Student Award in Clinical Ethics


Essays are now being accepted.

This annual national award, sponsored by Alcon, is available to optometry students during any point in their professional program at an ASCO-affiliated school or college of optometry in the US, Puerto Rico and Canada. The application consists of an essay of up to 1,500 words describing any one of the following scenarios:

  • A patient based case-study that the student encountered as part of their clinical learning experience.
  • A research based case scenario that the student has encountered during their clinical or didactic learning experience.
  • A professional ethics based scenario that the student has encountered during their clinical or didactic learning.

The essay must describe and discuss the ethical theories and values that were used in the decision making process and address relevant state laws relating to the case (if applicable). The essay must be submitted as a Word document or a PDF. Each school or college of optometry is permitted to submit only one essay through the assigned award coordinator for their school. A committee of the ASCO Ethics Educators SIG (Special Interest Group) will make the selection of one national recipient. The award will consist of a plaque and a cash award of $1,000.

The essay, publication release form, as well as a digital photo of the student must be submitted electronically to the Sara Lau ( by February 16, 2021.


Clinical Ethics Award Recipients


Ryan Yuan (SCCO – Class of 2020) His winning essay, “Ethics of Ocular Pain Management,”will be published in an upcoming issue of Optometric Education.


Negar Sohbati (ICO – Class of 2020) “Optometrist as Mandatory Reporter: What is Our Obligation to Keep the Roads Safe for All?” Her paper will be considered for publication in Optometric Education.


Cassondra Lux-O’Callaghan (AZCOPT – Class of 2018) “Ethical Dilemmas Faced with Malingering Patients.” Essay will be considered for publication in an upcoming issue of Optometric Education.


No award given


Krystal Chee (UCB – Class of 2016) “Rehabilitation of the Ethical Issues in Low Vision”


Molly Spatcher (NECO – Class of 2015) “Going Nuclear: An Ethical Dilemma in Optometric Care”


Ryan Anderson (AZCOPT – Class of 2014) “Tough Talks and Patient Privacy”


Daniel Harker (SCCO – Class of 2012) “An Ethical Dilemma in Modern Optometry”


Becky Ramos (PCOSU – Class of 2011) “The High Road or the Highway”


Laura Gengelbach (ICO – Class of 2010) “Patient Care: Management Beyond the Textbooks”


Graham McPartland (SCCO – Class of 2009) “Case Study in Clinical Ethics”


Kristopher Hubbard (SCO – Class of 2009) “Ethical Principles and Optometric Patient Care – The Principle of Patient Advocacy”


Alison D. Harapiak (ICO – Class of 2007) “Clinical Ethics: More Than Meets the Eye”