IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards

The IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards were introduced in 2014 to recognise and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide.

Sponsored by CooperVision, and supported by the American Academy of Optometry, these prestigious awards are presented each year.

The title IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year is usually awarded to one individual from each of IACLE’s global regions:

  • Americas
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe / Africa – Middle-East

2020 Award Winners

The 2020 winners are as follows. Details of the meetings they will attend will be confirmed once COVID-19 travel restrictions allow.

IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year
Professor Renée Reeder
University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry, USA

‘This is such exciting news and such and incredible honor. My first IACLE World Congress really changed my path. I was just beginning to teach specialty contact lenses in the classroom. I had very little knowledge about the technology available and needed resources for my courses. When I returned from that event, my institution made me the chair of the educational technology committee. It changed how I taught and allowed me to share the skills from that meeting with my colleagues. And it has made the current online transition so much easier for me and has allowed me to continue to be a resource for my colleagues. I am so thankful to also know that I have colleagues all over the world with the same struggles who are always willing to share and help. I hope that I can serve as a resource for them as well.’

IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year
Professor Bariah Mohd Ali
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

‘I have been an IACLE member since I996, when I was still a PhD student at the University of New South Wales, Australia. In my experience, IACLE has contributed tremendously in the development of contact lens education around the world and I am proud to be part of the team. I have used many IACLE resources in my contact lens class and my students love them! This award is dedicated to all my past and present optometry students who continuously inspire me to become a better educator. Thank you IACLE for choosing me to become one of the recipients for 2020 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year award. I am truly honored to receive this award.’

IACLE Europe/Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year
Jo Underwood
Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) College, Godmersham, UK

‘I cannot tell you how delighted and honored I feel to receive this award and I thank IACLE so very much for it. I am proud to say that I have always loved teaching and still do today. There is nothing better than a student telling you that you have inspired them, or that they now understand something that never made sense before. Long may that joy continue! Thank you again for the honor.’

Read our Special Notice on the 2020 IACLE Award winners

Find out more about this year’s Educator Award winners

View all previous award recipients

2020 Awards

Recipients of the 2020 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards will each receive:

  • A bursary of up to US$3,000 towards the cost of attending a major international conference, thanks to generous sponsorship from CooperVision.
  • Permission to use the title 2020 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year for their region.
  • A certificate to mark the award, to be presented at the conference attended.
  • Publicity relating to the award in IACLE communications and other media.

About The Awards

The IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year winners will demonstrate a high level of achievement in contact lens education and also in the area of contact lenses in general. Successful applicants will show the impact they have had on contact lens education in their institutions and how they inspire their students to become future contact lens practitioners.


  • These awards are open to any IACLE member who has been a paid-up member for at least 3 years
  • Members can either nominate themselves, or be nominated by another member, their IACLE regional / country coordinator or IACLE staff

What previous recipients say…

2019 IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year Dr Rubén Velázquez of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, commented: ‘It’s a great honor to be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the most important global association of contact lens educators, IACLE. I’m also very grateful to receive this award in recognition for something that I’m passionate about! My profound gratitude to IACLE for its support since 1994, always at the forefront of contact lens education. Fellowship and membership has allowed our university to have more recognition internationally. Thanks to IACLE support, my students have the necessary training and knowledge to fit contact lenses and my patients wear them safely.’

Of his 2018 IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award, FIACLE Professor Lyndon Jones of the University of Waterloo, Canada, said: ‘Founded almost 40 years ago, IACLE continues to fulfil its mandate of providing cutting edge, contemporary education on contact lenses to contact lens educators around the globe. The vast majority of contact lens clinicians globally have been trained in some way by an IACLE-affiliated educator and without IACLE, and the resources it provides to educators, there is no doubt in my mind that contact lens practice would be behind where it is today. I am absolutely delighted to be given this award and I thank IACLE for its continued dedication to training the contact lens clinicians of tomorrow.’

FIACLE Runa Mazumder (right) of the Vidyasagar College of Optometry & Vision Science in Kolkata, India, commented: It was an experience of lifetime to attend the American Academy of Optometry meeting in San Antonio, Texas. From the conference venue to the scientific sessions, exhibition, workshops and warmth of the people, everything about the meeting was extraordinary. I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and I felt honoured on receiving my 2018 IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award at the Academy. I thank IACLE for giving me the opportunity to receive this prestigious award and encouraging young educators like me through such awards.’

FIACLE Professor Monica Chaudhry of Amity University, Gurgaon, India was awarded 2015 IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year. An IACLE member for 20 years, Monica described joining IACLE as ‘a turning point’ in her career from clinician to educator that led to her to become a key opinion leader in contact lenses in her country.

The IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards are sponsored by

Find out more about the IACLE Travel Awards