We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Madison Dunning

March 28, 2017

Madison Dunning’s mom had crystal-clear vision when she saw her daughter’s potential as an optometrist, even before Madison herself knew what her passion was.

“I always knew I liked science, but I also knew that I really wanted to work with people,” Dunning said.

She attended UNCW to participate in research opportunities for biology and marine biology students, but at her mom’s suggestion, Dunning also looked outside the campus to explore her interests. After being introduced to optometrist Tracey Glendenning through the Catholic Campus Ministry, Dunning saw that she was indeed on the right path. She shadowed Glendenning at the MyEyeDr. office on Racine Drive during the spring 2015 semester and was hired as an optometric technician that summer.

“I was incredibly lucky,” Dunning said. “I worked part-time a few days a week while I was still in school. Since I graduated in December, I have worked at our office full-time. It’s preparing me well for optometry school.”

Last fall, Dunning was accepted to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, the same school that the doctors she works with attended. She’ll move to Elkins Park, PA, in August 2017, but for now she enjoys bonding with patients and planning for the future.

“It’s invaluable to me to have that one-on-one patient interaction that I’m able to experience as a technician,” she said. “In the future, I want to get involved with international optometry service organizations like Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity.”

Dunning looks forward to traveling someday, but she remains excited to progress in her job and education.

“Optometry is a challenging yet extremely rewarding career, and I can’t wait to restore, preserve and maintain the gift of sight for my future patients.”

--Emily S. Pierce ’17