Press Releases AAOF Announces 2019 VSP Global Scholarship Recipients Nearly $200,000 was awarded to several top performing fourth-year optometry students. Published 2 years ago on December 16, 2019 By INVISION Staff Share Tweet (PRESS RELEASE) ORLANDO, FL – The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), and VSP Global announced the recipients of this year’s Practice Excellence Scholarships. Nearly $200,000 was awarded to several top performing fourth-year optometry students in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, as well as four additional international students from Australia. This year, in honor of the 3rd World Congress of Optometry held in conjunction with the Academy meeting in Orlando, Florida, VSP Global added an Australian Practice Excellence Scholarship, open to students from four institutions: Deakin University, Flinders University, Queensland University of Technology School of Vision Science and the University of New South Wales. INVISION Podcast INVISION Podcast New Season: Dee Talks With Dr. Diana Canto-Sims on the Challenges of Serving the Nation’s Largest Ethnic and Racial Minority INVISION Podcast What’s Really Up with Vision Expo in 2021? INVISION Podcast Podcast: Talking with the Finest, Hippest of Them All About Why There are No Ball Point Pens in Her Shop “The Practice Excellence Scholarship is another example of our commitment to optometry’s next generation, and we are honored to extend this recognition to optometry students in Australia, a country in which we have a strong optometrist network,” said Gordon Jennings, OD and VSP Global Board Chairman. Two students from each school or college of optometry as well as one student from each Australian institution were selected by nomination from their individual institutions to receive the scholarship. Since 2010, VSP Global has provided more than $2.4 million in scholarship support to hundreds of optometry students. The scholarships are funded through VSP’s Global Charitable Fund and are administered through the AAOF. Scholarship recipients were selected based on key criteria including the student’s commitment to enter the independent practice of optometry, and their clinical and academic performance. “We are very grateful for the continued partnership we have with VSP,” said Pete Kollbaum, OD, PhD, FAAO, and President of the American Academy of Optometry Foundation. “Through VSP’s continued support of this partnership they are demonstrating their commitment to advance optometry, the Academy, and, most importantly, the clinical care patients are able to receive. We are very grateful for their foresight in supporting these very deserving future leaders and their dedication to support the future of optometry.” Advertisement Each scholarship included a travel grant to participate in the American Academy of Optometry’s 98th annual meeting, Academy 2019 Orlando, which was held on October 23-27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The recipients were recognized at a special reception sponsored by VSP Global. The 2019 Practice Excellence Scholarship recipients are: Illinois College of Optometry Lauren Kunkel, Aaron Motacek Indiana University School of Optometry Mary Marte, Kalyn Wendholt Inter American University of Puerto School of Optometry Samantha Chan, Travis Lipscomb Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Taylor Hall, Danielle Zapata Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University Steven Gibbs, Ankur Patel Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry Jennifer Dryden, Liza Stremick New England College of Optometry Alexa Caruso, Chelsey Kritzer Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry Sahab Astani, William Colton Cheek Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry Phoebe Pan, Kaitlin Brown The Ohio State University College of Optometry Alex Lamorgese, Adell Walters Pacific University College of Optometry Liandra Jung, Ashley Stone Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University Andrew Muckin, Emile Seitz Rosenberg School of Optometry Patrick Clark, Kelly Tran Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University Alyssa Pack, Emiko Vasquez Southern College of Optometry Katelyn McGee, Trevor Shealy State University of New York College of Optometry Abigail Cash, Alicia Jones University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry Mason Childers, Mohammed Haque University of California Berkeley School of Optometry Stephanie Tran, Rebecca Stapornkul University of Houston College of Optometry Ashley Nguyen, Megan Wagner University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry Kristen Lantz, Jacob Webster University of Missouri -St. Louis College of Optometry Kelly Deering, Abigail Smith University of Montreal School of Optometry Antoine Aidans van der Poel, Lara Tchakmakian University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science Komal Patel, Angela Zhang Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry Kenny Huynh, Aiko Seffinger Australian Practice Excellence Scholarships Deakin University Emily Banks Flinders University Dylan Bentley Queensland University of Technology School of Optometry and Vision Science Derek Shiu Him Lay University of New South Wales Ivy Kol For more information, visit https://www.aaopt.org/home/aaof. 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