Clinical Staff Supervisor
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute graduate Mandy Roy has enjoyed a successful 14-year career in the ophthalmic field at Graystone Eye in Hickory. But ask her if this career was a part of her plan when she started college and the answer is a resounding “no.”
Roy, who received a Dream Award Scholarship as a 6th grader in 1992, came to Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute right out of high school with plans of entering the Nursing Program. While working full-time as a waitress, she began working on pre-requisites for the program. At about the same time she discovered there was a three-year wait list for the program, she also learned about a new program being started at the college that year, the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program.
“At the time, I thought it would be a good background program for me to have and something I could work on before starting the nursing program,” said Roy. “Once I started, I was much more intrigued by it than I anticipated. It was very different from what I expected.”
As part of the program, Roy became one of the first students to do a clinical rotation at Graystone Eye where she worked with Dr. John Tye.
“Dr. Tye took me under his wing. He loved to teach and taught me so much. Once I experienced the intimate patient setting, saw the wide range of patients that I would be working with each day, and experienced the emotional side of working one-on-one with those patients, I fell in love with the field,” she said.
Before graduating, Roy was offered an entry-level position as a Work-Up Clinician with Dr. Tye’s team and from there she began a very successful career in the OMA field.
Today, she works as Clinical Staff Supervisor for 13 doctors in 5 locations. Part of her duties includes working with students who come to the practice for their clinical rotations. In addition, Roy also comes back to CCC&TI to teach an occasional class and work with students in the OMA program.
“You could say I’ve come full-circle,” said Roy. “Working with these students in the same position I was in is very rewarding. I want to help them see that this isn’t just a job, it’s a career and you can make as much out of it as you want to. The possibilities are endless.”
For Roy, she says that having CCC&TI as a local option for her education made all the difference. “My experience at CCC&TI was invaluable. I didn’t have to travel or come up with the funds to go away for school. The Dream Scholarship made it possible for me to get an education. Without it, I most likely would not have come to college right after high school.”
Roy, whose husband is currently a student at CCC&TI with plans to enter the Nuclear Medicine program, says she encourages anyone who is thinking about enrolling at CCC&TI to do it. “Go for it! Don’t doubt yourself,” said Roy. “I encouraged my husband to enroll because life is too short not to pursue your dreams. Becoming a graduate and having the opportunity to serve in a field that you are truly passionate about is blessing.”