Renowned Optometrist Thanks UCF Chemistry Degree for Foundation of Success

Robert EastonRobert Easton, ’77, looks back at his experience at UCF knowing that his time as a chemistry student gave him the fundamentals in building a scientific mind. After graduating UCF with his bachelor’s in chemistry, Dr. Easton attended optometry school at University of Houston College of Optometry and now has a successful career in optometry.

After completing optometry school, Dr. Easton began his career as a solo professional practitioner in Ft. Lauderdale. His career immediately took off and hasn’t slowed down since. Dr. Easton served as the president of both the Broward County Optometric Association and the Florida Optometric Association. He also has served on many other prestigious state and national optometric associations. Dr. Easton has also been recognized with many awards for his out-standing achievements in optometry.

Dr. Easton’s connection with UCF certainly didn’t end at graduation. In 2006 the UCF Alumni Association’s UCF College of Sciences awarded Dr. Easton the prestigious Professional Achievement Award during the annual Black and Gold Gala. Dr. Easton was also appointed to the UCF College of Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board in 2007 and continues to meet with the dean of the College of Sciences on a regular basis. In 2009, Dr. Easton was appointed by the provost of UCF as faculty for the UCF College of Medicine. Dr. Easton’s son gained his four year degree in Molecular Biology at UCF and is now a resident in Anesthesiology.

Dr. Easton shared with us more on his time at UCF and his current career.

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

I chose UCF because the Ph.D. to student ratio was the highest in the state, it was a new campus, and it had a motto that I liked,” Reach for the Stars.”

How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?

UCF gave me the foundation and fundamentals of building a scientific mind. As a chemistry major with a goal of becoming an Optometric Physician, the UCF professors taught me well and prepared me for the rigors of professional school without grade inflation.

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at UCF?

My extracurricular activities included serving at the student senator for the College of Sciences and as a brother and social chairman of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. The Sigma Chi house was off campus back then and located on Woodbury Road.

What is your best UCF memory?

My favorite memory of UCF is starting out in a class of forty chemistry majors and ending up seeing 8 of us graduate. Everyone from our graduating class has become successful in their own interest and career. I’m proud to be a Knight and to be honored by the College of Sciences for the Professional Achievement Award. To be honored in front of your peers with my son in the audience, as a student, is an amazing memory.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love helping people restore their sight, to manage their needs in caring for patients with glaucoma and other ocular disease, and providing leadership within my profession.

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

Being honored by my profession to serve as the president of the Broward County Optometric Association, the Florida Optometric Association, AOA-PAC, the State Board of Optometry and the Association of Regulatory Boards in Optometry was my most memorable experience within the profession. Being told by a patient that I saved her son’s life by diagnosing a brain tumor and getting the son to the neurosurgeon stat had to be the most memorable professional experience.

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

I would suggest to all students and alumni to network with other UCF alumni. Build your referral base among your UCF contacts, get active in the community by joining Rotary and other leadership programs, Chambers of Commerce, and give back to the community.

We also asked Dr. Easton some fun questions to help us get to know him.

Where is your favorite place to visit?

I love the outdoors so being in the Big Cypress Swamp with my family on a swamp buggy when it’s 50 degrees and no mosquitos is awesome. My favorite vacation destination is Hawaii to surf.  

How do you manage stress?

As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do I continue to train in Kick Box and Bodyworks to stay fit. I also play drums and enjoy playing on my vintage Ludwig’s or my Roland Electronic drums. Both are stress reducers.

What is something most people do not know about you?

I would love to be a rock drummer in a well know band and tour the world.

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