IACLE announces worldwide winners of annual awards

Contact lens educators from the USA, Korea, Jordan and Colombia are to receive prestigious awards from the International Association of Contact Lens Educators.

IACLE has today announced the winners of the 2017 IACLE Awards:the IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards to recognise and reward achievement in contact lens education; and the IACLE Travel Award, a travel bursary for an IACLE Educator Member starting out on a career in contact lenses to attend a major international conference.

Each winner receives a bursary of up to US$3,000 towards the cost of attending the 40th British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Clinical Conference in Liverpool, UK (9-11 June) and the IACLE/BUCCLE Education Day the preceding day (8 June).

Thanks to generous sponsorship from CooperVision, three IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards will be presented, one from each of IACLE’s three global regions. The annual Travel Award is funded by IACLE. All four awards are supported by the BCLA.

The 2017 winners and their comments on receiving the awards are:

IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year

jbProfessor Jan Bergmanson
University of Houston, Texas, USA
‘This is a great honor and means a lot to me. To receive this award you must be a resident in North, South or Central America, and in the USA alone we have 23 university-based schools and colleges of optometry with a growing number of outstanding contact lens educators. To be recognized with this Award, among such a large pool of potential candidates, is significant to me. I’m also extremely delighted to be offered the opportunity to attend the BCLA meeting, the premier contact lens meeting in the world, and mix with my friends and colleagues in the UK, which is where I was trained and the foundation on which my career was built.’

IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year

kjlProfessor Koon-Ja Lee
Eulji University, Seongnam, Korea
‘I am very happy to have been selected as this year’s recipient of the IACLE Educator of the Year Award for the Asia Pacific region. I’d like to attribute this success to all those who have developed the IACLE teaching materials: the IACLE Contact Lens Course, video clips, Case Reports Series and Student Trial Exam. The IACLE Award makes me look back on my educational life, and think about what to do in the future.’

IACLE Europe / Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year

ygDr Yazan Gammoh
Amman Ahliyah University, Amman, Jordan
‘My interest in IACLE began when I started teaching on the contact lens courses at universities in the Middle East. I became more involved during lectures and workshops of the conferences held in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. After more than 5 years of lecturing and training at universities, symposia and conferences, all my efforts have been rewarded by receiving the IACLE EAME Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award. This award recognises my achievement in the field of the contact lenses and shows how IACLE, with its educational programs and resources, has become invaluable to educators worldwide.’

IACLE Travel Award

mlmgProfessor Martha Lucila Márquez García
Santo Tomás University, Bucaramanga, Colombia
‘I feel very grateful and happy to receive this award. I have high expectations that attending the BCLA Conference will make me grow as a professional and as a contact lens fitter, and that I will improve my teaching skills. With my patients, I will offer them better contact lens options so I can improve the quality of life for each one of them. And I want to start researching projects to support the development of contact lenses as an enduring science.’

Click here to read more about this year’s winners

The IACLE Awards will be presented in the main auditorium at the BCLA Conference, at 1pm on Sunday 11 June. Recipients will also have the opportunity to attend the Education Day organized by IACLE and British Universities Committee of Contact Lens Educators (BUCCLE).

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented: ‘We have great winners this year and are grateful to CooperVision for its continued support of the Educator Awards that will be made to Jan, Koon-Ja and Yazan at the BCLA in June. We also look forward to welcoming Martha, recipient of the IACLE Travel Award. ’ Dr Naroo thanked all those who had applied for awards this year and encouraged them to consider re-applying in future years.

‘We would like to congratulate the 2017 Educators of the Year on their achievements. All eye care professionals have stories about how educators influenced them to be the very best providers of excellent patient care, and I’m certain many have been inspired by this year’s recipients,’ said Dr Gary Orsborn, Vice President of Global Professional & Clinical Affairs for CooperVision. ‘We are privileged to partner with IACLE once again to support these honours and extend our longstanding commitment to the profession and contact lens educators around the world.’

Click here for full details of the IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards.

Click here to find out more about the IACLE Travel Award.