Elmer H. Eger Memorial Student Travel Fellowship

Dr. Elmer H. Eger passed away in Ithaca, NY, on June 26, 2009. A Life Fellow of the Academy, and 10-year veteran on the AAO Admittance Committee, Dr. Eger was also the father of Academy past President Mark W. Eger, father-in-law to AAOF Board member, Susan Eger, and grandfather of Academy Fellow Noah Eger. The Foundation, wishing to promote the values and interests held dear by Dr. Eger and his family, established the Elmer Eger Fund in his honor that same year. The fellowship is designed to support students whose professional goal is to be in private practice.



Each year the AAO will offer an Elmer H. Eger Memorial student travel fellowship of $750 to attend the American Academy of Optometry’s Annual Meeting. The schools will follow a rotation schedule which gives eight schools a year the opportunity to submit a nominee. The institutions will send their nomination to Betty Rodgriquez, Education Program Manager at bettyr@aaoptom.org. The Academy Student Travel Fellowship statements are evaluated by the Academy’s Membership Committee.  

Eligibility Requirements

  • Student MUST be a member of the American Academy of Optometry. To become a student member please click http://www.aaopt.org/student  for the online student application.

  • Applicant must be a third or fouth year student. (Post-docs and residents are not eligible).

  • Applicant is pursuing a career in private practice.

Application Requirements:

  • Submit a one page statement describing why you want to pursue a career in private practice.
  • Accepted paper or poster is not required.

Eligible Institutions in 2017:

  • Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University
  • Midwestern University, Arizona College of Optometry
  • NOVA Southeastern University, College of Optometry
  • Pacific University, College of Optometry
  • Rosenberg School of Optometry
  • Southern California College of Optometry
  • State University of New York, College of Optometry
  • University of Houston, College of Optometry

Program Notes:

Although students can apply to attend a meeting for which they have previously been awarded a travel fellowship, priority may be given to first-time awardees.

It is the standard policy of the AAOF that program recipients who receive a travel stipend to attend an event as part of their award cannot receive a second or duplicate travel stipend from the Foundation or its affiliate, the AAO.

Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision prior to the Academy annual meeting. Recipients are required to attend the AAOF Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM where they will receive their check.

All award recipients by application 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 may 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, or annual meeting promotional materials.

Opens July 3, 2017
Closes July 31, 2017

Please direct all eligibility and application questions regarding the AAOF Student Travel Fellowships to:
Betty Rodriguez, Program Manager, Education at BettyR@aaoptom.org

Past Program Recipients:

2016: Kimberly Renner -The Ohio State University
2015: Alyssa Willig - The Ohio State University
2014: Laura Ann Goldberg - New England College of Optometry
2013: Roshni Shah - Western University College of Optometry
2012: Andrew Congdon - Illinois College of Optometry
2011: Cara Wolfish - Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry