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Vipal Gandhi, OD ’13 and Kambiz Silani, OD ’13

ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP: VIPAL GANDHI, OD ’13, AND KAMBIZ SILANI, OD ’13

Kambiz and Vipal (center) with classmates at CommencementLess than one year after graduating from the College of Optometry, inaugural class members Vipal Gandhi, OD ’13, and Kambiz Silani, OD ’13, established the College’s first alumni scholarship, to be awarded annually.

The Gandhi/Silani Annual Scholarship for Clinical Excellence and Leadership Award supports students who demonstrate leadership and top clinical skills in a patient-care setting.

Silani said the College was supportive and committed to the student body, and that he and Gandhi wanted to create a scholarship to give back to the school that supported them unconditionally.

“Through our efforts, our hope was to encourage our fellow classmates and underclassmen to join in similar altruistic endeavors,” Silani said.

As students, Gandhi and Silani won student clinician of the year awards. Gandhi said that award changed the way potential employers perceived both of them, and they wanted to extend that same type of honor to other deserving students.

“This is a small way in which we can give back to the school that gave us so much,” Gandhi said. “We are hoping one day to have the scholarship endowed.”

The pair has set a great example, which other early College of Optometry alumni are following, starting with Jason Drobeck, OD ’15, and Harout Khanjian, OD ’13, who have each created their own annual scholarships. In addition to the monetary award, Dr. Khanjian designed and created a sculpture symbolizing the balance of commitments that helped him succeed in optometry school; and Dr. Drobeck recognized the importance of giving back as soon as he was able to find a thriving practice opportunity by relocating to Connecticut, where he provides care in an area with high demand for eye care services.

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