About Us

About Our Optical Office

At University Optometric Center, our optometry staff works together to ensure your visit is comfortable and completed in a timely manner.

About Us

We have a qualified team of professionals that will work around your busy schedule and address any questions or concerns prior to the appointment.

Whether it’s a general eye exam or treating a condition that requires an in depth diagnosis, our team provides undivided attention to each patient so we can evaluate a plan based on your needs and our professional opinion.

Our doctor offers full vision examinations and will diagnose and treat an array of eye diseases and conditions to keep your eyes healthy!

Call our friendly staff today with any questions or to schedule a consultation!

Dr. Joseph Occhipinti

Our fearless leader as president and CEO of University Optometric Center. Founded almost 30 years ago, Dr. O’s drive and passion has created one of the most successful optometry practices in Orange County. Dr. O earned a B.S. in Bio Sci and BA Psychology from UC Irvine ( Go Eaters!) and then went on to receive his Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from SCCO. He is also therapeutically certified and can help manage and treat ocular diseases. Dr. O has published multiple research papers in major medical journals for vision. As a previous board member of 15 years, he served as the President Orange County Optometric Society in 2000. He was awarded with a Key Person of the Year in 2000 for his hard work and dedication to the profession. Dr. O has been an active member in both the AOA and the COA since 1986.

Dr. O enjoys helping students realize their goals by providing volunteer and job opportunities at University Optometric Center. He is passionate about helping people see their best having experienced problems with his own vision from a young age. Outside of the office Dr. O enjoys all sports but mainly golf, snowboarding, wake boarding, and paddle boarding. You can also catch him at the Honda center cheering on the Anaheim Ducks during their season.

Dr. Alpa Panwala

Our optometrist with a passion for helping people look and feel their best. She has over 20 years of experience within a private practice and loves what she does. Dr. Panwala earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and her Doctor of Optometry degree. She is licensed in the use of therapeutic and diagnostic pharmaceutical agents to treat and manage ocular diseases. Dr. Panwala has extensive experience in fitting contact lenses, treating dry eye, and family practice. Outside of work she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband and their kiddos.

Dr. Stanley T. Kawai

Dr. Stanley T. Kawai is our resident ocular disease aficionado with a passion for sports vision. He was born and raised in Fullerton before going to Los Angeles to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology from UCLA. Dr. Kawai then went on to earn a degree from the Southern California College of Optometry where he graduated in 1989. He has a special certification in the Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease and is a certified Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agent. In 1996 Dr Kawai was selected to be an Examiner for the National Board of Optometry for the assessment of optometric competency. As an examiner, he tested the knowledge and qualifications of student clinicians at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) for the clinical portion of the National Boards of Optometry.

For the last two years, Dr. Kawai has been an associate optometrist for Dr. Bronson Hamada’s Sports Vision Team where they perform preseason vision exams for the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Angels. In February of 2019 he helped perform preseason vision exams for the defending World Cup champion US Women’s National Soccer team (USA! USA!). In addition to working at the University Optometric Center, Dr. Kawai provides optometric care services at skilled nursing facilities and long term care facilities throughout the Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties. In his spare time he can be found spending time outdoors and enjoys snowboarding, fishing, and camping.


Our talented office manager. Her hard work and commitment keep the office running smoothly and ensure our patients receive the highest level of care. After graduating with a BA in Finance, Candace accepted the position during a transition period. She immediately fell in love with the role and the opportunity to help others see their best. Candace brings a fresh perspective to the position and has created new policies and procedures to help streamline patient experience. Outside of work you can find Candace cooking, camping, hiking, snowboarding, and every so often attempting to catch some waves on her surfboard.


Our optometric assistant with a heart of gold. Originally from Long Beach, Tammy came to Irvine to pursue her degree in Biological Sciences from UCI and will graduate in 2021. She aspires to help provide those around her with a better quality of life by improving their vision. Outside of work and school Tammy loves spending time with her family and hanging out around campus with her friends.


Our optometric assistant and cooking connoisseur. Born in San Jose, Kevin decided to move to Southern California to pursue his degree. His interest in eye care brought him to University Optometric Center. Kevin has hopes of pursuing a degree in optometry in the future. Outside of work, he loves cooking and archery.

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