J. Pat Cummings Scholarship


This award is conferred annually to a second or third year optometry student at each of the North American Schools and colleges of optometry. One who best demonstrates the ideal eye care standards of practice, achievement in both academic performance and extra-curricular activities, and participation with other professional pursuits such as involvement with patients through internships, community service, and other volunteer activities. 

Award and Eligibility

Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., one $1,000 award and a personalized plaque is awarded to one second or third year student attending each school or college of optometry in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico who is also a student member of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). To learn more and become a member visit: www.aaopt.org/becoming/smembership

Nomination Procedures

The J. Pat Cummings Nomination Form and a copy of the IRS tax form W9 are provided directly to institution contacts via email prior to the opening of the submission window, typically 2 months prior to the deadline.

The appropriate award selection committee at each of the schools/colleges of optometry will select the one student who meets the eligibility requirements and best demonstrates the qualities detailed in the above criteria.  The AOF will not accept applications directly submitted by a student.  Interested students should relay their desire for consideration to the award chair or financial aid representative at their institution.

Completed forms should be sent via email to: AOF@aaoptom.org with the subject line: "Cummings Scholarship + institution name".

Submission and Deadline

The deadline for nomination submission by the institution is October 3, 2014

Notification and Conferment

Each school or college will contact its award winner. The AOF will send the award directly to the school or college to be applied toward the student's financial aid. A W9 form (or W-8BEN if non-U.S. resident) must be submitted or be confirmed on file prior to award processing.

Awards are typically shipped 4 - 6 weeks post deadline. If able, the award presentation may be made by a sponsor representative assigned to each school or college of optometry or if feasible, by an AOF representative.

Program Notes

Prior to window open, guidelines for any given program are subject to change by the AOF and/or the award sponsor. Applicants are reminded to please review all information before submitting their materials to ensure it meets all criteria.

All award recipients by application/nomination and acceptance of an award agree to allow the AOF and/or the sponsor of the program to which they applied to publish their name, image, institution information, and any statement or quote provided by the recipient. These will appear in a variety of media formats that will announce and promote the program including, but not limited to, the AOF and/or sponsor annual report, website, annual meeting promotional materials or press release.

Please direct questions about this program to: Tracy Kitts, Foundation Coordinator, at: AOF@aaoptom.org or 321-710-3936.


The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) along with TVCI and VISTAKON®, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., announce the recipients of the J. Pat Cummings Scholarship for 2013.

The J. Pat Cummings program is designed to recognize outstanding second or third-year clinicians who best exemplify and enhance patient loyalty through establishing the important link between eye health and overall health. The program recognizes how important Eye Care Professionals are in educating patients in several areas, including: diagnosing and treating vision disorders, ensuring patient satisfaction with vision correction choices and encouraging patients to schedule regular eye exams.

 The 2013 recipients:

Alexander S. Choy

Illinois College of Optometry

Erika Johnson

Indiana University School of Optometry

Jared Scaramuzzi

Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry

Prathik Philip

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy Health Sciences School of Optometry

Samantha Fordyce

Michigan College of Optometry

Jason Ryan Leonhardt

Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry

Jennifer Williams

New England College of Optometry

Colby Ricks

Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry

Pinar Haytac

Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

Erica Wiegandt

Pacific University College of Optometry

Whitney McConkey

Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

David Nguyen

Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University

Kathryn Huebner

Southern College of Optometry

Barbara Mendoza

State University of New York College of Optometry

Cari Gallagher

The Ohio State University College of Optometry

Monica S. Kennedy

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

Krystal Vanichsarn

University of California Berkeley School of Optometry

Jason Christman

University of Houston College of Optometry

Kelly A. Durst

University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry

Zoe Lacroix

University of Montreal School of Optometry

Jacklyn Annette Alaquinez

University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry

Diana Trieu

University of Waterloo School of Optometry

Alex Tadros

Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry

Each outstanding student clinician receives a $1,000 scholarship toward academic expenses and a personalized plaque to recognize their commitment to demonstrate academic excellence and ideal eye care standards of practice through internships, community service, and other volunteer activities.

The American Optometric Foundation is a philanthropic organization devoted to the advancement of optometric education and research, administering over $300,000 per year in scholarships, fellowships, and research grants. The AOF is an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry.

VISTAKON® is proud to have partnered with the American Optometric Foundation for over a decade, providing over one million dollars of support for scholarships, fellowships, and research grants and is the only member of the Foundation’s Visionary circle.

VISTAKON® is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.