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Optometry Cares and AOA Announce 2017 Scholarship Recipients




The students contribute to their community and profession.

(Press Release) ST. LOUIS, MO — Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation, the charitable organization of the American Optometric Association, administers numerous scholarships that encourage students to make a difference for their community and the profession of optometry. Optometry Cares and the AOA announced the winners of the following scholarships for 2017:

InfantSEE Scholarship Grant
Jason Foote, Southern College of Optometry, was honored with first place ($7,500) and Alyssa Drew, Michigan College of Optometry – Ferris State University, is runner-up and was awarded second place ($3,000).

Sponsored by Vision West Inc., the InfantSEE Scholarship Grant requires third-year optometry students to write an essay and develop a short video describing their commitment to children’s vision. They must also desire to participate in the InfantSEE program, which provides no-cost comprehensive eye and vision assessment for infants within the first year of life.

Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship
Third-year student Paula Kutzner, Pacific University College of Optometry, is the recipient of the Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship ($10,000), which was created and introduced in 2014.


Sponsored by Essilor, this scholarship honors Bernard Maitenaz, inventor of the Varilux lens and one of the foremost authorities in optical science and engineering. Applicants for the scholarship must demonstrate leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors and work experience, among other requirements.

Click here to watch Kutzner’s winning submission regarding the impact of vision.

Dr. Pat & Patrick Cummings Scholarship
Nathan Morrow, a fourth-year student from Indiana University College of Optometry, was honored with the Dr. Pat & Patrick Cummings Scholarship ($5,000).

In tribute to father and son, both of whom passed away in separate tragic accidents, the Dr. Pat & Patrick Cummings Memorial Fund was established through Optometry Cares. This opportunity was generously funded by numerous individual donors, as well as a large contribution from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc.

As Dr. Cummings was a dedicated philanthropist in his profession, the scholarship requires recipients to write an essay about their goals in the area of public health and leadership roles in optometry.

Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education
Valerie Thatcher Tran, a third-year student at the University of California-Berkeley College of Optometry, is the recipient of the Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education ($2,500). Sponsored in part by Optovue, the scholarship is dedicated to Alexander’s work as an educator and ensures his legacy of optometric education will continue.


Additionally, a one-time “Inspiration Award” was bestowed by the family of Dr. Larry Alexander to Phuong Liem of New England College of Optometry in the amount of $1,000.

Dr. Seymour Galina Grant
Third-year student Seth Goolsbee, University of Houston College of Optometry, is the recipient of the Dr. Seymour Galina Grant ($2,500). Applicants are required to write an essay about qualities they have developed through financial planning and work experience during and/or before optometry school that will be the most useful in a professional optometric practice.

To learn more about endowment and scholarships offered through Optometry Cares or to make a donation to support these scholarships, visit


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