Students Take Home Top Spots at NOA Conference

Students Take Home Top Spots at NOA Conference
L-R: Tasneem Maner ’20OD, Fatimah Hassan ’18OD and Courtney Goode ’17OD

Three students took home top honors at the recent National Optometric Association (NOA) conference, held in Tigard, Ore. Tasneem Maner ’20OD received Vision Service Plan Global’s Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award, Fatimah Hassan ’18OD, won the National Vision Essay Grant competition and Courtney Goode ’17OD was named student of the year. All students are members of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA), the student organization established by the NOA. NOSA aims to “stimulate and encourage highly professional, intellectual, and social relationships with members of optometric programs as well as other healthcare professional student organizations.” There are 19 active NOSA branches through U.S. colleges of optometry.

Ms. Maner was one of five recipients of the award, which recognizes outstanding optometry students across the country who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to diversity of Dr. Poston.  He was the first African American to be admitted to the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry and a founder of VSP Vision Care, one of five businesses comprising VSP Global. Recipients also received a one-time financial award of $4,000.

Ms. Maner, who is grateful for the award, hopes to affect positive change for minorities throughout her career.

“I am very excited that the Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award is dedicated to empowering leaders within the field of optometry that are focused on diversity and helping others,” she said. “I want to stand on the frontline of the movements that teach minorities that they can be successful doctors, teach doctors how to communicate with and respect minorities, and teach the world that it can focus on and enact initiatives for equal access to healthcare for all.”

This year’s National Vision Essay Grant topic was “the impact of technology in the optometric industry.” Ms. Hassan, who is also the national NOSA treasurer, took home first place. Ms. Hassan is a former Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award winner as well.

Courtney Goode ’17OD, 2016-17 president of NOSA’s national organization, was named Student of the Year. Ms. Goode is the former national NOSA vice president and previously won the John L. Howlette and C. Clayton Powell Student Founder’s Award for Leadership in 2016.

“It was a wonderful surprise to receive it [this award],” she said.  “NOSA has always been there for me since my first year of [optometry] school, and I've done my best to be an active, participating member. This award was not only for me, but for all of those who worked so hard throughout the year by contributing their time and talents.”