Student Ambassador Blog: Katheryn Rees


I have treasured my time representing the BCLA as student ambassador for University of the West of England (Bristol UWE). The BCLA conference in Manchester has got to be the biggest highlight of the role and was the most amazing experience. Whilst there I took on various tasks and thoroughly enjoyed helping at the event. 
It was also a privilege to be given the opportunity to take the stage alongside fellow student ambassadors too. Our lecture was named ‘Next Generation Voice: The future of contact lenses’. It was great hearing the other students do their talks. I learnt a lot from the segment regarding sustainability in contact lenses, and since then have actively tried to promote recycling of contact lenses more in practice. During my allotted time, I discussed the resources available to BCLA students and briefly explored the BCLA CLEAR report ‘Contact lens technologies of the future’ in which it details the innervation of contact lens use in IOP monitoring and cancer detection. 

Whilst attending the conference I also had the chance to listen to lectures from world renown experts in subjects such as myopia management, dry eye, and adverse ocular pathologies, and hopefully will be paying this knowledge forwards when it comes to writing my dissertation this year. I also found being able to go around and speak to the vendors from various manufacturers was invaluable too. I will always be thankful to Menicon in particular, as the Airbnb we booked didn’t have enough cups, and their free mug really did save the day! 

Another highlight of the student ambassador role was when BCLA council member, Corrina McElduff, graciously visited the Bristol UWE campus and did a talk on myopia management for the Optometry students there too. 

In all, I would highly recommend the BCLA Clinical conference to fellow peers in Optometry and Contact lenses; the insight you obtain whilst there is well worth it! I And I very much look forward to the prospect of catching up in person at the next event with the other student ambassadors once we have all qualified.  

Katheryn Rees
BCLA Student Ambassador 
Bristol UWE