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Meet the Team

Script Developers

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Ijeoma Onyejiukwa

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Ijeoma Onyejiukwa, MPH is a product of Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and its Graduate School of Public Health. She is a first-year optometry student at Pennsylvania College of Optometry and hopes to bring awareness to eye health and vision health and address disparities in care, especially in marginalized communities. 

Ijeoma was previously the director of the employee health & wellness program at NYC Administration for Children’s Services. In this capacity, Ijeoma oversaw the wellness program for a mayoral agency focused on providing services to children and families of New York City. Through interagency collaborations, Ms. Onyejiukwa developed new programs for the wellness program and assisted in bringing in new resources to help employees with holistic wellness, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.  

In her free time, Ijeoma enjoys learning about wellness, reading, watching YouTube vlogs, and watching basketball game highlights.

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Darian Travis

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Rural Mississippi is where Darian Travis, MPH called home for all her childhood. Small towns like Poplaville, Carriere, and Picayune were like their own little worlds. As she grew up, Darian Travis developed a passion for community service and healthcare which led her to a Bachelor of Science degree in medical laboratory and a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Florida.

Now married and in middle adulthood, she is a third-year optometry student at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB). That love for helping others never faded, and she is an active member of the executive board for the UAB National Optometric Student Association and Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity.

When she’s not out volunteering, Darian Travis likes to watch Netflix with her two cats (Cheddar and Jack) or go to the dog park with her two dogs (Taffy and Toffee)

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Sara Restuccio

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Sara Restuccio is a native of Ohio. She earned a Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Miami, Florida, and now working on a Doctor of Optometry degree at the Ohio State University. 

Sara is passionate about ocular diseases and aspires to educate patients on how their systemic health can correlate with their ocular health. Another goal of hers is to treat patients not only improving their vision but their overall health

 Sara loves to be outside and can be found running, rollerblading, or just strolling on Ohio trails during her free time. 

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Sirak Alemu,OD

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Helen Sirak Alemu, OD was born and raised in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Hawassa University, Ethiopia. Following graduation, she worked as a junior public health professional for three years prior to relocating to the United States. Dr. Alemu earned a second Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Ohio Dominican University and continued to attain a Doctor of Optometry from the Ohio State University soon after. 

Dr. Alemu is now an optometrist at National Vision Inc. in Virginia where she applies both clinical and public health knowledge to provide primary vision care services to her patients. She prioritizes patient education about the benefits of regular eye exams to avoid irreversible vision loss. In her free time, Dr. Alemu enjoys making Ethiopian coffee, photography, and video editing.

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Sameena Mashhood, OD

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Sameena Mashhood, OD was born in Salalah, Oman, and spent a few years of her childhood in India. The few years spent in India ignited a strong passion within Dr. Mashhood to make a difference in people’s lives and improve healthcare access to the world’s underserved population. This aspiration led her to explore global health and participate in The Great Cities London study abroad program for her research as an undergraduate 

Dr. Mashhood completed her undergraduate education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. At UIC, Dr. Mashhood discovered Unite for Sight and their global impact inspired her to pursue a career in optometry. She went on to earn her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Mashhood is now an Optometrist at National Vision Inc. in Illinois where she makes quality eye care accessible to her patients. 

In her free time, Dr. Mashhood enjoys working out, painting, and spending time with her family.

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Fareedah Haroun

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Fareedah Haroun is a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. Prior to coming to Ohio State, Fareedah obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. It was during that time that she really began to unpack the fractures within our healthcare infrastructure. It became evident to her that not only is it critical to ensure that vulnerable populations have access to basic care, but that care must be delivered in a culturally sensitive and relevant manner. 

Health literacy has always been a top priority for Fareedah. During her gap year, she worked within refugee resettlement and provided health education and social services to further explore the junction between public health and vision care. This experience was instrumental in motivating her through this professional journey. She recognizes that there is still room for growth within the optometric field when it comes to health equity, and she is excited to be a part of the Cherish Eyesight team. 

She can be found somewhere yelling at a TV screen about her favorite sports teams, attempting to make an edible meal, or enjoying live music on the weekends

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Shervonne Poleon

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Shervonne Poleon is a St. Lucian national who is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Vision Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Shavonne completed her undergraduate training in Biological Sciences at Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana.  

Shervonne’s research focuses on the impact of socio-behavioral determinants of health on medication adherence in glaucoma. She is also keen on identifying and characterizing long-term patterns of medication adherence in glaucoma and other chronic diseases. Shervonne is determined to improve eye health, as well as access to eye care services by directly addressing the barriers that limit care delivery and efficacy.  

In her spare time, Shervonne enjoys outdoor adventure, bouldering, English literature, and learning to play bass guitar.

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Anamika Bisht

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Anamika Bisht is an Optometrist and Public Health specialist with more than five years of experience dealing with various aspects of optometry. Bisht also has expertise which includes elements of clinical as well as optical optometry.

