Elizabeth Steele, O.D.

Optometric Educator of the YearElizabeth Steele, O.D.

After graduating Cum Laude from Wofford College, Elizabeth Steele, O.D., then attended and graduated from the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Optometry in 2003 with honors, after which she completed a residency at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Joining the faculty at UABSO in 2004, she was named Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs in 2015. 

During her tenure, Dr. Steele has held many leadership roles, including the Executive, Curriculum, New OD Survival Workshop Planning, and Search committees, as well as Chair of the school's Clinic Oversight and Academic Review committees.

Dr. Steele has been honored with many teaching and clinical awards including the UAB Healthcare Leadership Academy Member, the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the UAB-AOSA Teaching Award, Clinical Science Instruction, on three different occasions.

A frequent lecturer, Dr. Steele has presented 44 continuing education classes for optometrists, 23 workshops and five presentations to paraoptometric technicians. She has also lectured to non-optometrists on general optometry and posterior segment topics.

Her commitment to optometry extends far outside the classroom. She is a past president of the Birmingham Area Optometric Association, and while president, she planned and hosted the first society Legislative Appreciation Reception. Dr. Steel has been an active member of the Alabama Optometric Association (ALOA) Education Committee since 200, serving as Chair of that committee from 2006-2011. She has also served as co-chair of the Government Relations Committee, and served on the ALOA's InfantSEE® and Membership committees. Dr. Steele has been a contributor to ALOPAC, the political action committee of the ALOA, since graduating from optometry school. She was awarded the ALOA Young Optometrist of the Year in 2009 and was later awarded the Young Optometrist of the South in 2010. 

Dr. Steele has also served the profession through her activities with the American Optometric Association. She has served on numerous AOA committees, including Chair of AOA's Clinical Reference Guide Oversight Committee, and as a member of the New Technology workgroup, Credentialing committee, and Faculty Relations committee.

She has also been actively involved in community service as well as trips abroad to help the public. Her volunteer work includes participation in the UAB Eye Care World Glaucoma Day Screening, the UAB Eye Care Gift of Sight, Special Olympics, diabetic eye screening for children at Camp Seale Harris in Florence, Alabama, and while a student, a SOSH trip to Lima, Peru, for a five day vision and eye health screening for the public.