Questions and Answers with David Friess, OD ’02, FAAO, Current President of the Salus University Alumni Association

David Friess, OD ’06, FAAO, Current President of the Salus University Alumni AssociationTo mark 100 years of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), we have asked faculty, staff, alumni and students about their experiences at PCO and what they hope for the next 100 years.

Tell us about some of the responsibilities that you have as President of the Alumni Association.
It is certainly an honor to serve as president of the Salus Alumni Association and to work with the rest of the board in coordination with the Alumni Office. In addition the quarterly board meetings, it is always rewarding to represent the Alumni Association at commencement exercises of PCO and the different colleges of Salus, as well as during alumni receptions at major conferences. There are so many activities throughout the year which involve opportunities for our 12,000 alumni and student engagement.

What inspired you to become president?
I have enjoyed serving on the Alumni Association board for many years and I like helping to find ways to increase participation from our alumni as the University continues to grow

Why did you choose PCO as a student?
While I considered a handful of schools, PCO was highly recommended to me by an alumnus friend of my family, Dr. Dennis Murschel, OD ’76, who emphasized the long history of excellent clinical education at The Eye Institute. These types of recommendations are a very important means to support student recruitment.

Drs. Mittelman and Friess at Commencement 2018What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
The Alumni Office does a terrific job of assisting the board with many of the logistics around board meetings and planning great events. The most challenging thing for me is participating in various alumni events due to my own frequent work travel. The large number of degree programs is amazing to learn more about and to see coordination within the University.

What would you tell someone who was thinking about applying to be on the Alumni Association Board?
The board is always welcome to new ideas on how to engage our alumni and students across all of the degree programs. New board members should have a willingness to participate in board meetings and help to represent the Association at events.

Where will PCO/Salus be in the next 100 years?
I am confident that PCO/Salus leadership will continue to evolve the academic and clinical programs into the future to remain a leader in optometric education. The combination of a strong education program and a large alumni network to engage is a vital resource for PCO/Salus students as they begin their careers.