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NECO Honors AAO Student Fellows

Group of students holding certificates

On Friday, May 4, 2018, NECO hosted the annual Meet the Student Fellows dinner for individuals who achieved the status of Student Fellow from the AAO. The evening was sponsored by the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) club at NECO. The AAO Fellowship is an program for optometrists, scientists, and other qualified individuals go through a rigorous process and achieve the distinction of addition FAAO to their title. Students can participate in a student fellowship program to achieve the status of Student Fellow.

In order to become a Student Fellow, optometric students must view a mandatory orientation video, attend at least four hours of continuing education at the AAO conference, attend paper and poster presentations, as well as attending several meetings, sessions, and a Section or SIG Symposium at the annual Academy meeting.

This year, eleven NECO students achieved the status of Student Fellow from the AAO at the 2017 Academy conference in Chicago. The NECO Students Fellows this year were: 

  • OD Class of 2019: Nicole Broden, Lilly Chang, Fareem Jivraj, Arianna Jordan, Kaitlin Koo, Tiffany Lu, Lori Shin, and Jessica Tran
  • OD Class of 2020: Tina Khieu, Brenda Luu, and Xue Mei

The NECO event honored the student fellows and provided further information about how to become a professional fellow for the association following graduation. NECO AAO club advisor Professor Aurora Denial, OD, FAAO, Diplomate, shared information about fellowship interview process and offered advice about next steps. Dr. Marjorie Rah from Bausch and Lomb also shared her experiences with the process. AAO explains that the professional fellowship is “open to the following professionals who demonstrate that they meet Academy standards: 1) Optometrists who are licensed to practice at the highest level permitted by law in their jurisdiction and 2) Scientists, educators, librarians, administrators, and editors who have accredited themselves and optometry by their contributions to optometry or vision science.” (Source:

Read more about third year student Tiffany's journey to become a fellow in her blog post My Class Away from School.