University of Mary: For Life
Dr. Jessica Keller, '09
Optometrist and Owner of Elite Eye Care
Dr. Jessica Keller is a proud Bismarck native and graduate of St. Mary’s Central High School and the University of Mary. While attending UMary, she was a full time student athlete on the women’s soccer team and was inducted into the UMary Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. After graduating summa cum laude, she attended Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, OR. After internships across the country and practicing primary care optometry in Dickinson, ND, Dr. Keller established Elite Eye Care in May 2017 with the motto “See Life Better.” She enjoys caring for patients of all ages and provides primary care optometry services, including eye glasses and contact lens evaluations, binocular vision testing (focusing and eye alignment), and eye disease assessment and treatments (red eye, foreign body, glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration, dry eyes, and others).
What is your career history?
I started practicing optometry in 2013 in Dickinson, ND, at Eyewear Concepts, a three optometrist private clinic. I enjoyed my time in Dickinson but always felt a need to return to my hometown of Bismarck, opening Elite Eye Care in May of 2017. I never really saw myself starting my own practice, but after some market research, I decided this was my best choice. It has been amazing walking into my own practice every morning and I truly enjoy the freedom of ownership. At times opening a new business can be stressful, but because of previous connections with the community and great family and friends, I feel very supported at Elite Eye Care.
What was your experience like at UMary?
While attending the University of Mary from fall 2005 to winter 2008, my main extracurricular activity was as a member of the women's soccer team. I developed a strong bond with my fellow teammates, and especially those in my same class. We enjoyed our own soccer season and supporting other UMary athletic programs throughout the year. While at UMary, I also participated in the Harold Schafer Leadership Academy, where we participated in charity events, studied healthcare specific responsibilities and opportunities, and helped organize community events at the UMary basketball games.
What’s your favorite UMary memory?
I have many favorite memories as I look back on my time at UMary, and they mostly revolve around great times with friends and teammates. The best memory was winning the NSIC soccer tournament in our first year of competition in NCAA Division II in 2006. We were an underdog team and ended up beating the top team in the tournament on their home field in overtime. It was a great feeling of accomplishment and I distinctly remember our team singing and dancing with our tournament trophy on our ride home.
What is one thing you would do differently in college or your career path after college?
I wish I would have taken time to enjoy that stage in life more, instead of always thinking about my next steps. At UMary, I was wanting to move on to graduate school; and in optometry school, I was wanting to start practicing and seeing patients. Now, sitting in my office with all this responsibility, it is easy to think back on how simple life was in college, whether that was studying for test and finals in Welder Library with the beautiful view as my distraction, being outside on a gorgeous fall day competing and exercising with my teammates, enjoying cafeteria food and not having to cook myself, or laughing with my roommates as we watched our weekly shows in the residence halls. The University of Mary is a special school and I am excited to see the growth that has occurred since my time there. I am proud of my alma mater and I will always consider myself a University of Mary Marauder.