March 10th marked the official transition for Trustee-Elects to AOSA Trustees on the American Optometric Student Association Board of Trustees. I spoke with newly promoted Inter American University of Puerto Rico Trustee and 2nd year student, Alex Conley, about his past experiences and plans for the position
Alex: Well, it’s a cinderella story. A small town kid with big time dreams too big for the little pond. People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.
OS: What has your first month been like in your newly appointed Trustee role?
Alex: Adequate. The transition from Keylee to myself has gone quite smoothly. She prepared me well for all the responsibilities of a Trustee while I was Trustee-Elect. Our biggest challenge is yet to come, when the new first years come in August…
OS: What has been the best part about being a member of the AOSA Board of Trustees?
Alex: The three F’s. Friends – meeting other students from the different schools and only after a couple of days, we are all like family. Fun – There is nothing like being a Trustee, for me, being involved in
organized optometry is fun. I like being involved and knowing what the future of optometry holds. Food – A man gets hungry.
OS: Tell us an interesting or funny story from attending school at IAUPR.
Alex: Apparently the devil lives in a Baskin Robbins across from a bar in San Juan.
OS: You’ve definitely got some big shoes to fill. What has it been like having your predecessor, Keylee Clemons Brown, as AOSA National Secretary?
Alex: She has been awesome as a Trustee and she will do an amazing job as the AOSA National Secretary. Having her as my predecessor has been influential in my growth as a person and a leader. I just hope she stops making me get her coffee and fan her off in the heat.
OS: Ah, the problems of attending school in Puerto Rico. So Alex, who should have won March Madness this year?
Alex: …that is a terrible question. Why do you have to mention the NCAA. Go Shocks!
But if you want to talk about baseball, Royals all the way.
Alex: Dung Beetle… because I’m always cleaning up everyone else’s $#!+
OS: Optometry’s Meeting in Philadelphia this year has a lot to offer optometry students from around the country! Discuss, citing specific examples.
Alex: Optometry’s Meeting reminds me of a story called, The Puppy Who Lost His Way. You see the world was changing, and the puppy was getting bigger. So, you see, the puppy was like industry. In that, they were both lost in the woods. And nobody, especially the little boy – “society” – knew where to find ’em. Except that the puppy was a dog. But the industry, my friends, that was a revolution.
But seriously, what better place to celebrate optometry than the home city of the man who invented the Bi-focal and even has a bi-focal style named after him, Benjamin Franklin. Plus with all the travel grants sponsored by Allergan, Hoya and Walmart, it won’t cost the student many Benjamin’s to get to Philly ( o yeah its pun time).