Student Ambassadors | Optometry

Our Ambassadors provide all of the tours to prospective students and any other party requesting a tour of the campus. In addition to the tours, the Ambassadors help assist with first year orientation and the annual Career Day for undergraduates. They also work very closely with the Admissions office in providing an invaluable resource for prospective students.

If you would like to speak with a current student about their experience applying to or choosing Pacific University College of Optometry, you are invited to contact one of our student ambassadors. They will be happy to help you!

Class of 2017

Kayla Avirett

Third Year
avir9963@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Schreiner University,
Biology Major

Hometown:
West Columbia, TX

One reason I chose Pacific: " Pacific does not stress any particular specialty but instead provides a well rounded education that allows you to have a baseline to expand your own interests. The professors also want you to succeed and having a faculty that allows you to utilize their expertise is a great thing.

Hobbies: I enjoy relaxing when I can by watching TV and hanging out with my friends. I like playing any sport, particularly softball and golf. Trying new food and finding "hole in the wall" restaurants is something I like to do when I get the chance.

Clubs/Organizations: Sports Vision Club, Practice Management Group, Student Ambassador, Pre-Optometry Club Buddy Program

Terri Baker

Third Year
bake1869@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institutions:
University of Saskatchewan,
Physiology/Pharmacology Major

Hometown:
Saskatoon, SK

One reason I chose Pacific: "Pacific provides a high quality education, supportive environment, hands-on learning, and endless opportunities for school and community involvement."

Hobbies: Running, Hiking, Hockey, Yoga, Enjoying the outdoors, Watching movies and Spending time with friends and families

Clubs/Organizations: AMIGOS, Canadian Association of Optometry Students, Sports Vision Club, and intramural volleyball

Daniel Cleveland

Third Year, President
clev299@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of North Texas,
General Studies Major

Hometown:
Idalou, TX

One reason I chose Pacific: "The heart of the program was focused on community and support while advancing the field of optometry."

Hobbies: Flag Football, Volleyball, Tennis, Running, Fantasy Football, Forgetting to Return Emails (just kidding!)

Clubs/Organizations: Ambassadors, Amigos, and Sports Vision

Kelsey Elrod

Third Year
burn1100@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Colorado State University,
Health and Exercise Science Major

Hometown:
Flagler, CO

One reason I chose Pacific: "The faculty and students are welcoming and down to earth, and it really does have that family feeling I was looking for. Between the impressive academic reputation for preparing students for professional success, the warm and friendly atmosphere of the college, and its location in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Pacific was an easy choice!"

Hobbies: Watching and playing sports, running, hiking, listening to music, exploring new areas, and spending time with family and friends

Clubs/Organizations: AMIGOS Eye Care, Student Ambassadors, Sports Vision Club, American Optometric Student Association

Yunie Kim

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Western Ontario,
Biology and Psychology Major

Hometown:
Vancouver, BC

One reason I chose Pacific: "I had an exceptional experience at Interview Day. Everybody was friendly and welcoming and I felt that Pacific was the kind of place I could really thrive in. The small class size, collaborative environment and friendly professors were also important factors in my decision. And I absolutely love all the rain!"

Hobbies: I love watching hockey, playing and watching video games, traveling, reading and singing!

Clubs/Organizations: Ambassadors, AMIGOS

Christopher Kimball

Third Year
kimb9533@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Idaho State University,
Biomedical Sciences Major

Hometown:
Emmett, ID

One reason I chose Pacific: " Because of the outstanding professors and students I interacted with on my interview day. I knew that Pacific's curriculum would educate me to become the best optometrist for any setting I chose to practice in. Plus, the location of Pacific is hard to beat with all that it has to offer. "

Hobbies: Playing golf, spending time with my wife and dog, watching reruns of The Office and How I Met Your Mother over and over again, being outdoors, and of course, watching football.

Clubs/Organizations: Ambassadors, Sports Vision Club

Evelyn Lo

Third Year
lo1975@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Simon Fraser University,
Biology Major

Hometown:
Burnaby, BC

One reason I chose Pacific: "Because of Pacific's ability to recognize that a friendly, non-competitive environment bound by teamwork is invaluable to the success of each optometrist. "

Hobbies: Building Lego, playing competitive badminton, kayaking, reading and spending time with family and friends. I also love sharks and marine biology!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, American Optometric Student Association, AMIGOS, National Optometric Student Association (NOSA)

Megan Mannen

Third Year
mann1187@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Seattle Pacific University,
Physiology Major

Hometown:
St. Helens, OR

One reason I chose Pacific: "I immediately felt valued and respected by the staff, faculty, and students upon arrival on campus. Pacific provides a great learning environment, producing optometrists equipped with all of the necessary skills and resources to become successful in future practice."

