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The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) establishes cultural humility as foundational to the education and professional formation of emerging healthcare clinicians, educators, and scientists. We foster meaningful connections through critical thinking and self-reflection, courageous conversations, culturally responsive care and practices for patients and clients, and intentional collaborations with alumni and the local community.
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Scholarships
Salus University has pledged to increase diversity in leadership, to increase representation and challenge the status quo of what healthcare has been for decades. Through COVID, we all witnessed firsthand healthcare disparities in underserved communities. Research has documented the many benefits of providing diverse communities with healthcare leaders who reflect their backgrounds. As a leader in health science education, Salus University seeks to address disparities and improve health outcomes.
 
To ensure that our work to enhance the quality of a Salus education matters to everyone who seeks and qualifies to attend, we must ensure a Salus education is affordable. Our students with diverse identities and underrepresented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply for all scholarships available to them. This list highlights the university scholarships and a sampling of external scholarships that are available to assist our underrepresented students:

Alma L. Boben Memorial Scholarship

Established by the estate of Alma L. Boben, OD ’28, in loving memory of her father, optometrist H. J. Leuze. This is awarded to worthy female students.

A.A. Phillips-SOSH Scholarship

The scholarship was established and funded by A.A. Phillips, OD, a 1969 graduate of PCO who founded the Student Optometric Service to Humanity (SOSH). The scholarship is awarded to a student from either the former British West Indies or a non-U.S. citizen from the Caribbean. 

Vistakon Scholarship

Established by Vistakon, a division of Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, Inc., in support of diversity recruitment efforts, this scholarship is awarded to optometry students selected on the basis of academic achievement, demonstrated financial need and community involvement.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

The IHS LRP awards up to $20,000 per year for the repayment of your qualified student loans in exchange for an initial two-year service obligation to practice full time at an Indian Health Program site.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation’s Minority Student Scholarship

Racial/ethnic minority students who are U.S. citizens, who are accepted for graduate study in speech-language pathology or audiology, and who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement are eligible to compete for a scholarship. This scholarship is supported by the ASH Foundation's Minority Fund.

Johnson & Johnson Scholarship

The Johnson & Johnson Scholarship was established to provide financial aid to deserving underrepresented minority PA students, with the goal of increasing diversity in the physician assistant workforce and alleviating disparities in access to healthcare among underserved populations. Scholarship recipients are selected based on financial need, academic performance, community service and commitment to providing care in underserved communities.

AOTA E.K. Wise Scholarship: Building a Diverse Occupational Therapy Workforce

Previously known as the E.K. Wise Loan Program, the fund was established in the 1960s through the generous bequest of Elizabeth K. Wise to support women pursuing higher education degrees. The scholarship fund reflects the changes that have occurred in the education of entry-level occupational therapists over the last several decades while remaining true to the intent of the original bequest. The focus of the scholarship will be to support students from diverse backgrounds who can meet E.K. Wise’s and the Association’s objectives of developing a workforce to meet society’s diverse occupational needs in underserved areas or communities.

The scholarship supports female students pursuing a post baccalaureate entry-level degree program in occupational therapy. Two awards will be granted annually in the amount of $5,000. Students may apply for a second year.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation’s Minority Student Scholarship

Racial/ethnic minority students who are U.S. citizens, who are accepted for graduate study in speech-language pathology or audiology, and who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement are eligible to compete for a scholarship. This scholarship is supported by the ASHFoundation's Minority Fund.

National Black Association For Speech, Language And Hearing

The National Black Association for Speech-Language & Hearing (NBASLH) invites black students to submit a research paper to competition for a scholarship award. A panel of professionals will use a blind review process to select one recipient for a $1000 scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded at NBASLH’s annual convention.  The recipient will receive a travel allowance to attend the convention and present the research paper.

ELIGIBILITY: Any black student who is enrolled at least half time in a master’s degree program in speech-language pathology, audiology or speech and hearing sciences. Post baccalaureate students who are working toward completing the professional academic requirements for entry to a master’s program may also apply. Please note that the competition is not available to undergraduate or doctoral students. The student must be enrolled in school at the time the award is made.

