Jennifer Turano is a member of the American Optometric Student Association Board of Trustees and is now the Trustee for Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University.
OS: Jennifer, tell us a little about yourself!
JT: I’m originally from western Massachusetts. I’ve lived in Philadelphia for four years now with my husband and our pug Biggie. I enjoy running and hiking when I am not studying!
OS: What has been the best part about being a member of the AOSA Board of Trustees?
JT: Serving on the board of trustees has allowed me to meet students from across the country who share my dedication to the growth of our profession. Each member of the group has unique ideas and events held at their respective schools so it’s a great resource for new programs to bring to PCO.
OS: What do you think is the biggest advantage that AOSA brings to students?
JT: It is so easy for optometry students to live day by day just trying to get through the next exam, proficiency, or practical. AOSA reminds students that although academics are very important, building a community of dedicated optometrists is what will allow for growth in our profession. AOSA is the platform for the optometry student community where we can share ideas and build a stronger future for optometry.
OS: What have you learned from being a part of the AOSA Board of Trustees?
JT: I’ve learned that leadership is contagious. The AOSA BOT works tirelessly to provide the best benefits and support to OD students as possible. We’ve seen record numbers in attendance to both the congressional advocacy meeting and Optometry’s Meeting in the past few years. I believe the increase in student participation is a reflection of our EC and BOT’s enthusiasm. I also have learned, for better or for worse, all of the lyrics to “Call Me Maybe.”
OS: What do you think is the best way for optometry students to get involved in optometry outside of school life?
JT: The best way to get connected is to go visit a local society or attend a state chapter meeting. Local involvement in the OD community allows you to network with ODs who share your interests and also to get a feel for the optometry climate in your area. The connections I have made at our local Pennsylvania society meetings are invaluable to me.
OS: Do you plan on doing a residency? If so in what area?
JT: Absolutely, it’s been part of my plan to complete a residency since I decided to attend optometry school. I’m looking forward to my upcoming 3rd and 4th year rotations to guide my decision regarding which area I’d like to focus on further.
OS: Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.
JT: I was first introduced into eye care by working as an ophthalmic photographer. We even have our own professional society! Check out opsweb.org to see some amazing images from some very talented ophthalmic photographers.
OS: Where do you see yourself practicing after graduation and in what type of setting?
JT: I hope to open a private practice in an underprivileged community where I can serve as an entry point into the healthcare system.
OS: What has been your greatest achievement so far?
JT: I decided to leave a very comfortable job that I enjoyed to venture into the unknown and do something that I LOVE. Having the guts to take that risk is my greatest achievement, thanks to the support of my husband, family, and friends.
OS: If you had a time machine to go back in time what would you change in history and why?
JT: As a Philadelphian I’m obliged to go back to 1784 to investigate if Benjamin Franklin did indeed invent bifocals. Once it was proven that he is the rightful inventor of the lenses I would give him a high five.
OS: If you were stranded on an island and you could only bring three things what would they be?
JT: My husband, my pug Biggie, and my 20D lens that I could use to condense sunlight and start a fire.