History and Purpose

Dr. N. Rex Ghormley Past-President of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) passed away November 4, 2009. In 2010 the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), in consult with Dr. Ghormley's family, established an annual student travel fellowship in his honor. These fellowships are designed to encourage optometry students to attend key national meetings and exchange scientific ideas and research for use in an everyday clinical environment.

Purpose

Each year the AAO will offer a N. Rex Ghormley student travel fellowship of $750 to attend the American Academy of Optometry’s Annual Meeting. The fellowship will be awarded primarily for accomplishment and potential in optometric research and education. Academic abilities, including clinical abilities if relevant, are considered. Applicants must have an accepted paper or poster.

The Academy Student Travel Fellowship applications are evaluated by the Academy’s Research Committee. Once the applicant submits his/her application, an email will be generated to the recommender; the recommender can use this link to upload the applicant's recommendation.

Eligibility and Application

The submission window opens July 1, 2018 and closes July 31, 2018.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Student MUST be a member of the American Academy of Optometry. To become a student member please visit: Student Membership
  • Optometry students who are currently enrolled full-time or have graduated within a year of the meeting. (Post-docs and residents are not eligible).
  • Applicant must have had an abstract accepted as a first presenter/author of a paper or poster

Application Requirements:

One-page statement, which includes:

  • Your commitment and interest in optometric research and/or education and your short and long term career goals
  • Previous research training talks, papers, and posters, plans for a career in research and/or education
  • Demonstrated and potential for self-motivation, independence, and leadership
  • Summary of academic training, including honors

Also include:

  • A copy of the abstract of paper or poster that has been accepted
  • Recommendation letter from faculty

Materials MUST be submitted online in PDF form by the deadline date (shown below) using the online submission tool. Applications that remain incomplete after the deadline date will not be evaluated.

Fellowship 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, as part of their award, a travel stipend to attend an event, cannot also 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. The award checks will be presented to the awardees during the meeting. Recipients are required to attend the AAOF Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 11 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, annual meeting promotional materials.

Please direct all eligibility and application questions regarding the AAO Student Travel Fellowships to:
Christina Velasquez, Education Programs Manager at  Christinav@aaoptom.org.

Recipients

2017: Elizabeth Galko - The Ohio State University
2016: Samaneh Delshad - Queensland School Brisbane
2015: Jakaria Mostafa - University of Houston
2014: Kristina Haworth - Southern California of Optometry at Marshall B. Kethcum University
2013: Vinod Maseedupally - University of New South Wales
2012: Christopher Putnam - Pacific University
2011: Kimberly Lust - The Ohio State University

Additional Student Travel Fellowship (STF) Opportunities through the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF)

Please visit the AAOF Awards & Grants page for more information. 

Student Giving Matching Travel Grant

The AAOF also offers Student Giving Matching Travel Grants to attend the Academy’s annual meeting. Students are challenged to raise, through gifts by fellow students, $750. The AAOF would then match that amount so the AAO student chapter would be able to award two travel fellowships to the next Academy annual meeting. These STF awardees are selected by their institution, not through the Academy STF application system.

Learn More…