ABB OPTICAL GROUP and Paragon Vision Sciences Announce Fourth Annual Optometry Student Challenge

Press Release

ABB OPTICAL GROUP and Paragon Vision Sciences Announce Fourth Annual Optometry Student Challenge
Third and fourth-year students eligible to win a $1,500 travel grant to the 2019 Global Specialty Lens Symposium


CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (June 29, 2018) – ABB OPTICAL GROUP, in partnership with Paragon Vision Sciences, announced it is accepting abstracts for its 2018-2019 Optometry Student Challenge.

The Optometry Student Challenge will award travel grants of $1,500 each to three third or fourth-year students to attend the 2019 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) and present a scientific poster on a topic related to contact lenses. Conference registration costs will be covered for the three winners, as well.

"We recognize the importance of fostering the study of contact lenses to the future of vision care, said Ann Shackelford, director of consultation and specialty services at ABB OPTICAL GROUP. "This challenge provides students with a great opportunity to further develop their research skills and present relevant, contact lens-related topics at one of the industry's most important conferences – the GSLS."

Program Rules
Third and fourth-year students who are interested in participating must register by Tuesday, July 31. Registered students must then submit an abstract on their proposed poster topic by Wednesday, October 15.

Abstracts must focus on study projects or student-based case histories related to contact lenses. Topics can include, but are not limited to, contact lens applications for presbyopia, keratoconus, corneal topography, post penetrating keratoplasty or related irregular corneal surface, myopia control, lens care/solutions, and orthokeratology.

Abstracts will be judged in two categories: case study report and research. Five finalists will be selected and notified by October 31.

The finalists will then be required to convert their abstracts into scientific posters for further judging. The posters must be submitted in digital, PDF format to ABB OPTICAL GROUP no later than November 21. Only digital files will be accepted.

Judges will then select the top three posters by December 1.

The lead authors of the top three posters will be awarded travel grants of $1,500 each to attend the symposium and present their posters. Additionally, the two runner-ups will receive honorable mention prizes of $250 each.

"I recommend any third or fourth-year students interested in pursuing a future in contact lenses to write an abstract," said past winner Stephanie Sonneburg of the Illinois College of Optometry. "It opens up a door of opportunity while also allowing you to learn and gain some insight from some of the best specialty fitters. Contact lenses are indisputably impactful in some individuals' lives, and I'm hopeful and excited for the future of specialty contact lenses."

Paragon Vision Sciences President Rich Jefferies said, "We are honored to partner with ABB OPTICAL on supporting the optometrists of tomorrow and encouraging these future leaders to further pursue the study of contact lenses. Programs like the Optometry Student Challenge are critical to the continued success of the optical industry."

The 2019 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) will be held January 24-27 in Las Vegas.

For more information on the Optometry Student Challenge, including full contest rules and guidelines, visit

ABB OPTICAL GROUP is a leading distributor of optical products in the United States. The company supplies nearly two-thirds of eye care professionals across the country with brand name contact lenses, fully customizable gas permeable and custom specialty soft contact lenses, ophthalmic lenses and more. The company's DIGITAL EYE LAB Network is dedicated to producing eyewear that is truly personalized to patients' needs and lifestyles. ABB OPTICAL GROUP also offers practice building services such as pricing strategy tools, business reviews, annual supply staff training and e-commerce solutions. For additional information, visit

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