University of Houston Student Wins First Place at AOSA Optometry Student Bowl

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DALLAS—Connor Christensen from the University of Houston College of Optometry took home top honors at the 29th Annual AOSA Optometry Student Bowl, held here June 25. Originally scheduled for Optometry’s Meeting, which was canceled due to COVID-19, the Student Bowl was turned into a virtual event that was broadcast on June 25, 2020 from the Dallas headquarters of Essilor, its longtime sponsor. More than 1500 attendees tuned in to watch the contestants, students from all 25 schools and colleges of optometry, answer optometry-related questions.

In addition to bragging rights, the winning school, The University of Houston College of Optometry, took home $1,000, a host of diagnostic lenses from Volk, and will house the coveted Ventura Cup until next year's meeting in Anaheim, Calif. Second-place winner, Alec Waters, Southern College of Optometry, received $750 and third-place winner, Katelyn Flood, University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry, received $500. As in previous years, each OSB contestant will get a Volk Pan Retinal 2.2 blue-ringed lens donated by Volk Optical. Keeler also provided each contestant with a PPE kit.

The Zoom Background Award went to The New England College of Optometry, who will help create next year’s “hype video” which helps kick off the competition with energy. The social media-based Virtual Spirit Award was given to The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry for their inventive social media posts cheering on their contestant.

“Essilor is committed to creating value for students and investing in the future of our industry. We are honored to host the Optometry Student Bowl again this year," said Ryan Parker, OD, director of professional education at Essilor of America, “The engagement of the viewers and contestants in this first-ever virtual OSB was impressive. We always appreciate seeing the creativity, innovation, and team spirit fostered through this fun and competitive setting."

This year’s panel of judges included:

• Lead Judge: Linda Casser, OD, professor, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University; author, educator, clinician, and 1997 American Optometric Association (AOA) Optometrist of the Year.

• Diane Adamczyk, OD, author, lecturer, and professor at State University of New York College of Optometry and 2016 PCO Alumna of the Year.

• Bob Layman, OD, president-elect of the American Optometric Association, The Ohio State University College of Optometry graduate, past president of the Ohio Optometric Association, the 2006 AOA Optometrist of the Year.

• Sue Oleszewski, OD, a Pennsylvania College of Optometry graduate and a retired Professor Emerita from Salus University, a clinical educator and administrator.

For more information and to see some of the excitement from this year’s AOSA Optometry Student Bowl powered by Essilor, click here.