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USAF Captain Kaylaen (Dittmer) Evans, O.D., ’09

Captain Kaylaen (Dittmer) Evans grew up in Tribune, KS, a town with a population of about 700 people. Her graduating class numbered 26.

“I knew I wanted to attend a smaller school where I could have a more personal relationship with my professors.” — USAF Captain Evans, O.D.
 
She played basketball all four years and was team captain her senior year, when the Coyotes won the 2008–09 regular season championship and KCAC Tournament championship.

Head Women’s Basketball Coach Ryan Showman, ’04, who was then assistant coach, said, “She helped us to a 27–6 record as we advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA Division II National Tournament. She was the hardest worker on the team and a leader in the classroom.”

Evans was named First Team All-KCAC, Second Team NAIA Division II All-American, and KCAC Player of the Year. She was also named Academic All-KCAC and received Academic All-American honors. She finished her Biology degree in four years, while taking several prerequisites for optometry school.

She earned her Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree at Northeastern State University. The U.S. Air Force provided a two-and-a-half-year scholarship in exchange for a commitment of three years of service.

Captain Dittmer is stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, GA, where she serves as a 23rd Medical Group optometry specialist.

“I was inspired to pursue optometry because of the high prevalence of visual impairments in my family,” Captain Dittmer said. “My grandfather and father both suffered retinal detachments. My grandfather was a POW in Korea for 32 months, and I always wanted to honor his memory in some way. Serving in the Air Force while performing the job I love worked out perfectly.”

Evans is married to Captain Daniel Evans, a security forces officer, whom she met when he stopped by the optometry clinic to pick-up his protective eyewear.