Stacie Layne Virden, OD, FAAO decided to become an eye doctor when she was only 16 years old. She had grown up going to the local optometrist’s office, first for her mom’s appointments and not long after for her own. In high school her two favorite science and math teachers were encouraging her to consider a science-related career path, which coincided with serious eye infection for the self-admitted ‘world’s worst contact lens patient’. After a visit to their small town optometrist for treatment, she decided this was the job for her. Dr. Virden was hired by her optometrist the week after she graduated from high school, and she was able to complete undergrad debt-free by working in optometry practices.
Dr. Virden completed her pre-optometry courses at Stephen F. Austin State University. Accepted into the University of Houston College Optometry through early admissions, she concurrently completed her Bachelor of Science in Optometry and Doctor of Optometry degrees in 1995 and 1997, respectively. Dr. Virden was among the first doctors in the country to earn the Board Certification designation by the American Board of Optometry and is a state board licensed glaucoma specialist. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. Virden was the first doctor in the Central Texas area to be both Board Certified and an Academy Fellow.
She served on the Texas Optometric Association Board of Directors from 2003-2010, holding numerous leadership roles and serving as the Association’s President in 2009. She currently serves as the Association’s Meetings Chairman. Dr. Virden was recognized as TOAs Young Optometrist of the Year in 2003, and she received the Molly Armstrong Leadership Award in 2011. She has also served as President of the Heart of Texas Optometric Society and is a member of the American Optometric Association. Dr. Virden also serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Houston College of Optometry’s Foundation for Education and Research in Vision.
Dr. Virden volunteers with many local organizations as well. She has chaired both the Board of Directors of the Animal Birth Control Clinic and the City of Waco Animal Control Advisory Board. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Waco, as well as a graduate of Leadership Waco. Dr. Virden has also volunteered with the Humane Society of Central Texas, chairing their annual Food and Wine Festival Fundraiser in 2010 and 2011. She is also a foster parent and transporter for the German Shepherd Rescue of Central Texas.
Dr. Virden is married to her high school sweetheart, Ryan, who majored in Civil Engineering at Texas A&M (’95) and is a licensed Professional Engineer. Stacie, Ryan and their son Andrew live in Waco with their rescue dogs: German Shepherds, Briscoe and Lily; Border Collie, Mahle; and big goofy mutt Sebastian. They also share their home with the occasional foster dog that is just passing through. They enjoy cooking, travel, and playing with cars.
Dr. Rebekah Sanders is an East Texas native. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Baylor University (sic ‘em!) before attending University of Houston College of Optometry where she graduated summa cum laude with the Doctor of Optometry degree. Throughout optometry school she was active in many organizations including the optometric honors society, Beta Sigma Kappa, as well as the Student Texas Optometric Association, Student Optometric Practice Management Association and Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity.
During her time at UHCO, Dr. Sanders completed clinical rotations in primary vision care, pediatric care, binocular vision, vision therapy, post-operative care, ocular disease and contact lenses. Her time spent at Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Center in Denver, CO and the Indian Health Center in Albuquerque, NM has helped her become confident in diagnosing and managing a wide range of ocular conditions and diseases.
As a licensed therapeutic optometrist and Optometric Glaucoma Specialist, Dr. Sanders believes her patients’ vision and well being are key and strives to provide the best care she possibly can.
In her free time you can find Dr. Sanders exploring new places and things, watching and attending sporting events, and spending time with her two dogs, Sima and Tucker.
Dr. Vien has moved back to Houston to be closer to family. She will always have a home at Waco Vision Source should big city traffic get to be too much.