Hobbies: Tennis, soccer, yoga, traveling, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS, Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, Sports Vision Club

Samantha Sperber

Third Year
sper0663@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
MacEwan University,
Biological Science Major

Hometown:
Ponoka, AB

One reason I chose Pacific: "Everyone treats you like a colleague or family member, encouraging collaboration between students and faculty as well as promoting a noncompetitive environment. Aside from the actual people and program itself, the campus is beautiful, Forest Grove has the small community feel to it, and Pacific has six eye clinics providing a wealth of opportunity for students, what more could anyone ask for really! "

Hobbies: Exploring the outdoors, playing lacrosse, spending time with family and friends, finding new places to adventure, traveling and volunteering!

Clubs/Organizations: AMIGOS, American Optometric Students Association, Pacific Sports Vision, Canadian Association of Optometric Students, American Optometry Association

Paige Stephens

Third Year
step9961@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Kansas,
Exercise Science Major

Hometown:
Colby, KS

One reason I chose Pacific: "After visiting Pacific I could not picture myself going anywhere else. The beauty of the area, the climate, the coast and the benefits of living in a small town drew me in. I was sold after meeting with the faculty, staff and students at Pacific. Everyone genuinely cares about you here and treats you as a colleague the day you start classes. The people are truly what make this school so special."

Hobbies: I love playing all sports, running, biking, hiking, and anything that involves being outdoors and active. I also enjoy cooking/baking, gardening, photography, traveling, shopping and sleeping.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS EyeCare, Sports Vision Club, Pacific Practice Management Group, AOSA, Intramural Sports

 

Class of 2018

R. Dallin Boardman

Second Year
boar3123@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
BYU-Idaho,
Biology Major

Hometown:
Idaho Falls, ID

One reason I chose Pacific: " I wanted to end up somewhere in the Northwest United States, and my research led me to learn that Pacific not only will set me up well to become a good doctor, but will give me many chances to network and meet with local practitioners."

Hobbies: Fly fishing, sports such as basketball and football, spending time with my family, reading, and exploring.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, PAVA (family-oriented club)

Rebecca Chung

Second Year, Secretary
chun7383@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of British Columbia,
Biotechnology Major, Honors

Hometown:
Vancouver, BC

One reason I chose Pacific: " As an applicant with an undergraduate degree that I had not chosen with Optometry school in mind, PUCO went above and beyond to help me navigate the obstacles I encountered in the application process. My time at interview day only reinforced how the community here is tight-knit and invested in your success as a future optometrist and a student. Being able to live in a small town while being minutes away from Portland doesn't hurt either!"

Hobbies: Beach and indoor volleyball, Zumba, food truck-ing, hiking, paddleboarding, and cooking.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Canadian Association of Optometric Students, Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, AMIGOS

Lauren Drewry

Second Year
drew4941@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Calgary,
Biology and Psychology Major

Hometown:
Calgary, AB

One reason I chose Pacific: " Pacific's outstanding reputation was a major draw. Camaraderie within the community makes it very easy to thrive in Pacific's well-rounded program. The staff really want you to be successful and there is little competition with peers. Beyond school, the location and culture is hard to beat!"

Hobbies: Hiking, tennis, softball, dance, painting, photography, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, CAOS, AMIGOS

Carly Hyshka

Second Year
hysh2040@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Saskatchewan,
Physiology and Pharmacology Major

Hometown:
Saskatoon, SK

One reason I chose Pacific: "I immediately felt at home when I visited Pacific University for my interview. The faculty, staff, and students were all very friendly and welcoming. The supportive learning environment, emphasis on both clinical and academic skills, and reputation for producing exceptional optometrists influenced my decision."

Hobbies: Dance, piano, running, tennis, and spending time with friends and family.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, American Optometric Student Association, AMIGOS

Yuno Iwabuchi

Second Year
iwab0532@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Calgary,
Kinesiology Major

Hometown:
Calgary, AB

One reason I chose Pacific: "All of the students, staff, and faculty I interacted with throughout my application process were all so welcoming and helpful. They lived up to their reputation of being a big family and I wanted to be a part of it. The curriculum is also designed to set you up for a successful career. I also really liked the small town location in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!"

Hobbies: Field hockey, hiking, exploring Oregon, crafting, and Netflix!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Sports Vision Club, Canadian Association of Optometric Students, AMIGOS

Stephanie Norberg

Second Year, President-Elect
norb8317@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of North Dakota,
Biology/Pre-Health Major

Hometown:
Burnsville, MN

One reason I chose Pacific: "I was originally drawn to Pacific by the great reputation, and the clinical experience that I will receive, but it wasn't until my interview that I knew this was the perfect school for me. One of the things that really struck me when I visited Pacific was the supportive and caring atmosphere. Pacific continues to be a great and friendly environment. I can’t imagine going through Optometry school without the wonderful faculty, staff, and classmates that I have here."

