For Dr. Chris Jacquinot, seeing things clearly, both literally and figuratively, can make all the difference in the world – especially when it comes to deciding where to get your college education.
The Pittsburg optometrist and PSU grad treats the poor eyesight of his patients each day, work that reminds him of when his own vision was corrected as a child.
“I got glasses in the third grade and until then, I didn’t realize what I’d been missing,” Jacquinot said. “I remember looking at a tree and I could see the leaves, which was amazing. To have that feeling again each day through my patients is what makes my job worth doing.”
For Jacquinot, that moment of clarity was just as strong when realizing he’d made the right decision to attend PSU for his undergraduate education.
“When I was in a graduate anatomy class at the University of Missouri, I was sitting next to students who had done their undergrads at some pretty large universities, and I had this moment when I realized I was more prepared than a lot of them,” he said. “A light bulb went off in my mind. I realized that those who go to bigger schools aren’t always more prepared. It’s the one-on-one attention that makes you more ready for graduate school and a career.”
After finished his doctorate in 2007, Jacquinot, a native of Parsons, Kan., went back to work at the practice that gave him much of his undergraduate work experience – Wimmer Vision Care in Pittsburg, a business that recently relocated to a new building on the south side of town. It was that work experience, combined with his courses at PSU, that assured him his decision to go into eye care was right.
“The thing that makes optometry so special is that eyesight is probably the most important of the five senses that most people say they couldn’t do without,” he said. “I enjoyed other areas of medicine, but this seemed right for me, and I wouldn’t have known that without the guidance of my professors at PSU.”
It’s that assuredness and success he hopes other PSU students experience as they delve into their educations.
“The first thing I wanted to do when I got done with school was give back to PSU,” said Jacquinot, who regularly comes back to speak to pre-health classes. “Pitt State changed my life for the better.”