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Optometry Is The Name Of The Game

By Essilor News


LAS VEGAS – (July 10, 2006) – Cheering students, laser lights, blaring music and terms such as corneal dystrophy filling the air could only mean one thing – the highly anticipated Varilux Optometry Super Bowl sponsored by Essilor of America. Marisa Chung of University of California at Berkeley took home the prized crystal Super Bowl trophy and $1,000 in prize money. This year’s energetic event at the 109th Annual American Optometric Association (AOA) Congress and 36th Annual American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) was held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Students from all nineteen optometry schools in North America, Canada and Puerto Rico, traveled to compete in this annual event which more than 1,600 people attended. The crystal Super Bowl trophy will go to Marisa Chung’s school where it will be held until next year's event. Second place and $750 went to Zach Dirks of Southern California College of Optometry, and third place and a prize of $500 went to Raphael Paquette of University of Montreal.

“It’s an honor to be among the ranks of the most talented optometry students in the country,” said Marisa Chung, this year’s Varilux Optometry Super Bowl champion. “This competition was very challenging, but also an exciting experience.”

“The Varilux Optometry Super Bowl gives optometry students the chance to increase their understanding of the field as well as network with their peers,” said Rod Tahran, O.D., F.A.A.O., vice president of professional relations and clinical affairs for Essilor of America. “These students are the future of optometry.”

This year’s panel of judges included:

- Linda Casser, O.D., director of clinical examinations for the National Board of Examiners and the 1997 AOA “Optometrist of the Year.”

- Kevin Alexander, O.D., vice president of the Board of Trustees of the American Optometric Association and dean of the Michigan College of Optometry.

- Joe Yager, O.D., practices in Orlando, FL, and serves as the president of the American Academy of Optometry

- Jim Thimons, O.D., medical director of Ophthalmic Consultants in Connecticut and clinical professor at Pennsylvanian College of Optometry and New England College of Optometry

- Irv Borish, O.D., author, inventor, scientist, often called the "Father of Modern Optometry"

The Varilux Optometry Super Bowl is coordinated by Danne Ventura, director, professional relations, Essilor of America, and for the fifth consecutive year, the event was hosted by David Seibel, O.D., a private practitioner, with a practice in St. Louis, and chair, Cornea and Contact Lens Section of AOA.

Photo Caption: Marisa Chung of University of California at Berkeley celebrates her Varilux Optometry Super Bowl win with Mike Daley, president, Essilor Lenses, and Danne Ventura, director, professional relations, Essilor of America.


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.