Taylor Harris, a student from the Illinois College of Optometry, propelled his team to victory at the 26th annual Essilor Optometry Student Bowl (OSB) by answering the final question concerning the correct contact lens power to order for an infant with an aphakic eye. In addition to bragging rights, the Illinois College of Optometry took home $1,000 and the coveted crystal trophy, renamed the “Ventura Cup” last year to honor Essilor’s Danne Ventura, FAAO, one of the event’s founders.
Second-place winner, Fernando Elias from the New England College of Optometry, received $750 and third-place winner, Brennen Yaquinto from the Ohio State University received $500. As in previous years, each OSB contestant was presented with a Volk Pan Retinal 2.2 blue ringed lens, generously donated by Volk Optical president Pete Mastores. Additional awards included:
• Spirit Award: University of Missouri at St. Louis (UMSL) who will create next year’s rules video.
• The social media-based AOSA Virtual Spirit Award was awarded jointly to Kentucky College of Optometry and Northeastern State University – Oklahoma College of Optometry.
• AOSA T-shirt design competition: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science (MCPHS).
More than 2,000 attendees gathered to watch the contestants—students from all 24 schools and colleges of optometry—answer optometry-related questions while their fellow classmates energetically cheered them on wearing war paint, school colors and displaying brightly colored banners. This year, the OSB welcomed the University of Pikeville, Kentucky College of Optometry as a first-time participant.
“Year after year, the Essilor Optometry Student Bowl continues to be a highlight of the conference and this year is no exception,” said Rod Tahran, OD, FAAO, vice president of professional relations and clinical affairs for Essilor of America and event co-creator. “We have had the privilege of challenging optometry students by putting their knowledge into practice in a fun and competitive setting for more than 25 years, and it’s been an honor to watch them excel in furthering their own careers and while making a lasting impact on the industry.”
Last, but definitely not least, meet Alex Soliz ’18 from Longview, TX representing Southern College of Optometry (SCO).
She enjoys swimming, disc golf, and taking way too many pictures of her dog. She also once kissed a giraffe in Kenya! Evidence here:
Welcome to the OSB, Alex!
Here’s Salus University – Pennsylvania College of Optometry’s (PCO) contestant, Leslie Gauntlett ’18 from Tyngsborough, MA.
Her hobbies include soccer, basketball games, and laughing.
Fun Fact: She’s broken every finger on her right hand, but she managed to still be right handed.
Her goal is to finally find a place she calls home and still be able to travel incessantly.
Warm welcome for Leslie, everyone!
Meet Ryan Dugan ’18 from Portland, OR representing Pacific University College of Optometry (PUCO).
He loves all things outdoors and recently learned his 50 states. His goal is to someday serve as faculty at P-U….C-O!
Come out tonight at 7:30pm to hear Ryan chant “P-U..C-O” and maybe take home the trophy!
This guy here is Brennen Yaquinto ’18 from Stow, OH representing Ohio State University. He enjoys cooking, homebrewing/wine making, baseball, bicycling, napping, and fishing.
Fun Fact: He went to Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland.
Goal: Open up a practice in pediatrics.
As a bonus, OSU made this amazing optometry video. Check it out!
Let’s give Brennen a warm welcome to the OSB!
Stephanie Hubbard ’18 from Sanford, NC will be representing Inter American University of Puerto Rico (IAUPR).
Hobbies: Soccer and all activities involving water.
Fun fact: She once worked at KFC for a summer job.
Goal: To never stop learning.
Watch Stephanie in action tomorrow night!
Meet Fernando Elias ’18 from Miami, Florida representing New England College of Optometry (NECO) at the OSB.
Hobbies: lifting things up and putting them back down.
Fun Fact: He once competed in an Oscar Meyer wiener singing commercial.
Goals: Make it through 4th year
Will Fernando sing the Oscar Meyer wiener song for us? Come out to the OSB TOMORROW at 7:30pm to find out!
Meet Michael Franzone ’18 from Hillsboro, OR representing Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). He enjoys hiking, camping, basketball (Portland Trailblazers are his fav), and spending time with his wife and cat.
His goal is to run a successful private practice in Washington State and own a cabin in the woods with lots of dogs. If he didn’t do optometry, he would want to be a mailman.
Come out and support Michael!
Ellen Butts ’18 is from Hopewell, PA and will be representing NOVA at the OSB.
Her hobbies include traveling, brunching, and making Snapchat masterpieces. She loves Halloween, mostly because she loves candy and she takes pride in her costume making skills. Needless to say, she’s pretty pumped about wearing costumes to the OSB.
She hopes to complete a residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses, move closer to her family, open a practice, and welcome a Savannah cat into her family.
Come out Thursday night and Snapchat the OSB event with the Snapchat Queen herself!
Meet Indiana University School of Optometry’s (IU) contestant, Sean Stille ’18 from Elmwood, NE.
Sean comes from a big family – he’s kid #4 out of 6! He loves to play golf, watch Husker football, play video games and board games, and hang out with his wife Miranda and their cat, Lola.
His goal is to be the very best, like no one ever was (we love the reference). He wants to work in a multi-doctor private practice, and eventually do a mission trip or volunteer at a city mission clinic.
Come out this Thursday to watch Sean catch ’em all!