Explore UAB

by Nathan Anderson

The UAB School of Optometry’s (UABSO) chapter of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) chapter won chapter of the year at the recent National Optometric Association conference.

NOSA is an international service organization comprised of more than 1,000 optometry students who are dedicated to increasing access to eyecare for minority and underserved communities, as well as recruiting members of these communities to the optometric profession.

“We brought home the victory for UABSO by winning NOSA Chapter of the Year, making this the third time our chapter has won this award,” said UABSO NOSA President Lydia Smith, class of 2025. “To add the cherry on top, all the members in attendance for the convention stood as a team to present and represent the School when receiving the award.”

UABSO’s NOSA chapter, which won the 2022 UAB President’s Diversity Champion Award, consists of 72 members. Among the members who graduated in 2023, 39% represented various minority groups. 

The School’s chapter strives to educate students about diversity by making them aware of common eye disorders and problems that affect underrepresented communities. Additional ongoing priorities are creating collaborative events with other student organizations and celebrating minority heritage months.

According to Smith, under her leadership, the chapter will resume activities that were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our aspirations for the 2023-2024 year include bringing back the ‘A Taste of NOSA’ event, promoting minority enrollment in optometry school, increasing fundraising for Gift of Sight and reclaiming the President’s Diversity Champion Award,” Smith said. “Additionally, we are ensuring that the club will provide plenty of engaging monthly activities for members to take advantage of each month.”