MCO Ambassadors for Admissions
The MCO Student Ambassadors volunteer to serve their college by helping prospective students better understand academic and student life at MCO. They volunteer their time by providing tours of MCO, by organizing events to better explain optometry as a profession and by making presentations to college, high school and grade school students. Please feel free to e-mail the MCO Student Ambassadors with your questions — they are happy to share with you their experiences and passion for Optometry at MCO!


Third Year Students

 Gabrielle Smiley

My attraction to this field was sparked long before I knew what the profession really was; having been near-sighted since elementary school, I gradually became aware of how well my vision was looked after by my local optometrist. A Wisconsin native, I crossed the border to Minnesota after high school and completed my undergraduate studies in Physiology at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. A two-year internship under an optometrist there further solidified my desire to join the profession. I currently serve as class representative and recently completed a summer research internship at the Eye Center in contact lenses. In my time so far at MCO, I have enjoyed the newly customized facility and the willingness of the faculty to nurture my ever-growing optometric curiosities. Having my “Michigan family” of classmates is just another amazing feature of the small class sizes here. Please contact me with any questions on why I am loving my experience at MCO!


 Lindsay Kleinschmit

I grew up in Shelby Township., MI, which is just north of Detroit. I received my degree from Ferris State University where I majored in Biology/Pre-Optometry. Optometry has interested me since high school, when I decided to job shadow my local optometrist. I knew I wanted to have a career in the medical field, and optometry seemed to be the perfect fit for me. Since then, I have volunteered and worked at a variety of different practices. I chose MCO because of the small class size and the new, state of the art building. I definitely made the right choice! The teachers are great, and there are a lot of different ways to get involved through the various student organizations. If you have any questions about MCO or Big Rapids, feel free to contact me at

 Felicia Slate

Hi, my name is Felicia Slate and I’m from the small town of Hesperia, MI. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in elementary school, and I have always looked forwarding to seeing my optometrist every year. I knew early on that optometry was the profession for me. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a Pre-Optometry track from Ferris State University. While at Ferris, I competed on both the Cross Country and Track teams. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to continue my education at the Michigan College of Optometry. With the small student to faculty ratio, the state of the art facility, and the family atmosphere I’m confident that I made the right decision. Here at MCO, we have many student organizations and opportunities for leadership positions. Besides being a Student Ambassador, I am also the secretary for the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) and an active member in SVOSH, MOSA, and MOSPPA. When I’m not at school I love to run, kayak, ski, and hang out with my friends and family. I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have!

 Morgan Baker

Hello, and welcome to MCO!  I’m from Spring Lake, Michigan, located on the shore of beautiful Lake Michigan.  I attended Grand Valley State University for undergrad majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Spanish.  I became interested in optometry after my first eye exam as a teen, when I realized I could have a career in an innovative medical field and still have a family life.  Choosing that career path also prompted me to join several groups in undergrad such as Pre-Optometry club, Lions Club, and a Science Leadership Society.  As president of the GV Lions Club I was able to volunteer and help the visually impaired and blind and I loved it!  With this career path I hope to use my knowledge of Spanish and skills as an optometrist to better serve my community and those less fortunate in need of proper health care.  One of the reasons I chose to attend the Michigan College of Optometry was because there were many opportunities to participate in organizations related to my field.  I also appreciated the fact that MCO has held onto their principle of maintaining a small class size to faculty ratio.  Being in an optometry program can be difficult, but fortunately, the faculty and classmates always make you feel at home.  I am proud to be a part of the MCO family!

Ross DuMonthier

I grew up in the upper peninsula of Michigan where I attended Michigan Technological University for my first year of my undergraduate career before transferring to Ferris State.  Once at Ferris I completed my BS in Biology.  My interest in optometry was sparked when I acquired a severe childhood esotropia at 5 years old.   During summer breaks while at Ferris I would travel back to the UP to work and shadow my local optometrist.  The same doctor who I had seen since I was 4 years of age.  Shadowing him is when my love for optometry really took off.  While at MCO there are great facilities that we as students have the opportunity to use.  I am extremely grateful to have been given the chance to access them.

Samantha Gagnon

I attended Hope College for my undergraduate studies where I received a BA in Biology with a Psychology minor. I discovered my passion for eyes later on in my undergraduate career when I took my first modern physics course and learned about optics. After shadowing a wonderful optometrist in my hometown, I knew that I wanted to make optometry my future. Six short months later I was taking my OAT and applying to optometry schools and soon after that I was given a seat in Michigan College of Optometry’s class of 2017. MCO truly has become my home and my classmates and its faculty my family. If you have questions about anything, feel free to shoot me and email!