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KYCO continues to influence the next generation

February 07, 2019 12:00 AM
Pikeville, KY
University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry began 2019 with a strong philanthropic focus hosting 29 middle school girls in January for the Verizon Innovative Learning Program.
The group was welcomed to campus by KYCO Dean Michael Bacigalupi, O.D., M.S., FAAO, and spent the day exploring KYCO with faculty and optometry students. After playing eye Jeopardy with Director of Admissions Casey Price, the group rotated between three different activities. Stations included a demonstration in the surgical suite with Eilene Kinzer, O.D., M.Ed. VFL, FAAO, assistant professor and director of residencies and continuing education, and Katherine Dronka, O.D., ABCMO, assistant professor of optometry, a virtual reality demonstration in the anatomy lab with Josephine Owoeye, O.D., M.P.H., FAAO, and in an optics lab with George Asimellis, Ph.D., associate professor and director of research. KYCO student ambassadors were present at each station to help demonstrate state-of-the-art technology.
Students at KYCO perform an extensive amount of service in the community but say programs like this are unique.
“As a student, I think it was important to help with the program because it gave me the opportunity to give guidance, advice and enthusiasm for technology that I would have loved to have had as a middle school student,” said KYCO third-year student Kristen Lantz. “I think it is important to teach kids what kind of technology exists today and educate them about how they can apply the use of technology to any profession for their future!”
Experiences like this give students at KYCO opportunities to invest in the next generation of physicians, scientists and problem solvers.
“It was an amazing opportunity to show the students how our technology-infused curriculum fundamentally changes how we learn as optometry students,” said KYCO second-year student Christina Huynh. “What a unique way to sow into the next generation!”
Owoeye, KYCO’s assistant dean for student and professional development, says it’s important to expose young learners to different paths for education and careers, especially in the fields of STEM.
“There isn’t just one path,” said Owoeye. “You could become a doctor, or the engineer that invents the technology we use as physicians or the scientist that conducts research to develop ground-breaking treatments for patients.”
To learn more about KYCO, email or call 606-218-5517.


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