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UW Graduate Receives Optometry Scholarship

May 19, 2015
man and woman holding an award certificate in front of a banner
Ashley Wing, a UW graduate from Rock Springs, accepts a certificate of accomplishment from Dr. James Boucher, a longtime Laramie optometrist. Wing, the latest Boucher Scholar, will attend the Pacific University College of Optometry in Oregon this fall.

A University of Wyoming graduate -- who has multiple degrees from UW -- is setting her sights on another degree with help from a local scholarship.

Ashley Wing, of Rock Springs, received an optometry scholarship from Dr. James A. Boucher and Julie M. Uhlmann.

Boucher, an optometrist in Laramie since 1966, and his wife, a retired university professor of cultural anthropology, “hope to pass on their passion for the profession of optometry, service to the profession and to humanity by providing this scholarship.”

Wing will attend the Pacific University College of Optometry in Oregon this fall.

At UW, she recently completed the prerequisite coursework needed for optometry school. Previously, she earned a B.A. in criminal justice and psychology with a minor in business (2010); a B.S. in sociology and social sciences (2010); an MPA (2013); and a J.D. (2013), all from UW.

While earning her law degree, Wing determined that law was not the best career path for her, and she wanted to serve the community by working in the health care field instead.

“My interest in optometry, although subtle at first, is the direct result of an eye injury that occurred to my twin brother,” Wing says. “Through his recovery, I have had the opportunity to speak with several optometrists and ophthalmologists regarding eye health. I have been steadily learning more toward that end and am completely fascinated by optometry.”

She says the scholarship will have a profound impact on her optometric education.

“I am exceedingly grateful to Dr. Boucher and Dr. Uhlmann for their generosity and know that this scholarship will help alleviate the financial strain of optometry school,” Wing says. “The impact that this scholarship award will have on my life is truly one of opportunity. With this scholarship, I will be able to minimize the amount of debt I will incur while pursuing my education.”

Wing says that optometry students must purchase expensive equipment during their first semester. She plans to apply the scholarship toward the purchase of equipment that she will use throughout optometry school and during her professional career.

Wing says she hopes to return to Wyoming after earning her doctor of optometry and serve as a health care provider in the state.

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