5 young leaders are being honored.

(Press Release) RANCHO CORDOVA, CA — VSP Global has named five exemplary young leaders in the field of optometry as recipients of the Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award.

The honor recognizes outstanding optometry students and members of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA), an organization established by the National Optometric Association (NOA). All award recipients chosen embody the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to diversity of Poston, a founding member of VSP. The award was expanded this year from one recipient to five in order to recognize additional leaders.

The 2017 recipients are:

  • Tasneem Maner – 1st year student at Salus University, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • Sterlin Blakley – 2nd year student at University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Optometry
  • Fayiz Mahgoub – 3rd year student at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry
  • Kanesha McBee – 4th year student at University of Missouri at St. Louis, College of Optometry
  • Britton Adams – A member of the NOSA Executive Board from Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry

“This award honors up-and-coming leaders in optometry who reflect the important legacy of Dr. Poston, which was founded on a commitment to diversity and helping others,” said Jarrett Johnson, OD, MPH, VSP Global board member, and speaker at the NOA Convention. “We congratulate them on this tremendous honor and remain committed to investing in the next generation of trail-blazing optometrists.”

In 1955, Poston and several fellow optometrists formed California Vision Services in Oakland, CA, now known as VSP Vision Care, one of five innovative businesses comprising VSP Global. Dr. Poston was the first African American individual in optometry to be admitted to the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry, graduating in 1939 (the second African American optometrist to graduate was in 1962). He was also honored as Optometrist of the Year by the American Optometric Association and California Optometric Association.

The 2017 recipients all maintain active leadership roles within NOSA. In addition to the award, the recipients receive a one-time financial award of $4,000. The winners were determined by a committee of VSP employees at the NOSA Leadership Academy, who evaluate the leadership characteristics of NOSA chapter officers. Additional criteria for the award include:

  • An active member of NOSA, serving in a leadership role with the national organization or local chapter.
  • Committed to a career of leadership and service to the profession of optometry.
  • A business-minded student who is preparing for a career in private-practice optometry.

“It was an honor to receive the Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award,” said Fayiz Mahgoub, one of the award recipients. “Being associated with the pioneering spirit of Dr. Poston is truly inspiring. I sincerely appreciate the support and empowerment that the National Optometric Association provides to optometry students and I commend VSP for its commitment and unwavering support to this mission.”

The winners were named at the NOA’s 49th annual conference in Tigard, OR, on July 14, 2017.INVISION NOA VSP Scholarship pic

Pictured from L to R: Fayiz Mahgoub, Kanesha McBee, Vernon Dela Cruz (VSP Global University & Student Relations Manager), Sterlin Blakley, Britton Adams (Not Pictured: Tasneem Maner).

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