ABB OPTICAL GROUP and Paragon Vision Sciences Announce Winners of Optometry Student Challenge

Press Release

ABB OPTICAL GROUP and Paragon Vision Sciences Announce Winners of Optometry Student Challenge


OSC Winners 2018

Pictured from left to right: Arch Holcomb-M.Sc. Specialty Consultant, ABB OPTICAL, Ilya Volk-Western University, Nha Cao-Midwestern University, Julie Ervin-Southern College of Optometry, Andy Jackson-Director, Specialty Contact Lenses

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (January 30, 2019) – Three optometry students presented scientific posters at the 2019 Global Specialty Lens Symposium in Las Vegas as winners of the Optometry Student Challenge, a program designed by ABB OPTICAL GROUP, in partnership with Paragon Vision Sciences, to foster the study of contact lenses.

The lead authors of the scientific posters were Nha Cao of Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry in Glendale, Arizona; Julie Ervin of Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee; and Ilya Volk of Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.

More than 90 optometry students submitted contact lens related abstracts focused on study projects or student-based case histories for the chance to win a travel stipend of $1,500 to attend the symposium and convert their abstracts into scientific posters. The challenge was open to students in their third and fourth years of study. Abstracts were judged on academic merit by a panel of industry experts.

"Every year we have an incredible response from students who amaze us with their outstanding submissions and this year was no different," said Andy Jackson, director of specialty contact lenses for ABB OPTICAL GROUP. "We believe the Optometry Student Challenge is a great experience, both academically and professionally, for students, helping them to put their best foot forward as they work towards their optical careers."

Optometry Student Challenge Winners
Cao, a fourth-year student and founder of the contact lens club at Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry, focused on the effect of freezing temperatures on Senofilcon A soft contact lenses.

Ervin, a fourth-year student and member of the American Optometric Student Association, covered treatment of keratoconjuctivitis sicca secondary to sicca syndrome with scleral lenses.

Volk, a fourth-year student and member of the contact lens club at Western University of Health Sciences, presented on the benefit of a scleral lens in the treatment of a post-corneal transplant epithelial defect.

"Supporting students in their academic journey is essential to their success" said Paragon Vision Sciences President Rich Jeffries. "Programs like the Optometry Student Challenge help foster well-versed students and we are proud to join ABB in supporting the next generation of optometrists."

For more information on the Optometry Student Challenge, visit

ABB OPTICAL GROUP is a leading, national provider of optical products and business services in the eye care industry. The company is focused on ensuring that eye care practitioners succeed by improving efficiencies, increasing profitably and effectively navigating market changes. Among its services, ABB OPTICAL supplies nearly two-thirds of eye care professionals across the country with brand-name contact lenses, specialty contact lenses, ophthalmic lenses and more. The company also provides business-building services for its customers such as pricing strategy tools, as well as performance dashboards through its Glimpse software division and practice management solutions through Primary Eyecare Network. ABB OPTICAL’s DIGITAL EYE LAB Network utilizes cutting-edge technology to produce eyewear that is personalized to patients’ needs and lifestyles. Headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida, with seven additional facilities across the country, ABB OPTICAL employs more than 1,000 team members who are passionate about customer success. For more information, visit

Paragon Vision Sciences is a world leader in orthokeratology lenses (CRT© Lenses) specialty contact lenses and oxygen permeable contact lens materials. Located in Gilbert, Arizona, the Paragon Vision Sciences Team is committed to providing innovative products and services with a focus on education, safety and efficacy.

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