Aaron V. Shukla
Associate professor and program director, Ophthalmic Technician Program
Fashionable science: Aaron is famous around campus for his eye neckties, which he calls his "eye ties."
Path to ophthalmology: "I had been working for Texaco as a petroleum geologist when the recession of the early 1990s hit. I looked for another field where I could use my knowledge of the physics of light, which is common to geology and ophthalmology."
St. Kate’s connection: Founding program director of the Ophthalmic Technician program at St. Kate’s in 2006.
Recent career achievement: Has published and presented on ophthalmology since 1997, including courses at annual meetings for more than 10 years and his most recent publication: Clinical Optics Primer for Ophthalmic Medical Personnel (2009). He was elected president of the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (ATPO) for the 2009–10 term, and Consortium of Ophthalmic Training Programs (COTP) for the 2011-12 term. ATPO aims to expand scientific and educational opportunities for allied health personnel in ophthalmology and to advocate for its members and the profession. COTP promotes educational and scientific activities and the growth of ophthalmic training programs.
Liberal arts and healthcare: "Studying the liberal arts grounds a student well. It opens up ways of thinking and interacting with people and the world. That would not happen if you were only focused on one discipline."
Teaching style: "I’m tough, but benign. I don’t accept excuses. But I will bend over backwards to help students. I will open the lab on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day if they want. The only thing I ask in return is that students commit to study."
Favorite activities: "I’m a black belt in karate, Tae Kwondo and kung fu, and I play the tabla drums used in classical North Indian music."
Education and certifications: B.S., M.S., Lucknow University, Lucknow, India; M.A., Princeton University; Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT), 1997–2000, and Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) since 2000.