Meet your College student reps

Our student reps are the point of contact between the College and our student members. We rely on them to share our news with you, and to share your news, ideas and questions with us.

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College reps are here for you for anything to do with the College. They can help you understand your free member benefits, keep you updated on all the relevant College news and events through your university communications and their Facebook updates and help you make the most of student life with their blogs. 

They also make sure that you can have a say on our activities by passing on your feedback, questions and ideas. We rely on them to share our news with you, and to share your news, ideas and questions with us. 

Make sure you read their blogs on the reality of life as an optometry student. They provide useful tips and advice on how to survive exams, workload and other challenges, as well as making the most of your opportunities. 

There are two College reps on each of the optometry degree courses in the UK, recruited from the second year (third year at Glasgow Caledonian).  

Your College reps

Any questions, ideas, feedback? Get in touch with your reps:

Anglia Ruskin University

Christopher Crawford
Student rep, Anglia Ruskin University

Christopher came over from Northern Ireland to study optometry at Anglia Ruskin University. His passion for optometry is derived from the inspiration of his own optometrist and indeed the platform it offers in mission work in developing countries. For him, the best part of studying optometry is that the sector is shifting towards enhanced optical services. He hopes that optometrists will soon be “GPs of the eyes” and he is excited for the endless opportunities the future holds. When not at university, he works in practice and enjoys spending time with friends. 

Sonija Pang
Student rep, Anglia Ruskin University

Sonija came over from Hong Kong to study at Anglia Ruskin University. She believes that pursuing a career in the medical profession means being able to help those in need. In order to prepare herself for being a qualified optometrist, she works in different fields, including with children, which allows her to develop good communication with others. She hopes to improve people lives so that they can enjoy life to the fullest.

Aston University

Rashida Makda
Student rep, Aston University

Rashida is a second-year student at Aston University. She enjoys the problem-solving aspect of optometry. It is very rare to find a patient who ticks all the boxes of a certain condition, and she enjoys trying to piece the findings together. The most satisfying part of optometry is knowing that she can make a real difference to people’s lives. In terms of the course, she enjoys the practical and clinical aspect the most. During her holidays, she enjoys travelling to new places and seeing new sights and cultures.

Simone Pereira Morgado
Student rep, Aston University

Simone came from Toronto, Canada to study optometry at Aston University. She loves that the field of optometry is ever-growing and is often found reading about the latest technological advancements within the field. Her interests include ‘smart glasses’ and virtual reality headsets and how they can help the visually impaired. Simone is constantly looking for new ways to challenge herself in her course whether it be reading patient case studies or getting together with her colleagues to discuss material covered in that day’s lecture. During Simone’s free time, she loves to travel and document her journeys through photography.

The University of Bradford

Summaya Ali
Student rep, The University of Bradford

Summaya Ali is a second year optometry student at The University of Bradford. For her, optometry is the perfect balance of theory and practical work. If Summaya did not go down the route of optometry, she would probably be running a small bakery in the Lake District. If you do not find Summaya in the library you will probably catch her on a 5km run in a nearby park. Summaya’s all-time favourite quote is, “Be the change you wish to see in this world” and her long-term goal is to make eyecare services accessible to people in developing countries. 

Cardiff University 

Sara Haque
Student rep, Cardiff University

Sara is a second year optometry student at Cardiff University. She loves studying a degree that combines scientific theory with practical and clinical elements. She is looking forward to entering an ever-evolving career with endless opportunities for learning new things as our knowledge about the human eye grows year by year! When she’s not at university you can normally find her attempting to get some work done in the library!

Sonam Tanna
Student rep, Cardiff University

Sonam particularly enjoys optometry as it provides her with an equal balance of science and patient interaction. This is exciting because every patient she sees is different and provides new challenges. Her least favourite aspect of the course is the workload and the small amount of free time she has, meaning she has to be regimented. Sonam loves travelling and getting involved in charity work to benefit others. If she hadn’t pursued a career in optometry, she would probably be studying another course in the medical field, in order to fulfil her passion to help others.

City, University of London 

Nihila Paranirajan
Student rep, City, University of London

Nihila Paranirajan is one of the College representatives for City University of London. She always wanted to be an optometrist as she finds eyes really fascinating which can tell you a lot about a patient health. Studying optometry has definitely been enjoyable as the course has a mixture of both academic work and practical experience. In addition to studying, she works at a practice where she is able to apply her knowledge and demonstrate her practical skills. If she wasn’t studying optometry, Nihila would probably be studying for another career in the healthcare profession.

Sidrah Shaikh
Student rep, City, University of London

Sidrah Shaikh is a second-year optometry student and a College representative for City, University of London. Her favourite thing about optometry is learning that there is always more than what meets the eye, (pun intended!)  and the numerous avenues and benefits to unfolding the mysteries of the eye: whether it be through pioneering research, innovative technology, or simply making differences to individuals on a local scale. Her least favourite thing is the little free time on the degree, in comparison to other courses. If she wasn’t studying optometry, Sidrah would probably edging towards a career in research or academics.

