30th Annual AOSA Optometry Student Bowl Powered by Essilor Draws Fierce Competition Around the Country
(PRESS RELEASE) DALLAS, TX — Long considered a marquee event during Optometry’s Meeting, the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) Optometry Student Bowl powered by Essilor celebrated its 30th annual competition on June 25, 2021. Student representatives from 23 schools and colleges of optometry jockeyed to win significant prizes and coveted bragging rights by answering challenging optometry-related questions through rounds of competition.
Tyler Lesko from The Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University took home first prize which included $1000, Ray-Ban Authentic Essilor Special Edition glasses and sunglasses from EssilorLuxottica, diagnostic lenses from Volk Optical, a MIO and Kinexis software from Keeler. In addition – announced live from the stage by EssilorLuxottica as a surprise to all attendees – Tyler Lesko’s win also earned a free pair of Ray-Ban Authentic Essilor Special Edition glasses for all students of The Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University who attended the OSB.
“It’s always an honor to collaborate with the AOSA and sponsor this event since its inception 30 years ago. The Optometry Student Bowl is one of the most fun and engaging ways we get to support students as they embark on their journey in optometry,” said Rick Gadd, President of Essilor North America. “The students have no doubt had a challenging school year, but just as the optometric industry has been resilient through the pandemic, their perseverance is admirable as they become part of the future of optometry.”
Now a mainstay and highlight of Optometry’s Meeting, the Student Bowl was originally brought to life by Varilux, the world’s number one progressive lens brand1, and called the Varilux Student Bowl during the first 25 years of competition. Thirty years ago, the Student Bowl was created to highlight star optometry students who would go on to shape the industry as top researchers, key opinion leaders and state association leaders – just as Varilux has shaped optometry by enabling eyecare professionals to give presbyopic patients their best sight with sharp vision at any distance.
For the first time ever, the event was a hybrid live and virtual affair, drawing a crowd of enthusiastic students and alumni who cheered on their school’s representative. In-person attendees sported giant optometry-related cut outs and brandished noisemakers, while virtual attendees took to the comments section of the livestream to make hundreds of comments cheering on their school’s representative. The event was hosted by Essilor at the Mile High Station in Denver, Colorado, and live streamed to Essilor’s YouTube channel.
While Tyler Lesko took the top prize, Stephanie Solomon from University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Optometry won second place and received $750. Third place was won by Rebecca Phung from Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, who received $500. EssilorLuxottica awarded each of the 23 contestants in their year’s competition a Ray-Ban Authentic Essilor Special Edition complete pair of glasses for their participation. As has been tradition at the Optometry Student Bowl, every contestant also received a Volk® Pan Retinal® 2.2 blue-ringed lens, generously donated by Volk Optical. Once again Keeler partnered in the event and gave the top three finishers a MIO in addition to a 1-year Kinexis premium imaging subscription.
This year’s prestigious panel of judges included:
- Lead Judge – Dr. Linda Casser, professor, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University; author, educator, clinician, and 1997 American Optometric Association (AOA) Optometrist of the Year.
- Dr. Diane Adamczyk, author, lecturer, and professor at State University of New York College of Optometry and 2016 PCO Alumna of the Year.
- Dr. James DeFleming , Vice President of the American Optometric Association, a graduate of the Pacific University College of Optometry, past president of the Optometric Physicians of Washington and has served as the vision director of the Washington State University Athletic Department Medical Board.
- Dr. Sue Oleszewski is a Pennsylvania College of Optometry graduate and a retired Professor Emerita from Salus University, a clinical educator and administrator.
- The Spirit Award was given to Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry (NSUOCO) for their creative support of every contestant during the event. A coveted accolade – winning the Spirit Award earns NSUOCO a prominent feature in next year’s anticipated OSB hype video, played during the opening of the Bowl.