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 2019

Marisa Asheim

Third Year, President

Undergraduate Institution:
North Dakota State University,
Zoology Major

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Alberta - Saint-Jean Campus

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Washington,
Communication Major

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
Seattle University,
Biology Major

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Wyoming,
Physiology Major

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

Third Year

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

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
Pacific University,
Biology/Vision Science Major

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
Colorado State University,
Biology Major

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
Pacific University,
Chemistry Major

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
Colorado State University,
Business Merchandising Major

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

Third Year

Undergraduate Institution:
University of British Columbia,
Biochemistry Major

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, Secretary

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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, President-Elect

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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

Second Year

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