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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Academics & Research

Optometry students excel at regional event

A student team from UH’s College of Optometry has won the 2010 Southwest Council of Optometry Shootout competition.

Danica Marrelli, a clinical associate professor of UHCO, said that the SWOC, which has been in existence for more than 30 years, has an annual meeting in Dallas to provide continuing education programs for optometrists in six states. The states that make up SWOC are Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico.

“One of the programs is the Shootout Competition, which is a Jeopardy-style quiz bowl for students at UHCO, Northeastern State University of Oklahoma College of Optometry and Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee,” Marrelli said.

The competition is in its fifth year and, according to Marrelli, these three schools each send a three-person team to compete every year. The UHCO student team consists of optometry students who will graduate that particular year.

The 2010, the UHCO student team consisted of Jennifer Deakins, Jessica Unruh and Zach Unruh. Marrelli said that they were chosen in January for the March event.

At the event, students are able to network with other optometrists and go to the continuing education classes. The team disbands after the competition is over, and the following year, new teammates are selected.

Marrelli said that the event is a two hour-long quiz and the team that has the most points at the end of the contest wins. The winners receive title of the Shootout Champions until the next yearly meeting.

This year, Hoya Optics, an optical company that sponsored the event, gave each of the participants of the winning team an iPod. UHCO also received a trophy, which travels from school to school depending on the current year’s winner.

Marrelli said that one of the biggest team goals is to bring pride to the school.

“There isn’t a scholarship or money involved, just the pride of saying we won the competition,” Marrelli said. “This was our second year in a row to win, and we won it three times out of the five years.”

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