Hobbies: Biking, swimming, wakeboarding, watching movies, baking, snowboarding.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Pacific Practice Management Club, AMIGOS, Sports Vision Club, AOSA, Intramural Sports

Aaron Salzano

Second Year
salz7061@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
George Fox University,
Biochemistry/ Vision Science Major- PUCO Bachelor's Degree Option

Hometown:
Richland, WA

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific University for several reasons. First, I love the Portland metro area and Pacific has a beautiful campus. Pacific also has a great reputation in academics, especially in sports vision, which I am particularly interested in. Lastly, I decided on Pacific because of the family atmosphere. It sounds cliche, but I went to a small undergraduate institution and really enjoyed the atmosphere, so I like the opportunity to engage with other students without competition and get to know the professors well."

Hobbies: I enjoy basketball, weightlifting, playing the guitar, and some good small group discussion!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Sports Vision Club, Optometric Physicians of Washington, AMIGOS, Fellowship of Christian Optometrists

Matthew Sobolewski

Second Year
sobo2922@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Alberta,
Biology Major

Hometown:
Edmonton, AB

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific University because of how I was treated by staff, students, professors and liaisons of the University throughout the application process.It was important for to me to be a part of a program that values and supports my professional and academic goals, and where not only myself, but also my future colleagues will have received the most comprehensive education available. Based upon the respect I received as an applicant in which I was immediately treated like a future colleague, I was confident Pacific University would allow me to realize my future goals."

Hobbies: I enjoy golf, playing guitar, drinking coffee, and managing my fantasy football team.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS, Class Council, Practice Management Club, Sports Vision Club, Intramural Sports.

Jessica Thornton

Second Year
thor6263@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of California Davis,
Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major

Hometown:
Nampa, ID

One reason I chose Pacific: "I loved the strong community present at Pacific, the passionate teachers, the many ways to get involved, and the option to pursue the Master's programs."

Hobbies: I enjoy running, traveling, reading, and eating.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS, Practice Management Club

Kendra Weiler

Second Year
weil6265@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Colorado State University,
Biomedical Sciences Major, Business Administration Minor

Hometown:
Monument, CO

One reason I chose Pacific: "I really loved the atmosphere at Pacific! The people are so welcoming and encouraging, and there are so many opportunities to get involved! On top of awesome academic and clinical programs, Pacific was an easy choice."

Hobbies: I love cooking, playing lacrosse, hiking, traveling, watching sports, and spending time with friends and family!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS, Sports Vision Club, NOSA, AOSA

Diana Yin

Second Year
yin9347@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign,
Psychology Major

Hometown:
DeKalb, IL

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific University for their close-knit Optometry program. The constant support from faculty, staff, and classmates is what I love most about Pacific. As soon as the program started, we were immediately immersed into the world of Optometry."

Hobbies:  My favorite hobby is eating cheesecake. I also love going to farmers markets and thrift stores here in the Portland area, hiking, and cuddling with my two rescue dogs!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Class President for Class of 2018, Armed Forces Optometric Society, SOA, AOSA

Class of 2019

Marisa Asheim

First Year
ashe9214@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
North Dakota State University,
Zoology Major

Hometown:
Mohall, ND

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific because of the friendly, welcoming atmosphere I experienced during my Interview Day.  I fell in love with the beauty of the area, and knew I could thrive here.  Since starting classes, I've gained an entire family of supporters in the faculty, upperclassmen, and my classmates."

Hobbies: Some of my hobbies include watching TV and movies, reading, baking, and going to concerts.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS, Minnesota Optometric Association, Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, AOSA

Joel Baillargeon

First Year
bail7611@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Alberta - Saint-Jean Campus

Hometown:
Edmonton, AB

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific due to its familial atmosphere and knowledgeable academic faculty. Another reason I chose Pacific was its relatively close distance to home."

Hobbies: Soccer, hockey, outdoor activities, video games and cooking

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, CAOS, SVC, NOSA

Goretti Chan

First Year
chan3207@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Washington,
Communication Major

Hometown:
Seattle, WA

One reason I chose Pacific: "Family vibe and the support I received during my interview day is truly what won me over."

Hobbies: I LOVE to bake desserts of all kinds and go exploring cities in search of amazing food. I love going to different restaurants and trying new things, so I definitely am a foodie! Currently in the midst of figuring out the french macaron recipe, having a 50% success ratio.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, NOSA

Mari Fujimoto

First Year
fuji8649@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Seattle University,
Biology Major

Hometown:
Mililani, HI

One reason I chose Pacific: "I felt at home, even on my interview day! The students, faculty, and ambassadors made me feel comfortable and welcomed instantly."

