MCO Ambassadors for Admissions

Third Year Students

Alexander Groth

I completed my undergraduate degree at Alma College earning a B.S. with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. I decided a wanted to be a medical professional after taking Anatomy and Physiology in high school and becoming fascinated with the human body but didn't decided upon optometry until having an in depth conversation with my optometrist and shadowing experience. It didn't take long for me to realize that MCO was the right choice and the perfect fit for me. Coming from Alma I was looking for small class sizes and the ability to develop more personal relationships with my professors and that is exatly what I get and I couldn't be happier.

 Allison Webster

Hi, my name is Allison Webster! I graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI, where I majored in psychology. Aside from being an MCO student, I am the Vice President of the private practice club, MOSPPA, and am passionate about missions and volunteer work. I became interested in optometry while in high school after spending a summer volunteering at a blind rehabilitation center. I was inspired by the courage I saw in their residents who faced life with severe visual impairments, and wanted to learn more about helping them gain the skills needed to accomplish everyday tasks. Optometry has a big impact in peoples’ lives by optimizing their vision, and I believe MCO is the best place to help you enter into this exciting profession. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about MCO or optometry!

Alyssa Drew

I see optometry as a field of exciting opportunities and I am so happy to be a part of it! I had optometry in mind just before starting my undergraduate studies at Hope College in Holland, MI. After job shadowing different doctors I saw one commonality between them all- the doctors loved their job! It was the positive environment and rewarding results that motivated me to pursue a career in optometry. I am very happy with my experience at MCO so far because of the numerous opportunities to explore and get directly involved with the different aspects of optometry. Plus, I am able to do it with a strong community of faculty and students. I am the trustee elect for AOSA, member of the SVOSH missions group and enjoy other activities the school hosts. If you have any questions please email me at

 Amber Cumings

I attended Ferris State University for my undergraduate studies, where I initially started with a Biology/Pre-Optometry major until I was accepted into the Early Admissions Program. I then completed my bachelors of Vision Science through the Michigan College of Optometry in my first year of graduate studies. My desire to become an Optometrist started around middle school when we had our first career fair. I’ve had glasses since early childhood so it was something I wanted to get to know a little better early on. Upon starting optometry school, I got involved immediately with becoming one of my class’ representatives and joining several organizations. I’ve always known that MCO would be the only option for my optometric career and now that I’m attending, I’m completely satisfied with the environment. Being part of such a welcoming and caring college has made my experience outstanding. Please feel free to email me regarding any questions you have about the college or Big Rapids in general!

 Courtney Schneider

Hello!  I’m from Port Sanilac MI, which is a small town on Lake Huron.  I started wearing glasses in early elementary school and I’d have to say that’s when I became interested in optometry. I was amazed when my headaches and eye strain disappeared while reading at school after putting my first pair of glasses on.  After high school I went on to study human biology at Michigan State University. At MSU I devoted much of my free time to the MSU pre – optometry club as vice president. I also worked for Lens Crafters, where I was first exposed to the optometric field.  When it came time to pick an optometry school, I knew MCO was the right choice for me because of the family atmosphere.  Everyone is very close, and professors are willing to go out of their way to not only help you, but make you feel at home.

 Daniel Van Elk

I attended Western Michigan University where I received a Bachelor of Music degree.  It wasn’t until my wife began her career in the healthcare field that I realized that I also wanted to pursue a career in healthcare.  After stumbling upon the field of optometry, I saw what a great opportunity the field offers to make a positive impact on others daily, while allowing me to have a healthy work-life balance. I worked in a couple different practice settings, and this further solidified my desire to become an optometrist.  It was an easy decision for me to make in choosing to attend MCO.  At MCO, you’re not just a number filling a seat.  You are a future doctor, vital to the College of Optometry that the faculty genuinely cares about. The smaller class size also allows you to get to know your classmates (and future colleagues) on a deeper level. They will be valuable resources in navigating through the rigorous curriculum, and in the future when practicing as an optometrist.  I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!

