OS: Devin Sasser is a member of the American Optometric Student Association Board of Trustees. Devin is now the Trustee for University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry. Devin, tell us a little about yourself!
DS: Hello everyone! It gives me great pleasure to bring you greetings from the Show-Me State! My name is Devin and I currently matriculating as a third year at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry (UMSL). I am originally from the great state of Texas, but I earned my Bachelors’ Degree in Science down in New Orleans at Xavier University of Louisiana. Here at UMSL, I also serve as the Vice-President of our local NOSA chapter in addition to playing an active roll on the college’s admissions committee. When not studying, I enjoy restaurant hopping and playing sand volleyball with my fellow classmates.
OS: Optometry’s Meeting is at the end of June are you excited? What is your favorite part of Optometry’s Meeting?
DS: I am thrilled about Optometry’s Meeting! If Chicago’s meeting is any indication, I am certain that this year’s meeting will be a fantastic experience! There are so many great moments that contribute to Optometry’s Meeting being the event of the year for both students and doctors alike. The most enjoyable events for me are those in which students from various schools are given the opportunity to intermingle. Forming connections with others is not only beneficial for the involved parties, but it is also essential to the growth of the profession as a whole.
OS: What has been the best part about being a member of the AOSA Board of Trustees?
DS: Being a member of the Board of Trustees has been a tremendous experience. Members of the board are on the front lines of change in many different aspects of optometry. As a member, I particularly enjoy seeing the concerns of my peers being addressed and acted upon at the national level. There is no greater feeling than knowing that I am serving as an active agent of change for the benefit of my fellow students.
OS: What do you think is the best advantage that AOSA brings to students?
DS: The AOSA gives students the opportunity to play an active role in the field of optometry. There are numerous opportunities to get involved at both the local and national level. Leadership experiences such as the local and national liaison positions serve as great examples of the efforts being made by the AOSA to allow students to become more involved in various areas of optometry. By giving students the chance to influence change in the profession, the AOSA helps to fuel a greater sense of passion and responsibility among optometry students across America.
OS: What have you learned from being apart of the AOSA Board of Trustees?
DS: Being a member of the board has allowed me to better appreciate what can truly be achieved when students work together towards a common goal. The board is composed of members with various vantage points. This diversity is what makes the board so effective! The same can be said for all members of the AOSA. Working together and embracing differences has, and will always be an excellent recipe for growth. We have the power to make a difference!
OS: What do you think is the best way for optometry students to get involved in optometry outside of school life?
DS: The best way for a student to get involved outside of school is to make their presence felt in the community as well as in the state and national arena. Go out into the communities and bring optometric care to those who are in need! Facilitate open dialogue with your state government officials. Attend conferences and activities that foster communication with lawmakers at the national level. All of these things help to build the profession so that we may continue in providing the best care to our communities.
OS: Do you plan on doing a residency? If so in what area?
DS: Yes! I would love to do a residency in ocular disease or hospital-based optometry.
OS: Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.
DS: I have an insatiable obsession with cookies.
OS: Where do you see yourself practicing after graduation and in what type of setting?
DS: Being a southern boy, I am itching to head back south. I will most likely be practicing in Texas or a neighboring state. Ideally, I would like to like to practice hospital-based optometry for a few years after completing my residency.
OS: What has been your greatest achievement so far?
DS: I am extremely proud of my fellow classmates and I for surviving what seemed like an impossible year of coursework.
OS: If you had a time machine to go back in time what would you change in history and why?
DS: I would go back and find the makers of the first cigarette. I would then slap the cigarette out of their hands and say something along the lines of: “Hey, This is not a very good idea.”
OS: If you were stranded on an island and you could only bring three things what would they be?
DS: The first item I would pack would be a self-charging satellite phone. However, I would not use it to call for help initially. If the commercials are true, Jimmy Johns can deliver to just about anywhere. I would enjoy a solid week on the island filled with Vito sandwiches before phoning for rescue. I would also bring along some good music and an unlimited supply of Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies.