Our Alumni do amazing things—in and out of the clinic! Here’s a sampling of what they’re up to.

Do you have a story to tell?

About your career or your life? We’d love to hear from you! Send us pics and details.
optoalumni@berkeley.edu

2016

Meredith Turner, OD ’16
Purchased a practice in Redding, CA
Last updated October, 2017

2014

Hannah Chu, OD ’14
Dr. Chu was recently married! She spent her honeymoon enjoying Thailand. She and her husband Josh live in Portland, OR.
Last updated October, 2016

2013

Mark Landig, OD ’13
Working at UCLA’s Stein Eye Institute, UCLA School of Medicine Cataract and Refractive Surgery Division. On a side note, he recently underwent Visian ICL implantation on both eyes, freeing him from glasses and contact lenses!
Last updated October, 2016

Sabrina Graziano Shively, OD ’13
Started her own practice, BeSpectacled, in Bakersfield, CA, next door to her father-in-law’s dental office. Her husband Kyle Shively, OD ’10, also practices nearby at the Bakersfield Eye Institute.
Last updated October, 2017

2012

Melanie Akau, OD ’12
Dr. Akau completed a 2-year post-residency optometry research fellowship at the Boston VA Hospital and married Matthew Taliaferro in August, whom she met during her last year of optometry school. They were each other’s first and only E-Harmony date! The couple reside in the greater Boston area and Melanie will be joining a private MD/OD practice in Nashua, NH this Fall.
Last updated October, 2015

2009

Jennifer Hsieh, ’OD 09, Residency ’10
Dr. Hsieh as been working at two private offices in the Bay Area. She got married to her husband Channing in 2011 and became a mom in 2014. Her son Oliver is now two years old! She received one of the Young OD of the Year Awards by the California Optometric Association in 2014.
Last updated October, 2016

Justin Kwan, OD ’09
Dr. Kwan married Lora Kim on April 11, 2015 on board the historic and majestic Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. It was a super fun day celebrating with friends and family. Dr. Kwan currently is in his fifth year teaching full time at Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University in cornea and contact lens. He also heads the dry eye and refractive surgery clinic.
Last updated October, 2015

Sarah Lewis, OD ’09
Awarded the 2015 Young Optometrist of the Year by the Colorado Optometric Association.
Last updated October, 2016

2008

Debora Lee Chen, OD ’08
This year Dr. Chen, and husband Terry welcomed their first daughter, Mia Chen, into their family. Mia was born on April 7, 2015. Debora is Co-Chief of the Binocular Vision Clinic at Berkeley Optometry.
Last updated October, 2015

2007

Ahna Girshick, PhD ’07
Since earning a PhD under Dr. Marty Banks in 2007, Ahna Girshick, PhD ’07, is now a computational research scientist at Ancestry DNA in San Francisco, doing machine learning and genomics research to help people learn more about where they come from.
Last updated October, 2017

Kuniyoshi Kanai, OD, ’07
The Kanai family welcomes the newest member of the family! Leo was born in November 2014. Daughter Alisa is now 4 years old.
Last updated October, 2015

1998

Kristine Eng, OD ’98
Awarded the Alameda and Contra Costa Counties Optometric Society (ACCCOS) OD of the year.
Last updated October, 2016

1997

Maxwell Cheng, BS ’95, OD ’97
Dr. Cheng does humanitarian work all around the world. He recently completed a medical mission to Jamaica where he led a team of 35 volunteers who performed 70 surgeries on people blinded from cataracts. They treated nearly 200 glaucoma patients, conducted 1600 eye exams and provided 1500 pairs of glasses and 1000 pairs of sunglasses. Nine of the 14 optometry students who went Jamaica this year were from Berkeley Optometry!
Last updated October, 2017

Cindy Szeto, OD ’97
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the practice that Cindy Szeto, OD ’97, has worked at since she was the high school file clerk, and to mark her 20th year in optometry, she flew the entire staff for an all-expenses paid trip to Disneyland. Cindy says that “40 years in San Francisco’s financial district has been challenging, but never dull!”
Last updated October, 2017

