrists and talk with some of the professors.” Her father, Dr. Bill Lynch (’85), agrees. “Nick did a great job of covering a lot of information in an interesting way. His great humor kept the presentation alive. The optometry student panel and the doctors’ panel were very helpful in explaining what future students are to expect. Rest assuredly it is a fantastic educational program.”
Some future applicants travel long distances because of the value of this program. Kaitlyn Baskerville, University of Iowa Pre-Optometry Club President, explains, “The Optometry Showcase program was very beneficial to me because I was allowed to view what life would be like as a student at UMSL. I got to meet the instructors and students to know if I could see myself fitting in there. I was able to see that they really are one big family. Having the opportunity to walk around the building was also beneficial because I could picture myself in an environment that I would be comfortable learning in. I would recommend this program to everyone because learning about different details of the school in person, rather than reading them online, makes a long-lasting impression that you will never forget.”