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NOA 2023: Inside the student-led Diversifying Optometry Initiative

Video

Isa Prude, president of NOSA, speaks on the Diversifying Optometry Initiative at NOA 2023.

Isa Prude, who was elected to be president of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) at the National Optometric Association 2023 Convention in Fort Lauderdale, Flordia, tells Optometry Times all about what NOSA has been up to lately, with special emphasis on the evolution of the Diversifying Optometry Initiative.

Video transcript

Editor's note: This transcript has been lighlty edited for clarity.

Isa Prude:
Hi, my name is Isa Prude. I'm a fourth year optometry student at Nova Southeastern College of Optometry. I'm also the 2022-2023. Vice President of NOSA [National Optometric Student Association] National.

Yeah, so my biggest role as a vice president of NOSA national is to be the chairman of the formerly known DOP program, which is the Diversifying Optometry Program. So the DOP program, I work this year to try to revamp it and change it up to make it something that have more longevity and move forward with our passion. So Diversifying Optometry Initiative [DOI] is a new name for the same program. The objectives are the same: To try to increase the amount of minority populations in our schools from underrepresented communities around the country.

The way that we do that now is a little bit different with the initiative mindset. So now we're trying to focus more on disseminating the information that we've created at a central top point, and then giving it to the students across the country, to make it easier for them to be able to engage with the students. So we created 5 new roles, the regional directors, and they will work with the chairman from the AOSA and NOSA, so the vice president of NOSA and the chairman from the AOSA, to give that information out to the students across the country.

So we have a tentative date for our webinar to be July 17 at 9pm Eastern Standard Time. We're going to talk about this program, educate the students about this new opportunity for leadership, and open our application for those directors.

So at the meeting so far, we've had so many different industry partners, giving us workshops on networking, how to be able to promote ourselves, and connect with the people that we're here to meet today. We also have learned more about our different styles of leadership and how we interact with the world, and how we can learn to better interact with people who are different than us.

I would like to say if you have not come to a National Optometric Association meeting, come to it. Do whatever you can to make sure you can get yourself here next year. It's such a loving environment; it's so inclusive, and you'll learn a lot by being here.

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