Salus University Alumni Association Awards

The Salus University Alumni Association annually recognizes the professional contributions and achievements of graduates and friends of the institution. Awardees are nominated by alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of Salus.

2023 Award Recipients:

Mark Boas, OD ‘86: Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year

During his second year at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in the 1980s, Mark Boas, OD ‘86, was elected class president. He would go on to be class president his third and fourth years as well, and after graduating from PCO, would continue to serve as Alumni Association president (1995-1999), faculty member (2001-2020) and on the Board of Trustees for many years.

He married one of his classmates, Suzanne (Helms) Boas, OD ‘86, and two of the couple’s children, Marie (Boas) Gwinn, OD ‘17, and Katherine Boas, OD ‘19, would follow in their parents’ footsteps and also graduate from PCO at Salus University.

Dr. Boas and his family have had a long and mutually respected relationship with the University for two generations. And, that longtime dedication has yielded another laurel for Dr. Boas as he has been named the 2023 Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year.

In 1989, Dr. Boas was elected to the PCO Alumni Association, chaired the reunion/special events committee and the nominating committee (1998-2001), and was a member of the student relations committee. Dr. Boas was the president-elect (1993-1995) and president (1995-1999) of the Alumni Association.

From 1998 to 2020, Dr. Boas was a consultant at The Eye Institute (TEI) of Salus University, eventually joining the TEI clinical faculty from 2001 to 2015 and then advancing to assistant professor at the College from 2015 to 2020. He retired from the faculty and as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees in 2020.

Amanda Marchegiani, AuD ‘10: Audiology Alumna of the Year Award

Amanda Marchegiani, AuD ‘10, was instrumental in creating and establishing the Audiology Alumnus of the Year Award while serving on the Salus University Alumni Association board. She never imagined she would one day be the recipient of the award she helped create.

Dr. Marchegiani began her first year of service on the alumni board in 2011, and worked her way through the ranks, serving as secretary, treasurer, vice president, and eventually president. In addition to her involvement at Salus University, Dr. Marchegiani also served on the American Academy of Audiology Foundation Board of Trustees from 2019-2022 and was named the Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) Professor of the Year in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2020.

Dr. Marchegiani is an audiologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a clinical educator at Salus University Osborne College of Audiology. She volunteers as a healthy hearing clinical director for Special Olympics. She credits her experience at Salus for the advancement of her professional career. As a student, Dr. Marchegiani had the opportunity to work with Pediatric Audiologists in a clinical setting, which allowed her to have conversations about their experiences and envision what a future as a Pediatric Audiologist could look like. She describes the mentorship she received from OCA faculty as “invaluable.”

Lindsay Lee, MEd ‘19: Blindness and Low Vision Studies Alumna of the Year
Lindsay Lee, MEd ‘19, says she still feels fresh in her career. After all, she graduated from the Blindness and Low Vision Studies (BLVS) program at Salus University just four years ago.

Lee has become a leader in Alaska as a TVI, working with infants to children three years of age, as well as contracting as a Low Vision Specialist (LVTS) for older adults in the community.
Lee returned to Alaska after graduating from Salus because she was aware of the shortage of low vision specialists in the state and the great need for those services.

Her training at Salus, said Lee, helped prepare her to make immediate contributions to her profession and community early in her career.
Victoria Wong, MMS ‘16: Physician Assistant Alumna of the Year

Only six years removed from Salus University, Victoria Wong, MMS ‘16, is making a big impact in the Physician Assistant (PA) profession.

After graduating from Salus, Wong began working at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where she has stayed for the past six years.

In addition to her Alumna of the Year recognition, in 2021, Wong and two of her colleagues. were awarded the 2021 Article of the Year from the Journal of Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology, for their article on the “Management of Hematologic Adverse Events Associated With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.” Wong also will be at the American Academy of Physician Associates conference this year presenting about prostate cancer.

David Friess, OD ‘02, Resident ‘03, FAAO: Public Service Award

Since graduating from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in 2022, David Friess. OD ‘02, Resident ‘03, FAAO, has remained connected in a variety of ways to Salus University, not only serving in various positions on the Alumni Association Board, but Dr. Friess was also instrumental in developing a partnership between STAAR Surgical and PCO/Salus, its clinical facility, The Eye Institute (TEI), and James Lewis, MD, a Salus University consulting ophthalmologist, along with support from the facility where he performs lens-based refractive surgery.

As the current vice president of Global Medical Affairs at STAAR Surgical, a leading developer and manufacturer of implantable lenses and companion delivery systems for the eye, Dr. Friess helped launch Project MyVision, a charitable lens-based refractive surgery program.

David Evans III, OD ‘83: Special Recognition Award
David Evans III, OD ‘83, was nominated for POA Optometrist of the Year in 1997, 2013, 2016, and 2018. And now he is being honored posthumously by the Salus University Alumni Association with a 2023 Distinguished Service Award. His wife, Gail Evans, OD ‘84, accepted the award on his behalf.

