(Press Release) Student leaders of the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) at Optometry’s Meeting June 24-28 added a representative to the American Board of Optometry and approved strong language in support of the American Optometric Association and the state AOA affiliates.

In creating a new National Liaison position to represent the American Board of Optometry, the AOSA brings to 17 the number of national organizations with whom it has formal ties.

In an address to the AOA House of Delegates, AOSA President Hunter Chapman of the Southern College of Optometry announced the AOSA Board had continued to mobilize support for AOA membership.

“At this meeting, the AOSA Board has approved a change to our mission statement that shows our collective commitment to AOA’s advocacy and membership efforts,” Chapman told the AOA House on June 27. “Thank you to the AOA Board and State Affiliate Leaders for your inspiration. Our new mission statement is as follows, ‘The purpose of the American Optometric Student Association is to improve the visual welfare and health of the public, to promote the profession of optometry, and life-long commitment to the AOA and AOA State Affiliates, and to enhance the education and welfare of optometry students.’”

The meeting was also the site of the largest student competition in optometry, the Varilux Optometry Student Bowl. Nicole Rist of Pennsylvania College of Optometry took top honors, competing against students representing all 23 schools and colleges of optometry.

The 24th annual competition showcased student knowledge and team spirit in a fast-paced battle of wits. Pacific University College of Optometry won the coveted Spirit Award and MCPHS University College of Optometry had the favorite t-shirt. The Virtual Spirit Award for best social media went to NSU-Oklahoma College of Optometry.

Other student achievements were honored during the AOSA’s General Session, sponsored by HOYA, where Brooke M. Harkness (Pacific University College of Optometry) and Emily M. Korszen (Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry) received the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Norman Wallis Award for attaining the top scores in Part 1 of the National Boards.

Student creative achievements were honored by Allergan, awarding 100 travel grants to the AOSA members who best used photography to illustrate the discomfort of dry eye. More than 300 photos were submitted in the first-of-its-kind competition.

More than 100 students also went hands-on with scleral lenses in a debut event at the meeting, workshops hosted by Valley Contax.

At the AOSA General Session, hosted by HOYA, the AOSA presented its Founders’ Award to Mark Risher of Allergan and the Merit Award to Julie Trute of AOA-PAC.

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