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Fourth Year NECO Student Wins Optometry Student Challenge

Kimberly-Anne Llamzon, Class of 2017, New England College of Optometry (NECO), was recently chosen as one of three winners of the Optometry Student Challenge. The competition is sponsored by the ABB Optical Group and Paragon Vision Sciences. The fourth year NECO student joins Sara Siebert, Indiana University School of Optometry, and Michael Kreuzer, University of Waterloo in the group of award winners.

The Optometry Student Challenge offers third and fourth year optometry students the opportunity to submit an abstract on the topic of contact lenses that focuses on a student-based case history or a related study project.  In the competition guidelines, the ABB Optical Group explains that the “topic is restricted to contact lenses and may include but is not limited to contact lens applications for presbyopia, keratoconus, corneal topography, post penetrating keratoplasty or related irregular corneal surface, myopia control, lens care/solutions, and ortho-K.” Students are judged based on their research and their case study.

In their press release, Ann Shackelford, director of consultation and specialty services at ABB Optical Group said, “We received so many outstanding submissions from really talented students.  By developing educational opportunities like the Optometry Student Challenge, we are helping shape the optometrist of tomorrow.”  Rich Jeffries, President of Paragon Vision Sciences said, “The Optometry Student Challenge is an example of the commitment both companies share for providing quality education to students and Optometry professionals.” 

Ms. Llamzon was selected as a finalist in the competition. She then converted her proposal into a research poster entitled “Over the Tip of the Kone,” which detailed keratoconus and scleral lenses. Ultimately, she was chosen as one of the three top finalists.  As part of her award, she will receive a $1,500 Travel Grant to attend and present her poster at the 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium.

Kimberly-Anne Llamzon describes the experience, “Attending the symposium was an inspiring experience to be surrounded by professionals who have such passion for what they love to do, and that is specialty contact lenses. This wouldn't have been possible without the generous support from ABB Optical Group and Paragon Vision Sciences, as well as all my preceptors from NECO who I have encountered with during my fourth year of rotations.”

To read more about the Optometry Student Challenge, visit

About New England College of Optometry

New England College of Optometry, NECO, is an independent graduate college of optometry that educates students for careers in eye care delivery, research and education. For over 120 years, the New England College of Optometry has been educating optometrists and leaders in the field. Originally founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, NECO prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, leaders, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences.   Through a vast network of clinical affiliations, our students put patient care first, providing vision care to children, older adults, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities through our mobile eye clinic, satellite clinics in schools, homeless shelters, community health centers, and VA medical centers.

Media Contact: Ingrid Hoogendoorn, Director of Communications
phone: 617-587-5722