The Class of 2013 of the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry will forever hold a special place in history as the inaugural graduating class. These graduates are pioneers for Optometry and the university. These students had to establish their own reputation as the best vision care providers living up to the standard established by the University of the Incarnate Word. They singlehandedly invented the culture and collegiality we call the Rosenberg School of Optometry. Such accomplishments alone are an incredible achievement. The evaluation of the institution, which we underwent during the accreditation process, showed that this class of interns has done it with distinction, with diligence, with empathy and with compassion.
In total, the Class of 2013 is comprised of 58 students from 17 different states plus Canada, Mexico and Nigeria. Some of the students will return to their home states & countries to practice but many will stay in Texas to work as licensed optometrists.
An illustration of resilience and perseverance includes the seven students who graduated with honors. The Valedictorian of the inaugural class of 2013 is Samantha Susan Rieger. We are extremely proud of Dr. Rieger as her plans post-graduation include serving our country as an O.D. and Captain in the United States Army. Our Co-Salutatorians for the inaugural Class of 2013 are Briteny Brunner Allison & Martin Vicente Diaz. Dr. Allison plans to join a general practice in rural northeast Texas while Dr. Diaz will be headed to White River Junction, VT to complete a residency in primary care at the VA medical center.
The Class of 2013 has set a new standard for initial health care colleges which will come after them. Their legacy will live on as the best example of the Incarnate Word Intern, setting a standard above the rest in what they do and who they are.