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Essilor Of America Announces 2007 Varilux Student Grant Award Winners

By Essilor News


DALLAS – (May 14, 2007) – Optometry students across the country submitted case studies in hopes of winning the annual Varilux® Student Grant Award from Essilor of America, Inc.(EOA). Fourteen students were awarded $1,000 each in grant monies from Varilux, and from those winners, one national award was given. This year, the honor of the national award belongs to Robyn Russell, a student at NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., who wrote the winning case study.

“Essilor is dedicated to empowering students studying optometry. We understand today’s students are tomorrow’s industry leaders, and our support of the educational process helps prepare them for the future,” said Dr. Rodney Tahran, vice president of professional relations and clinical affairs. “It is always rewarding to know that students are interested in and learning about the benefits and advancements that Varilux lenses offer patients.”

Russell and her advisor, Ms. Ana Abugazalaleh, will each receive an all-expense paid trip for two to Optometry’s Meeting, the 110th Annual American Optometry Association (AOA) Congress, and the 37th Annual American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) Conference to be held in Boston, Ma., the week of June 27 – July 1, 2007. Russell will be an honored guest at the 16th Annual Varilux Optometry Super Bowl, the highly anticipated annual event sponsored by Essilor, and will receive $1,000 in prize money.

Judges reviewed all case studies based on criteria such as dispensing skills, application of Varilux lenses to the patient’s needs, analysis of the care, and analysis of the lens design and lens performance. The winning student from each school receives a grant and an entry into the national judging for the chance to become the national winner.  The contest is open to third and fourth year optometry students.

Other 2007 grant winners are listed below:

  • Steven Lee, Illinois College of Optometry Lynnette Blostica, Michigan College of Optometry
  • Jennifer Weier, Indiana University College of Optometry
  • Richard John Michelsen, University of California at Berkeley School of Optometry Jill Magargee, Southern College of Optometry
  • Carolyn V. Ormes, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Jody Simmons, University of Alabama College of Optometry Tina Hueftlein, Universite de Montreal Ecole d’optometrie Fred Lee, Northeastern State University
  • Annie Vollmer, The Ohio State University – College of Optometry Juan Menjivar, University of Houston College of Optometry Bryant Vo, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Katie Hahn, University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry


Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs over 6,100 people in more than 100 facilities throughout the 50 states. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, DEFINITY™ and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eye care professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

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Varilux and Crizal are registered trademarks and DEFINITY is a trademark of Essilor International, S.A. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of Essilor of America, Inc.