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K-State Today

August 17, 2018

Recent K-State pre-optometry graduates accepted into programs across the country

Submitted by Gayla Adams-Wright

Six Kansas State University pre-optometry recent graduates are among those accepted into optometry programs across the country. The students were advised through the Health Professions Advising offices in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Human Ecology. 

Riley Juenemann, May 2018 graduate in life sciences, Phillipsburg, will attend Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. Juenemann was involved with the Pre-Health Ambassadors, the Pre-Optometry Club and St. Isidore's Hospital Ministry. He also worked for both an ophthalmologist and optometrist during his undergraduate education, which provided him with many valuable experiences. Juenemann plans to return to Kansas after graduating from optometry school and eventually wants to open his own practice.

Caitlin Lingg, December 2017 graduate in life sciences, Stockton, also will attend Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. She was involved with her sorority in a number of roles as well as the Pre-Optometry Club and Pre-Health Ambassadors. Volunteer work was important to her and she was involved at a local nursing home's Bible study. Her favorite undergraduate experience was employment at an optometry office, where she performed pre-testing for the optometrist and worked closely with patients as they were fitted for glasses and contact lenses. Lingg has an interest in vision therapy or pediatrics and plans to move back to Kansas or somewhere near family upon graduation from optometry school.

Ann McLean, May 2018 graduate in biochemistry, Overland Park, also will attend Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. McLean was involved with undergraduate research in the biochemistry department where she studied the co-crystallization of drug solubility and co-authored an article in Crystal Growth & Design, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society. She was the recipient of the Putnam scholarship as well as an honor student. Her future plans include a residency in ocular disease and then employment in an ophthalmology and optometry group practice and possibly a faculty position at an optometry school.

Shelby Queal, May 2018 graduate in life sciences with minors in biology and leadership studies, Manhattan, will attend Indiana University School of Optometry. Queal was involved with the Pre-Optometry Club for three years and served as president for two years. She was also involved with a variety of diversity-focused efforts including Cats for Inclusion, a program which addresses issues of racial injustice and multiculturalism. Along with serving as a pre-health ambassador and a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-health honor society, she also worked as an optician while an undergraduate student. Queal has an interest in a residency after graduation from optometry school and then possibly returning to Kansas to practice.

Tracie Thibault, May 2018 graduate in life sciences, Salina, will attend Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. Selected for the Mark Chapman Scholars Program, Thibault traveled to Belize in Central America for two months where she learned about the health care system in a low resource environment. In her final semester of college, she returned to Belize to work with Hillside Health Care International and assisted with vision care for a small clinic. She is currently serving as a missionary at FOCUS-The Fellowship of Catholic University Students at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Taylor Ireland, May 2018 graduate in nutrition and health, Valley Center, will attend the University of Missouri at St. Louis. While an undergraduate student, Ireland was involved with the Kappa Delta sorority, Order of Omega Honor Society, Flint Hills Breadbasket and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She worked in an optometry office while an undergraduate student and volunteered with a number of service agencies. Ireland is interested in working in a small town family practice upon graduation from optometry school.