Originally from Tanto Basin, a small town in Arizona, Jon Beeson is a fourth-year student at the Inter American University of Optometry, an avid sports fan, and the newly elected Treasurer for the American Optometric Student Association 2017-2018 board. While each optometry school appoints a trustee, the Board is composed of elected students who commit to an extra year of service to the AOSA. We sat down with Jon to find out a bit more about him and what inspired him to devote his time to the AOSA.
1. What is your spirit animal? The hawk. I like to be able to see everything from a distance.
2. What is your favorite and least favorite class so far? My favorite is Ocular Disease. Least favorite is Optics.
3. What’s your ideal vacation? I really like to travel and see different things. I also love architecture so I’d love to travel to Europe – especially Italy since I love Italian food.
4. Speaking of good eats, what is your favorite food? I’d have to say steak and potatoes.
5. What motivated you to become Trustee-Elect? When I first started optometry school, I just wanted to take the easiest route and get through school. But I quickly saw the importance of getting involved and the opportunity arose for the Trustee-Elect position.
6. What is the best part about being a Trustee/Trustee-Elect? We’re required to write two articles every year for Foresight magazine and I chose to talk about the TPA Laws. Optometrists in Puerto Rico face have a restricted scope of practice. This is especially true when it comes to therapeutic pharmacological agents, or TPAs. The laws vary by state for what optometrists can and cannot prescribe and Puerto Rico has some of the most stringent restrictions in the county. I wrote the article thinking of fulfilling a requirement, but it has actually opened up many doors for me both in, and out, of school.
7. What can students do to help change the TPA laws in places like Puerto Rico? We have a large population of students that form a great power force. If we can educate them on what’s going on here, they can use that knowledge to not only bring to life the problems that Puerto Rico is having, but also keep moving the profession forward and expanding the scope of practice wherever they may be. A great opportunity of course is this June at Optometry’s Meeting and AOA+, where we are going to be doing a lot of advocacy activities and marching on the hill.
8. What motivated you to apply for the position of Treasurer? I wanted to continue my involvement in AOSA but I wasn’t sure what position would suit me best. It worked out well, as I was nominated for the position.
9. How do you feel your new position will affect your 4th year experience? It’s going to be challenging, but I’m excited for our profession and what it brings to my life.
10. What one piece of advice would you give to new students? Get involved and get involved early.