Berkeley Optometry Ambassadors work in conjunction with the Admissions & Student Affairs Office to provide prospective students with “real life” information regarding what it’s like to be an optometry student here at UC Berkeley.
We encourage you to ask us questions via email and we will be happy to share with you our experiences and passion for Berkeley Optometry.
Class of 2026 Ambassadors
Learn more about our ambassadors from the Class of 2026 by clicking on a name below.
Ana Alcaraz was born in Colombia but moved to the U.S at the age of 2 and lived in Miami, FL up until 2022. She graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s in health service administration as well as with a certificate in Spanish translation and interpretation. Before deciding on optometry as a career path, Ana was pursuing a degree in speech language pathology where she learned valuable lessons that she still puts into practice today. She feels very grateful that although her path to optometry school was nontraditional, there were resources and people along the way that helped her embark on the journey to UC Berkeley.
Once Ana decided on pursuing optometry she began working with a pediatric optometrist as an optometric technician where she fell in love with the field. This was where she witnessed optometry’s interdisciplinary nature, work-life balance, intellectual challenges, growth opportunities, and rewarding experiences ultimately leading her to pursue graduate school! Optometry for Ana is very significant as she notes that is a field where she will one day be able to witness the immediate gratification patients feel when putting on their glasses or contacts and seeing a significant difference in the way they view the world.
As a first-generation graduate student Ana feels very grateful to have the opportunity to receive quality education from Berkeley optometry and hopes to one day be an advocate for her patients. Ana is very passionate about helping others especially those that may come from a nontraditional background like her and are looking into optometry school. She cannot wait to see what the future holds for new prospective students here at Berkeley and is looking forward to helping others in any way possible.
If you have any questions, email Ana directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andre Yee was born and raised in Socal’s sunny San Diego, and graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2021 (zot zot) with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology. He took a gap year before applying to optometry school where he spent as much time with his family as possible, wrote poetry, learned some guitar and taught himself to brew coffee in preparation for future grad school mornings.
When he was five, his family did the only thing five year olds could do in Vegas (watch magic shows) and had to convince his parents that he couldn’t see the birds flying around; no one in his family had glasses so they didn’t really believe him… One pair of glasses and a decade and a half later, Andre found his passion in Optometry, seeing it as the perfect midpoint between eye specialization and primary care. He saw it as an opportunity to make an impact on patients’ quality of life through sight, serve as the first contact against eye-related health concerns, and build a community of patients to grow alongside.
A year into the program, Andre has a lot of pride in being a Berkeley bear, largely thanks to his cohort (s/o class of 2026) and the faculty! He genuinely enjoys the upbeat and welcoming atmosphere his classmates and instructors bring everyday, and feels like he chose the right place to grow as an eye care provider.
Daisy was born and raised in Texas where she majored in Human Development at The University of Texas at Austin. She first grew an interest in Optometry when she began clinical research in an Ophthalmology center. As Berkeley is currently the number one school for ocular research, Daisy has been able to expand on her interests and find new passions within the field.
As the Philanthropic Chair for her class it is important to Daisy that Berkeley students not just provide support and ocular education to campus life, but to the Bay Area community as a whole. During her time volunteering she has sectored towards a focus on underrepresented persons as well as supported Optometrists that perform free eye exams in low income communities. Daisy’s main goal is to be a doctor who is culturally competent as well as to provide high quality, patient centered care.
Berkeley is a rigorous program but the measure of community and resources available are unmatched in Optometry. Daisy is incredibly excited to be a part of the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science and wants to make sure all prospective students feel welcome and accepted.
If you have any questions, email Daisy directly at: email@example.com.
Erwin Bautista Sunga was raised both in the Bay Area and San Diego prior to receiving his B.S. in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Philippine Studies at the University of San Francisco. During this time he would discover a sense of community and identity in serving and becoming part of it, setting roots in San Francisco following graduation. This would be the starting point of his journey into optometry working for an independent, private practice as a technician.
Over the course of 8 years, Erwin grew alongside the practice, eventually becoming the Frame and Optical Lead, cultivating a passion for personalized eyecare and individuality through eyewear. Here he would also bolster the need to serve, volunteering for an optical/optometric outreach program providing essential care and services to the marginalized. This experience would instill the core desire of integrating accessibility and advocacy with quality, individualized care as an optometrist in the future.
Berkeley’s holistic and non-traditional approach, along with its heritage was a major deciding factor and draw for Erwin as a non-traditional applicant who took a longer route and did not take the OAT. His experiences and evolution so far have been shaped by the program’s unique blend of clinical exposure, academic challenge, strong sense of community and culture. Erwin is excited for your journey and interest in the field, and is happy to help with any questions or guidance you may need!
