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Essilor Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Varilux Optometry Student Bowl





Michigan School of Optometry takes home top honors.

Essilor of America, a manufacturer of optical lenses, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Varilux Optometry Student Bowl, held at this year’s Optometry’s Meeting in Boston.

More than 1,000 attendees gathered to watch the contestants – students from all schools and colleges of optometry – answer optometry-related questions while their fellow classmates cheered them on wearing war paint, school colors and displaying brightly colored banners.

In addition to bragging rights, the winning school, Michigan School of Optometry, took home $1,000 and the coveted crystal trophy. The winning question, “A spectacle lens has an Rx of -4.50 – 1.50 x 045 and has a base curve of +2.00. What is the lens clock reading on the concave surface of the lens along the 135 degree meridian?” was correctly answered with “-8.00 Diopters” by Evan Andrews, class of 2017.

Second place winner, Marshall Ward, class of 2017 at Pennsylvania College of Optometry, received $750. Third place was a tie between Derek Hennig, class of 2017 at Southern College of Optometry, and Amy Cuevas, class of 2017 at University of the Incarnate Word, who received $500.

Last year’s Spirit Award winner, Pacific University College of Optometry, created a politically themed video that spared no one to detail the rules of the competition. Southern College of Optometry was chosen as this year’s Spirit Award winner and will create next year’s rules video. For the first time ever there was a tie for the social media-based Virtual Spirit Award between Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry and University of Waterloo, School of Optometry. This year’s winner of
the AOSA t-shirt design competition went to University of Houston, College of Optometry.


“We’re thrilled that the Varilux Optometry Student Bowl has been so successful for 25 years,” says event co-creator Danne Ventura, F.A.A.O., director of professional education for Essilor of America. “We developed the event to engage the students and give them an avenue to have fun at the meeting. Over the years, it’s become a highlight of student life. We’ve seen the student leaders we work with, as well as the contestants and winners of the OSB, become key opinion leaders, association leaders, industry
leaders and educators. We look forward to 25 more years of fun.”

To help celebrate the OSB’s 25th anniversary, attendees also attempted to break a Guinness World Record for the largest group of people wearing eye black in one location at one time. OSB officials should know if the record attempt was a success by the end of September. Attendees also enjoyed a high-spirited after party which included a live band and multiple giveaways such as a trip to next year’s meeting, Volk diagnostic lenses and Samsung tablets.

The Varilux Optometry Student Bowl has been coordinated and produced since its inception by Danne Ventura and David Seibel, O.D., private practitioner in St. Louis, marked his 16th year as host. Dr. Seibel is past chair, Cornea and Contact Lens Section of AOA, a diplomat in the AAO, and was awarded the AOSA Founders Award in 2005 and AOA Young Optometrist of the Year in 1996.

This year’s 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
  • Dr. Brett Bence, partner and director of optometry at Northwest Eye Surgeons in Seattle, past president of the Optometric Physicians of Washington, and president of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
  • Dr. Christopher Quinn, president of Omni Eye Services, lecturer, author, Fellow in the AAO and VP of the AOA
  • Dr. Karla Zadnik, past president, AAO, dean at the Ohio State University College of Optometry, 2014 National Optometry Hall of Fame Inductee and president of ASCO

Rod Tahran, O.D., F.A.A.O., vice president of professional relations and clinical affairs for Essilor of America and event co-creator, says the OSB continues to be relevant for optometry students. “After 25 years, the Varilux Optometry Student Bowl is still a highlight of the conference, and every year we continue to be impressed with the caliber of students who stand up to the challenge. The bowl is such a fun, spirited event, and Essilor is proud to support it and the students who are the future of optometry.”

Essilor Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Varilux Optometry Student Bowl


For more information and to see some of the excitement from this year’s Varilux Optometry Student Bowl, visit



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