Hobbies: Anything outdoors, drawing, reading, and cooking.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, NOSA

Dayna Hazlewood

First Year
hazl2131@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Wyoming,
Physiology Major

Hometown:
Cheyenne, WY

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific because of how welcoming the community, students and faculty are.  Everyone works together, and makes this program so much fun. It was an obvious choice to attend Pacific after visiting the campus and meeting so many great students, faculty and clinicians! I also love the small-town feel of Forest Grove while still being in the Portland-Metro area!"

Hobbies: Music, concerts, snowboarding, wakeboarding, hiking and eating at new Portland restaurants!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AOSA, Sports Vision Club, AMIGOS

Anna Hetzer

First Year
hetz8259@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse,
Biology Major, French Minor

Hometown:
Waunakee, WI

One reason I chose Pacific: "One reason I chose Pacific was for the big green trees!"

Hobbies: Trail running, cooking, gardening, wine tasting (especially when it's paired with cheese), and travelling to new cities when I can! Professional chilling.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, NOSA, AMIGOS and Student Council

Ryan Kucala

First Year
kuca0220@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Pacific University,
Biology/Vision Science Major

Hometown:
Portland, OR

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific because of the overwhelming family like atmosphere shown by PUCO faculty, students, and alumni.  In addition, I was strongly attracted to the program due to the diverse clinical experience and well-rounded education, which will ultimately prepare me to provide patients with excellent care."

Hobbies: I enjoy doing outdoorsy things, weight training, basketball, reading, and trying new coffee shops.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Sports Vision Club

Malia Ma

First Year
ma6168@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Colorado State University,
Biology Major

Hometown:
Honolulu, HI

One reason I chose Pacific: "I feel Pacific will prepare me best for any optometric modality I choose. Also, I like Oregon! "

Hobbies: Eating (because food is life), surfing, snowboarding, hula and touring breweries!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, FCO, Sports Vision club, AMIGOS

Ryan Ngo

First Year
ngo4060@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Pacific University,
Chemistry Major

Hometown:
Portland, OR

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific University because of the program’s outstanding academic reputation and wide range of clinical sites that serve the multicultural population around Portland, I was confident Pacific University would help me become an amazing service provider. As a Portlander, I enjoy meeting diverse people and learning about their cultures, which is exactly what this school offers."

Hobbies: I enjoy reading, sketching, messing around with electronics, learning random skills, outdoors, traveling, and meeting new people!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Practice Management Club, AMIGOS, NOSA, and VPI

Allie Ruehlen

First Year
rueh4112@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
Colorado State University,
Business Merchandising Major

Hometown:
Colorado Springs, CO

One reason I chose Pacific: "Aside from living in the beautiful state of Oregon, Pacific University was my first choice when selecting an optometry school due to its supportive environment and emphasis on community. The faculty, staff, and students have all been extremely helpful every step of the way."

Hobbies: Traveling, yoga, snowboarding, hiking, camping, cooking and spending time with my family and friends.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS

Kevin Siy

First Year
siy6437@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of British Columbia,
Biology Major

Hometown:
Vancouver, BC

One reason I chose Pacific: "The amazing community that greeted me when I came for my interview."

Hobbies: Playing percussion, piano, guitar, board games and video games, as well as watching and analyzing various TV Shows and Movies.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Canadian Association of Optometry Students (CAOS)

Katy Tan

First Year
katytan@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of British Columbia,
Biochemistry Major

Hometown:
Vancouver, BC

One reason I chose Pacific: "From interview day, I could see the tight-knit atmosphere in the interactions between faculty and students, as well as between students. I immediately felt welcomed to this community and felt drawn to the friendly people. I was also excited to stay along the west coast, and try all the different restaurants and food trucks in Portland!"

Hobbies: I like relaxing with yoga, colouring, and baking. Also, music is a passion of mine, especially playing the piano and singing!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS, NOSA

Ashley Wing

First Year
wing0559@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Wyoming

Hometown:
Rock Springs, WY

One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific University due to the supportive tone of the school. The supportive nature of both faculty and staff was something that I felt very early on in the application process and is something that I continue to experience as a student. Additionally, Pacific instills an innate sense of camaraderie and teamwork in its students. At my interview I met students who were not only willing to provide me with assistance, advice and guidance, but who were eager to do it. Pacific truly fosters a unique environment where everyone is family!"

Hobbies: I enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest, cooking, traveling, and binge watching Netflix!

Clubs/Organizations: Student Ambassadors, AMIGOS, Sports Vision Club, NOSA, AOSA, Practice Management Group, Vice President Class of 2019