If you have any questions, email Erwin directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hyekyung Moon (who also goes by Hayley) was born in Seoul, South Korea, but raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She moved to the United States where she graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelor's and a master's degree in Neuroscience and Behavior. Volunteering with medical missionaries in Jamaica, she began dreaming of becoming a doctor to help others. Post-college, this dream evolved into a goal as she shadowed and interviewed optometrists in various healthcare settings, and discovered that optometrists have many opportunities to serve vulnerable populations and build long-lasting relationships with patients.
Upon attending Optocamp hosted by Berkeley Optometry in the summer of 2021, Hyekyung only applied to Berkeley School of Optometry as she learned about its wonderful professors, tight-knit community, and incredible academics. Since joining the class of 2026, she has served as Co-President and is a member of the T-35 research cohort where she will be studying glaucoma.
Being a first-gen, low-income international student, Hyekyung understands the challenges of not only getting accepted into higher education, but also navigating the intricacies of it upon being admitted. She is excited to help students from various backgrounds and non-traditional paths learn about optometry school! Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
If you have any questions, email Hye Kyung directly at: email@example.com.
Joselyne Calvillo was born and raised in Sacramento, California. In 2017, Joselyne completed her undergraduate studies at Sonoma State University where she obtained her Bachelors of Science degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. After graduating, she wanted to get work experience prior to continuing her education. Joselyne gained experience in the field through employment in both private optometry and ophthalmology clinics for five years.
As a first generation Mexican-American, Joselyne held the responsibility of accompanying family members to medical appointments and assisting with translation. She was able to see the disparity between minorities and access to quality healthcare. With this in mind, she knew she wanted to dedicate her life to bridging this gap in healthcare. Joselyne shadowed many medical professionals in a variety of fields - looking for the one that lit a spark within. She was in search of a career that not only would allow her to help those most in need but also result in a meaningful connection with her patients. This spark came while working in eyecare. She saw the meaningful connections that Optometrists held with their patients and was especially impressed to learn that many patients had the same doctor since childhood!
When applying to Optometry School, her top two priorities were proximity to home and small class sizes. She found the perfect fit with Berkeley Optometry! The small class size has allowed her to get to know her instructors, connect with classmates, and obtain help from both whenever needed. During the process of applying to optometry school, she received guidance from the admissions team and current students. They have helped pave her path which allowed her to be where she is today. She is excited to give back to other pre-optometry students from similar backgrounds and provide honest opinions about applying and life as an Optometry Student!
If you have any questions, email Joselyne directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Yoo was born and raised in Orange County, California. In 2022, she graduated from University of California, Los Angeles receiving a B.S. in Biology. Before undergrad, Rachel always had an interest in healthcare as she always had a passion to help others and improve the overall quality of life through the proper care. As she was able to experiment with different types of fields in healthcare, she found great interest in optometry through volunteering with the UCLA Mobile Eye Clinic, an organization providing free eye care to the underserved communities, and through shadowing an optometrist in Beverly Hills who specializes in ocular surface diseases.
After being inspired to serve the community through eye care and build good patient and doctor relations, she decided to start her journey to becoming an optometrist at Berkeley Optometry. Rachel enjoys the Berkeley Optometry community as everyone truly supports one another and wants everyone to succeed. As a Berkeley Optometry Ambassador, her main goal is to help answer any questions about optometry school and to ultimately make the decision on one’s future career path even a bit easier! She is excited to be a resource to all prospective students with anything about the school or optometry field so reach out if there are any questions!
If you have any questions, email Rachel directly at: email@example.com
Trang Hoang was raised in Seattle, Washington and graduated from the University of Washington in 2022 with her bachelor’s degree in Physiology. She then started her optometry journey immediately after graduation the following August. During her undergraduate years she worked in a local optometry office, a nearby hospital, and volunteered abroad on medical mission trips where she further developed her passion for healthcare, especially serving under-resourced communities. She believes it vital to be advocates for the profession to emphasize the importance of caring for one’s vision and eye health.
She was first exposed to optometry when she had her first eye exam at 6 years old where she found out she had a lazy eye and got her first pair of glasses and a nice eye patch to wear. She was intrigued by the various tests that were performed and the relationship built between her and her optometrist that made each visit so memorable. This sparked her interest in optometry and throughout the years she has witnessed the field of optometry advance rapidly in just that short amount of time. She also supported optometrists on medical mission trips abroad in Vietnam and hopes to continue providing eye care services to help underprivileged communities as she is also a member of VOSH.
Being a student at Berkeley, Trang appreciates the immediate clinic-exposure students have from day one to get them ready for success as future clinicians. Each instructor brings their own diverse advice and knowledge that helps students to cultivate their own unique personal clinical skills. At Berkeley, Trang feels like she has found a supportive community of inspirational peers and instructors who are all truly rooting for one another. She is eager to share her experiences moving to the Bay area and transitioning to Berkeley life to prospective students and to answer any questions!
If you have any questions, email Trang directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.