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Meet the Team

Script Developers

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Ijeoma Onyejiukwa, MPH

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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, MPH

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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, OD

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Sara Restuccio, OD is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

Although a native of Columbus Ohio, she briefly lived in Miami Florida during her undergraduate studies. After graduating from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s in health science she has

always had a passion for systemic health and wellness. She is now currently residing in

Charleston south Carolina pursuing her residency in ocular disease/primary care with specialty care in scleral contact lenses and low vision.

 

Dr. Restuccio's residency program is at a hospital serving veterans of the US military. She loves

being able to serve the veteran population and better their lives through quality eye care. She aspires to continue her practice in a hospital setting promoting systemic health while treating the eyes. On the weekends

you can find Dr. Restuccio working part-time for National Vision Inc providing eyecare to patients

of all ages.

 

When not in the eye clinic Dr. Restuccio loves all things outdoors. You can find her walking the beach

searching for the prettiest of sea shells, running the scenic trails, or grabbing her rollerblades for a quick trip around town.

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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, OD, FAAO

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Dr. Fareedah Haroun completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh before pursuing her optometric training at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. She stayed in Columbus to complete a residency in Cornea, Contact Lens, and Ocular Disease at The Ohio State University Department of Ophthalmology – Havener Eye Insitute. She is now a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center- Mercy Vision Institute providing care for patients within the Specialty Contact Lens Clinic.

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Shervonne Poleon, Ph.D

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Dr. Shervonne Poleon is a St. Lucian national who holds a doctoral degree in Vision Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Poleon's research focuses on the impact of socio-behavioral determinants of health on medication adherence in glaucoma and other chronic diseases.

 

Dr.  Poleon has a strong passion for patient advocacy and was the recipient of the 2021 Prevent Blindness Rising Visionary Award. In 2022, Dr.  Poleon was recognized for her work by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and was the recipient of the 2022 ARVO Emerging Advocate Award.

 

In addition to her research, Dr.  Poleon serves as a mental health intern with Prevent Blindness, where she explores the impact of visual impairment and blindness on mental

health and psychological wellness.

 

Dr.  Poleon is determined to improve overall eye health by directly addressing the social, behavioral, and psychological barriers that limit access, delivery, and uptake of eye care resources. In her spare time, Dr.  Poleon enjoys bouldering, poetry, and playing 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 doctorate from 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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Bryce St. Clair, OD

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Dr. St. Clair was born and raised in Alabama. He saw firsthand how important primary eye care was in his rural community, which led him to pursue optometry from the age of fifteen. He completed his undergraduate and doctoral training at The Ohio State University and then completed his residency at the University of Houston. He is currently on faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and provides comprehensive and medical eye care to his patients in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Rachel Williams, OD, MPH

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Rachel Williams was born and raised in Cocoa, FL. She attended the University of Central Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. It was here that she became interested in pursuing a career in optometry. She recently graduated from Southern College of Optometry with her Doctor of Optometry degree. During optometry school, she also obtained a Master of Public Health from the University of Memphis. She is now going on to complete a residency in low vision and ocular disease at Southern College of Optometry.

Rachel’s interest in public health stems from wanting to improve health literacy so that others can be empowered to make good decisions about their eye health. She is also interested in increasing awareness of low vision services in order to improve the quality of life for individuals who have lost their vision.

When she is not advocating for eye health or providing eye care, Rachel enjoys reading, playing video games, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two dogs.

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Project Coordinators

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Araba Otoo, OD, 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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This Could be you

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This Could be you 

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Join us on our quest to improve vision and eye health

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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