November 8, 2019

SUNY Optometry Awards More than $125,000 to 40 Students at Annual Scholarship Presentation

Total Annual Scholarship and Grant Support Exceeds $500,000 helping students become Optometrists

Scholarship2019**More Photos Available Here**

NEW YORK, N.Y. (November 8, 2019) – As part of their commitment to helping students achieve their professional goals and meet the cost of financing their education, SUNY College of Optometry recognized more than 40 students at the annual Scholarship Presentation. Scholarships, which were provided by the Optometric Center of New York – the College’s related foundation – and its donors, ranged from $1,000 – $5,500 totaling nearly $125,000 for the evening.

The event, coordinated by the Office of Institutional Advancement, brings students, their families, and donors together for an evening of celebration and recognition of students’ accomplishments. For more than 10 years, SUNY Optometry has held this event, benefitting hundreds of students. In that time, the number of scholarships presented has grown significantly from 11 to 40.

“Investing in our students extends beyond educating and training future optometrists; we also feel a commitment to ensure educational opportunities are provided to bright students who may otherwise not be able to pursue their dream. Thanks to our benefactors, these scholarships ease the burden of financing a doctor of optometry degree, allowing these students to focus more on becoming future leaders in the field,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Dawn Rigney.

According to Dr. Guiherme Albieri, Vice President of Student Affairs at SUNY College of Optometry, “These scholarships also offer a competitive edge to attract more students from across the nation to SUNY Optometry, knowing that they will be able to fully engage in the innovative education and clinical experience that we offer.”

Below is a listing of the scholarships and recipients for the 2019-20 academic year:

Mary and Samuel Gurkin Memorial Scholarship

Constadina Manettas Class of 2020

Philip & Sylvia Soden Memorial Scholarship

Rebecca Heaps Class of 2020

Dr. Mark S. Feder Scholarship for Clinical Excellence in Primary Care

Halima Khan Class of 2020

New York State Optometric Association Dr. Alden Haffner Scholarship

Carey Murzynski Class of 2021

Angela Wen Class of 2021

New Jersey Academy of Optometry Scholarship

Veena Bokka Class of 2023

Dr. Sanford and Claire Levy Scholarship

Elaine Doxtaer Class of 2023

Ivanna Grynyk Class of 2021

Prissilla Issa Class of 2020

Alicia Jones Class of 2020

Nichole Pollard Class of 2020

Dr. Harold Solan Memorial Scholarship

Raymond Farmer Class of 2021

Jeff White Memorial Scholarship

Melissa Levine Class of 2021

Harold M. Spielman Scholarship

Eden Nourmand Class of 2023

Scott Tasker Folsom Scholarship

Anthony Boyd Class of 2021

Shuyi Chen Class of 2021

Holly Knoechel Class of 2021

Dennis and Lesley Gehr Scholarship

Preya Balroop Class of 2023

Alumni Association Scholarships

Natalie Duider Class of 2023

Nazia Tahia Class of 2023

Nina Shimunov Class of 2023

Gregory Hess Scholarship

Sam Lee Class of 2020

Dr. Jerome Weiss Scholarship

Peiwei Lo Class of 2022

Dr. Nathan and Laura Millman Scholarship

Jared Rahn Class of 2022

Stephanie Schwartz Class of 2022

Aviela Segev Class of 2022

Stephanie Yu Class of 2022

Julie Song Class of 2022

Barbara Saltzman Scholarship

Gabrielah Baruch Class of 2023

Fred Friedfeld Memorial Scholarship

Calvin Chan Class of 2022

Milton Scholarship

Stefanie Clendaniel Class of 2020

Amanda Crane Class of 2020

Brooke Goonetilleke Class of 2022

Holly Knoechel Class of 2021

Melody Kordnaij Class of 2022

Rhea Magee Class of 2021

Max Paschall-Zimbel Class of 2020

Joseph A. Morra, MD Memorial Award

Mackenzie Chapman Class of 2023

Caroline Donato Class of 2023

Jacob Rosenberg Class of 2023

To learn more about the Scholarship Awards or to establish a scholarship, contact Dawn Rigney, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at


About SUNY Optometry

Founded in 1971 and located in New York City, the State University of New York College of Optometry is a leader in education, research, and patient care, offering the Doctor of Optometry degree as well as MS and Ph.D. degrees in vision science. The College conducts a robust program of basic, translational and clinical research and has 65 affiliated clinical training sites. SUNY Optometry is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; its four-year professional degree program and residency programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association. All classrooms, research facilities, and the University Eye Center, which is one of the largest optometric outpatient facilities in the nation, are located on 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown Manhattan. To learn more about SUNY Optometry, visit

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