by Satina Richardson

 

Candice Turner, OD, discovered her passion for teaching while working with fourth year optometry students during her career in private practice. She ultimately changed paths and became a full-time educator. Her decision has been rewarding. Turner received the 2021 UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

She said the award has solidified her decision to change her career path from private practice to academia.

The UAB graduate joined the school in 2014 as a clinical assistant professor while working in private practice. She then became a full-time assistant professor at the school in July 2015.

Turner is currently coursemaster for the Ocular Pharmacology and Clinical Management of Vision Problems courses. Turner is a clinical attending in the Cornea and Contact Lens, and Primary Care Clinics at UAB Eye Care as well.

“I love the diversity of activities,” Turner said. “Depending on the semester, I may be helping students learn skills in CEVS lab, teaching in the Ocular Pharmacology or Clinical Management courses, being an attending in one of the clinics, or helping examine mice for cataracts.”

Her interests extend beyond the clinical aspects of optometry. Turner is interested in the effects of traumatic brain injuries on the visual system, binocular vision and learning, and sports vision. She assists Om Srivastava, PhD, UAB School of Optometry professor, with his research on protein and gene expression in congenital cataracts.

A leader in her field and active in the profession outside of her roles at UAB, she served as president of the Birmingham Area Optometric Society. Turner is a board member for the Alabama Optometric Association, and a current member of the American Optometric Association. She advocates for optometry both publicly and privately, demonstrating a clear commitment to the advancement of the profession. As such, Turner was elected to serve as the 2020-2021 UABSO Alumni Association president.

“Dr. Turner has exemplified the optometric education profession as a clinical and teaching faculty member at the school for years, and this award provides long-due formal recognition of this effort,” said Kelly Nichols, UAB School of Optometry dean. “She is a more-than-worthy recipient of this prestigious award.”