STEMM Speaker Idol Series

March is National Save Your Vision Month. To close out the STEMM Speaker Series for the month, Catherine McDaniel, '00, spoke with students on Tuesday, March 31.

McDaniel is an associate professor of Clinical Optometry & Chief of Binocular Vision and Pediatric (BVP) Clinic at The Ohio State University, College of Optometry. McDaniel has been with OSU for three years but has been working in the optometry field for seven years.

After graduating from CJ in 2000, McDaniel attended Wright State University for her Bachelor of Science degree. She then attended OSU for her OD, MS degree. While at OSU, McDaniel works in the BVP Clinic teaching 4th year students how to perform exams on children and patients with binocular vision disorders. Additionally, McDaniel teaches a course in pediatric optometry to 3rd year optometry students. McDaniel is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and member of the American Optometric Association.

"I feel really strongly about science and math education, it opens a lot of different doors for you," said McDaniel about her motivation to talk with students on Tuesday.

According to the American Optometric Association, 55% of adults use computers, smart phones, tablets or other handheld electronics more than five hours a day, while children ages 10-18 spend three or more hours a day on the same devices. Researchers believe spending this amount of time on these devices is putting a strain on our eyes and users are not taking breaks as needed. The Association recommends visual breaks are needed every 20 minutes by users looking at something that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

To help protect eyes, McDaniel suggested, "don't forget to rest your eyes. Using smart devices aren't going to hurt your eyes, but you can get a lot more fatigued because you're doing a lot more close work."

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at mdraeger@cjeagles.org.

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