Dave graduated from PCO in 1983, and had an independent optometry practice in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, and also was a partner in Family Vision Care of Kingston, Pennsylvania. Dr. Evans also provided care for head trauma patients at Allied Services Rehabilitation Center in Wilkes Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania, for 30 years.

He was a member of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association (POA) and its board for nearly 40 years, and active with the American Optometric Association and held every position on the POA board including trustee, served as Legislative Affairs liaison and Pennsylvania Optometric Political Action Committee (POPAC) Keyperson for local constituents.

During the pandemic, Dave was president of the POA in 2020, in what he called “2020: The Year of the Optometrist.” During his tenure as president of the POA, the Pennsylvania Optometric Practice Act was amended with Act 99, expanding the Optometric scope of practice. The amendment not only expanded the ability of optometrists to examine, diagnose and treat patients, but also gave the state board sole authority to set optometric formulary and provided patients with greater access to needed medications.
Bernard Mallinger, OD ‘52: Special Recognition Award

After 65 years of distinguished practice in the optometric profession, Bernard Mallinger, OD ‘52, FAAO, is being given the 2023 Special Recognition Award from Salus University’s Alumni Association.

After graduating from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), Dr. Mallinger returned home to the Pittsburgh area and got into private practice. That’s where he became involved with child development, contact lenses, coaching amateur hockey and Fred Rogers. Yes, that Mr. Rogers. As in the American classic TV series, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He also became part of the medical team that served the Pittsburgh Penguins National Hockey League franchise, a position in which he served for more than 40 years.

Among Dr. Mallinger’s professional experiences include being a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Optometry; of the National Board of Examiners of Optometry; of the Governor’s Health Advisory Committee; as chair of the Visual Recognition Test Design; and on the Continuing Competency Assessment Committee. He also served as a consultant for the Home for Crippled Children, Shady Lane School, Craig House Technoma, Fox Chapel School District, Pace School and Ciba Vision Group.

Carlene Dumas, MS ‘18: Speech-Language Pathology Alumna of the Year

Carlene Dumas, MS ‘18, has been named the Speech-Language Pathology 2023 Alumna of the Year by the Salus University Alumni Association.

She is the co-owner and director of My Child’s Therapy in Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania, a pediatric outpatient facility that offers speech, occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy services for children and clients up to age 21. And, not only does she like hiring other Salus graduates for her business, but she has maintained a relationship with the SLP department and now provides externship opportunities for current Salus master’s SLP students.

Dumas always knew that she wanted to be in a job where she was working directly with people and found the Salus SLP program, a new program when she started, was the perfect fit.

Guidelines for Nominations

Award Nomination Guidelines
  • Academic degrees earned (include granting institutions and date)
  • Other positions held and relevant experience
  • Ways in which nominee has distinguished his/herself in chosen field
  • Ways in which nominee has supported his/her college and/or the University
  • Ways in which nominee has represented the college and/or University via his/her achievements
  • Ways in which nominee's PCO/Salus University education/degree has helped him/her in chosen career
  • Examples of nominee’s civic involvement and/or displays of personal and professional integrity
  • Honors attained
  • Provide any other information which supports why the nominee is deserving of the indicated Award, and why such an award is appropriate. If relevant, please describe how the nominee has overcome an unusual adversity.

Please complete the nomination form(s) providing as much of the requested information as possible. | Method of Nomination and Selection (PDF)

Alumni Awards

Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year

This award is presented to an alumnus of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry who has distinguished himself/herself through extraordinary service and contributions to the profession of optometry, bringing honor and prestige to the College.

Audiology Alumnus of the Year Award

This award is presented to an alumnus/a of the Salus University George S. Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) or the PCO School of Audiology who has distinguished himself/herself through extraordinary service and contributions to the profession of Audiology, bringing honor and prestige to Salus University and OCA.

Blindness and Low Vision Studies Alumnus of the Year

This award is presented to an alumnus of the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Salus University who has distinguished himself/herself through extraordinary service and contributions to the field of Blindness and Low Vision Education and Rehabilitation, bringing honor and prestige to Salus University.

Distinguished Service Award

This award is presented to a non-alumnus/a who is closely identified with Salus University and who has provided notable service to the University and their profession.

Occupational Therapy Alumnus of the Year

This award is presented to an alumnus of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Salus University who has distinguished himself/herself through extraordinary service and contributions to the field of occupational therapy, bringing honor and prestige to Salus University.

Physician Assistant Alumnus of the Year

This award is presented to an alumnus of the Salus University physician assistant program who has distinguished himself/herself through extraordinary service and contributions to the physician assistant profession, bringing honor and prestige to Salus University.

Public Service Award

This award is presented to a person (or organization), preferably of national standing, who (which) has made a recent significant contribution to Salus University or to their profession.

Special Recognition Award

This award is presented as special recognition of an individual's or organization's contribution to Salus University, their profession or their community.

Speech-Language Pathology Alumnus of the Year

This award is presented to an alumnus of the Salus University speech-language pathology (SLP) program who has distinguished himself/herself through extraordinary service and contributions to the SLP profession, bringing honor and prestige to Salus University.