Student Optometric Leadership Network Awards Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry the 2014 Preston Cup


COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Student Optometric Leadership Network (SOLN) awarded the Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry the 2014 Preston Cup, which recognizes excellence in leadership and contribution to students and private-practice optometry.

Awarded each year since 2012 to one of the 21 participating private-practice clubs from colleges of optometry throughout the U.S., the Preston Cup was created in honor of Preston Smith, a fourth year student at Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry, and one of the founding members of SOLN during the first annual Student Private Practice Symposium and Leadership Conference held in April 2011. Tragically, at only 26 years old, Preston was killed in an automobile accident on Nov. 1, 2011

“It is an honor to be awarded the Preston Cup by our peers as we all strive to encourage and grow the excellence in leadership and private-practice optometry,” said William To, president of Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry private practice club. “Being one of the newest optometry colleges, Western has gone above and beyond, providing optometric students with amazing opportunities.” Throughout the academic year, each private-practice club at the colleges of optometry set up practice management programs for their peers to learn more about what goes into running a successful optometric business. These educational activities supplement formal academic courses, and the private-practice clubs share their achievements and successes at the annual SOLN meeting sponsored by VSP Vision Care.

At the fourth annual SOLN leadership conference, which took place here in early June, the top four private-practice clubs, as voted on by the other SOLN members, presented their accomplishments to vie for the Preston Cup. Participants at the SOLN leadership conference then voted for the team they felt best supported their peers with such items as holding successful events, fundraisers, and community outreach.