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Summer Opportunities

Spend the summer deepening your knowledge of optometry.


You will have one summer break while at ICO: the summer between your first and second year. While most students will choose to take a break, some students apply to our summer programs and if selected, participate in the Accelerated Clinical Program or the Student Research Program.   

Accelerated Clinical Program

Most of your second-year clinical experience is in the IEI’s Primary Eye Care. For those students who choose to stay at ICO during the summer, the Accelerated Clinical Program allows you to complete much of your second-year clinical training during the summer. Meaning you will spend your second year and onward in more advanced clinical activities.   

Student Research Program

For those interested in pursuing research as an optometrist, we have a strong and constantly growing research group at ICO.  During the summer, rising second years work with faculty mentors to develop and implement research projects. They will be given both a stipend and housing and will also receive a research award once they have done a meeting presentation or published their findings in a journal.  

A glimpse into the research of a few of our past participants  


Daniel ‘24 worked with Dr. Jennifer Harthan and Dr. Rebecca Zoltoski to study the effects of red ginseng on Dry Eye Disease.  


Lydie ’23 worked with Dr. Mallory McLaughlin to comparing two Virtual Field Devices, using both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Their findings were later presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.  


Jena '22 worked with Dr. Tracy Matchinski to study how educational videos and simulated vision impairment affects glaucoma patients understanding of their disease. Their findings were presented at the 2020 American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting.   

Get to know some of our Summer Research Program mentors

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Dr. Pang

Dr. Pang heads the research department. She specializes in Myopia control. In the past, students who have worked with her have studied dry eye in children, how specific drug dosages affect visual acuity and the risk factors for Meibomian Gland Morphology


Dr. Sicks

Dr. Sicks serves as an attending doctor in the Cornea and Contact Lens department. In the past, students who have worked with her have studied the demographics of keratoplasty patients, the effectiveness of various questionnaires and how these questionnaires can help diagnose patients, and the risk factors for Meibomian Gland Morphology.


Dr. Winters

Dr. Winters serves as an attending doctor in the Primary Care department. In the past, students who have worked with her have studied how blue light blocking filters affect eye strain and how patients can better understand the effects of glaucoma through vision impairment simulations.


Dr. Matchinski

Dr. Matchinski leads the low vision clinic at ICO. In the past, students who have worked with her have explored how low vision devices can simulate glaucoma vision impairment and how this affects patient’s understanding of their vision loss.

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