Three students will receive scholarships of $2,500, $1,500 or $500 for addressing and resolving patient concerns in their future roles as optical professionals.

Transitions Optical and the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) are proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Students of Vision Scholarship program: Rian Lam, Geneviève Carrière, and Lorena Gutierrez. 

  • Rian Lam, a student optician at Seneca College, will be awarded a grand prize scholarship of $2,500. 
  • Geneviève Carrière, a student optician at Cégep régional de Lanaudière à l’Assomption, will be awarded a scholarship of $1,500
  • Lorena Gutierrez, a student optician at Stenberg College, will be awarded a scholarship of $500.

Entrants were tasked with describing how they plan to address and resolve

patients’ heightened concerns regarding increased exposure to harmful UVA, UVB, and blue light in their upcoming role as an optical professional. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges and evaluated based on their demonstration of creativity, strategic thinking and ethics. 

Through a creative video, Rian offered three simple yet effective ways to reduce eye strain and exposure to harmful UVA, UVB, and blue light such as taking 20 second screen breaks for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen. Geneviève wrote an insightful essay that highlighted the need for protective lenses to prevent long-term damage due to overexposure to light in both older and younger patients. Lorena, through a fun and engaging video, emphasized the need for protective lenses to combat the increased screen time many people are experiencing due to the pandemic. 

“With the increase of screen time and outdoor activity as a result of the ongoing pandemic, the concern around long-term effects of harmful UVA, UVB, and blue light as also increased,” said Arnaud Rajchenbach, marketing and sales manager, Transitions Optical Canada.  “The winners of this year’s Students of Vision scholarship understood these concerns and provided insightful and personalized solutions for their patients’ needs.”

Priorities have shifted drastically since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic which has individuals everywhere taking their health and well-being as precedence. This is evident in the eyecare industry who has seen patients growing more aware of the need to protect their eyes from overexposure of harmful UV rays and artificial blue light – especially in those who have experienced an increase in screen time such as remote workers. In fact, traffic had increased by 194% in blue light searches. Additionally, these consumers are also more likely to search for an eyecare professional than consumers visiting the site for other reasons.