Home Newsmakers Meet the Student Advisory Board: Gaby Malave, IUSO

Meet the Student Advisory Board: Gaby Malave, IUSO

Gaby Malave

Gabriela “Gaby” Malave has a thing for serving others. When she was younger, she thought she’d turn that innate passion into caring for animals as a veterinarian. When she realized she “really only liked cats and dogs,” she took inspiration from one of her favorite childhood doctors, her optometrist, Katherine Blaskovish, OD. “She was kind, personable and cared for me beyond just my eyes,” Malave says.

For Malave, seeing Dr. Blaskovich change the lives of her patients while balancing being a triathlete was proof that she could achieve that work/life balance if she studied optometry. “It was exactly what I wanted in a career,” Malave says.

Gaby with brother Adam

While still an animal lover—she has two dogs, a Chihuahua named Meeka and a German Shephard named Simba—Malave is now a second-year student at Indiana University School of Optometry. She’s found continuing encouragement from seeing her brother Adam start his own medical journey as an undergrad sophomore at IU with an interest in anesthesiology. “I am incredibly grateful for and proud of him and all he’s accomplished,” Malave says.

And the continued inspiration is welcome, Malave says. With six classes plus labs this semester on her plate and endless hours studying outside of the classroom, she says it can be hard to keep up. “It’s a large amount of information to be learned in a given amount of time,” she says. “But keep going. You will be tired or think that it is impossible. It’s supposed to be hard; if it was easy, everyone would do it.”

She’s also motivated by the lives she knows she’ll change when she gets into an exam room of her own. She was baptized this past January as a Christian and says she’s excited to start attending mission trips and serve communities without access to needed eye care. “I made a promise to God to serve his people,” Malave says. “That’s exactly what I’ll be doing.”

If she had another passion that met her love of optometry and animals, she said, a close third would be sports. She’s played softball (first base), volleyball (middle blocker), basketball (center) and women’s college rugby (outside center), and she currently enjoys weightlifting. She hopes to one day turn that into practicing vision therapy in a private practice. But for now, she’s focused on graduating and “leaving a legacy that my family can be proud of. If I can encourage others to chase their dreams, my life’s mission would be complete.”


Read more WO student advisory board stories here.

Read more newsmaker stories from WO here.

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