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 2018

R. Dallin Boardman

Third 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

Third 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

Third 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

Third 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

Third 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

Third Year, President
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

Third 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

Third 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

Third 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

Third 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

Third 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

Second Year, President-Elect
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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Second 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

Katy Tan

Second 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

Class of 2020


Laura Becerra

First Year
bece4225@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate institution: Oregon State University

Major: Biological Health Science

Hometown: Beaverton, OR

One reason I chose Pacific: Pacific University was an easy choice. Aside from being located in the Pacific Northwest where there is so much to do, the school has a great reputation, the students and staff are welcoming and genuinely helpful, and the campus is beautiful! After attending my interview day, my decision to attend this school was solidified. The students all work well together, respect each other, and support each other through this process we call optometry school. I couldn’t imagine having gone anywhere else.

Hobbies: Soccer, painting, Netflix, drinking coffee, playing board games

Clubs/Organizations: NOSA, Sports Vision Club
 


Shalini Chedi

First Year
ched4359@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution: Pacific University

Major: Biology

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

One reason I chose Pacific: The opportunities provided for students to be active within the Forest Grove community is what I was and still am most excited about! 

Hobbies: I enjoy swimming, hiking, traveling, and dancing!   

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


Alyssa Chin

First Year
chin7117@pacificu.edu

Major: Biology

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

One reason I chose Pacific: When I came to interview, all of the faculty and staff were warm and friendly! The comradery present between the students was very heart-warming as it created an atmosphere that was filled with respect, love and appreciation. On top of that, Pacific is very holistic in their teaching, which prepares you to handle anything that may come your way as an optometrist.

Hobbies: I enjoy traveling, exploring the Pacific Northwest, dancing hula and spending time with great people!

Clubs and Organizations: NOSA, AMIGOS, Fellowship of Christian Optometrists


Sergio Cruz

First Year
cruz1886@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution: University of Nevada

Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Hometown: Yerington, Nevada

One reason I chose Pacific: During my interview day my tour was led by a 2nd year ambassador, she made a simple comment that really stood out to me: "Pacific's Optometry program has a really tight bond within each other and if you were to come here to compete against your classmates, rather than to help them and become their friends, then you probably don't belong here."

Hobbies: Golfing, snowboarding, hiking, and anything else that keeps me outdoors.
  
Clubs/Organizations: Sports Vision Club, AMIGOS, Intramural Sports


Natalie Kulaga

First Year
​kula7074@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution: University of Nevada, Reno

Major: Biology

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

One reason I chose Pacific: I chose Pacific because of the close-knit feel of the College of Optometry; it's like one big eye-loving family! Everybody is so friendly and willing to help be a part of your success; the faculty members are so committed to shaping us into exceptional clinicians for our future patients. 

Hobbies: Crafting, cooking, making ceramic creations on the pottery wheel, and eating!

Clubs/Organizations: NOSA, AOSA, AMIGOS


Helon Law

First Year
law7893@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate institution: University of British Columbia

Major: Combined Major in Sciences

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

One reason I chose Pacific: I chose Pacific due to how apparent the welcoming and familial atmosphere was on my interview day, as well as for its very well-rounded didactic and clinical programs, especially with the broad approach that Pacific takes with optometry. As a bonus, I love the food scene and outdoorsy vibes of the Pacific Northwest!

Hobbies: Finding new restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries to try out; travelling, cooking (questionably), working out, hiking & other outdoor activities.

Clubs/Organizations: AMIGOS, AOSA, CAOS


Wanzhi Li

First Year
li1723@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Irvine

Major: Cognitive Science

Hometown: Irvine, California

One reason I chose Pacific: Aside from the beautiful environment and Pacific’s strong academic and clinical program, my experience on the interview day is what blew me away! The thoughtful design of interview day activities and the welcoming faculties and ambassadors showed to me that Pacific goes above and beyond to provide and meet the needs of students!

