Press Releases

2019 IACLE Award Winners

IACLE announces worldwide winners of awards in anniversary year

Contact lens educators from eight countries – Australia, China, India, Italy, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico and Taiwan – are to receive prestigious awards from the International Association of Contact Lens Educators as it celebrates its 40th year.

IACLE has today announced the winners of the 2019 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards to recognize and reward achievement in contact lens education, and the 2019 IACLE Travel Awards for members to attend major international meetings. This year’s awards will be presented at events around the world to mark IACLE’s 40th Anniversary.

Thanks to generous sponsorship from CooperVision – and co-sponsored by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and IACLE – three IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards will be presented, one for each of its three global regions. To receive their awards, winners will travel to the BCLA Clinical Conference in Manchester, UK (30 May-1 June).

IACLE will be holding 40th Anniversary celebrations at these events, and at the Asia Pacific Optometric Congress (APOC), Manila, Philippines (17-20 June), Colegio Federación Colombiana de Optómetras (FEDOPTO) Congress in Bogotá, Colombia (8-10 August) and Academy 2019/3rd World Congress of Optometry (WCO) in Orlando, USA (23-27 October). 

The 2019 IACLE Contact Lens Educators of the Year are:

IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year

Ruben Velazquez 

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City

IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year

Craig Woods

Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

IACLE Europe/Africa – Middle East
Contact Lens Educator of the Year

Fabrizio Zeri

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy

Fabrizio commented on his award: ‘In my experience, IACLE has played a massive role in contributing to the growth of contact lens education around the world. Sharing knowledge, experience, passion, and resources among educators has been the key to upgrade the level of education in the field in every country. This is the reason why having been chosen as IACLE EAME Contact Lens Educator of the Year for 2019 is a great honor for me.’

This year, five IACLE Travel Awards – funded by all IACLE’s industry sponsors (all awards), and co-sponsored by BCLA (one award) and Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE, one award) – will be presented, more than ever before.

The 2019 IACLE Travel Awards recipients and the meetings they will attend are:

Joseph Afonne

Mzuzu University, Mzuzu, Malawi

BCLA Clinical Conference & Exhibition

Fakhruddin Barodawala (pictured right)

SEGi University, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Asia Pacific Optometric Congress


Maheswari Srinivasan 

Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospitals, Chennai, India 

AOCLE Annual Workshop, Pacific University, Oregon, USA (30 May-2 June)

Wan-Yun (Connie) Tsung (pictured right)

Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

Asia Pacific Optometric Congress

MA Yuying

Wuxi Occupational Institute of Arts and Crafts, China

Asia Pacific Optometric Congress



IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo thanked all those who applied for IACLE Awards in this special year. He commented: ‘2019 is our 40th anniversary year and we’re talking about the exponential impact that we’ve had on contact lens education. Over four decades, we estimate that IACLE has been instrumental in fitting as many as 250 million contact lens wearers worldwide.

‘So it’s especially pleasing that – with the help of our sponsors and co-sponsors – we have been able to make an exponentially higher number of awards this year!’

‘Every eye care professional can name an educator who has been influential in their approach to patient care. This year’s recipients have surely been an inspiration to the students who have been fortunate to learn from them,’ said Dr Gary Orsborn, Vice President of Global Professional & Clinical Affairs for CooperVision.

‘We are privileged to continue to partner with IACLE to support these honors and extend our longstanding commitment to the profession and contact lens educators around the world. Congratulations to the 2019 Educators of the Year on their achievements.’


For media enquiries please contact:

Alison Ewbank 

Communications | International Association of Contact Lens Educators
International Association of Contact Lens Educators
London | United Kingdom

Work: + 44 208 390 9378 | Mobile: + 44 7732 121 959
Skype: alisonewbank1 | Web:  


1. Click here for full details of the IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards and here to find out more about the IACLE Travel Awards, including biographies and comments from all this year’s winners.

2. Dr Shehzad Naroo is Reader at Aston University in Birmingham, UK.

3. Information on all IACLE activities and membership benefits is available at


The International Association of Contact Lens Educators was established in 1979 and is a non-profit, non-political association. IACLE has 845 (as of December 2018) active members in 78 countries and welcomes contact lens educators from all eye care professions and related disciplines. IACLE is dedicated to raising the standard of contact lens education and promoting the safe use of contact lenses worldwide. It is the leading provider of educational and information resources essential to contact lens educators. IACLE is supported by leading global contact lens manufacturers: Platinum Sponsor Alcon, Gold Sponsor CooperVision, Silver Sponsor Johnson & Johnson Vision, Bronze Sponsor Bausch + Lomb and Donor Sponsor Euclid. IACLE is celebrating its 40th Anniversary with events around the world during 2019.


CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses. The Company produces a full array of monthly, two-week and daily disposable contact lenses, all featuring advanced materials and optics. CooperVision has a strong heritage of solving the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism and presbyopia; and offers the most complete collection of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit