Faculty and Staff News

Toland Classroom Dedicated

On October 19 the Toland Classroom at The Eye Institute (TEI) was dedicated to Joseph Toland, OD '54, MD. Last year a group of PCO alumni, spearheaded by Dr. Susan Oleszewski ’76, decided to honor the man who was instrumental in allowing TEI optometrists to practice therapeutic optometry at a time when Pennsylvania didn't have therapeutics for optometrists. They organized a donor campaign and surprised Dr. Toland with the announcement of their intent at the annual Joseph P. Toland Excellence in Education event in May.

Dr. Toland and family

At a reception following the dedication, Dr. Mittelman and Dr. Oleszewski spoke of their former teacher and his influence on their lives. After her remarks Dr. Oleszewski invited the TEI faculty, staff and campaign donors in attendance to share their stories about Dr. Toland and the remembrances were always affectionate and often humorous. Dr. and Mrs. Toland and their family were in attendance.  

Addendum: A few days after the dedication, Dr. Susan Oleszewski emailed the following message to the Salus community:

“. . . (Last month) the University had the distinct pleasure of dedicating the TEI classroom as the Joseph C. Toland Classroom.  The amazing tributes and stories from the audience that day about the impact that Dr. Toland had, and the warm, from the heart comments were truly a gift to those of us who were there.  The roasting, reminiscing, and reflections represented a wonderfully important chapter in our institution’s history with Dr. Toland as the protagonist… During the reception I asked Joe if I could have a copy of his speech, as I thought that many who did not come to the event would welcome the  opportunity to read it.  He said that his scribbles would be an obstacle to reading his copy, but he promised to send a fresh copy.    For those who know or who have worked with Dr. Toland, I know you will be able to hear his voice while he offers his thanks and gratitude to so many.” Read Dr. Toland's speech.

We Salute

The University community warmly welcomes its newest members:

  • Lesley Anders, Coordinator of Online Communications/Webmaster
  • Elizabeth Sedunov, AuD, Clinical Educator, Osborne College of Audiology
  • Mary Jo Thomas, OD, Instructor, Pennsylvania College of Optometry

The University community offers sincere congratulations to the following members: 

  • Dr. Michael R. Spinell ’70, associate professor, TEI, who, under the pseudonym M. Richards, is the author of “The Dog Knows…But He’s Not Talking,” a fictional mystery. (LINK:www.smashwords.com/books/view/475530)

  • Ms. Jo Surpin, chair, Board of Trustees, who has been named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2014 Women of Distinction.


Dr. Sarah Appel is the co-director of the SPARC program, not the Feinbloom Low Vision Center as indicated last month.

Derek Kramer ’15OD was the top scorer for the NBEO Part I exam for Salus PCO, not the national top scorer as reported last month.

Alexis Abate Appointed Director of Communication  

Alexis Abate, Director of Communications

Alexis Abate, MA, was appointed director of Communication for the University, to become effective October 1. In his announcement to the University community, Dr. Michael H. Mittelman said, “I look forward to working with Alexis as we proceed with the Salus branding and marketing efforts. Her background, experience and expertise will serve the University well, as she leads our efforts to ensure that our name and reputation find a wider audience as we continue our mission to become the best institution in the nation for the education of healthcare professionals.

Ms. Abate has been marketing coordinator for The Eye Institute for the past six years. As director of Communication, she will report to Dr. Mittelman and have multiple responsibilities that include the development of an innovative communications strategy designed to engage audiences and stakeholders across multiple constituencies within Salus; creation and implementation of strategies to ensure the University’s outreach efforts and multiple-market visibility are maximized and the building of relationships with the media and surrounding communities to advance our position with relevant constituents. Ms. Abate also will be responsible for Salus University’s varied and integrated communications, including web-based media and publications; community relations; marketing of research and education programs; public outreach events and activities; and other current programs. 

Ms. Abate holds a BA in Communication/Mass Media Writing from LaSalle University and a Master of Arts in Communication Arts, Public Relations and Advertising from New York Institute of Technology.

University Safety and Security Reports

The annual crime data report that fulfills the Clery Act disclosure requirement to report crime statistics to the US Department of Education has been accessible to the public on the University’s website for some years now. In addition that report Safety and Security director, Wayne Pancza, and lead security officer, Gary Hughes, have created a criminal activity log, which will be updated on the website as an incident occurs.