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University Of California-berkeley Wins Varilux Optometry Super Bowl

By Essilor News


DALLAS – (July 21, 2008) – This year’s 111th Annual American Optometric Association (AOA) Congress and 38th Annual American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) meeting in Seattle was highlighted by the highly-anticipated, Essilor-sponsored Varilux Optometry Super Bowl. Brian Snydsman of the University of California-Berkeley School of Optometry took home the prized crystal Super Bowl trophy and $1,000 in prize money.

The Varilux Optometry Super Bowl drew over 1,200 students, practitioners and staff. Brian Snydsman won by answering this winning question correctly:

Question: In retinoscopy, neutrality is obtained in the 100 degree meridian through a +4.25 sphere working from 67cm, and neutrality of the 10 degree meridian is obtained by moving the retinoscope to 40cm. What is the prescription? Answer: +2.75 -1.00 X 100

Students from all nineteen optometry schools in North America traveled to compete in this annual event which showcases students’ knowledge and builds camaraderie and friendly competition between the schools. The crystal Super Bowl trophy will go to Brian Snydsman’s school where it will be held until next year's event. Second place and $750 went to Joseph Keaney of Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Third place and $500 went to Aarlan Aceto of New England College of Optometry. This year’s Spirit Award went to Pacific University College of Optometry.

“It’s an honor to compete in this event with so many talented optometry students,” said Brian Snydsman, this year’s Varilux Optometry Super Bowl champion. “I’m excited to take the $1,000 and crystal trophy home to my fellow Bears!”

“Each year, the Varilux Optometry Super Bowl gives optometry students the chance to compete and network with the best and brightest students in their field as well increase their knowledge and understanding,” said Rod Tahran, O.D., F.A.A.O., vice president of professional relations and clinical affairs for Essilor of America. “Essilor is proud to be a part of an event that supports 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.”
  • Randy Brooks, O.D., vice president of the Board of Trustees of the American Optometric Association and currently in private practice in Ledgewood, NJ
  • Rick Weisbarth , O.D., vice president of professional development and Partnerships for Ciba Vision and current president of the American Academy of Optometry
  • Jim Thimons, O.D., medical director of Ophthalmic Consultants in Connecticut and clinical professor at Pennsylvania College of Optometry and New England College of Optometry
  • Howard Purcell, O.D., vice president of customer development for Essilor of America



The Varilux Optometry Super Bowl is coordinated by Danne Ventura, director, professional relations, Essilor of America, and for the seventh consecutive year, the event was hosted by David Seibel, O.D., a private practitioner, with a practice in St. Louis. He is past Chair, Cornea and Contact Lens Section of AOA, a Diplomate in the AAO and was awarded the AOSA Founders Award in 2005.


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 more than 8,500 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, DEFINITY® Thin&Lite®, 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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Essilor, Varilux, Crizal, and DEFINITY are registered trademarks of Essilor International. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of Essilor of America, Inc.