CHICAGO—The American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) Optometry Student Bowl powered by EssilorLuxottica celebrated its 31st annual competition at Optometry’s Meeting on June 17. The marquee event matches optometry school representatives against each other to answer rounds of eye health-related questions similar to those found in the national board exams that students must pass to become licensed optometrists. Representatives of 24 schools and colleges of optometry competed to win a significant prize package, including the Ventura Cup and bragging rights.

Ashley Olson from Midwestern University Arizona-College of Optometry (AZCOPT) took home first prize, which included a $1,000 award from the AOSA and a package of equipment to outfit a practice post-graduation. AZCOPT will have the honor of housing the Ventura Cup until next year’s Optometry Student Bowl at Optometry’s Meeting 2023.

“The AOSA Optometry Student Bowl is a testament to the incredible work that can be accomplished through educational partnership, as it was born of collaboration between EssilorLuxottica and the AOSA,” said Dr. Millicent Knight, senior vice president of customer development at EssilorLuxottica North America.

 Ashley Olson from Midwestern University Arizona-College of Optometry (AZCOPT) was the winner of the Student Bowl.
“The event, which is beloved by so many students and alumni, has a history of spotlighting star optometry students who go on to shape the industry through critical roles such as state association leaders, key opinion leaders and top researchers,” Dr. Knight added. “Preparation for the event helps students across the country study for and pass the boards. We are proud of the impact we can have in supporting optometry students across the country as they begin their journeys to help people see more and be more.”

The Radius Chicago venue in Chicago was packed and roaring throughout the competition, as the Student Bowl drew a crowd of about 800 enthusiastic students and alumni who cheered on their schools’ representative during four rounds of intense competition before a winner was named. Attendees brandished light-up noisemakers, blow ups and giant signs while shouting their support for their school.

While Olson took the top prize, Gabby Crockett from Southern College of Optometry finished with the second-place award and received an award of $750 from the AOSA. Emmy Tian from University of California-Berkeley School of Optometry and Sakshi Vasiu from State University of New York State College of Optometry finished tied for third place. Each received $500.

Representatives of 24 schools and colleges of optometry competed to win the Ventura Cup.

A crowd of more than 800 students cheered on the contestants as they moved through four rounds of intense competition.

Outgoing AOA president Robert Layman, OD, addresses the student attendees.

This year’s prestigious 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. Ron Brenner, vice president of the American Optometric Association, graduate of the Pacific University College of Optometry, past president of the Montana Optometric Association and member of the Great Western Council of Optometry. Dr. Benner owns and operates a private practice clinic in Laurel, Montana.

  • Dr. Sue Oleszewski, Pennsylvania College of Optometry graduate, retired Professor Emerita from Salus University, clinical educator and administrator.
The Ohio State University College of Optometry won the Spirit Award for its creative support of every contestant during the event. A coveted accolade—winning the Spirit Award earns The Ohio State University College of Optometry a prominent feature in next year’s anticipated OSB hype video, played during the opening of the Bowl.