Meet the Optometrists

Our Optometry Team

Meet the team

Our team is composed of eye health professionals who are dedicated to our patients. We will do everything we can to ensure you have a pleasant visit every time. We will answer any questions you have and also make sure your concerns are taken care of.

Our entire team is dedicated to education. We are constantly learning so that we can provide the highest quality care for your eyes.

We want you to feel as confident in our staff as we are. We hope to foster this with every phone call and every conversation that you have with our staff. We are dedicated to always treating you with respect while helping you in any way you need.

​​​​​​​If you have any questions about our staff, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (949) 216-8900.​​​​​​​

Dr. Joseph Occhipinti

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

Dr. Alpa Panwala is 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. Susan Ghodsi

Dr. Susan Ghodsi is our gifted optometrist who is passionate about helping patients of all ages see their best. She obtained her Doctor of Optometry from SCCO in 1986 and has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of California, Irvine. Dr. Ghodsi provides quality comprehensive vision exams, contact lens exams, and laser vision co-management. She has extensive experience treating and managing ocular disease and dry eye. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two kids, traveling, reading, playing volleyball, and piyo. She loves finding new ways to stay active and has recently taken up yoga.

Dr. Stanley 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.

Dr. Edward Tran

Dr. Edward Tran is our resident contact lens specialist with a passion for educating patients on protecting their eyes. Dr. Tran pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology at the University of California Irvine before earning his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University. He is certified to use therapeutic pharmaceutical agents, perform lacrimal irrigation and dilation, and diagnose and treat primary open angle glaucoma. Dr. Tran educates his patients on their eye health so they can maintain strong vision for their lifetime. He takes time explaining to parents topics like myopia control through multifocal contact lenses and treatment options like Orthokeratology. Dr. Tran loves making personal connections with his patients and discussing everything from life goals to the best restaurants to check out in town. Outside of the office Dr. Tran loves trying new restaurants and playing board games with his
friends (Scrabble anyone?).


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