George Mertz New Educator Travel Award

George MertzThe Mertz New Educator Travel Award originated in 2003 when AOCLE, at the annual meeting, elected to honor Dr. George Mertz for his strong support of optometric education. Earlier that year Dr. Mertz had unexpectedly passed away too early. George had been very active in his support of AOCLE as well as other educational initiatives in his role heading up the Academic Affairs Department for Vistakon.

To honor Dr. George Mertz, AOCLE funds the travel and expenses of new contact lens educators to attend the annual AOCLE meeting and workshop. The educator must have a significant role in the contact lens program at the affiliated school or college of optometry and have not attended an AOCLE workshop previously. An application supporting an educator's nomination is prepared by the contact lens clinic chief from that person's school or college. Contact lens clinic chiefs submit applications to the executive committee by a date communicated to them each year. The executive committee then selects candidates to receive the award.

Mertz New Educator Travel Award Recipients

Eligibility Document for G. Mertz Award (pdf - 124k)
2016 John Gialousakis
Chad Rosen
SUNY College of Optometry
Michigan College of Optometry
2015 Alex Nixon
Pam Satjawatcharaphong
The Ohio State University
University of California, Berkeley
2014 Lacey Haines University of Waterloo
2013 Chandra Mickles
Kelvin Tang
University of California, Berkeley
2012 Amy Dinardo
Nikki Rai
Christina Newman
Michigan College of Optometry
University of Waterloo
Southern California College of Optometry
2011 Kathryn Richdale       The Ohio State University
2010 Annie Chang
Aaron Zimmerman
Southern California College of Optometry
The Ohio State University
2009 Frederic Gagnon
Dawn Lam
Peter Kollbaum
University of Montreal
Southern California College of Optometry
Indiana University School of Optometry
2008 Nicky Lai
Eunice Myung
Lee Mika Moy
The Ohio State University
Southern California College of Optometry
University of California, Berkeley
2007 Matt Lampa Pacific University
2006 Jason Chin
Josh Lotoczky
New England College of Optometry
Michigan College of Optometry
2005 Jean-Sebastien Dufour
Earlena McKee
University of Montreal
Northeastern State University
2004 Wanda Lam
Sri Thota
Illinois College of Optometry
University of Houston



Lester Janoff Cornea & Contact Lens George MertzMemorial Award

This award was established by AOCLE in 2007 to honor the memory of Dr. Lester E. Janoff, who was an exceptional optometric educator, administrator, contact lens clinician and researcher. His professional career encompassed private practice, contact lens research for industry, and contact lens education at three optometry schools (Pennsylvania College of Optometry, New England College of Optometry and Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry). He was a Diplomate in the Cornea and Contact lens Section of the American Academy of Optometry and Associate Dean of NSUCO. Most importantly, this award was established to honor the memory of a beloved optometric mentor and friend.

The award is presented annually to the AOCLE member who has demonstrated excellence in the area of contact lens-related publications, contact lens education, and research. The criteria for the award include publications in refereed journals, textbooks or textbook chapters; and active participation in AOCLE events, past or present. Ideally the recipient will show a broad range of contributions in the above areas during the year preceding the award selection.

Janoff Award Winners

Eligibility Document for L. Janoff Award (pdf - 124k)
2016 William (Bill) Edmondson Southern College of Optometry-Memphis
2015 Heidi Wagner Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
2014 Neil Pence Indiana University School of Optometry
2013 Vinita Henry University of Missouri - St. Louis
College of Optometry
2012 Jan Jurkus Illinois College of Optometry
2011 Joel Silbert PCO-SALUS
2010 Langis Michaud University of Montreal
2009 Edward Bennett UMSL
2008 Luigina Sorbara University of Waterloo School of Optometry

Faculty Development Travel Grant

The AOCLE supports a faculty development program for contact lens (CL) faculty at the North American Schools & Colleges of Optometry. The purpose of the program is to;

  1. encourage the development of CL faculty or CL programs for AOCLE member institutions;
  2. enhance the CL experience of optometry students in clinics or class;
  3. increase the use of AOCLE faculty members as a resource for faculty or program development between CL programs at AOCLE member institutions.


List of recipients

Eligibility Document for Travel Grant (pdf - 100k)
2011 Luigina Sorbara   Travel support for sabbatical
2008 Etty Bitton (Montreal) Travel assistance to BCLA meeting for
2007 Jan Jurkus (ICO) Travel assistance to Scotland and Australia for
2006 Etty Bitton (Montreal) Travel assistance to University of Waterloo
during sabbatical
2002 Des Fonn (Waterloo) Travel assistance
1998 Des Fonn (Waterloo) Travel assistance

AOCLE Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2009, the AOCLE established the AOCLE Lifetime Achievement Award to honor an optometric educator who has demonstrated exemplary commitment and dedication to the AOCLE organization over numerous years.

List of recipients

Eligibility for Lifetime Achievement Award (pdf - 124k)
2011 Michael Harris Berkeley - Legal advisor
2009 Les Caplan Secretary/Treasurer from 1984 to 1988,
Treasurer from 1988 to 1996 and then as
AOCLE consultant for many years after that.