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by Caleb Jones

This year at the 2021 National Optometric Association (NOA) National Convention, two students from the UAB School of Optometry were elected leaders of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) and one student was awarded a scholarship.

Kierra Goins (class of 2022) was elected recording secretary, Daniele Ewert (class of 2023) was elected treasurer, and Darian Travis (class of 2023) was awarded the Dr. Will Kelley Memorial Scholarship.

NOSA is an international service organization comprised of over 1,000 optometry students who are dedicated to increasing access to eyecare for minority and under-served communities.

Ewert says serving in the organization has been a fulfilling aspect of optometry school.

“It feels great to be elected National NOSA treasurer but most importantly to be a part of an organization that gives back so much, whether it be to the community or its students,” she says. “NOSA has played a huge role in my optometry career so far and I will continue to lean on it for guidance.”

Goins, who also serves as the current president of the UAB chapter of Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society, says she feels honored to have been elected the NOSA National Recording Secretary.

“NOSA means so much to me,” Goins says. “I love being a part of this organization because of its dedication to serving the underserved and its intentionality in educating underrepresented groups on optometry as a career choice. I have enjoyed serving in NOSA here at UAB over the past four years and am looking forward to serving at the national level this year.”

These NOSA students also serve or have served in multiple other capacities across the School of Optometry.

Ewert served as the president of the UAB chapter of NOSA from 2019-2020. Goins served as the 2018-2019 class representative for the American Optometric Student Association as well as vice president of travel for Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH)—which travels to provide free eyecare domestically abroad—from 2020 to 2021.

Travis is the current president of the UAB chapter of NOSA. She also serves as the current School SGA president, class of 2023 president, Graduate Student Government senator, and SVOSH vice president of fundraising.

The NOA is a not-for-profit corporation that is comprised primarily of minority optometrists from throughout the United States. Their mission is to provide assistance to new graduates, as well as established minority optometrists, towards the enhancement and updating of optometric knowledge, skills and professional practice, career placement, and the procurement of financial aid.