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Essilor Announces 2012 Student Grant Award Recipients

By Essilor News


DALLAS – June 1, 2012 – Essilor of America, the nation’s leading manufacturer of optical lenses, today announces the winners of the 2012 Varilux® Student Grant Awards, a competition among optometry students. This year, 19 students were awarded $1,000 each in grant money from Varilux, and from those winners, one national award was given.

The honor of the 2012 national award belongs to Jenna Liechty, a fourth year student from Indiana University College of Optometry in Bloomington, Ind. Liechty wrote the winning case study titled “Night Driving Complaints Solved by Varilux Physio Enhanced™ Progressive Lenses.”

“We are committed to investing in the future leaders of optometry so they may excel in furthering their own careers and the industry,” said Dr. Rodney Tahran, vice president of professional relations and clinical affairs, Essilor of America. “The Varilux Student Grant Award program is an excellent example of Essilor’s continued dedication to optometric education and the optometric profession.”

Liechty will receive an additional $2,500 in prize money and will be a guest at the 21st annual Varilux Optometry Student Bowl, the highly anticipated annual event sponsored by Essilor at Optometry’s Meeting in Chicago on June 28.

The students’ case studies were reviewed by a panel of judges and were reviewed on criteria including: dispensing skills, application of Varilux lenses to patient needs, analysis of the case(s) and analysis of the lens design and lens performance. Liechty’s report is available to view at under the “Services” section. Other 2012 winners are listed below:

  • Marilyn Zuniga, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Natalie Nguyen, University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry
  • Justine Aguilar, Pacific University College of Optometry
  • Greg Wingren, University of California at Berkeley School of Optometry
  • Mirage Shah, New England College of Optometry
  • Mary Beth Emmick, University of Houston College of Optometry
  • Cibele S. Parrish, The Ohio State University - College of Optometry
  • Jennifer Tran, Southern California College of Optometry
  • Andrea Sis, Northeastern State University
  • Robbyn Dupuis, School of Optometry University of Waterloo
  • Ji Yun Lee, State University of New York College of Optometry
  • Jeffrey J. Lant, Southern College of Optometry
  • Cara Wolfish, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
  • Jennifer Cheng, University of Montreal School of Optometry
  • Chrissy Hines, Western University of Health Sciences
  • Benjamin Dietrich, Michigan College of Optometry
  • Salma Zaman Kiani, Rosenberg School of Optometry, University of the Incarnate Word
  • Michelle Meyer, Midwestern University Eye Institute


About Essilor
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 9,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Xperio®, 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 eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

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