Explore UAB

by Nathan Anderson

Will Mann, class of 2025, has been elected treasurer of the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) Executive Council. His appointment marks the third year a UAB School of Optometry (UABSO) student has held one of only four National AOSA Executive Council positions.  

AOSA’s mission is to empower students to thrive as optometrists, and Mann hopes to use his position to help students understand optometry’s evolving scope of practice. 

“When my parents graduated from UAB in the late 80’s and started practicing in Virginia, they couldn't treat styes with oral antibiotics,” he said. “Fast forward 30 years, and now Virginia allows laser procedures. State associations and the AOA are the reason particular optometrists thrive with the scope of practice in their state. The legislative changes that enable us to provide the most up-to-date care come from the strong support of student/doctor members, advocates, donors and leaders.

“Our goal is to help students understand the importance and correlation of our future and support organized optometry. Keeping up with technology and laws to improve our quality of care for patients takes diligence and advocacy throughout our career.” 

As a third-year student, he encourages optometry students to join AOSA to help grow their network and gain insight into the future of optometry’s scope of practice. He touts the benefits as well, which include scholarship and grants opportunities, information about residencies and resources that help with job opportunities.

Although Mann did not plan to become an optometrist, he loves working with patients in the clinic and is a member of the Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH), Ocular Wellness and Nutrition Society (OWNS) and Private Practice Club (PPC). After graduation, he plans to remain a member of AOA and would like to speak about the organization to future students.

“I’ll help the AOSA any way I can after I graduate,” he said. “I’d love to come back and speak about the importance of advocacy. “Educating future optometrists is huge for our profession. Passing on knowledge to students that I wished I had known in School, or something that I was glad I knew is something I’d like to pass on to help students.”