Optometry Awards of Honour

Each year, the School of Optometry & Vision Science recognizes our own through the presentation of the Optometry Awards of Honour.

Through leadership, advocacy and community service, recipients have made outstanding contributions to their communities and to optometry. Their dedication to the advancement of vision care has improved the lives of people across Canada and around the world.

2024 Alumni Awards of Honour recipients

2024 Alumni of Honour Award

John Mastronardi

Dr. John Mastronardi was born and raised in Leamington, Ontario. He completed both his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry Degrees from the University of Waterloo in 1996. He completed an externship in Ocular Diseases and Therapeutics at the Vitreo-Retinal Foundation in Memphis,Tennessee. He currently practices optometry in Windsor with his wife, Dr. Cathy Adams.

Dr. Mastronardi is dedicated to serving and advocating for optometry. He has served as the president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists from 2009 to 2011. During his tenure as president, he helped lead the Association during the final stages of enacting a new Ontario regulation in 2011 that today allows optometrists to prescribe medications for patients with eye disease. Between 2021 and 2023, he played a pivotal lead role in securing a historic deal with the Ontario Government to increase payments for publicly funded services.  He has served on the Board of directors of FYidoctors, as a councillor for the Canadian Association of Optometrists, and a committee member of the Eye Health Council of Ontario to further the interests of optometry.

2024 Alumni of Honour Award

Harvey Bass

Dr. Harvey Bass graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 1983. At the age of 24, he began his professional career managing The Mobile Vision Program in New Brunswick. During the school year, he worked with a team of optometrists and nurses examining grade one students, and during the summer months, examining nursing home residents. He is past president of the New Brunswick Association of Optometrists and is now on a national vision care working group with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). His latest project for ISC was to create a fully equipped state of the art Optometry examination room for the Indigenous community of Natuashish, Labrador. The success of this project has led to the development of four more vision clinics in remote Indigenous communities.

2024 Early Career Alumni Award

Sophia Leung

Dr. Sophia Leung graduated from University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 2014.  She also completed an Ocular Disease and Refractive Surgery Residency, and an Advanced Glaucoma and Cornea Fellowship with Oklahoma Medical Eye Group (affiliated with NSUOCO).  Dr. Leung is the current President-Elect of the Alberta Association of Optometrists, a Diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry in the Anterior Segment Section, a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry, a Fellow and Board Member of the American Society of Optometric Surgeons, and a Fellow of the Canadian College of Specialties in Optometry.  She also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member with NSUOCO and an Adjunct Clinical Lecturer with the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science.

2024 Vision Champion Award

The Region of Waterloo is awarded the 2024 Vision Champion Award in recognition of the Region’s exceptional support of the Waterloo Eye Institute and the School of Optometry & Vision Science, including the $1 million pledge to support the world-class facility in optometric care, education and research. With the support from the Region, the Waterloo Eye Institute will expand access to quality, specialty care for our community and elevate vision care for communities across the country by supporting education and research.

Region of Waterloo members of council

Previous recipients

Award process

Award selection will be made by a committee including the director of the School of Optometry & Vision Science (or delegate), the associate director of advancement, and at least 2 external appointees. All applications will remain active for the duration of 2 award cycles.

The School welcomes nominations for the Alumni of Honour Award from alumni, students, staff, retirees and members of the public. Self-nominations will not be considered. The nominees must hold a Waterloo optometry degree(s) (OD, MSc or PhD).

To nominate an alumnus or alumna for the Optometry Award of Honour, please complete the nomination form, including all mandatory fields. The nomination form is posted on this page early each year.

Privacy statement

The University of Waterloo respects your privacy and that of the person you are nominating. Information collected here will only be used for award purposes. Read the University’s privacy policy online or contact Kelsey Gagnon for details.