VISTAKON® Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care

Award of Excellence


To recognize outstanding 4th year student clinicians who have demonstrated excellence in contact lens patient care during their optometric education.

Award and Eligibility

Sponsored by Vistakon®, one $1,000 award and a personalized plaque is awarded to a graduating fourth-year student at each of the North-American schools and colleges of Optometry.

The appropriate award selection committee at each of the schools/colleges of optometry will select the one student who meets the eligibility requirements and best demonstrates the qualities detailed in the criteria. The AOF will not accept applications directly from students.

Outstanding clinical patient care as demonstrated by the student’s: (a) overall knowledge in the contact lens field, and (b) skillful, considerate and professional care of his/her contact lens patients.

Nomination Procedures

The Nomination Form 2014 is provided directly to institution contacts via email during the opening of the submission window, no more than 2 months prior to deadline.

Completed nomination forms should be sent via email to: with the subject line: Vistakon AOE + institution name.


Notification and Conferment

Each school or college will contact its award winner. The AOF will send the award to the school or college or directly to the student. Likewise, depending on the prevailing policy of the school or college, checks may be made out directly to the student or to the institution for application to the student’s financial aid. In either case, a W9 form (or W-8BEN if non-U.S. resident) must be submitted or be on file.

Awards are generally mailed 4-6 weeks after deadline. If permissible, the award presentation maybe presented by a Vistakon representative, assigned to each specific school or college of optometry, at the institution’s awards ceremony. 

Program Note

All award recipients by application/nomination and acceptance of an award agree to allow the AOF and/or the sponsor of the program to which they applied to publish their name, image, institution information, and any statement or quote provided by the recipient. These will appear in a variety of media formats that will announce and promote the program including, but not limited to, the AOF and/or sponsor annual report, website, social media, annual meeting promotional materials or press release.

Please direct any questions about this program to: Tracy Kitts, Foundation Coordinator, at: or 321-710-3936.

 2013 Recipients

Lauren Hunt, OD, Illinois College of Optometry
Karen Lee, OD, Indiana University at Bloomington School of Optometry
Hannah Eastman, OD, Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry
Jessica Hartwig, OD, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University
Michelle Meyer, OD, Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry 
Maria Walker, OD, New England College of Optometry
Erin C. Ridder, OD, Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry
Sharon Park, OD, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
David Ruckman, OD, Pacific University College of Optometry
Kristen Lauren Epting, OD, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University
Jose M. Correa, OD, Rosenberg School of Optometry University of the Incarnate Word
Derek Evans, OD, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
Megan Kortum, OD, Southern College of Optometry
Lauren Smith, OD, State University of New York College of Optometry
Justin Leonard Manning, OD, The Ohio State University College of Optometry
LaTandra Scarbrough, OD, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
Teresa Wu, OD, University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry
Bimal Patel, OD, University of Houston College of Optometry
Katelyn Volk, OD, University of Missouri, St. Louis College of Optometry
Phuong-Trang Mach, OD, University of Montreal School of Optometry
Andrea Lasby, OD, University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science
Peony Tam, OD, Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry