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.

2024 Award Recipients:

Brian Mahoney, OD ‘85, Resident ‘86: Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year

Brian Mahoney, OD ‘85, Resident ‘86, completed his professional education in 1985 at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), with additional clinical training as a Primary Care/Ocular Disease resident at The Eye Institute (TEI) under the mentorship of Jeffrey Nyman, OD, FAAO. Dr. Mahoney presently provides clinical care at Nemours Senior Care in Wilmington, Delaware. 

For 32 years, he was the chief of optometry at Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center with clinical and administrative responsibilities as the head of the eye care services. During that time, he provided oversight for coordinated optometric and ophthalmological medical care and was the director of the educational programs at the VA, which included the Ocular Disease residency program as well as the student externship programs throughout his tenure from 1986 through 2018. Dr. Mahoney held faculty positions at five colleges/schools of optometry while involved in clinical education at the VAMC in Delaware. 

In addition to direct clinical care and education program development, Dr. Mahoney has lectured at local, national and international educational programs as well as made contributions to professional and periodical journals during his career. He has served as chief examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) and multiple optometric programs in the VA. He maintains active memberships in the American Academy of Optometry, the Optometric Glaucoma Society and he serves on the board of directors of the Optometric Glaucoma Foundation. His areas of professional interest include glaucoma, ocular manifestations of systemic disease as well as retinal disease. 

Brian Urban, AuD ‘06: George S. Osborne College of Audiology Alumnus of the Year

Brian Urban, AuD ‘06, is the president of CounselEAR, a company that improves patient counseling by generating customized counseling summaries that would significantly enhance patient recall and compliance, and former owner of Advanced Hearing and Balance Center in Evanston, Illinois. He is a past president of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), a past advisory board member for Salus University's Osborne College of Audiology (OCA), and a Distinguished Fellow in the Audiology Academy of the National Academies of Practice (NAP).

Carlton Anne Cook Walker, MEd ‘11, JD, MBA: Blindness and Low Vision Studies Alumna of the Year

Carlton Anne Cook Walker, MEd ‘11JD, MBA, is an attorney, a certified teacher of blind/low vision students, and the parent of a blind child (now, a young adult). In 2008, Walker pivoted from the law to education as she commenced her training as a Teacher of Blind/Low Vision students at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO). Fifteen months later, with the support of highly talented and dedicated instructors and her family, she began work as a teacher, and her interests in students and their educations were cemented in her career as an itinerant teacher of blind/low vision students in six school districts in South Central Pennsylvania and in summer education programs in nine states. 

Walker then served as the manager of Braille Education programs for the National Federation of the Blind and later founded Blindness Education and Advocacy Resources, LLC (BEAR) where she serves as an educational consultant and advocate for students, families, educational providers, and rehabilitation agencies throughout the country. 

She serves on the board of Professionals in Blindness Education (PIBE), a division of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), and served as president of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), the parent division of the NFB. Walker is a graduate of North Carolina State University (BA, BS, and MS) in Raleigh, North Carolina, of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (MBA), Wake Forest University School of Law (JD) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Salus University (MEd).

Evan Schulz, MMS ‘19: Physician Assistant Alumnus of the Year

A native of Cranford, New Jersey, Evan Schulz, MMS ‘19, chose Salus University based on its proximity to major medical centers in both the New Jersey and Philadelphia regions; welcoming and knowledgeable professors; and its emphasis on early and intensive hands-on clinical experience.

After graduating, he spent the next two years completing a post graduate Fellowship in Acute Care Surgery through the Capital Health S.T.A.R.S (Surgical Trauma and Acute Resuscitative Service) program; the first program of its kind in the nation to be fully accredited by the Association of Postgraduate Physician Assistant Programs (APPAP). He currently serves as the lead physician assistant for the Cardiovascular Surgical Department at Capital Health Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey where he holds the tremendous privilege of first assisting in the operating room and managing patients in the Cardiovascular Critical Care Unit. 

In 2022, he returned to Salus University as an adjunct professor of surgery in the Physician Assistant Studies program where he enjoys teaching various lecture and clinical lab courses pertaining to topics in general and subspecialty surgery. He finds education to be one the most rewarding opportunities in his professional life as it gives him a chance to delve deeper into his own personal understanding of the material and hopefully ignites a spark of passion in the future leaders of the healthcare industry.

Lauren Bevan, MS ‘17: Speech-Language Pathology Alumna of the Year

Lauren Bevan, MS ‘17, is a nationally certified Speech-Language Pathologist with vast experience working with children in a variety of settings including early intervention, school-based settings, as well as  outpatient settings. She has experience providing individualized services addressing early language development, articulation, expressive and receptive language, augmentative and alternative communication, and has worked extensively with neurodiverse populations.  

She is currently working for a school district in an elementary school setting, with students who are in autistic support classrooms. Some are non-verbal and use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She also works with general education students who are just working on articulation.

Anna (Nancy) Griffin: Distinguished Service Award

Anna (Nancy) Griffin started at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in 1977 as the front desk person in the registrar’s office. After earning a degree in English from La Salle University, she moved over to Admissions and spent the rest of her career there, retiring in January 2024 after 46 years with the University.

Griffin didn’t find anyone she didn’t enjoy learning from. The environment in Admissions and the Office of Student Affairs was conducive to learning from everyone with whom she came in contact.

She touched the lives of countless individuals through the guidance and service she has provided to prospective students and applicants, many of whom are now alumni.

Amanda Legge, OD ‘12: Special Recognition Award

Amanda Legge, OD ‘12, works at Wyomissing Optometric Center in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, practicing primary eye care with special interest in retinal diseases, having earned a certification for advanced retinal studies during her academic and clinical training. She is professionally recognized for her expertise in the diagnosis and management of age-related macular degeneration and inherited retina disease. 

Dr. Legge is a frequent lecturer on retinal diseases to fellow optometrists providing them with continuing education. She has authored numerous articles for national optometric publications about eye disease diagnosis and management. She serves as sub-investigator for the Food and Drug Admininstration (FDA) clinical trials for pharmaceuticals and contact lenses. She is passionate about patient education and serves as a Key Opinion Leader for several retina disease concentrated companies.

Dr. Legge is a Vision USA doctor who provides free eye care to the working poor who are screened and referred by the Salvation Army. She also participates in the national InfantSEE program, sponsored by the American Optometric Association, offering free vision and eye health screenings to six to 12-month-old infants. 

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.