Optometry Cares®–The AOA Foundation Announces 2023 Scholarship Recipients

March 7, 2023

St. Louis, Missouri – March 7, 2023Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation is pleased to share the 2023 scholarships, including the Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education, Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship and Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship, have been awarded to three deserving students. This year’s scholarship recipients include:

  • Sara Masood, New England College of Optometry – Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education
  • Eunice Hwang, The Ohio State University College of Optometry – Seymour Galina Scholarship
  • Hannah Payne Morrison, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry – Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship

 The $2,500 Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education, supported by Optovue, honors Dr. Alexander’s dedication to mentoring and leading the profession. As an ode to Dr. Alexander’s passion for helping others, the scholarship application calls for third-year students to describe a moment they served their community and how they plan to contribute to those in need following graduation.

In her application, Sara wrote “My plan to help others through my optometric practice is simple yet transformative. I will reflect and expand on learnings from life experiences to discover new insights, consistently evolve in ways feasible, fuel leadership development, craft a meaningful purpose and translate that purpose into action – with hope to inspire others and belief that even small changes and contributions can have an enormous impact.”

One of the earliest endowed gifts to Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation, the $2,500 Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship was established through a bequest from long-time AOA member, Dr. Galina.  The Foundation manages the endowment by investing the original gift and then using the earnings to fund the Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship Grant in perpetuity.  

The scholarship application requires that third-year students identify qualities they developed through either financial planning or work experience that will be useful following graduation.

In her application, Eunice wrote “We really started with barely anything and my parents have worked hard to provide for both of us now. My sister and I are both in professional school which majorly was because of my parents’ sacrifice and financial management.” She also shared, “Some of the most important lessons from my parents were to prepare for the unexpected, spend rationally, keep track of expenses, budget, and don’t give up. I was taught to not always buy the first thing I see on the market; take time to research and find the best price.”

The $10,000 Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship, supported by EssilorLuxottica, honors the numerous contributions and optometric legacy made by Mr. Maitenaz. The scholarship application requires third-year students submit an innovative toolkit for social media that directly communicates the importance of eye exams to parents and caregivers.

“I truly have a passion for optometry, and more specifically pediatric optometry,” said Hannah Payne Morrison. “The social media tool kit and hashtag I created, #supersight, is important to me because I want children to see their glasses as empowering and be a source of confidence for them.  My hope is that through my video and social media tool kit, glasses will be seen as fun and powerful, and will allow children and their parents to see the benefits of wearing glasses and having early and often eye exams.”

The 2024 scholarship applications will open on September 1, 2023. Applications and criteria will be posted on the Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation website.

Support for scholarship grants is one of the most important investments that contributes to the present and future success of optometry students. The Endowment and Scholarship Fund is an established entity of Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation that offers those who wish to make donations in support of the profession of optometry, primarily in the form of scholarships and tributes. To contribute to Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation, click here.  For more information on the scholarships, visit aoafoundation.org. 



About Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation

Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization working to expand eye care awareness, education and research and access to eye health and vision care within the United States in order to enhance human performance and quality of life. To learn more, please visit aoafoundation.org. 


About the American Optometric Association

The American Optometric Association (AOA) is the leading authority on and advocate for quality eye health care, representing more than 48,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and optometric professionals. As the sole primary eye care provider in many communities across America, doctors of optometry are often a patient's first entry point into the health care system, and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage disorders, diseases, and injuries that affect the eye and visual system. Through a nationwide public health initiative, AOA's Eye Deserve More campaign is fostering awareness of the importance of eye health and vision care and the overall health benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations with AOA doctors of optometry for all Americans.