1996

Susy Yu, BS ’92, OD ’96
Completed a term as president of the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry. ARBO’s membership consists of 66 regulatory boards throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and provides programs to accredit optometric continuing education courses.
Last updated October, 2016

1993

Laurie Chaikin, BS ’76, OD ’93
Dr. Chaikin sold her practice, Wild Iris Optometric Group in 2008, and took some time off to develop a mobile practice for neuro-optometric rehab patients, which she did for 5 years. Laurie later opened a specialty clinic in Alameda and completed a research project looking at use of microcurrent to slow the progress of AMD, which was published in Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology. In her spare time, she developed her sailing skills in the Caribbean and SF Bay.
Last updated October, 2017

1988

Deborah Steinberg, OD ’88
In March, a team of all-Cal Optometry grads along with Deborah Steinberg, headed to Bolivia to do vision screenings on school children in Coroico and surrounding communities with a grant from Rotary International, where they had a 12% referral rate. Phase 2 of the project provided extended care for the children that failed the screening and low cost glasses. Phase 3 of the project brings Rotarians from Italy to train Bolivians on making glasses and providing new lab equipment. While in Bolivia they screened 1178 children from 30 different schools. The screening team was Wayne Nishio,’81, Devinder Grewal, ’10, Ross Redding, ’87, Deborah Steinberg, ’88, and Tony Giannotti, ’79.
Last updated October, 2015

1986

Blake Kuwahara, OD ’86
Drs. Jeff Azus, Paul Jensen, Blake Kuwahara, Paul Peng, and Rick Robison (Class of 1986) together with Drs. Alice Azus and Jane Ogawa-Tsuetaki (Class of 1987) took part in a Lions in Sight mission in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Last updated October, 2015

1984

Kathleen Low Ding, BS ’82, OD ’84
Dr. Ding retired her license at the end of 2016 after 33 years, and plans to start a new chapter in her life. She has much faith in the future of the profession, as her daughter Jennifer Ding, OD ’17, graduated in May after winning the William Feinbloom Low Vision Award. Jennifer is engaged to be married this summer.
Last updated October, 2017

Martin Guevara, BS ’82, OD ’84
Grace Kuo and Martin Guevara are Opto-classmates OD ’84, Opto-spouses, and now Opto-parents! Their daughter Melanie Guevara will begin her second-year OD studies this fall. Martin and Grace practice in Hermosa Beach and Torrance, CA
Last updated October, 2017

1982

David Brew, OD ’82, & Anita Scheifler, ’85
Retired from Lenscrafters in 2005 and now enjoy traveling to places such as Istanbul, where they visited in May of 2015.
Last updated October, 2015

Karla Zadnik, BS ’80, OD ’82, PhD ’92
Dr. Zadnik became the president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry in July of this year. Karla is also Dean and Glenn A. Fry Professor in Optometry and Physiological
Optics at the The Ohio State University College of Optometry.
Last updated October, 2016

1981

Julie Helmus, OD ’81
Julie Helmus joined the practice of Helmus + Baker Optometry in Davis, CA in July 2015. Her partners include both her parents, Mark Helmus, BS ’79, OD ’81, and Joann Helmus, BS ’84, OD ’86, and also Alex Baker, OD ’09. In addition to welcoming Julie as their new partner, Mark and Joann welcomed their first grandchild, Julie’s son Henry Nash Windsor, born December 2015.
Last updated October, 2016

1978

Judy Riley, BS ’76, OD ’78
Dr. Riley has joined New View Oklahoma in their Tulsa Clinic to provide low vision services.
Last updated October, 2017

1975

Chris Cabrera, OD ’75
The class of 1975 had a recent mini-reunion at the home of Chris Cabrera, OD ’75 in Sacramento. Most are retired, though several are still practicing full time. All are enjoying or searching for hobbies, which include travel, beekeeping, woodworking, wine making, hiking, skiing, music, and the most popular: grandchildren.
Last updated October, 2016

