Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care


Sponsored by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., each year, this award is given to recognize outstanding 4th year student clinicians who have demonstrated excellence in contact lens patient care during their optometric education.

Award and Eligibility

One $500 award and a personalized plaque at each of the North-American schools and colleges of optometry.

  • Nominee must be a fourth-year student.
  • Nominee must be a student member of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). To learn more, visit the AAO website:
  • Nominee must represent 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.
  • A W9 form (or W-8BEN if non-U.S. resident) for the recipient or institution must be faxed to the AOF at 407-893-9890 or be already confirmed on file with our office. Checks may be made out directly to the student or to the institution for application to the student’s financial aid. Whether recipient or institution form is dependent on the prevailing policy of the school or college with regard to the graduation date of the recipient and the fact AOF will need a minimum of 4 weeks for delivery of award materials.

Nomination Procedures

Each institution will be contacted directly via email as to the opening of the submission window, and no more than 2 months prior to deadline.

The appropriate award selection committee at each of the schools/colleges of optometry will select the one student who best demonstrates the qualities outlined above. The AOF will not accept applications directly from students.

Nomination MUST be submitted online by the deadline date (shown below) using the Academy website online submission tool.


Notification and Conferment

Each school or college will contact its award winner to obtain any needed material(s) and or information for the selection process.

The AOF will send the award to the school or college or directly to the student as indicated in the submission.

Awards are generally mailed at minimum 4 weeks after deadline.

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: Jennifer Rubin, Foundation Coordinator, at: or 321-319-4870.


ORLANDO, FL (June 6, 2016) – The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) is pleased to announce the 2016 Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care program recipients. This award recognizes outstanding fourth-year student clinicians who have demonstrated excellent overall knowledge of the contact lens field plus skillful, considerate and professional care of contact lens patients during their optometric education. Each winner receives a $500 education award and a personalized plaque commemorating their accomplishment.

2016 Recipients and Institutions attended:

  • Stephanie Lynn LaLiberte, OD - Illinois College of Optometry
  • Sandra M. Huenink, OD - Indiana University at Bloomington School of Optometry
  • Samantha Halvorsen, OD - Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry
  • Michelle Sandler- Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry
  • Trevor Fosso, OD - Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University
  • Sarah Huff, OD - Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry
  • Maria Denietolis, OD - New England College of Optometry
  • Sarah Cook, OD - Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry
  • Jonathan Akle, OD - Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
  • Kate Alexandra McClure, OD - Ohio State University College of Optometry
  • Kellen Robertson, OD - Pacific University College of Optometry
  • Emily Rose Carr, OD - Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University
  • Justin Burgerson, OD - Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
  • Chalise Maybee, OD - Southern College of Optometry
  • Alison Emiko Noritake, OD- State University of New York College of Optometry
  • Kacey C. Cilimberg, OD - University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
  • Peter Tien, OD - University of California Berkeley School of Optometry
  • Iris Miao - University of Houston College of Optometry
  • Jeff Foster - University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry
  • Delaram Shirazian, OD - University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry
  • Paul Lamothe, OD - University of Montreal School of Optometry
  • Alexis Keeling, OD - University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science 
  • Edward Hsieh, OD - Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry