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SUNY Optometry Announces Scholarships

It awarded nearly $125,000 to 40 students at annual scholarship presentation.




(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – As part of its commitment to helping students achieve their professional goals and meet the cost of financing their education, SUNY College of Optometry recognized more than 40 students at the annual Scholarship Presentation. Scholarships, which were provided by the Optometric Center of New York – the college’s related foundation – and its donors, ranged from $1,000 to $5,500 totaling nearly $125,000 for the evening.

The event, coordinated by the Office of Institutional Advancement, brings students, their families, and donors together for an evening of celebration and recognition of students’ accomplishments. For more than 10 years, SUNY Optometry has held this event, benefitting hundreds of students. In that time, the number of scholarships presented has grown significantly from 11 to 40.

“Investing in our students extends beyond educating and training future optometrists; we also feel a commitment to ensure educational opportunities are provided to bright students who may otherwise not be able to pursue their dream. Thanks to our benefactors, these scholarships ease the burden of financing a doctor of optometry degree, allowing these students to focus more on becoming future leaders in the field,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Dawn Rigney.

According to Dr. Guiherme Albieri, vice president of student affairs at SUNY College of Optometry, “These scholarships also offer a competitive edge to attract more students from across the nation to SUNY Optometry, knowing that they will be able to fully engage in the innovative education and clinical experience that we offer.”

Below is a listing of the scholarships and recipients for the 2019-20 academic year:

  • Mary and Samuel Gurkin Memorial Scholarship
    Constadina Manettas Class of 2020
  • Philip & Sylvia Soden Memorial Scholarship
    Rebecca Heaps Class of 2020
  • Dr. Mark S. Feder Scholarship for Clinical Excellence in Primary Care
    Halima Khan Class of 2020
  • New York State Optometric Association Dr. Alden Haffner Scholarship
    Carey Murzynski Class of 2021
    Angela Wen Class of 2021
  • New Jersey Academy of Optometry Scholarship
    Veena Bokka Class of 2023
  • Dr. Sanford and Claire Levy Scholarship
    Elaine Doxtaer Class of 2023
    Ivanna Grynyk Class of 2021
    Prissilla Issa Class of 2020
    Alicia Jones Class of 2020
    Nichole Pollard Class of 2020
  • Dr. Harold Solan Memorial Scholarship
    Raymond Farmer Class of 2021
  • Jeff White Memorial Scholarship
    Melissa Levine Class of 2021
  • Harold M. Spielman Scholarship
    Eden Nourmand Class of 2023
  • Scott Tasker Folsom Scholarship
    Anthony Boyd Class of 2021
    Shuyi Chen Class of 2021
    Holly Knoechel Class of 2021
  • Dennis and Lesley Gehr Scholarship
    Preya Balroop Class of 2023
  • Alumni Association Scholarships
    Natalie Duider Class of 2023
    Nazia Tahia Class of 2023
    Nina Shimunov Class of 2023
  • P. Gregory Hess Scholarship
    Sam Lee Class of 2020
  • Dr. Jerome Weiss Scholarship
    Peiwei Lo Class of 2022
  • Dr. Nathan and Laura Millman Scholarship
    Jared Rahn Class of 2022
    Stephanie Schwartz Class of 2022
    Aviela Segev Class of 2022
    Stephanie Yu Class of 2022
    Julie Song Class of 2022
  • Barbara Saltzman Scholarship
    Gabrielah Baruch Class of 2023
  • Fred Friedfeld Memorial Scholarship
    Calvin Chan Class of 2022
  • Milton Scholarship
    Stefanie Clendaniel Class of 2020
    Amanda Crane Class of 2020
    Brooke Goonetilleke Class of 2022
    Holly Knoechel Class of 2021
    Melody Kordnaij Class of 2022
    Rhea Magee Class of 2021
    Max Paschall-Zimbel Class of 2020
  • Joseph A. Morra, MD Memorial Award
    Mackenzie Chapman Class of 2023
    Caroline Donato Class of 2023
    Jacob Rosenberg Class of 2023

To learn more about the Scholarship Awards or to establish a scholarship, contact Dawn Rigney, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at



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