Cumberland Bilingual Spanish Speech Scholarship

As a nationwide leader in providing quality therapy services to school districts and private therapeutic schools for more than two decades, Cumberland Therapy Services has created the Bilingual Spanish Speech Scholarship to award $2,500 annually to one deserving graduate student enrolled in an accredited master’s program in speech-language pathology. Applicants must be fluent in both English and Spanish, have experience working in programs for Spanish-speaking children, and intend to pursue a career providing Spanish speech therapy.

Kala Singh Memorial Scholarship for International Students

In honor of a beloved audiologist and pioneer publisher of speech-language publications who was killed during an attempted hijacking of a Pan Am jetliner in Karachi in Pakistan, the Kala Singh Memorial Scholarship for International Students is provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). In order to qualify for the $5,000 award, candidates must be full-time international graduate students studying speech-language pathology in the United States with outstanding academic achievement.

National Hispanic Scholarship Fund

HSF/ General College Scholarships are designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage obtain a college degree.  Award amounts generally range from $1,000 to $5,000.

More information is provided on the Scholarships page of our website.
Summer Enrichment Program
Originally established in 1976, the Summer Enrichment Program ran until 2015 and served over 700 participants. The program will relaunch in June 2021 to meet the increasingly diverse nation’s optometric needs by increasing the number of graduating underrepresented minority optometrists. 
 
Trainings
The Office of DEI provides diversity education to Salus University and its clinical facilities. All workshops are conducted by the Special Assistant to the President for DEI or an external trained facilitator capable of stimulating meaningful dialogue.
 
The office offers presentations and workshops for any class, department, college or student organization in a 60, 90 or 120-minute format. All workshops (in-person and virtual) are interactive, utilizing lecture, dialogue, and video content.
 
To request one of these presentations/workshops, please email your request to diversity@salus.edu a minimum of 14 business days prior to your desired date.
 
Workshops (most topic are covered in general, but can be applied specifically to healthcare): 

Cultural Humility

The current state of affairs relative to social justice issues (race, gender, sexual identity and expression, religion, physical/mental ability, and socio-economic status) shows us that the need for diversity and inclusion in our society is greater than ever.
 
The diversity and inclusion concept of cultural humility is a current framework being employed by institutions and organizations that seek to achieve cultural transformation. Juliana believes that through conscious consideration, we can be proactive in preparing for and adhering to the inevitable changes in society.
 
She will challenge us to think about our own personal biases and collectively learn to truly embrace, appreciate, and live communally with those who are different from us. 

Unconscious (Implicit) Bias

Implicit bias is a pervasive phenomenon that perpetuates racial, gender, income, and other forms of discrimination and exclusion. In this workshop, we gain an understanding of bias (implicit and explicit), how each form of bias adversely influences decision making and group interaction, and yields patterns of differential treatment. Importantly, we will learn how to individually and collectively recognize and disrupt the effects of implicit bias, limit negative effects, and create more diverse, inclusive, and equitable spaces.
 
For those interested in exploring your personal biases and attitudes, you are welcome, on your own accord to take the Implicit Association Test (IAT) developed by Harvard University, click here

Microaggressions

Many people struggle to define or recognize microaggressions. Unless you have learned about them before or been a victim yourself, microaggressions can be tricky to conceptualize. In this workshop, we are challenged to:
  1. Connect your personal identities to your biases and explore how they lead to microaggressions.
  2. Create awareness surrounding the common occurrences of microaggressions.
  3. Explore the outcomes associated with the experience of microaggressions.
  4. Discover techniques to minimize the occurrence of microaggressions and ways to respond when someone has been microaggressive.  

Disability as Diversity

Today, the world population is over 7 billion people and more than one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability; 80 per cent live in developing countries. (World Health Organization) Disability discrimination in educational and workplaces is not generally malicious or premeditated. It is often the result of unconscious bias, a lack of information and education, and a fear of doing or saying the wrong thing for fear of causing offense, which often ironically causes far greater offense. For example, ‘Walk this way!’ ‘Did you see that?' ‘Did you hear that?' ‘I’m going mad!'
 
This disability awareness training challenges attitudes amongst both those with and without a disability, increasing understanding of disability issues. We will be encouraged to discuss our preconceptions of disability and our fears of interacting with people with disabilities. The workshop will include information on a range of disabilities, including acquired disabilities, hearing and visual impairments, learning disabilities and issues surrounding mental health.  

