Dr. Pat & Patrick Cummings Scholarship



The scholarship is in memory of AOA Past President, Pat Cummings, O.D., who had a love for volunteering in his profession and making a positive impact in the community. Among many acts of philanthropy, Dr. Cummings was one of the first supporters of the InfantSEE® program, which helps provide no-cost eye examinations for children during their first year of life. The Cummings family faced terrible loss when Dr. Cummings died July 11, 2009 in a private plane crash. In a separate tragedy, his son, Patrick, passed away in a car accident at age 18.

In tribute to father and son, the Dr. Pat & Patrick Cummings Memorial Fund was established through Optometry Cares. This opportunity was generously funded by numerous individual donors, as well as a large contribution from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.

The national winner will be awarded $5,000. The Dr. Pat & Patrick Cummings Scholarship will be awarded to the author of the entry judged to be the best essay submitted to Optometry Cares®, in accordance with the criteria listed below.

2016 Winner

Jeremy Chartash Nova Southeastern University

Jeremy Chartash
Nova Southeastern University

Applicant Eligibility:

    1. Be a fourth-year student member (class of 2016) of the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) and the AOA;
    2. Be a student in good academic standing based on your school’s criteria;
    3. Obtain one letter of recommendation from a teacher, dean or academic advisor;
    4. Submit a written paper (in English), not to exceed 3,000 characters including spaces and addresses questions below.

Questions to Address:

    1. Dr. Pat Cummings was passionate about improving the overall health of the public. How do you exemplify this passion and what are your goals in the area of public health?
    2. Do you plan to take a leadership role in optometry? Please tell us about leadership roles you have had in optometry school and your future leadership goals.

Students must check with the student affairs office to determine the institution’s on-campus deadline. Each school and college will choose one candidate from all applications received by their on-campus deadline and forward the individual’s name and essay to Optometry Cares® by October 30, 2015.   The winner will be announced in January 2016.

For questions about this scholarship grant or its administration, please contact the Foundation.



Your investment will ensure that The AOA Foundation continues to provide immediate relief to those in need in the wake of natural disasters, vision care to needy Americans, scholarships for optometry students, preservation of optometry’s history and public education about the need for a lifetime of vision care.

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