The AAOF announces The Karla Zadnik 2017-2018 Ezell Club Fellowship

In 2014, the American Academy of Optometry Foundation began a tradition of honoring a former Ezell Fellow by naming an Ezell Club Fellowship in their name for that given year.  For 2017-2018,  the Ezell Fellowship will be named for Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, FAAO.  This fellowship will be recognized at the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) annual meeting in Chicago. 

As a graduate student, Dr. Karla Zadnik never applied for an Ezell Fellowship because she was already supported by a federally funded grant. However, Dr. Zadnik ultimately became a very influential optometric clinician scientist. She chaired two multi-center observational trials sponsored by the National Eye Institute. These investigations significantly increased our clinical knowledge of eye and visual development, myopia, and keratoconus. They also improved the stature of clinical science in optometry while teaching clinicians about the rigors of good science and inspiring clinicians to pursue research endeavors and careers. Dr. Zadnik is also the Chair of the American Optometric Association’s Council on Research and the American Academy of Optometry’s Research Committee, which co-host a semi-annual research institute that has generated over $80 million dollars of clinical research grants since 1988. The scope of her research influence is both far and deep, and that is why she is the first recipient of an American Optometric Foundation Honorary Ezell Fellowship.

Ezell Fellowship Fund Overview

The flagship program of the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), Ezell Fellowships have been provided for over 65 years. These fellowships support graduate students enrolled in a full-time program of study and training in vision-related research that leads to a Master's or PhD degree.

Since 1949, AAOF has awarded more than 300 Fellowships. Among the list of former Ezell Fellows are over 20 deans and presidents of optometric schools and colleges, over 130 faculty members and over 160 Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry, including three of its presidents. It has attracted applications from numerous institutions, and has allowed researchers to focus their talent in many areas of cutting edge research in areas such as glaucoma, dry eye, corneal physiology, and low vision.

Over the years the foundation has been fortunate to receive funding support from the American Academy of Optometry, the corporate sector, and through several private endowments; the Irvin M. Borish Fund, AAO Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies, Mike Daley/Essilor Endowment, Merton C. Flom Leadership Ezell Fund, the Michael G. Harris Ezell Fund, Optometric Glaucoma Society Ezell Fund.

Unique to this fund, is a very special level of giving by former Ezell Fellows entitled the Ezell Club wherein current and former Ezells are encouraged to give back to the Foundation to support future Fellows. To date, over $250,000 has already been pledged or donated. Please use the pledge form (PDF format) to make a pledge to the Ezell Fellowship Fund or the contribution form for a one time donation.