After more than 30 years at Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO)
, then Salus University and The Eye Institute (TEI)
, Dr. Charles Wormington’s impact on the University will remain for years to come in light of his recent retirement. Dr. Wormington leaves a lasting legacy as an experienced optometric researcher and dedicated professor to students in all four of the University’s colleges.
Dr. Wormington’s journey at Salus and PCO began in 1984 as a primary care resident at TEI, after earning his Doctor of Optometry degree from the New England College of Optometry. Prior to becoming an optometrist, Dr. Wormington earned his bachelor’s degree in cellular biology and physics from the University of California, and both his master’s and doctoratein biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. His professional career began in 1972 as a health physicist and radiological protection officer for the U.S. Air Force. He went on to hold numerous research and scientific roles within the Air Force, including chief of optometry services for the Willow Grove Air Reserve Station, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.
After his residency at TEI, Dr. Wormington was hired as an assistant professor of biophysics and optometry at PCO. Throughout the years, Dr. Wormington has risen through the ranks, holding the titles of clinical preceptor, associate professor, and his latest title, professor emeritus. His teaching specialties include genetics, biochemistry, ophthalmic lasers, and research methodology. He has also had the unique experience of teaching courses in all four of the University’s colleges, impacting students in the Optometry, Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Biomedicine, and International and Continuing Education programs. As a professor, Dr. Wormington is known for setting the bar high for his students and being attentive to the his students’ needs.
.Veterans Day 2013
“Dr. Wormington is an exemplary scholar who has mentored many students,” said Dr. Joan Wing, PCO associate professor. “He has high expectations for students because he truly believes in their potential and wants them to excel in their profession.”
Mentorship is an important aspect of Dr. Wormington’s role as a professor and a colleague. He takes a special interest in advising students who are thinking about applying for Health Professions Scholarships from the Army, Navy and Air Force or those that wish to serve their country. He has also mentored students within the University’s Biomedicine program who are pursuing their PhDs and students in the international Master of Science in Clinical Optometry program. Lydia Parke, assistant director of Research, said Dr. Womington’s guidance was crucial to her success in her role as the manager of regulatory affairs in 2004. As part of the Institutional Review Board, the University committee to approve, monitor, and review research involving people, Ms. Parke’s new role required a lot of in-depth knowledge.
“I was the new Institutional Review Board administrator, who had just inherited lots and lots of files and very little knowledge of regulations,” she said. “His mentoring and support is the reason we are still working together 13 years later.”
Dr. Wormington’s impact on Salus extends beyond the classroom. He has served and held leadership positions on a variety of University committees, been a faculty advisor for the Optometry Honor Society and the Salus Christian Fellowship, helped conduct admissions interviews, was a founding member of the board of directors for the PCO Lion’s Club and has served as chaplain for many Salus graduation ceremonies.
Faculty, staff and students have long recognized and appreciated Dr. Wormington’s overall contributions to the University. He received Educator of the Year Award in 1991 from Salus and a “Wormington Appreciation Day” was even created in 2010, sponsored by the PCO class of 2012. The class raised funds by selling T-shirts with the words “I’m a Cardholder” on the front and an image of a card with Dr. Wormington’s face on the back. The Salus American Optometric Student Association also created the Wormington 5K Run, an annual event which raises money for Fox Chase Cancer Center and honors Dr. Wormington.
Wormington Appreciation Day
Dr. Wormington’s career has been marked by a continual thirst for knowledge, as demonstrated by his multiple higher education degrees in addition to his numerous professional presentations and publications. His wealth of knowledge has been evident to his colleagues since his early days at Salus PCO.
Wormington 5K Run
“Dr. Wormington and I had adjacent offices and this was great for me because he was ‘Dr. Google’ before the days of search engines,” said Dr. Wing, who has been a colleague of his for nearly 30 years. “I could ask him anything and he could usually answer thoroughly.”
Though he has retired as a full-time professor, Dr. Wormington’s life-long pursuit of knowledge will continue as he will partake in various research activities at Salus and will still be a mentor in the Biomedicine program.
The Salus community would like to thank Dr. Wormington for his extraordinary service to the University and wishes him well in his future endeavors!