Dean's Welcome

Dr. Sandra Fortenberry

Dr Sandre Fortenberry

As a Hispanic Serving Institution and one of the most diverse optometry programs in the country, the dean of the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO), Dr. Sandra Fortenberry, is the first Hispanic woman to lead an Optometry program in the nation.

As a first generation college student, she began her studies at Abilene Christian University and completed her Doctor of Optometry at the University of Houston College of Optometry, where she also completed a post-graduate residency in community-based family practice.

Dr. Fortenberry joined UIW in the spring of 2010 as part of the founding faculty significantly contributing to the development of a culture built on principles of human dignity and social justice. She has consistently demonstrated her dedication to the optometric education and professional success of her students, fellow faculty, optometric colleagues and community partners through her previous leadership positions at UIWRSO including Director of Continuing Education, Director of Professional Relations, and Assistant Dean for Professional Advancement.

As further evidence of Dr. Fortenberry's passion for the Optometry profession and commitment to advancing quality patient care, she was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Texas Optometric Association (TOA) in 2012 and 2015. Fortenberry served on the TOA Executive Leadership committee for five years, ultimately meeting the call and serving as president. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA), where she also was named the 2013 AOA Young Optometrist of the Year. Dr. Fortenberry was awarded the Texas Optometric Association Mollie Armstrong Award in 2022 and the Texas Optometric Association Optometrist of the Year in 2024. 

Dr. Fortenberry offers UIWRSO a unique combination of institutional memory understanding how far we have come, a deep appreciation and belief in our culture and mission as well as a passion for the advancement of the Optometry profession. Through Dr. Fortenberry's leadership and vision, we are truly excited for the future of UIWRSO.