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.

Here are the 2021 Alumni Association awardees: 

BLINDNESS AND LOW VISION STUDIES ALUMNA OF THE YEAR

Jule Ann Lieberman, MS ‘13


Jule Ann LeibermanJule Ann Lieberman, MS ‘13, began her work in assistive technology instructing blind and low vision adults in the use of assistive technology in 1998. In 2005, she opened a retail business, EZ2C Products, selling assistive technology and tools for vision loss. This led to a conversion in 2007 to a non-profit, EZ2C Foundation, which provided consultation and training in the use of technology and tools for those with vision loss. 

She joined TechOWL, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University (formerly known as Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology), in 2013 as an assistive technology specialist and continues to provide information and assistance, consultation, demonstrations and public awareness training in the use of assistive technology. 

She has presented at the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) and California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Technology conferences along with sessions at Penn-Del AER Conference for more than a decade. She has been legally blind with a progressive vision impairment since the age of 16 and enjoys learning new technologies and how these technologies meet the needs of those with vision loss.

This award is presented to an alumnus of the Salus University Blindness and Low Vision Studies program 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.

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT STUDIES ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR

Scott Geller, MMS '16, MS PA-C


Scott GellerScott Geller, MMS '16, MS, PA-C, has practiced in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology since his graduation. He spent the beginning of his career at Hackensack Digestive Disease Associates in Hackensack, New Jersey, a private practice in the Hackensack Meridian Healthcare System where he was also a preceptor for Physician Assistant (PA) students in conjunction with Seton Hall University. 

He eventually relocated to the Philadelphia area and has been practicing with Gastrointestinal Associates, Inc., a private practice located in both Rydal and Chalfont, Pennsylvania, which are affiliated with the Abington-Jefferson and Holy Redeemer Healthcare Systems. 

The valedictorian of his PA class, he continues to support the program as a lecturer in the clinical medicine and surgery course, and through his contributions as a Program Advisory Board member. 

He lives in Bucks County with his wife Hannah and their son Aidan. 

This award is presented to an alumnus of the Salus University Physician Assistant Studies 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

Lisa R. Stottlemyer, OD '98, FAAO


Lisa StottlemeyerLisa R. Stottlemyer, OD '98, FAAO, is the chief of the Wilmington VA Medical Center Eye Care department. She has spent 20-plus years serving veterans in Wilmington, Delaware. 

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) and has authored numerous  publications. As the chair of Wilmington’s optometry student program and an educator for the residency program, she has provided numerous lectures and workshops over the years. 

Dr. Stottlemyer is a founding member of Promise in Sight, a non-profit that provides eye care in Central America. It offers life-changing eye care services which would be unobtainable due to the cost and/or remote location. She dedicates countless hours and shares her passion for humanitarianism with her team and her family. 

Dr. Stottlemyer is a true testament to her favorite quote: “I slept and dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and saw that life is all service. I served and saw that service is joy.”

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

AUDIOLOGY ALUMNA OF THE YEAR

Jonette Owen, AuD ’03, MS


Jonette OwenJonette Owen, AuD ‘03, MS, has served the Salus community in a variety of roles for more than a decade. Currently the assistant dean for the Practice and Assessment of Audiologic Medicine in the University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA), Dr. Owen is responsible for establishing, implementing, assessing and improving best practices for student clinical education throughout both of the program’s three-year and four-year tracks, in addition to identifying and establishing off-campus clinical sites for students. She has also been an assistant professor since 2010, teaching courses in Audiometric Principles and Clinical Problem Solving. 

Dr. Owen’s clinical experience is multifaceted, having served as a clinical audiologist in both a multi-disciplinary medical group with hospital privileges, and in private practice where she specialized in advanced diagnostic testing and hearing aid dispensing. 

She is a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Hearing, Alpha Upsilon Delta-Audiology Honor Society, a distinguished fellow of the National Academies of Practice, as well as a recipient of the Poster Award for Excellence in Clinical Preceptor Education at the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Annual convention in 2018.

This award is presented to an alumnus of the Salus University 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. 

ALBERT FITCH MEMORIAL ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR AWARD

Mitchell J. Fink, OD '69, FAAO


Mitchell FinkMitchell J. Fink, OD '69, FAAO, has served his community for more than 51 years in private practice in Willingboro, New Jersey. His many years of service, as both a Fellow and Diplomate in the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), exemplifies what it means to be a true caring practitioner. 

His many accolades include, but are not limited to, captain and Doctor of Optometry in the United States Army who served in Vietnam and has also been a professor of Cornea and Contact Lens Practice at PCO for 30 years.

He has been a nationally recognized speaker for many of the contact lens companies, an accomplished lecturer of continuing education at both the state and local levels, as well as many different national localities. Additionally, with his legislative guidance, he has been instrumental in helping formulate many of the New Jersey optometric bills, thereby subsequently furthering the advancement of the profession of optometry within New Jersey as it exists today.

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

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD

Elizabeth Tonkery, OD, MPH ‘13


Beth TonkeryElizabeth Tonkery, OD, MPH ‘13,, is the associate dean of the Accelerated Scholars Doctor of Optometry program and associate professor at PCO/Salus.

Dr. Tonkery earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan, her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan and her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Salus University.  

She completed her primary care residency at The Eye Institute (TEI) prior to joining the staff in 2009 and has served in many roles since then. Dr. Tonkery is also a member of several professional organizations, including the American Optometric Association, AOA and the Pennsylvania Optometric Association.

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