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29th annual Optometry Student Bowl held virtually in 2020


Some 25 schools competed virtually for Ventura Cup.

Connor Christensen from the University of Houston College of Optometry won top honors in Essilor’s 29th annual Optometry Student Bowl (OSB), which kicked off its game-show style tradition in 1992.

The competition takes place during the American Optometric Association’s Optometry’s Meeting every June. Due to COVID-19, this year’s in person-meeting was cancelled, resulting in the competition’s first ever virtual experience.

Over 1500 attendees tuned in to watch contestants, including students from 25 schools and colleges of optometry, buzz in with correct answers to optometry-related questions.

The winning school walked away with $1000, diagnostic lenses from Volk, the Ventura Cup, and a lifetime of bragging rights. The second-place winner, Alec Waters from Southern College of Optometry, received $750, and third-place winner, Katelyn Flood from University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry, received $500.

Each contestant collected a Volk Ran Retinal 2.2 blue-ringed lens, courtesy of Volk. In addition, Keeler provided every participant with a personal protective equipment (PPE) kit.

Related: AOA elects '20-'21 officer slate via virtual ballot

Other awards

In addition to the main prizes, the Zoom Background Award went to The New England College of Optometry. The school will help produce next year’s competition’s “hype video” to kick off the competition.

A social media-based Virtual Spirit Award was awarded to The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry for innovative social media posts during the event.

Panel of judges

This year’s panel of expert judges included:

  • Lead Judge - Linda Casser, OD, FAAO, professor, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

  • Diane Adamczyk, OD, professor at State University of New York College of Optometry.

  • Bob Layman, OD, President-Elect of the AOA

  • Dr. Sue Oleszewski, MD, retired professor emerita from Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

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