Awards

George Mertz New Educator Travel Award

The Mertz New Educator Travel Award originated in 2003 when AOCLE, at the annual meeting, elected to honor Dr. George Mertz for his strong support of optometric education. Earlier that year Dr. Mertz had unexpectedly passed away too early. George had been very active in his support of AOCLE as well as other educational initiatives in his role heading up the Academic Affairs Department for Vistakon.

In honor of Dr. George Mertz, AOCLE funds the travel and meeting expenses of one new contact lens educator to attend the annual AOCLE meeting and workshop. The nominated educator must have a significant role in the contact lens program at the affiliated school or college of optometry and have not attended an AOCLE workshop previously. An application supporting an educator’s nomination should be prepared by the contact lens clinic chief from that person’s school or college. The executive committee then selects candidates to receive the award. See attachment for more information.

Award Recipients
Eligibility Document for G. Mertz Award (pdf )
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2019 Jessica Tu – University of Missouri, St. Louis

2018 – Nikita Williams – RSO

2017 – Elaine Chen – Ketchum

2016 – John Gialousakis – SUNY College of Optometry
Chad Rosen – Michigan College of Optometry

2015 – Alex Nixon – The Ohio State University
Pam Satjawatcharaphong – University of California, Berkeley

2014 – Lacey Haines – University of Waterloo

2013 – Chandra Mickles – UIWTX
Kelvin Tang – University of California, Berkeley

2012 – Amy Dinardo – Michigan College of Optometry
Nikki Rai – University of Waterloo
Christina Newman – Southern College of Optometry

2011 –┬áKathryn Richdale – The Ohio State University

2010 – Annie Chang – Southern California College of Optometry
Aaron Zimmerman – The Ohio State University

2009 – Frederic Gagnon – University of Montreal
Dawn Lam – Southern California College of Optometry
Peter Kolbaum – Indiana University School of Optometry

2008 –┬áNicky Lai – The Ohio State University
Eunice Myung Lee – Southern California College of Optometry
Mika Moy – University of California, Berkeley

2007 – Matt Lampa – Pacific University

2006 – Jason Chin – New England College of Optometry
Josh Lotoczky – Michigan College of Optometry

2005 – Jean-Sebastien Dufour – University of Montreal
Earlena McKee – Northeastern State University

2004 – Wanda Lam – Illinois College of Optometry
Sri Thota – University of Houston

Harue J. Marsden New Educator Travel Award

In 2017, the AOCLE membership voted to establish the Harue J. Marsden New Educator Travel Award at the annual meeting. Dr. Marsden had passed away earlier that year after a long battle with cancer. She was a Professor and Associate Dean of Clinical Education at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) at Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton, California. Dr. Marsden was a contact lens educator and devoted member of the AOCLE, and the association wanted to honor her contribution to the AOCLE and profession by inviting a new contact lens educator to attend their first AOCLE workshop. This opportunity would help a novice CL educator, who otherwise would not be able to attend, network with other educators from all the North American schools and colleges of optometry.

This award was created in honor of Dr. Harue Marsden, a devoted member of the AOCLE. AOCLE funds the travel and meeting expenses of one new contact lens educator to attend the annual AOCLE meeting and workshop. The nominated educator must have a significant role in the contact lens program at the affiliated school or college of optometry and have not attended an AOCLE workshop previously. An application supporting an educator’s nomination should be prepared by the contact lens clinic chief from that person’s school or college. The executive committee then selects candidates to receive the award. See attachment for more information.

Award Recipients
Eligibility Document for Harue J. Marsden Award (pdf )
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2019 – Celia Gong – University of California, Berkeley

2018 – Kate McClure – The Ohio State University

Lester Janoff Cornea & Contact Lens George MertzMemorial Award

This award was established by AOCLE in 2007 to honor Dr. Lester E. Janoff, an exceptional optometric educator, administrator, contact lens clinician and researcher. His professional career encompassed private practice, contact lens research for industry, and contact lens education at three optometry schools (Pennsylvania College of Optometry, New England College of Optometry and Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry). He was a Diplomate in the Cornea and Contact lens Section of the American Academy of Optometry and Associate Dean of NSUCO. Most importantly, this award was established to honor the memory of a beloved optometric mentor and friend.

This award is presented to an AOCLE member who has demonstrated excellence in the area of contact lens-related publications, contact lens education, and research. The criteria for the award include publications in refereed journals, textbooks or textbook chapters, and active participation in AOCLE events, past or present. Ideally, the recipient will show a broad range of contributions in the above areas with accomplishments that have had a positive impact upon our profession. Nominations should be submitted electronically to Dr. Andrea Janoff (NOVA) at janoffa@nova.edu. See attachment for more information.

Award Recipients
Eligibility Document for L. Janoff Award (pdf)
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2018 – Bruce Morgan – Michigan College of Optometry

2017 – Etty Bitton – University of Montreal

2016 – William (Bill) Edmondson – Southern College of Optometry-Memphis

2015 – Heidi Wagner – Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

2014 – Neil Pence – Indiana University School of Optometry

2013 – Vinita Henry – University of Missouri – St. Louis College of Optometry

2012 – Jan Jurkus – Illinois College of Optometry

2011 – Joel Silbert – PCO-SALUS

2010 – Langis Michaud – University of Montreal

2009 – Edward Bennett – UMSL

2008 – Luigina Sorbara – University of Waterloo School of Optometry

Faculty Development Travel Grant

The AOCLE supports a faculty development program for contact lens (CL) faculty at the North American Schools & Colleges of Optometry. The purpose of the program is to encourage the development of CL faculty or CL programs for AOCLE member institutions; enhance the CL experience of optometry students in clinics or class; and increase the use of AOCLE faculty members as a resource for faculty or program development between CL programs at AOCLE member institutions. If you would like to submit a nominee or are interested in applying for the Faculty Development Grant, please submit your information electronically to the AOCLE Chair, Katherine Clore, at kclore@uab.edu.

Award Recipients
Eligibility Document for Travel Grant (pdf)
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2011 – Luigina Sorbara – Travel support for sabbatical

2008 – Etty Bitton (Montreal) – Travel assistance to BCLA meeting for presentation

2007 – Jan Jurkus (ICO) – Travel assistance to Scotland and Australia for sabbatical

2006 – Etty Bitton (Montreal) – Travel assistance to University of Waterloo during sabbatical

2002 – Des Fonn (Waterloo) – Travel assistance

1998 – Des Fonn (Waterloo) – Travel assistance

AOCLE Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is presented by the AOCLE to an optometric educator who has demonstrated exemplary commitment and dedication to the organization over numerous years. This award is not presented annually. Nominations will be considered by the Executive committee. See attachment for criteria.

Award Recipients
Eligibility for Lifetime Achievement Award (pdf)
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2019 – Ed Bennett – University of Missouri, St. Louis

2011 – Michael Harris – University of California, Berkeley

2009 – Les Caplan Secretary/Treasurer from 1984 to 1988,
Treasurer from 1988 to 1996 and then as
AOCLE consultant for many years after that.