This year’s Snowvision SUNY (State University of New York) scholarships were awarded to optometrist Katie Frame from Christchurch and final year student Kristel Venturina from Auckland. NZ Optics asked them about winning the scholarships and what they will be focusing on.
“It really is a privilege to have received this scholarship. From the line up of prior candidates, there certainly are some big foot prints to be following in.
“My intention is to channel this opportunity towards ‘all things anterior eye’ in particular, the fields of speciality contact lens fitting, anterior eye and ocular surface disease. I will certainly embrace the opportunity to be immersed in the various speciality clinics offered at SUNY.
“I am looking forward to returning to New Zealand and sharing and applying the latest in current thinking to benefit the care and expertise we are able to offer our existing patients and those received on a referral basis throughout the South Island.”
“Being a newly graduated optometrist is daunting and I am very thankful as this scholarship will broaden my knowledge base and will increase my confidence as I begin my career in optometry.
“I am very grateful and thrilled to have been awarded the opportunity to study at SUNY through Snowvision. We will spend four weeks attending a variety of specialty clinics including ocular disease, head trauma rehabilitation, contact lenses, low vision and paediatrics. We will be observing different patient cases and following them through for diagnosis and management. There will also be an opportunity to visit the university’s off-site clinics and seminars. Overall, we will be exposed to many different cases in different environments and there will be ample opportunity to learn. The aim is to take back the knowledge that we gain to further enhance optometry in New Zealand. I am especially looking forward to the paediatrics and neuro-ophthalmology clinics which are my two areas of passion.”
About the scholarships
Every year since 1997, the trustees of the Snowvision Charitable Trust have announced scholarships for a New Zealand optometrist and a final year student completing the BOptom to attend SUNY, New York, for a period of four weeks’ clinical study in optometry. The scholarship is for a maximum of NZ$7,000 and covers travel from Auckland to New York and the tuition fees at SUNY. The scholarships are aimed at improving the clinical skills of New Zealand optometrists.