J. Pat Cummings Scholarship



This award is bestowed 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, Inc., one $1,000 award and a personalized plaque is awarded to a second or third year student attending each school or college of optometry in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

The student must be a member of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). To learn more and become a member visit: www.aaopt.org/student

Nomination Procedures

The J. Pat Cummings Nomination Form and a copy of the appropriate IRS tax form are provided directly to institution contacts via email prior to the opening of the submission window.

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 AAOF 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: AAOF@aaoptom.org with the subject line: "Cummings Scholarship-Institution name".


Nomination submission by the institution is due September 15, 2017.

Notification and Conferment

Each college or university will contact its award winner and an announcement will go out on the AAOF recent news feed. The AAOF will send the award directly to the school or college to be applied toward the student's financial aid. 

A W-9 form (within the U.S.) or W-8BEN form (non-U.S. resident) must be submitted or be confirmed on file prior to award processing.

Awards are shipped 4 - 6 weeks post deadline. 

Program Notes

Please note : Guidelines for any given program are subject to change by the AAOF 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 AAOF 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 AAOF and/or sponsor annual report, website, annual meeting promotional materials or press release.

Please direct questions about this program to: Jennifer Rubin, Foundation Program Manager, at: AAOF@aaoptom.org or 321-319-4872.

2016 J. Pat Cummings Scholarships

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 2016 Recipients:

  • Vakishan Nadarajah-Illinois College of Optometry
  • Alice M. Grasso-Indiana University School of Optometry
  • Sophia La-Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry
  • Ana P. Bonaldi-Massachuesettes College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University School of Optometry
  • Amber Cumings-Michigan College of Optometry
  • Jordyn N. Stevens-Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry
  • Micaela Gobeille-New England College of Optometry
  • Krystal Rogge-Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry
  • Jeremy Outinen-NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry
  • Paula Kutzner-Pacific University College of Optometry
  • Larisa Rivera-Rosenberg School of Optometry
  • Jezzeri Wu-Southern California College of Optometry at MBKU
  • Mary Nethaway-Southern College of Optometry
  • Kathryn Brogan-State University of New York College of Optometry
  • Katherine Fisher-The Ohio State University College of Optometry
  • Camille Weissenberg-University of California Berkeley School of Optometry
  • Jessica Arighi Boyd-University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry 
  • Kevin Dittlinger-University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry
  • Brij Patel-University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science
  • Bryan Kimura-Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
  • Jonathan Chen-University of Houston College of Optometry
  • Pelashia Rhodes-Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University
  • Michelle Zakem-University of Montreal

The American Academy of Optometry 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 AAOF is an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry.