Zachary Ney from the University of Houston College of Optometry was the winner of this year’s Ventura Cup at the AOSA Optometry Student Bowl.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Zachary Ney from the University of Houston College of Optometry was the winner of the Ventura Cup at the 32nd annual American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) Optometry Student Bowl powered by EssilorLuxottica at Optometry’s Meeting 2023 in Washington, D.C. Student representatives from 24 schools and colleges of optometry battled through rounds of competition for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights by answering optometry-related questions that were created by an esteemed panel of optometric educators. A record crowd of more than 2,000 students and alumni, armed with giant signs and noisemakers, gathered for this marquee event to cheer on their school.

Ney took home the top prize which included a $2,000 award from the AOSA and a package of equipment to outfit their practice post-graduation. The University of Houston College of Optometry will have the honor of keeping the Ventura Cup until next year’s Optometry Student Bowl at Optometry’s Meeting 2024.

“EssilorLuxottica is proud to collaborate with the AOSA to bring one-of-a-kind educational opportunities like the Optometry Student Bowl to life and continue to help nurture the future of our profession,” said Dr. Millicent Knight, senior vice president of medical and professional affairs at EssilorLuxottica North America. “The event allows optometry students across the country to engage in education in a fun and exciting way. EssilorLuxottica applauds the dedication and passion for optometry showcased tonight by all the competitors, students and alumni in the crowd.”

While Ney won the top prize, Nicholas Keinath from Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University took home second place and received an award of $1,500 from the AOSA. This year there was a tie for third place, Sammy Haskins from University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry and Sakshi Vasiu from State University of New York State College of Optometry, who both received $1,000 from the AOSA.

The Spirit Award was given to the University of Houston College of Optometry for their outstanding support of every contestant during the event. Winning the Spirit Award earns University of Houston College of Optometry the coveted accolade of earning a prominent feature in next year’s Optometry Student Bowl hype video played during the opening of the Bowl.

Dr. Ryan Parker, senior director professional development, EssilorLuxottica North America, served as the event’s emcee.

This year’s panel of judges included:

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

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

  • Dr. Sue Oleszewski, Pennsylvania College of Optometry graduate, retired professor emerita from Salus University, clinical educator and administrator.

  • Dr. Steven Reed, vice president of the American Optometric Association. He is a past president of the Mississippi Optometric Association (MOA) and the Southwest Optometric Society. He is a graduate of Southern College of Optometry.