Dr. Barbara Brown, manager of student and special services for the College of Optometry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was named one of the 2009 Most Influential Women in Optical by Vision Monday, a national eye care trade publication. She was chosen as a mentor, which Vision Monday defined as “women who are team builders and developers of talent.”

She was nominated by 17 UMSL optometry students, who wrote in their nomination: “Dr. Brown is not only a mentor in optometry; she guides us through every aspect of school, from the entrance interview process before enrollment to the licensing process as we leave school and apply for jobs.”

Brown earned a doctorate in optometry in 1988 and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1984, both from UMSL. She returned to the university as a staff member in the College of Optometry in 1999 after leaving a full-time optometry practice. Her job includes managing all student services for the college, acting as a fundraising liaison and oversight of recruitment, admissions, placement and scholarships. She also serves as a secretary of the board and life member of the Missouri Optometric Foundation, and is a member of the American Optometric Association, Heart of America Contact Lens Society and St. Louis Optometric Society.

Brown attributes her enthusiasm for her job to UMSL’s optometry students.

“I am inspired by the entering class and the graduating class every year,” she told Vision Monday. “I am inspired by their plans, dreams and their desire to become something different than they are today.”

The College of Optometry at UMSL administers the only professional training program for optometrists in Missouri. It is one of only 19 North American member institutions of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry that offer a doctorate in optometry. Visithttp://www.umsl.edu/~optomety to learn more about the college.

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Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz