The red carpet was in full play at Congregation Keneseth Israel on the night of November 20th, as Salus students, faculty and staff arrived for the First Annual Salus Awards Gala. The University’s Student Council hosted a formal dinner after which awards for diverse categories – some old, some new – were presented.

Annual awards have been presented by Student Council in the past to outstanding faculty members who received the majority of student votes. This year the Student Council opened the balloting to include faculty and staff and included some new categories. A new award this year was the Crozier Cup, given to the student organization of the year and named for the late Dr. John Crozier, PCO’s first dean of Student Affairs. Dr. James Caldwell, who was hired and mentored by “Dr. John” gave a short presentation about Dr. John and his legacy at PCO and now Salus. President Michael H. Mittelman presented the Onofrey Rybachok Memorial Educator of the Year Award and told the audience that he was twice honored to present the award as he had been taught both by “Rybie” (as Dr. Rybochok was called by the legions of PCO students and faculty who knew him), and this year’s recipient, Dr. Lorraine Lombardi, who has set a University record for receiving the most outstanding professor and educator of the year awards.

Emcees for the evening’s festivities, Allyssa Rohrbach ’17AUD and Tony Hollop ’17OD were entertaining and kept things moving. Much time and effort on the part of many members of Student Council and Ms. Monae Kelsey, associate director of Student Engagement, made the evening fun and memorable for all.


Awards were presented to the following recipients:   

Emerging Professional Student of the Year: Jenna Roney ‘17OD
Helping Hand Award: Dr. Joan Wing, associate professor
Unsung Hero Award: tie: Shelby Favre ’17AUD and Ashley Verdon ’16OD
Steadfast Service Department of the Year Award: Office of Safety and Security
Standing O Award: Darrell Billips, Culinart
Most Likely to Know Your Name:  “Miss Jackie” Hamlett, Culinart

Loch Ness Award: Dr. Jim Caldwell, dean, Student Affairs
Spirit of Salus Community Service Award: SOSH (Students in Optometric Service to Humanity)
Social Event of the Year: Salus Scoop
Outstanding Audiology Professor of the Year: Dr. Radhika Aravamudhan, assistant dean
Outstanding Occupational Therapy Professor Award: Caitlyn Foy, assistant professor
Outstanding Optometry Professor Award: Dr. Lorraine Lombardi, associate professor
Outstanding Physician Assistant Professor: Dr. Michael Speirs
Outstanding PEI Clinical Preceptor: Dr. Rebecca Blaha, instructor
Outstanding TEI Clinical Preceptor: tie: Dr. Andy Gurwood, professor; Dr. Bhawanjot Minhas, instructor
Organizational Leadership Excellence Award: Jenna Roney ’17OD   
Student Organization Advisor of the Year Award: Ms. Monas Kelsey, associate director, Student Engagement
Onofrey Rybachok Memorial Educator of the Year Award: Dr. Lorraine Lombardi, associate professor
The Crozier Cup (Student Organization of the Year Award): Student Council

To view all event photos, please visit our Facebook page.