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Students Attend Convention and Represent UMSL-Optometry Nationally

UMSL Optometry Students Attend NOA Convention

Four UMSL College of Optometry students spent last weekend in Washington D.C. to attend the  National Optometric Association (NOA) convention. During the convention, two UMSL College of Optometry students were elected to represent the NOA on a national level.

Devin Sasser ('14) was inducted into his national position of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) parliamentarian and Deli Shirazian ('15) was elected as national vice-president of NOSA.

L-R: Devin Sasser, Deli Shirazian, Kanesha McBee, Valerie Brown-Arnold

Deli Shirazian will serve as VP-elect this school year (2014-15) and will take over the role of  Vice President in 2015-16 on the national level. Deli was the NOSA president for UMSL during the 2013-14 school year and is excited about her new role on a national level, saying "During my time as president of UMSL's chapter, I saw first-hand the difference NOSA makes in our community."  In her new role, she will bring her experience and enthusiasm to a larger audience. "I have some great ideas and I'm thrilled to be serve on the 2015-16 executive board," she said.

Devin, who is also serving as the National President for the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA), will begin his duties as parliamentarian this school year.

Valerie Brown-Arnold and Kanesha McBee, both members of the Class of 2017, attended the 46th Annual NOA convention along side Devin and Deli.  This convention was the first for Arnold and McBee, and both reflect on the experience.  According to Arnold, the most memorable event was meeting one of the founders of the NOA,  Dr. C. Clayton Powell. "He is so passionate about the organization and about helping students reach their goals. It was very inspiring to meet him and hear him speak."

L-R: Kanesha McBee, Dr. C.Clayton Powell, Valerie Brown-Arnold, Deli Shirazian

One of the goals of the NOA is to help minorities realize their full potential through the profession of optometry.  The message from Dr. Powell is one that empowers minorities to reach for the stars and obtain great heights. Kanesha McBee believes the NOA is a positive organization for minorities, "Being around so many successful minorities gave me that extra push I need to make it through optometry school." 

The focus of this year's convention was on anterior segment diseases, contact lenses, and practice management. Other schedule highlighst included corporate lunch presentations, Allergan VIEW women's panel discussion, the President's welcome reception, exhibit hall viewing, a moonlight monument tour, and two optional black heritage tours.

Congratulations, Devin and Deli!


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