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Dr. Jennifer Steckenrider, OD


Dr. Jennifer Steckenrider is originally from Peru, Indiana, and received her undergraduate degree in Biology/Pre-Medicine from Taylor University in 2015. While an undergraduate she spent a semester abroad, completing a medical practicum in Cuenca, Ecuador. It was there that she first discovered her love for optometry after seeing the vast need for vision care worldwide and the difference an eye exam can make in a person’s life. She returned for her next semester with a new sense of direction, and soon after also met the love of her life, her husband Josiah.

After finishing her undergraduate degree, Dr. Steckenrider went on to complete her Doctorate in Optometry at Indiana University School of Optometry, where she received numerous awards for academic excellence, service, and leadership. These include: the EF Wildermuth Foundation Harriet Slaughter Fellowship, the Charles R. Shick Scholarship, the Alcon Award, the Jane Hofstetter Fellowship, the Paul Piesch Scholarship, and the Ron Wuensch Scholarship.  Dr. Steckenrider was also involved in the school’s community. She worked as an assistant instructor and tutor for a variety of optometry classes, and was a member of multiple organizations, including the Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society, the Indiana University Optometric Student Association, and the Fellowship of Christian Optometrists. Dr. Steckenrider graduated number one in her class with highest honors in May 2019.

stevejacobs new doc baby picDr. Steckenrider’s externships included a six-month rotation in ocular disease at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, where she was exposed to a high patient volume and extensive range of pathology. At her IU externship site in Indiana, she worked exclusively in specialty services, including pediatrics and binocular vision, low vision, advanced contact lenses, and advanced ocular care services.  She then spent her final rotation working at a private practice in Burke, VA, where she saw a high volume of contact lens patients. After a year of these clinical externships, Dr. Steckenrider realized her passion lay in two areas where there is great need and potential to help – both ocular disease and contact lenses.

In addition to optometry, Dr. Steckenrider enjoys painting, golfing, going on bike rides, and spending time with family. She and her husband volunteer in the community and attend Harvest Baptist Church in Blacksburg.

Dr. Steckenrider is driven by the belief that the learning process is never over in the field of medicine. It is therefore her lifelong goal to always keep a humble attitude, while also striving to learn and stay current in order to provide the best possible patient care.


We’ll soon be “Eyes on Main”! And that’s not the only news... please offer a warm welcome to Dr. Mike Gowen.

From Dr. J:

I opened my office in 1990 – That’s 30 years coming up on August 1st!!   In some ways it feels like yesterday, and in others, like forever.  Along with so much else that has changed this year, one more occasion is on the horizon.  I am excited to announce that I am selling my practice to Dr. Mike Gowen.  Dr. G and his wife, SallyAnn, met at Virginia Tech close to 40 years ago. They have been proud and loud Hokies ever since and dreamed of returning to live in Blacksburg.  Both are strong supporters of the arts, athletics and the civic engagement that make this a very special place to live, work and play!

I am thrilled to be handing the baton to a doctor who believes as I do in community service. Plus, he is laser focused also on individualized patient care, personal and professional intellectual advancement and enjoying the good things and kind people who come along every day.

Better yet, I’m not going anywhere!  I will continue seeing patients, focusing on visual rehab for those suffering from concussions/TBI, working to control the progression and consequences of nearsightedness through orthokeratology and other treatments, and counseling all regarding the inter-relation of the eyes, brain and body, along with the importance of nutrition, exercise and mental well-being.  There’s so much I yet want to learn and do, and now I won’t have to worry about arguing with insurance companies.  I’m excited!

From Dr. G:

It’s impossible to express how pleased I am to be moving to Blacksburg. It has long been the dream of my wife and I to become a part of this unique town, where we met as Virginia Tech students and continued to frequent as alumni.    I look forward to the privilege of serving the people of Blacksburg and bringing my lifetime of experience in the field of eye care to serve one and all. I'm delighted that Dr. Steve Jacobs will remain with the practice, which will now be “EYES on Main.” I consider it a great privilege to continue the exemplary patient care and community service that Dr. Jacobs has and will continue to provide to the New River Valley. Together we will serve the Blacksburg community with the same culture of care and community involvement that has always been a part of this practice.

 More updates to follow.  Send us a message or give us a call with questions, comments, or to set up an appointment.

We can always be reached at 540-953-0136!

Sincerely,Dr. J, Dr. S, Dr. G & staff