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In honor of our centennial anniversary, we are featuring members of our optometry community — past and present — each day of 2023!

See below for this week’s profiles.

This Week, We Are Celebrating…

December 18th

Tejasvi Kothapalli, BS

Tejasvi is a vision science PhD student from the South Bay. He completed his BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley. His research interests lie at the intersection of visual neuroscience and computer vision. Tejas is excited to study the relationship between computer vision and biological vision in tandem. After completing his PhD at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science, he hopes to become a research scientist, whether in academia or industry. Outside of his research, Tejas loves TV and movies, with Avatar: The Last Airbender among one of his favorites. He also likes to stay active. During undergrad, Tejas was a member of the Ultimate Frisbee and Dragon Boat teams. Recently, he has taken an interest in running, basketball, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Tejas says he absolutely loves Berkeley and believes there’s no better place for him when it comes to developing himself as a budding researcher.

December 19th

Edward J. Revelli, OD, FAAO

Dr. Edward J. Revelli, was born on February 4, 1952 and raised locally in Oakland, California. His career at UC Berkeley started for him as a young boy of 11, selling soda in Memorial Stadium on game days, eventually attending Berkeley for undergraduate studies. Following in his two older brothers’ footsteps, Ed entered Berkeley Optometry and received his OD in 1977. Following graduation, Dr. Revelli was hired by the State of California Department of Corrections at the Sierra conservation medium security prison hospital. The same year, with a classmate, Dr. Revelli opened an optometry practice in Petaluma. The following year, he was hired as a part time clinical instructor at Berkeley Optometry and became a partner in practice with his brother in San Leandro that would continue for 30 years. In 1991, Dr. Revelli joined Berkeley Optometry as Clinic Coordinator, becoming the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Clinic Director in 1994 until his retirement in 2014.

Dr. Revelli taught students both in the clinic and in the classroom at Berkeley Optometry. He was an implementer of the 106 hour TPA course for California OD licensure expansion, and later implemented the Glaucoma Grand Rounds certification course for additional licensure expansion. He has lectured and participated at the majority of optometry schools across the country on clinic development and enhancing clinical training.

Dr. Revelli was selected as Director of Clinics for the main purpose of revitalizing the clinical training program and, most importantly, increasing and strengthening the patient base. He felt strongly that solid clinical training cannot exist with so few patient encounters, and as such, a tenfold increase in patients from the surrounding areas shortly followed. He expanded the on and off campus clinical experiences for optometry school interns, developing the Berkeley clinical experience program which lead Berkeley to be the strongest clinical training program in the country. He hired ophthalmologists who were willing to properly treat patients and train students on diagnosis and management of ocular disease. Dr. Revelli constructed and opened the first refractive surgical clinic owned and operated by an optometry school. He was responsible for the creation of the state-of-the-art Eyewear Center which was critical to maintaining dedicated patients. The success of the Berkeley Optometry clinic led other optometry schools across the country to solicit his assistance in developing similar programs for their communities. In short, Ed developed the model for excellence in clinical training.

Dr. Revelli has participated in community and professional service as President of the Lions Club, President of the UC Berkeley Alumni Association, and Vice President of the UC Berkeley Men’s Faculty Club. He was a member of the UC Systemwide Health Science Committee, an NBEO council member, has been involved with eyecare in the developing world, and with the Special Olympics. He was an organizer and provider of vision care shortly after hurricane Katrina.

Dr. Revelli has been recognized by the Roy Brandreth Award, Chancellor Community Service Award, Michael Harris Family Teaching Award, UC Alumni Association Recognition Award, and the UCB Alumnus of the Year award.

December 20th

Ziwei (Kitty) Sun, BS

Ziwei (Kitty) Sun is a second year student at UC Berkeley School of Optometry. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science in 2020 at the University of British Columbia. She moved to the Bay Area from Vancouver, Canada in 2022 and has been loving the California sunshine ever since. Kitty is the Social Committee Chair for the Class of 2026 and has been a part of organizing spirit week, trivia night and a holiday white elephant exchange for her classmates.

She chose optometry because it is a mix of science and healthcare, aesthetics and building long term relationships. She is enjoying learning about different fields in optometry and plans to open her own clinic some day. Kitty joined the team at the University Eye Center in Spring 2023 as part of the equipment team. When she has free time, she likes making new vegetarian recipes, spending time with friends and family, and being active.

December 21st

Jean Wrightnour, OD, FAAO

Dr. Jean Wrightnour is a doctor of optometry (OD) alumna from the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science and a Golden Retinoscope Awardee (1988). After nearly 32 years in solo private practice, Dr. Wrightnour closed her office in her hometown of Ashtabula, OH in early 2020 and retired to a life filled with construction of hand-built books, collage, reading, and spinning, knitting, and weaving. She was the first female member of the Ashtabula (OH) Lions Club (in 1988) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Lions Eye Clinic and was a Remote Area Medical (RAM) volunteer doctor. Dr Jean was active in the Ohio Real Eyes Program, making presentations about eyes and eye health to local elementary schools. She was also active in Zone 4 of the Ohio Optometric Association.

She and her husband Daniel Lee raised two sons, both engineers and adventurers. In the past 3 years, Jean and Dan have traveled extensively, camping in 40 states and visiting innumerable National and State Parks, as well as friends and Presidential Libraries.

“Thirty-five years after graduation, I continue to be grateful for the educational opportunity afforded me by my Berkeley degrees and thankful for the wonderful friendships I made while there. Go Bears!” – Dr. Wrightnour.
December 22nd

Taea Jackson, BS

Taea is a second-year Doctor of Optometry (OD) student from Baton Rouge, LA. She attended Alcorn State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, with a concentration in biochemistry. During her undergraduate tenure, she conducted both quantitative and qualitative research ranging from LEED sustainability to UV-vis spectroscopy analysis. Taea believes that the field of optometry is the most impactful health profession offered because of its ability to impact the everyday lives of patients of all ages.

Taea chose the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science because of the school’s unmatched success for real patient preparedness. Some of her most valuable experiences here include Opto-camp counselor, Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH), and CooperVision summer myopia control summer immersion program. After graduation, she plans on providing quality patient care to Louisiana residents. In her free time, Taea enjoys running and traveling.

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