VSP® Vision Care announces 2010-11 scholarship awards totaling $136,000

34 optometry students receive financial support to pursue a career in private practice
Rancho Cordova, Calif., October 11, 2011 – During the 2010-11 academic year, scholarships totaling $136,000 were provided to fourth-year optometry students across the country and Puerto Rico by VSP® Vision Care, the nation’s largest not-for-profit eyecare benefits and services provider.  
Since 2000, VSP has invested more than $1 million in financial awards to support close to 200 optometry students interested in entering private practice.
“As an optometry student who received this same scholarship in 1991, it gave me the confidence to seek out new experiences in patient care. The scholarships are a great investment to support students who are interested in entering private practice,” said Jenny Smythe, O.D. and Dean of Pacific University College of Optometry. “VSP reinforced my decision to choose optometry as a profession. That same feeling of confidence and honor is instilled in the current generation of recipients as well.”
17 optometry schools received two $4,000 scholarships to support fourth-year students with funding for their final year of education. Students selected to receive the scholarship demonstrated clinical excellence and expressed a great desire to pursue a career in private practice.
Current scholarship recipient Travis Kliewer from Oklahoma College of Optometry stated, “Becoming a private practice doctor has always been a dream of mine and I thank VSP for supporting that.”
Scholarship recipients from the class of 2011 include:
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry: Sara McGowan and Ben Pendergrass
University of California, Berkeley: Pam Satjawatcharaphon and Britta Hansen
University of Houston College of Optometry: Beth Robinson and Kassaundra Strickland
Illinois College of Optometry: Melissa Liepins and Brady Turner
Indiana University School of Optometry: Kevin Bosch and Sunni Stewart
New England College of Optometry: Jamie Humenuik and Brent Wilkinson
State University of New York: Nikki Yee and Jennifer Koh
NOVA Southeastern College of Optometry: Ernesto Cepero and Valerie Croteau
Northeastern State University Oklahoma: Travis Kliewer and Andrea Sis
Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University: Brian Dornbos and Andrea Sewell
University of Missouri St. Louis: Erin Brooks and Stephanie Loy
Ohio State University College of Optometry: Joseph Conrad and Monica Roy
Pacific University College of Optometry: Julia Sirriani and Kristen Gaus
Pennsylvania College of Optometry: Matthew McGuigan and Dana Webster
Inter American University of Puerto Rico: Manuel Muniz and Ivan Velazquez
Southern College of Optometry: Samuel Winston and Heidi Hunt
Southern California College of Optometry: Jane Kuo and Stephanie Nguyen
About VSP Global
VSP GlobalSM includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 55 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity®/Officemate® which offer innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics.  

To date, through VSP community outreach programs such as VSP Mobile Eyes® and Sight for Students®, and through relationships including those with the American Red Cross and Prevent Blindness America, VSP has invested more than $138 million in free eyecare and eyewear for more than 715,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States.




Jace Duval