Randi Day remembers the first time she tried glasses on like it was yesterday. Unlike many junior high students who shy away from donning frames in an effort to avoid the dreaded four-eyes label, Day wore her glasses with pride, thrilled to see with clarity and fascinated by the science behind the spectacles. A math and science whiz from the get-go, Day dreamed of helping those in her hometown of Clinton, Oklahoma, achieve optimal eyesight.
While money was tight and resources were limited at times for Day’s family, Day’s mother encouraged her to challenge herself academically and supported her decision to take honor classes at Clinton High School. During Day’s senior year she interned at her future father-in-law’s optometry practice, Clinton Vision Source, and was instantly hooked.
“I have always been a very logical person,” Day said. “From a young age I sort of envisioned how I wanted my life to look and took the steps necessary to make that happen. I knew I wanted to do something I love doing that could also support myself and my family and provide me with a good work-life balance.” Optometry fit the bill perfectly.
Day first earned a bachelor's degree in health-science from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. Her studies there prepared her to earn a Doctor of Optometry degree from Northeastern State University’s Oklahoma College of Optometry in Tahlequah, the only college of optometry in the state and one of only 23 in the nation.
The small class sizes, expert-led instructors, and hands-on clinical training offered at NSUOCO impressed Day.
“There’s nothing like learning through experience. The opportunity that I had at NSUOCO to learn through practice while helping our community is priceless,” Day said, referring to the college’s clinical services that connect doctorate level students with rural community members needing eye care at eleven locations in northeastern Oklahoma.
Day is proud to boast that NSUOCO will debut a new 78,000-square-foot optometry complex that will serve community members, college students, and alumni with vision therapy, rehabilitation, surgery and primary care in the near future.
“In the field of Optometry, NSU stands out and has given Oklahoma a reputation for being a premier site for future optometrists. I was so lucky to basically have this resource in my backyard,” Day said.
Day’s success story is a full-circle one as the mother-of-two now works at Clinton Vision Source as a full-time optometrist. She said she credits NSUOCO for taking her beyond her wildest dreams and bringing her home to make a difference.
Left, Randi with her children, Tripp and Piper. Center 1st, Randi providing free eye exams at the Special Olympics. Center 2nd, Randi with her mother, Della, and sister, Shandi. Center 3rd, Randi with classmates from NSUOCO. Right, Randi while serving as the president of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians.