Highlights from Academy 2019



Last week, ICO students, faculty, and staff traveled to Orlando, Florida for the 2019 American Academy of Optometry convention and the 3rd World Congress of Optometry. This conference is one of the largest events in the profession, and ICO was represented in a big way!

Many ICO students and residents earned travel grants before departure:


  • VSP Global Travel Grants: Scott Hansen, Ashleigh Yates, Will Skoog, and Victoria Johnson

  • AAOF Student Giving Matching Travel Grants: Alexandra Beachnau and Randi-Jo Francis

  • AAO Illinois State Chapter Travel Grant: Michelle Kleman

  • ICO Dean's Office Travel Grants: Alice Han and Lhamo Kyi Allergan Resident Travel Fellowships: Drs. Nicole Harris, Abigail Strauss, Jessica Jankiewicz, and Madison Goodfellow

  • Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Tech Resident Travel Fellowships: Drs. Thanhan Nguyen and Joseph Isik


At the conference, ICO presented over 30 research posters on a wide variety of topics. Dr. Kelly Frantz gave lectures on advanced strabismus and binocular disorders. Drs. Elyse Chaglasian and Katherine Lynch hosted an educational breakfast for externship preceptors. It was so well-received that attendees were buzzing about it on Twitter.

Aaron Motacek, '20, and Lauren Kunkel, '20, received Practice Excellence Scholarships from the AAOF. Connor Robbs, '22, won the 2019 J. Pat Cummings Scholarship. Student-oriented events continued all weekend, including the Essilor Academic Challenge, where Helen Wang, Alice Han, and Alex Beachnau represented ICO alongside their coach, Dr. Raman Bhakri, and judge Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow.

Another portion of the conference that brought the ICO family together was our Alumni and Friends Reception, held on Friday, Oct. 25. More than 200 people attended. Highlighting the evening was a special program honoring Dr. Janice Jurkus. When she took the podium, Dr. Jurkus asked how many in the crowd had been her students. The majority of attendees raised their hands.

Academy is a massive event for the profession of optometry. There are certainly more stories from this exciting conference to be told. If you have a highlight from Academy 2019 to share, please send it to communications@ico.edu. Your story may appear in ICO’s alumni magazine or newsletter.

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