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.”
Today’s featured OSB contestant is another Canadian: introducing Taylor Harris from Calgary, Alberta. Taylor is a Class of 2018 optometry student at the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO).
His major goal is to own a private specialty contact lens clinic one day. In his free time, he likes to do fun outdoor things like rock climbing and biking. He even climbed a mountain in a suit once! Sounds like he took Barney Stinson’s advice to “Suit Up!” for all occasions pretty seriously.
Some of us also think he kind of resembles a young Macaulay Culkin (pictured on the right), which is pretty cool.
Please get your cheer on (and suit up) for Taylor!