Transitions  Optical and the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) are proud to announce the winners of the 2020 Students of Vision Scholarship program: Juan Giraldo, Aliya Shafi and Devin Critch. 

  • Juan Giraldo and Aliya Shafi, both student optometrists at the University of Waterloo, will both be awarded a grand prize scholarship of $2,500. 
  • Devin Critch, a student optician at NAIT, will be awarded a scholarship of $1,500.

Entrants were tasked with describing how they envision the future of the vision care industry and their coming role in it as an optical professional. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges and evaluated based on their demonstration of creativity, strategic thinking and ethics. 

Giraldo detailed his approach to the future of optical care with a creative, self-performed rap song that included strategies to connect with patients.  Shafi  also created a video which outlined the various challenges facing eyecare professionals today and solutions to overcome them. Critch wrote a short story which illustrated how opticians can utilize upcoming innovative lens technologies to provide the best patient experience in the optical.

“The eyecare industry is quickly embracing new technologies, particularly to facilitate the best care amidst new developments and global current events such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Arnaud Rajchenbach, Marketing Manager, Transitions Optical. “The winners of this year’s Students of Vision scholarship provided creative and thoughtful commentary on how they will welcome the future of the optical industry to deliver exemplary patient care.”

The drastic changes taking place in the world today prompted this year’s topic, including the global COVID-19 pandemic which dramatically altered the optical industry in more ways than one—now and for the future. Changes from in-person appointments to telehealth, shifts to utilizing virtual events and tools, and updates to in-office protocols are now commonplace in the industry. In fact, a survey by Jobson Optical Research showed that 58% of surveyed ECPs have been influenced into providing telehealth services because of COVID, and 62% of surveyed ECPs were planning to incorporate telehealth into future practice.