LGBTQ+ Fundamentals and Becoming an Ally

The goal of this introductory training session is to provide a basic information about sexual orientation, especially as it relates to Salus students, faculty and staff. Topics addressed include an overview of relevant terminology, the coming out process, and how to be an ally for someone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. Participants at this training session will have an opportunity to make a personal commitment to becoming a Salus Safe Space Ally — however, becoming an ally is not a requirement of this training session. 

Bridging the Generational Divide

Silents, Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials…and now Gen Zers. Five generations in the workplace, no wonder the views on work, time, attire, and professional conduct are so varied. If we are working together, we benefit from better understanding our generational difference and how they impact our work and interactions. This workshop provides an overview of the five generations in the workplace, challenge us to explore if difference is personality driven or based on birth group, and how to adjust to people with different work expectations. 

Got Melanin?  A Shaded View of Colorism

A social problem (often viewed as discrimination) based on skin color leading to prejudicial treatment of persons with varying skin tones. Colorism is often with Black communities, but is prevalent in many communities of color. We will learn the history of colorism and how it currently affects socialization and perceptions.
Special Assistant to the President for DEI
Dr. JWith more than 20 years of experience in higher education and a focus on strategic DEI initiatives, Dr. Juliana Mosley-Williams strengthens the University’s longstanding commitment to health and well-being for all by fostering an equitable space for academic excellence, professional development, and holistic growth. In this multifaceted position, Dr. Mosley-Williams interacts with all members of the University — students, faculty, staff, and alumni — to ensure our community reflects all the voices that make Salus unique.

The students, faculty, and staff at Salus are all well-aware of the impact they can have on thousands of individuals through their work in healthcare. They are proud to carry that responsibility and are eager to make a difference in the world. Whether they’re interacting with a prospective student or a new patient, every member of the University community should leave Salus knowing how to treat others with respect and dignity because they have experienced it themselves.

As the inaugural special assistant to the president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Mosley-Williams carries the tremendous honor and privilege in supporting the University’s ongoing work in DEI, both by recognizing the foundation previously set as well as building the infrastructure for it to continue. In addition to programming and communications, her work includes reviewing current policies and procedures and incorporating DEI throughout the mission and vision of the University in the development of a DEI Strategic Plan.

Dr. Mosley-Williams welcomes and encourages conversation on how to amplify all voices at Salus and strengthen our University community. Email diversity@salus.edu to share any ideas, feedback, or to report any incidents that deviate away from our DEI goals.
DEI Committee
The mission of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is to promote respect, equity, dignity, and equal opportunities for all individuals of the Salus community.

The committee’s role is to inform, advise, and guide the Office of the President on ways to develop, support, and offer solutions to promote an inclusive and diverse university community. To strengthen the mission and provide focus to key DEI areas, the Committee developed the following four subcommittees to guide its work:
 
  • Disability & Accessibility 
  • Health Equity & Disparities
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Sexuality & Gender
 
To make a suggestion to improve the Salus campus climate or to report an event or behavior that is not aligned with an inclusive, respectful community, please email diversity@salus.edu.

DEI Committee Members:
  • Sampson Abu, ‘25OD
  • Rasheeda Barlow, Patient Access Coordinator
  • Chaitali Baviskar, Assistant Vice President of Clinical Operations
  • Taylor Foley, ‘23SLP
  • Julie Jimenez, '23AUD
  • James Konopack, PhD, Dean, College of Health Sciences, Education and Rehabilitation (CHER), Deans Council Representative
  • Lisa Lonie, Executive Assistant to the President - Committee Secretary
  • Michael H. Mittelman, OD '80, MPH, MBA, FAAO, FACHE, President, Ex-Officio
  • Juliana Mosley-Williams, PhD, Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - Committee Chair
  • Adaeze Nnabue, '24OD, Cultural Affinity Organization Representative (WC4BL)
  • Jacqueline Patterson, Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Community Relations
  • Carlos Rodriguez, Director, Safety & Security
  • Monica Scirrotto, Director of Admissions
  • Brandy Scombordi-Raghu, OD, Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, PCO Faculty Representative
  • Margie Singer, Academic Coordinator, Department of International and Continuing Education
  • Lachelle Smith, MS, CVRT, Assistant Professor, Blindness & Low Vision Studies, CHER Faculty Representative
  • Amanda Thomason-Ayars, AuD, OCA Faculty Representative