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Trey Thomson '17

Support and Preparation Leads Him to Optometry School at the University of Houston


College is all about forming relationships, and at Simpson some of the closest ones are between professors and their students. Simpson’s size allows for smaller classes and multiple courses with the same professors in your major.

Faculty do more than teach the material to prepare students for their careers ahead. They guide challenge students both in and outside the classroom.

Trey Thomson ’17 of Creston formed his relationships with Dr. Jackie Brittingham and Professor Daryl Sasser, serving as his advisors over his four years as a student. He found them especially helpful when trying to decide on his major in neuroscience and what area of medicine to study.

“I can’t say enough about Dr. Brittingham,” he said. “Once I had decided on optometry, she guided me through the stressful application process. She made time to meet with me no matter how busy her schedule, always offering to come in early or stay late if necessary.”

Before Dr. Brittingham took over as Trey’s advisor however, Professor Sasser filled that role. Not only did the two bond over fishing stories, but Sasser was eager to help Trey get on the fast track to success.

“He was able to structure a plan for me to complete all my areas of engagement earlier than most students,” Trey said. “This was helpful because as I encountered more difficult science classes later in my college career, I was able to devote more time to them.”

And that time made all the difference. He picked up time management skills in his first year at Simpson while playing on the men’s basketball team, but the coursework was challenging in a way he wasn’t used to.

“Be prepared to have to think and learn in ways you never have before,” he said. “My professors did a great job of getting me to think critically and ask questions about research, which is how advancements are made.”

Though he’s moving on to optometry school at the University of Houston, Trey will always be thankful for the relationships he forged at Simpson College.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Dr. Brittingham’s guidance and support,” he said. “All my professors let every student know that their door was always open, and not just to talk about class. I felt like the professors genuinely cared about my life outside the classroom.”