Hobbies: Singing, drawing, hiking, running, participating in spicy food challenges, and checking out local museums, farmer’s markets and coffee shops.

Clubs/Organizations: Class Council, AMIGOS, NOSA 


Jeff Ness

First Year
​ness2278@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution: Pacific University

Major: Chemistry

Hometown: Stanwood, Washington

One reason I chose Pacific: After studying at Pacific for four years as an undergraduate, I really became acclimated to the family atmosphere of this community. I knew that this welcoming attitude would continue into the graduate program, which would allow me to feel right at home. Our studies at the College of Optometry are entirely important and getting to share everything with the optometry family just makes it that much more exciting.

Hobbies: Fishing and boating, playing with my dog in the backyard, family board game nights, trying to learn how to play a new song on the guitar, and much more!

Clubs/Organizations:  American Optometric Association, American Optometric Student Association, AMIGOS, Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, National Optometric Student Association (First-Year Representative), Optometric Physicians of Washington, Pacific Practice Management Group


Nadine Odermatt

First Year
​oder0599@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution: University of Calgary

Major: Biomedical Science Major, Honours

Hometown: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

One reason I chose Pacific: Although I chose Pacific for numerous reasons, one of the biggest for me was the outstanding reputation that the school has built for itself, even throughout Canada! The OD program at Pacific has incredibly strong and diverse academics that are well-complimented by the school's tight-knit community of staff, students, and faculty. Pacific is known to attract very strong students who make skilled clinicians, and I wanted to be a part of that legacy! Other factors that contributed to my choice included its small class size, its gorgeous campus, its focus on attracting the very best people and future optometrists (rather than only the best students), its emphasis on community service, and of course its location in the beautiful state of Oregon!

Hobbies: Soccer, hiking, photography, cooking/baking, and being a lifelong Vancouver Canucks fan. 

Clubs/Organizations: Canadian Association of Optometry Students, Sports Vision Club, AOSA, Intramural Sports


Jett Scrimsher

First Year
​scri4056@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate Institution: Brigham Young University

Major: Exercise Science

Hometown: Burbank, WA

One reason I chose Pacific: Outstanding school and it's close to home!

Hobbies: Hiking, sports, being active

Clubs/Organizations: AMIGOS, Sports Vision, Practice Management


Alexa Thavorn

First Year
thav8024@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate institution: California State University, Long Beach

Major: Health Science

Hometown: Aliso Viejo, CA

One reason I chose Pacific: I chose Pacific because of my experience on interview day, where I got to meet a great group of students and faculty. 

Hobbies: Reading, Eating, Volleyball, Netflix binge watch and watching movies!

Clubs/Organizations: AMIGOS, NOSA, Class of 2020 Entertainment Rep


Abby Timmerman

First Year
timm7965@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate institution: Ferris State University

Major: Biology Major

Hometown: Montague, MI

One reason I chose Pacific: Pacific was the clear choice for me because of the diversity in their clinics, the option to pursue a concurrent Master’s degree, and the beautiful the Pacific Northwest had me hooked from the beginning.

Hobbies: Running, snowboarding, wine tasting, hiking, and hunting.

Clubs/Organizations:  AOSA, Sports Vision Club and Pacific Practice Management Club


Shu Yi Wen

First Year
wen0411@pacificu.edu

Undergraduate institution: McGill University

Major: Anatomy and Cell Biology, Minor: Sociology

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

One reason I chose Pacific: When I first visited the campus, it was instantly clear that this is a high quality school, enclosed in a comfortable, small town. The faculty seemed extremely caring and knowledgeable. My undergraduate school was in a huge city so I thought this would be a nice change, so I can learn to live more independently from big-city conveniences. I love walking by all the roses every day when I go home from classes!

Hobbies: Long distance running, performing stand-up comedy, exploring Oregon, alternative rock, drawing and Starcraft.

Clubs / Organizations: CAOS, Pacific Practice Management Group