Glasgow Caledonian University 

Dione Bowlt
Student rep, Glasgow Caledonian University

Dione Bowlt is Glasgow Caledonian University’s 3rd year representative for the College. Although Dione is the 5th person in her family to attend GCU, she took a meandering path into optics. After completing a Bachelor of Jewellery Design with Honours at Dundee University, Dione worked as an artist in residence and created a collection of work for Creative Scotland. Still a bohemian at heart, she can be found at exhibition openings in Glasgow, making up recipes in her kitchen at home, or sweating it out at spin. Dione’s favourite thing about studying optometry is working in the clinic with patients, and one day she hopes to run a practice of her own.

Rajpreet Dhillon
Student rep, Glasgow Caledonian University

Raj is a third year optometry student at Glasgow Caledonian University. He loves the clinical focus of optometry, the challenges it presents whilst dealing with different patients, and of course the OpSoc nights out... Raj represents the university in the first XI hockey team and is helping to arrange this years GCU Eyeball. You will normally find him eating in a lecture theatre, eating on the train, eating en route to clinic, or cultivating mass in Taco Bell at 4am. If he wasn’t already studying optometry, he’d be figuring out how to. Optometry is his lobster.

University of Hertfordshire 

Rameez Nazir
Student rep, University of Hertfordshire

Rameez’s favourite part of the optometry course is looking at ocular disease and understanding the steps taken to cure the disease. He also shows a large interest in different clinical procedures and techniques such as the use of the slit lamp. You are very likely to find Rameez at the forum playing table tennis or in the library, studying. If he wasn't an optometrist, he would probably be a dentist.  

Tom Bonfield
Student rep, University of Hertfordshire

Having qualified as a dispensing optician, Tom wanted to continue his education in optics by studying optometry at Hertfordshire, where he's originally from. He loves optometry as it an incredibly unique career which provides so many different options. Tom's favourite aspect of studying optometry is meeting and talking to real patients. When he isn't studying in the library, Tom is usually cooking, baking or eating the results with friends. If Tom wasn't in optics, he would probably be a nurse.

The University of Manchester 

Maram Mansour
Student rep, The University of Manchester

Maram is a second year optometry student at the University of Manchester. Her favourite thing about studying optometry is learning clinical techniques and finding ways to adapt these techniques for all kinds of patients. And the eye puns that get cornea and cornea every day (SEE what EYE did there). Her least favourite thing is when the clinics are too full to practise in. You are most likely to find Maram in the library or the clinics. If she wasn't an optometry student, Maram would probably be studying physics.

Yusir Mohammed-Ali
Student rep, University of Manchester

Yusir is currently a second year optometry student at the University of Manchester. She loves biology (so much that she tutors GCSE bio in her spare time) and optometry has a lot of biology involved! She also finds it fascinating how complex and incredible our visual system is. She especially enjoys practical sessions where she can examine patients; it reminds her how rewarding a career in optometry can be. She hopes to work in a hospital or independent practice once qualified.

Portsmouth University

Luqman Hussain
Student rep, Portsmouth University

For Luqman, optometry is a passion and learning about the eyes always amazes him. His favourite things about studying optometry are the practical aspects and studying at one of the best equipped optometry universities in the UK. In the future, he aspires to become a researcher and to find a cure for an ocular disease. In his spare time he likes to take part in mixed martial arts and also enjoys photography.

Plymouth University 

Cameron Blankley
Student rep, Plymouth University

Cameron is a second year optometry student from Nottingham currently studying at the University of Plymouth. He is also the current Charity Secretary of the University's OpSoc. His favourite ocular disorders are subconjunctival haemorrhages because its the closest the eye can get to wearing a Nottingham Forest shirt. If he wasn't studying optometry, Cameron would most likely be studying chemistry instead.

Luke McRoy-Jones
Student rep, Plymouth University

Luke is a student at the University of Plymouth. Alongside the role of College rep, Luke is also the President of the Optometry Society and a Student Representative for the Association of Optometrists. His favourite thing about optometry is the ability to improve the quality of life, for the diverse mix of patients in which you get to interact with. He is particularly excited about the direction the profession is taking with enhanced services and one day hopes to have his own practice. If he wasn’t an optometrist, he’d probably be a stand-up comedian due to his quick wit.

Ulster University

Colm McNicholl
Student rep, Ulster University

Colm is studying optometry at Ulster University. For him, the best thing about the course is everything that relates to eye health. The diseases, conditions and cures for all the various eye conditions are fascinating. The only downside is the many hours needed in the library to get through it all! If Colm isn’t studying (and he should be!), then he is most likely to be found rowing at Coleraine Rowing Club, playing guitar or on the couch… most probably on the couch…

Emma Reilly
Student rep, Ulster University

Emma is a second year optometry student, studying at University of Ulster. Her favourite thing about studying optometry is the hands-on aspect in the clinics, and putting the theory into practice to help improve people’s vision. Her least favourite thing about studying optometry is the never ending extra reading, and having a 5-day timetable – one day off would be nice! She can usually be found in the library hiding behind multiple tins of Redbull, or anywhere that sells food! If Emma wasn’t studying optometry, and of course had an unlimited bank balance, she would love to be travelling the world.


A great opportunity to meet new people - and it looks great on your CV too.

Annabelle Gorham College student Rep 2017, Cardiff University