Jerry Chan, OD ’75
Dr. Chan runs a full service optometry practice in Grass Valley, CA. Dr. Chan is still accepting new patients, as you can see in the photo above.
Last updated October, 2015

Dave Halsey, OD, ’75
Larry Banks, OD ’75 and spouse Anita traveled to Wheatland Wyoming to join Dave Halsey and family Lisa, Sarah,Eric, and Asher and a few friends to watch the total eclipse in 2017. The totality lasted a minute and was viewed through a 12 inch reflecting telescope. Viewers were able to see sunspots and the international space station crossing in front of the sun. A good time was had by all!
Last updated October, 2017

Richard Hom, BS ’73, OD ’75
Currently a Trustee of California Optometric Association and National Optometric Director for Anthem, Inc., Dr. Hom is working on his PhD dissertation on the implications of food insecurity on vision impairment and disability in Biomedicine
at Salus University
Last updated October, 2017

1974

Chris Iwata, BS ’72, OD ’74
Dr. Iwata and his wife Pauline welcomed their third grandchild, a baby boy, Thanassi Hikaru Panos. The couple’s other two grandchildren are Amalia, 4 years old and Daphne 2, years old. All three are children of Elias and Heather Panos. When not working in his practice, Dr. Iwata spends time fly fishing, salmon fishing and playing tennis. He was norcal tennis singles player of the year in the 60’s open age group in 2011, and again last year in the 65’s!
Last updated October, 2016

1973

Clark Abramson and Gary Nelson, OD, ’73
Drs. Abramson and Nelson went fly fishing together on the Missouri River in Craig, Montana. (A long way from Berkeley) Dr. Nelson caught the biggest fish!!
Last updated October, 2015

1971

Collin Chu, BS ’69, OD ’71
In addition to being proud supporters of Berkeley Optometry, Collin Chu, BS ’69, OD ’71, and family love to spend time together cruising the high seas. This year, they are doing an Alaskan cruise.
Last updated October, 2016

Don Sarver, BS ’69, OD ’71
Retired after 46 years in practice at Rockridge Optometry with fellow alumni Larry Sarver BS ’78, OD ’80Cindy Sakai BS ’96, OD ’02, Scott Yokoi BS ’82, OD ’86, and Jazzi Junge BA ’09, OD ’14. He plans to make more time for hobbies including grand parenting and photography.
Last updated October, 2017

1968

Philip Mill, BS ’67, OD ’68
Passed away on September 2, 2016, with his wife and daughters by his side.
Last updated October, 2017

Ernie Takahashi, OD, ’68
Dr. Takahashi and his wife Jenny recently traveled to Machu Picchu. Dr. Takahashi was the California Optometric Association’s 2014 Optometrist of the Year!
Last updated October, 2015

1967

William Dorrance, BS ’66, OD ’67
Retired in 2011. He and his wife are happily retired in Anacortes, WA. Optometry, he says, “was a good career choice for me, with many wonderful memories.”
Last updated October, 2017

1961

Jerry Keyes, BS ’60, OD ’61
Dr. Keyes and his family live in Washington, Utah, next to St. George, Utah, and have six kids and 19 grand kids, which keeps them hopping. They lived for two years “in the great down under country” of Australia. “Life is good and good on ya.”
Last updated October, 2017

1959

Cora (Brabazon) Ruhr, BS ’58, OD ’59
Retired since 1999, Dr. Ruhr had an Optometry practice in White Bear Lake Minnesota for over 30 years. She is now joyously living in Sedona, AZ, and is an avid hiker. Her daughter and 2 grandsons live in St Paul, Minnesota, where she spends time in the summer at her vacation home on the North Shore of Lake Superior.
Last updated October, 2016

1952

Saul Levine, BS ’51,
Still practicing one morning a week, Dr. Levine and his wife Joyce recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with their three children and eight grandchildren. Family, travel, and golf—in that order—have been their pleasures. Dr. Levine says that “the changes in optometric scope of practice from graduation in 1952 to the present has been awesome and it’s not finished yet.” Dr. Levine is still trying to perfect his golf game.
Last updated October, 2017