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ABB Optical and Paragon Announce Optometry Student Challenge




(PRESS RELEASE) CORAL SPRINGS, FL  –ABB Optical Group, in partnership with Paragon Vision Sciences, announced it is accepting abstracts for its 2018-19 Optometry Student Challenge. 

The Optometry Student Challenge will award travel grants of $1,500 each to three third- or fourth-year students to attend the 2019 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) and present a scientific poster on a topic related to contact lenses. Conference registration costs will be covered for the three winners, as well.

“We recognize the importance of fostering the study of contact lenses to the future of vision care, said Ann Shackelford, director of consultation and specialty services at ABB Optical Group. “This challenge provides students with a great opportunity to further develop their research skills and present relevant, contact lens-related topics at one of the industry’s most important conferences – the GSLS.”

Program Rules

Third- and fourth-year students who are interested in participating must register by Tuesday, July 31. Registered students must then submit an abstract on their proposed poster topic by Wednesday, Oct. 15.

Abstracts must focus on study projects or student-based case histories related to contact lenses. Topics can include, but are not limited to, contact lens applications for presbyopia, keratoconus, corneal topography, post penetrating keratoplasty or related irregular corneal surface, myopia control, lens care/solutions and orthokeratology.


Abstracts will be judged in two categories: case study report and research. Five finalists will be selected and notified by Oct. 31.

The finalists will then be required to convert their abstracts into scientific posters for further judging. The posters must be submitted in digital, PDF format to ABB Optical Group no later than Nov. 21. Only digital files will be accepted.

Judges will then select the top three posters by Dec. 1.  

The lead authors of the top three posters will be awarded travel grants of $1,500 each to attend the symposium and present their posters. Additionally, the two runner-ups will receive honorable mention prizes of $250 each.


“I recommend any third or fourth-year students interested in pursuing a future in contact lenses to write an abstract,” said past winner Stephanie Sonneburg of the Illinois College of Optometry. “It opens up a door of opportunity while also allowing you to learn and gain some insight from some of the best specialty fitters. Contact lenses are indisputably impactful in some individuals’ lives, and I’m hopeful and excited for the future of specialty contact lenses.”

Paragon Vision Sciences President Rich Jefferies said, “We are honored to partner with ABB OPTICAL on supporting the optometrists of tomorrow and encouraging these future leaders to further pursue the study of contact lenses. Programs like the Optometry Student Challenge are critical to the continued success of the optical industry.”

The 2019 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) will be held Jan. 24-27 in Las Vegas.

For more information on the Optometry Student Challenge, including full contest rules and guidelines, visit


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