EBAA has so many amazing women throughout our membership and within our organization, we decided to take a full week (February 8 – 12) to highlight just a few of the women doing incredible work and blazing a trail for the next generation in the world of eye banking.
Kristen says, “I knew eye banking was where I wanted to be; I knew I could grow.” After ten years, she moved into management, but she missed performing recoveries, so she took a part-time job at the OPO and learned tissue recovery, which she did on nights and weekends. In 2019, she moved to Miracles in Sight, where she is the Vice President of Surgical Applications.
“Eye banking is like a family, with a lot of cultivation of high standards in service of patients. What makes EBAA outstanding is the collaboration between eye banking professionals and physicians for a common goal. It’s very unique for an association in medicine,” Michelle says.
Once Shannon walked in the door at the eye bank, she knew she had found the right place for her. “I felt like I was at home. I knew this is exactly what I should be doing,” she says. Coming to the eye bank put pieces of her history and interests together with her passions.
Amy got into eye banking in the early years of her residency and practice, partially from mentors like Marian Macsai, who she considers “one of the earliest champions” of her career. She credits the EBAA Physician Leadership Program in 2015 for really getting her invested in eye banking.
Asked to advise other young women interested in a career in STEM she suggests, “Don’t listen to the boys in high school; follow your passion. They’re probably teasing you because they’re jealous. Try a lot of things, and don’t forget the arts! Art exposure makes you an ‘outside the box’ thinker and helps you excel.”
Jennifer encourages young girls and women to get involved with STEM clubs and organizations if they’re considering a career in science or medicine. She also thinks the middle school years are a critical time for girls to have mentors who will urge them to stick with science.
“There are so many different avenues – don’t be discouraged if what you thought you wanted to pursue doesn’t work out. I didn’t even know what eye banking was, and I know if I had gone to medical school, I wouldn’t be nearly as happy with my job as I am now.”
Marcy wants young women and girls to know that there are no barriers to what they can achieve. “Follow your passion and know how to spot potential opportunities and don’t be afraid to grasp opportunities that arise.”
“Women need to be more self-promotional. Women are taught very early on to downplay their achievements. I hope to see women be champions for other women since we don’t champion ourselves as well as we should.”