By Tyra Rocker

Johndra McNeely, OD, has been named the 2019 Young Alumnus of the Year by the UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association. This is the inaugural year for the award.

“I look around and I see such a great group of UABSO alumni that are giving back to the community and advocating for the profession and I'm just happy to be able to be a part of that,” McNeely said.

McNeely was selected for this award by her fellow alumni because of her passion for optometry and representation of the school.

“I am so proud to be a UABSO alum,” McNeely said. “I feel like I was trained by the best group of doctors and graduated with the most amazing and talented group of friends.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Alabama in biology and received her doctor of optometry from UAB in 2009. Since then she relocated to Greenville, SC, where she and her husband are the owners of Greenville Eye Care.

“There has not been anyone more motivated or more involved over the past five years,” said James Hill, class of 2009.

McNeely, an optometry advocate, has served on the American Optometric Association (AOA) State Government Relations Committee and currently is the AOA legislative chair for South Carolina. She has also served as South Carolina Optometric Physicians Association (SCOPA) state president.

Outside of optometry, she volunteers at the South Carolina Special Olympics since 2011 and has led bible study at Grace Church for five years.

 “I feel like we have been blessed with this opportunity and we want to give back,” McNeely said.