Jonathan Davis and Haley Hixon

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation named Jonathan Davis and Haley Hixon, both fourth-year students at the UAB School of Optometry, 2017 Practice Excellence Scholarship recipients.

The Foundation annually selects students from each North American college or school of optometry based on submission by each institution. Davis and Hixon are among 44 top-performing optometry students in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada who will receive awards totaling nearly $200,000.

The scholarships Davis and Hixon are receiving include travel grants to participate in the American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting, which was held in October in Chicago. Davis and Hixon were recognized alongside other recipients at a special reception at the meeting.

The scholarships are funded through VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope Global Charitable Fund in collaboration with FYi Doctors in Canada and is administered through the Foundation.

Key criteria for selecting the scholarship recipients include the student’s commitment to enter the independent practice of optometry in addition to clinical and academic performance.

Originally from Benton, Mississippi, Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Mississippi. Starting in the spring, Davis will complete an externship at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He plans to enter private practice after graduation.

Hixon is from Perote, Alabama, and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Alabama. She will complete an externship at VisionAmerica in Birmingham and Troy Eye Care in Troy, Alabama, starting in the spring semester. After graduation, she plans to go into private practice.