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Kelli Theisen, OD, FAAO

Assistant Professor

Phone: (312) 949-7828

Why ICO?

My dream since fourth grade was to become an optometrist. During my optometry school hunt, I felt that ICO offered an outstanding education, both within the classroom and the clinic, so I made the commitment to attend. While I was a second year optometry student at ICO, my dream job morphed. It was then that I realized my dream was (and still is!) to teach optics all day, every day. The timing was right when I was nearing the end of my residency at ICO and the position to teach Geometric and Theoretical Optics at my alma mater became available! I am now living out my dream at ICO, an institution where the strengths of the didactic and clinical education prepare students for an exceptional future in optometry. If you are currently weighing your options of optometry schools, don’t forget to include ICO!


After growing up in a small town of Bellevue, Iowa, Dr. Theisen decided to stay close to home for undergraduate studies at Loras College where she majored in Biochemistry. She made the big move to the city of Chicago for optometry school at Illinois College of Optometry, where she graduated in 2014. Upon graduation from optometry school, she completed a residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at ICO. Dr. Theisen teaches Geometric and Theoretical Optics to first year students at ICO and is a clinical attending of third and fourth year students in the Primary Care service of the Illinois Eye Institute.

Special Interests
Optics, Primary Eye Care

2015  Residency: Illinois College of Optometry- Primary Care and Ocular Disease
2014  Optometry school: Illinois College of Optometry, Doctor of Optometry
2010  Undergrad: Loras College, Bachelor of science in Biochemistry


2015-Present  Illinois College of Optometry

Awards and Honors

2015  Travel grant to Optometry’s Meeting and the Optometric Educator’s Exhange
2015  One of the Top 5 posters at Optometry’s Meeting, “Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy in a Young African American Male”
2014  Valedictorian, ICO class of 2014
2014  Beta Sigma Kappa Medal
2013  Exceptional Tutor Award
2010  Delta Epsilon Sigma National Undergraduate Student Award
2010  Board of Trustees Scholarship
2010  Delta Epsilon Sigma National Fitzgerald Fellowship
2010  Loras College Dean of Students‘ Student of the Year

Gold Key International Optometric Honor Society
Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society
Tomb and Key Optometric Honor Fraternity

Professional Organizations

Fellow, American Academy of Optometry
Member, American Optometric Association
Member, Illinois Optometric Association
Member, Fellowship of Christian Optometrists