 Derek DakeDerek Dake

I am Derek Dake, and I am a part of the Michigan College of Optometry Class of 2018.  Prior to my time at MCO, I received a B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Physiology from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.  I am originally from Newberry, a small town in the Upper Peninsula.  I am involved in many different student organizations at MCO, and I am currently the treasurer for SVOSH.  I chose optometry as a profession because I have been interested in eyes since my first eye exam.  Prior to my time at MCO, I worked as a tech at an optometry office for 3 summers. MCO was an obvious choice for me because of the professors, building, and small class sizes.  In my free time I watch sports, play intramurals, and tube down the Muskegon River.  If you have any questions about MCO or Big Rapids, you can contact me at

 John Chrustowski

I am from the Metro Detroit area. I attend Ferris State University and received a degree in Vision Science. I became interested in optometry from a summer job working for an optometrist.  I worked there for four summers and I became more interested in the profession every summer. MCO is a great place to learn how to be an optometrist.  Besides school, it is also a great place to make friends with your future colleagues.  If you have any questions about MCO or the Big Rapids area feel free to email me.

 Kristen Johnson

Hi and welcome to MCO, my name is Kristen and I grew up in Sarnia, Ontario AND Lexington, Michigan (just north of Port Huron)!  I completed my Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Ontario, in London Ontario, where I majored in Biology.  I’ve known that Optometry was the right fit for me since I was 8 years old which was the first time I’d ever seen an Optometrist and the first time I’d ever seen the world around me look so clear. Making the decision to come to MCO was easy for me – the building is beautiful, the class sizes are small, the faculty are the most helpful people you could ever hope to meet, and the students are fantastic.  In addition to being a student ambassador, I am also President-Elect for SVOSH, and Liaison-Elect for the Vision Rehab Club!  MCO is a great place to learn and get involved!  If you have any questions about MCO, Big Rapids, or Optometry school in general, feel free to contact me any time at

 Madeleine Hacker

I am from Milwaukee, WI and I received my BS in Microbiology from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I knew that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree, but it wasn’t until my final year of my undergraduate program that I began considering optometry. After graduating I took a year off to shadow a few optometrists and research the profession, and what I found was an underlying passion for optometry. It’s the perfect balance of science and patient interaction, and you’re able to make an impact on people’s lives on a daily basis. MCO has great faculty and a wonderful facility, and I truly believe that they offer the best optometric education. Plus there are plenty of student events for you to participate in when you need a break from studying. (I hope you like free food!) Feel free to email me with any questions!

 Nathan Traxler

Hello, I am Nathan Traxler, a member of the Michigan College of Optometry’s Class of 2018. I was raised on the north side of Grand Rapids. I attended Rockford High School and applied to Ferris State as a Biology/Pre-Optometry major. I completed my undergraduate education at Ferris State University and was awarded a Bachelors Degree in Vision Science. Since entering Optometry School, I have become a member of the American Optometric Association as well as the Michigan Optometric Association. Additionally, I serve as the Optometry Student Government President-Elect and also participate as a member of SVOSH. I consistently continue to find Optometry to be an engaging, interesting, and rewarding profession of which I am proud to be a part of.  My other passion besides Optometry is music, whether it’s playing guitar, bass, drums or just listening for fun. If you have any questions about MCO, life in Big Rapids, or Ferris State University, you can contact me at

Stacy Boguszewski

Hello!  My name is Stacy Boguszewski and I am from Grand Rapids, MI.  I always knew I wanted to go into the medical field, but it was during a high school anatomy course where I decided to look into optometry. Working in an optometry practice for more than five summers solidified my interest in this as a career.  I attended Aquinas College where I majored in Biology and received a minor in Chemistry.  I knew MCO was the perfect fit for me based on the small class sizes and the state of the art building and technology, as well as professors who are always willing to help.  MCO offers many opportunities to get involved and provides a fun environment for learning and pursuing this wonderful career!  Feel free to contact me with any questions!

Stephanie BergeStephanie Berge

My interest in optometry was sparked when I was prescribed my first pair of glasses at the age of five. While at first I was apprehensive, my optometrist opened my eyes to the wonderful benefits of wearing glasses.  Looking back on that moment, I am forever grateful of his patience.  As I grew older, I found myself always enjoying my yearly visit to my optometrist.  At the age of sixteen, I realized that optometry was the field for me. I obtained my BS in Biology from Ferris State University.  I decided to attend the Michigan College of Optometry because of its outstanding reputation and small class size. Every member of the MCO faculty and staff genuinely cares about your learning experience and well-being.  I am proud to be a part of this wonderful field and thankful for the opportunity to attend MCO for my optometric education. Feel free to contact me with any questions!


Second Year Students