Optometry Cares Releases Names of 2019 Scholarship Recipients


(Clockwise from top left) Scholarship winners included Christy Alfano, Sterlin Blakley, Abood Dahnoun, Kaitlin Speth, Krystal Matson and Paul Eckel.
ST. LOUIS—Each year, Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation administers a number of scholarships for students. These scholarships are built to encourage students to make a difference in their communities as well as the profession of optometry. This year, Optometry Cares has announced six scholarship winners. Paul Eckel, of Ohio State University College of Optometry, is the first place winner of the Vision West, Inc. and Health Eyes Advantage Scholarship for InfatSEE. He was awarded $7,500 after participating in the InfantSEE program, which provides no-cost, comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants under one. His winning entry is viewable here.

Christy Alfano, Southern College of Optometry, is the second place winner of the Vision West, Inc. and Health Eyes Advantage Scholarship for InfantSEE. She was awarded $3,000, and her winning video entry is viewable here.

Abood Dahnoun, Southern College of Optometry, received $10,000 for winning the Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship, sponsored by Essilor. This scholarship honors Maitenaz, the inventor of the Varilux lens who worked at Essilor for 43 years. Dahnoun’s winning entry can be viewed here.

Sterlin Blakley, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, received $5,000 for the Dr. Pat and Patrick Cummings Scholarship. This scholarship, sponsored in part by Johnson & Johnson Vision and established by the Cummings family through Optometry Cares, honors a student who best exemplifies Dr. Cummings’ passion for public health.

Kaitlin Speth, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, is the winner of the Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship. This scholarship was established at the bequest of longtime AOA member Dr. Seymour Galina, and is offered by Optometry Cares to a third-year student who best demonstrates financial planning experience that will be helpful in a professional practice. Speth received $2,500.

Krystal Matson, of the University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry, was rewarded $2,500 for the Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education, which is sponsored in part by Optovue.