Paul Brown

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation has named Paul Brown, a third-year student at the UAB School of Optometry, a recipient of the 2017 Johnson & Johnson Vision J. Pat Cummings Scholarship.

The Foundation awards the scholarship annually to a second- or third-year optometry student at each North American school or college of optometry who best demonstrates the ideal eye care standards of practice, achievement in both academic performance and extra-curricular activities, and participation with other professional pursuits such as involvement with patients through internships, community service and volunteer activities.

Brown received a $1,000 scholarship and a personalized plaque as part of the award, which is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and named after a leader in optometry who died in a 2009 plane crash.

Cummings was known for his volunteerism and desire to make a positive impact in eye care. He was one of the first supporters of InfantSEE, a program that provides no-cost eye examinations for children during the first year of life.

“Pat Cummings was an exemplary clinician and leader,” says Kelly K. Nichols, O.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., dean of the School of Optometry. “He was thoughtful, smart, and kind, and Paul is a reflection of that.”

Originally from Waurika, Oklahoma, Brown received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. He is the president of the UAB chapter of the Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH) and recently organized and attended a service trip to Belize.

“I am thankful that the UAB School of Optometry has provided me with an opportunity for service learning in being involved with SVOSH,” he says. “It is nice to attend a school where civic engagement is integral to the development of our clinical skills. I am humbled and appreciative of this scholarship.”

Brown is also a former ambassador for the School of Optometry and served as the UAB fundraising chair for the American Academy of Optometry.

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation is a philanthropic organization devoted to the advancement of optometric education and research, administering more than $300,000 per year in scholarships, fellowships and research grants. It is an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry.