MBA Candidate Kevin White Receives $25,000 for 'USee' Eyeglasses Kit
Kevin White, an MBA candidate at the Carey Business School, was announced recently as one of four winners of National Geographic’s “Chasing Genius” competition to promote world-changing innovations.
White was awarded $25,000 to further develop his idea for an affordable, easy-to-use kit that can provide eyeglasses in areas of the developing world where corrective lenses are difficult to get.
A six-person panel at National Geographic judged White’s “USee” kit the winner in the Global Health category of the competition. Prizes of $25,000 were also awarded in the categories Sustainable Planet and Feeding 9 Billion. An online “People’s Choice” vote determined a fourth winner.
More than a thousand ideas were submitted, and they were evaluated on the basis of innovation, creativity, viability, and inspiration, according to National Geographic.
USee is produced by Global Vision 2020, a charitable nonprofit that White oversees as executive director.
With the portable USee kit, users put on an eyeglasses-like device that allows them to dial in the appropriate lens prescription. The lenses are then snapped by hand into frames, ready to wear. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.
On its website, Global Vision 2020 says the kit is “engineered to serve 2.5 billion people who otherwise lack access to optometrists,” in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Economic Forum reported last year that lost productivity among adults who need eyeglasses costs the global economy $227 billion annually.
Previously, White was director of operations at the WhiteOak Group, a technology program management provider in Easton, Maryland; a policy analyst and program manager with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, an arm of the United States Department of Defense; and a logistics exercise planner and program manner with the U.S. European Command in Germany.
White earned a bachelor’s degree in science from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s in military arts and sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
He is on track to graduate with his MBA from the Carey Business School in 2018.
To learn more about Global Vision 2020, go to gv2020.org.