By April Ray
This story first appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Kentucky Wesleyan Magazine.
To view the full magazine, click here.
Dr. Elizabeth Mauzy Martin ’08 grew up three houses away from the Kentucky Wesleyan campus, and the Wesleyan family reached out to her when she was in elementary school. Carol Poling, President Wesley Poling’s wife, invited her to be a ball girl for the women’s basketball team.
“The team welcomed me and included me.” Elizabeth says. “They were so nice when they didn’t have to be. That was very exciting to a young and impressionable girl.”
Elizabeth recalls a time when all the women on the Wesleyan basketball team came to one of her basketball games at the Boys and Girls Club.
“What a testament to The Wesleyan Way—they gave their free time to cheer me on,” Elizabeth recalls.
Her time as a ball girl sparked an interest in becoming a Panther someday, and her love for Wesleyan basketball was not limited to the women’s team. Chemistry Professor Dr. W. L. Magnuson presented her with a basketball signed by head coach Mike Pollio and the entire men’s team. “I was ecstatic,” Elizabeth shares.
Dr. Magnuson asked her dad, Bruce Mauzy, what she thought of the ball and recalls that Mauzy replied, “Well, it’s in the bed beside her every night, so I’d say she likes it!” “
Elizabeth says she had a strong impression of Wesleyan throughout high school.
“It was nice to grow up around the school,” Elizabeth says. “My parents and I were sad when each school year ended and students left for the summer. The campus always had a ‘family feel.’ It was a no-brainer—I knew I would attend Wesleyan.”
Elizabeth became deeply involved when she arrived on campus in the fall of 2004.
“I was a Brown Scholar and played basketball for two years. I also joined Kappa Delta and was a member of the Student Government Association and Student Activities Programming Board.”
Elizabeth says living on campus all four years was beneficial and contributed to her campus involvement and the opportunity to make life-long friends.
One of those friends, Matthew Martin ’08, is now her husband.
“We met as freshmen and were friends throughout our Wesleyan years,” Elizabeth explains. “Our friends always said we should date. We finally took their advice after graduation.”
They continued dating while she was in optometry school at Indiana University and were married in June 2012. Elizabeth was a biology and chemistry major at Wesleyan.
“I was intrigued by the science programs and the strong reputation of the faculty,” Elizabeth shares. “The science curriculum is very difficult. It was tough, but worth the challenges, because I was very well prepared for optometry school.
“My professors were helpful and encouraging as they pushed me to the next steps,” Elizabeth remembers. “I did a lot of job shadowing, thanks to the encouragement of my advisor, Dr. Henry Connor, and I ruled out several career paths through that process.”
Elizabeth chose optometry after shadowing Dr. Vaughn Sanders in Owensboro.
“I liked the one-on-one time with patients and the opportunity to help people. Vision is one of the most precious things we possess, and that’s a big reason I love what I do.”
Elizabeth attended the Indiana University School of Optometry.
“IU was a great place,” Elizabeth says, “but it would have been hard to go there as an 18-year-old. I gained confidence in the small-school atmosphere at Wesleyan, and I was ready for the rigor of IU’s optometry program.”
Her Wesleyan connections continued during her studies at IU, and Elizabeth interned with Dr. Charles Schertzinger ’62 at RiverPark EyeCare in Owensboro.
“Dr. Schertzinger and Dr. Robert Hamilton were very encouraging and influential,” Elizabeth says.
Elizabeth fell in love with RiverPark EyeCare during her internship, and after graduation from optometry school, she returned to Owensboro and joined the practice. She became a partner in January 2016.
“I really enjoy it. The practice has a family atmosphere, and I treat people of all ages with a variety of conditions. Every day is different, and it is great to be back in my hometown and a part of the community.”
Elizabeth still loves the College she first knew as a ball girl, and that love has deepened over the years. “Owensboro is fortunate that Kentucky Wesleyan is located here,” Elizabeth reflects. “The College produces tremendous, well-educated graduates. I’ve heard many people in Owensboro say they like to recruit Wesleyan alumni because they are well prepared for their careers.”
Elizabeth joined the Kentucky Wesleyan Board of Trustees in 2015. “It is good to reconnect with my Wesleyan family. The College has given so much to me and has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. I am honored to give back with my time and resources.”