 

Bisht obtained her bachelor’s in clinical optometry from Dr. D. Y Patil Institute of Optometry in Pune where she was awarded Gold Medal for the year 2012. Bisht started her first employment with Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi, where she received the unique opportunity to work in cornea and eye bank which enhanced her practical knowledge in optometry; here she was also involved in several community eye care programs. 

 

Bisht started her doctoral program at Jackson State University in Behavior health promotion and education in August 2020. Her research interest is in community optometry and vision sciences. She completed her internship at the Louisiana Association of Blind in Low Vision Rehabilitation Center, Shreveport; where she got trained in professional development, grant writing, and fund-raising activities. Her main goal is to find preventive measures to empower people impacted by vision loss around the world.

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Isa Prude

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Isa Prude was born in Miami Beach, Florida, and raised in Miramar, Fl. She is currently a second-year optometry student at the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Davie, Fl. Isa completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida, while also completing a minor in psychology.

Isa has a growing interest in public health and is hoping to begin her master’s degree studies in May 2022. During her time so far at NSUCO, she has held leadership positions in the National Optometric Student Association as Diversifying Optometry Program Liaison and co-president. Isa was also a 2021 Area Health and Education Centers Scholar, where she engaged with learning about community health, cultural competencies, an interprofessional approach to healthcare.

In her spare time, Isa enjoys reading, baking, yoga, and spending time with cats.

Erlein Tacastacas, OD; Jaime Antonio; Mawada Osman, OD, MS; Joan Cmar – See Board of Directors for their biographies.

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Project Coordinators

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Araba Otoo,MPH

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Araba Otoo is also an OSU Health Equity Scholar and co-coordinator of CEV projects. See Board of Directors for her biography

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Katie Hsieh

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Born in Taiwan and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Katie Hsieh is now happy to call Columbus her home for the time being. She developed a passion for serving others and that led her to study nursing at the Ohio State University (OSU). Katie was heavily involved in nursing research when she was an undergraduate student and presented findings at local and national fairs. 

Katie is now pursuing a Master of Science in nursing while working full-time at the Wexner Medical Center, medical intensive care unit. Her career trajectory has led her to meet people of diverse populations and has witnessed how health disparities bear across the communities she serves. As a nurse, she desires to return every patient she encounters to a functional state of health and provide resources to optimize their health. She notices that this is hard to do without adequate patient education, helping them grasp the severity of their diagnosis and providing them with resources to live a healthy lifestyle.  

Katie is an OSU Health Equity Scholar and through this program, she contributes to improving health disparities and equity as it relates to vision and eye health. Katie enjoys spending time with her husband and two cats (Hiki and Haru), plant shopping, and reading when time permits. 

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Artists & Animators

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Nathaniel Coleman

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Nathaniel Coleman is an animator whose evolving interest in cartoons led him to explore cartooning and developed an interest in traditional animation. He earned a Higher National Diploma in commercial art from the Takoradi Technical University, Ghana, and continued to earn a Bachelor of Technology in graphics with a concentration in animation. 

Nathaniel has since been focused on character animation and has a working knowledge of traditional frame-by-frame and cut-out animation production. Nathaniel is interested in animations of all kinds, with his favorite being 2D animation. When Nathaniel is not animating or drawing, he will likely be found playing soccer or watching cartoons.

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Andre Ashley Djanie

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Andrew Ashley Djanie who is better known as “JewSay” in the lyrical jungle hails from South-La, Ghana. His love for music, poetry, and stories is unadulterated. That talent and burning passion started way back in primary school and took it to another upon completion of Senior high school. He has a unique rap style that is different from the new crop of artists. His ability to switch flows and employ catchy phrases in pidgin, Ga, and English makes him versatile and interesting to listen to. He draws inspiration from his life perceptions, personal experiences, real-life situations, and current observations. His rap takes the narrative and storytelling form. It is his ultimate dream to positively poor into the lives of people by mentoring the youth to become role models in society

Volunteers

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Joshua Amponsah

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Joshua Amponsah is currently a 3rd-year undergraduate student studying Psychology and Philosophy at The Ohio State University (OSU). As a double major in two very introspective fields, he brings a unique perspective and attention to detail in varying positions.

In addition to this, Joshua is a board member of Lambda Phi Epsilon at the OSU, where he focuses on contributing to multiculturalism on campus through the organization’s engagement with students of Asian heritage. Joshua is excited to use his skills and experiences to improve the public’s visual health literacy.

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Eva Otoo

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Eva Otoo is a first-year student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in communications at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As a communications major, she aspires to use her degree to complement her creativity, leadership, and collaborative thinking skills in hopes of becoming a creative director within the film and media industry. 

Along with her studies, Eva has been very involved within her school community. From becoming a student representative for her school’s Board of Education to speaking about injustices for equity panels; Eva has used her voice to advocate for the needs of her peers. In Addition, for four years Eva held the elected position as the Public Relations Officer for her class Student Council. Her responsibilities included using creative modems to connect and engage the student body while utilizing social media to spread the message. Eva is excited to use her skills and experiences to increase visual health awareness through CEV.

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