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Alumni Awards

The Henry P. and M. Page Laughlin Alumnus of the Year Award

Recognizing outstanding contributions to medicine

Albert A. Alley, MD ’64

Dr. Albert A. Alley has dedicated his life to enhancing the quality of life for others, his patients, his community and the world. Dr. Alley is well known for his dedication to fighting blindness in developing countries and in the U.S. In 1990, he founded World Blindness Outreach, Inc. (WBO), a nonprofit corporation which helps recruit volunteers and raises funds for worldwide surgical eye missions. He continues to serve as the organization’s President. Dr. Alley has served on the board of directors for the Susquehanna Association of the Blind and Vision Impaired (SABVI/VisionCorp) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and helped establish the Alley Center for the Blind in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Dr. Alley and his wife recently established the Albert and Virginia Alley Endowment for International Outreach in Ophthalmology at the Penn State College of Medicine to enable medical students and young doctors to participate in international programs to third world countries. He helped organize Mission Cataract Lebanon Valley, which provides free eye surgery to uninsured patients. Additionally, Dr. Alley served as board president of the Alley Family Center for the Developmental and Disability Services of Lebanon Valley. He also established the Cynthia Alley, MD, MED ’00, and Albert Alley, MD, MED ’64, Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for deserving students enrolled in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine who have financial need.

Dr. Alley has been honored many times for his service endeavors, including a having a street named after him in Nagua, Dominican Republic, where WBO teams have undertaken an annual mission for the past 25 years.


The Alumni Achievement Award

Recognizing alumni whose contributions to medicine have had a lasting impact

Karen Kotloff, MD ’79

A pediatric infectious disease expert, Karen Kotloff, MD, has made major contributions to the field of vaccine development in the developing world. Dr. Kotloff is professor in the department of Pediatrics and Medicine and head of Infectious Disease and Tropical Pediatrics at University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is also the associate director for clinical research at the University’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health. Dr. Kotloff has led numerous large epidemiological studies and clinical trials to evaluate vaccines against a wide range of infections in the U.S. and in developing countries. She is the Principal Investigator of four grants funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study prevention of death among infants and children in developing countries. She is also Principal Investigator of a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease-funded Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit.

Dr. Kotloff’s expertise in infectious diseases and in vaccines to prevent them has led to membership on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the FDA and consulting with the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2005, she was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mali for her work in establishing a field site in Mali to study infectious disease, introducing new vaccines, and measuring their public health impact.


The Alumni Service Award

Honoring outstanding alumni with exemplary records of service and generosity to the school

Suzanne Palmer, MD ’89 

A professor of clinical radiology and clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Suzanne Palmer, MD has demonstrated her leadership in academia, mentoring younger physicians and helping to expand opportunities for women and minorities. Dr. Palmer currently serves as the Director of the Body Imaging Division of the Department of Radiology and serves on a number of committees in her Department, including the Executive Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee. She has also served on the Keck School of Medicine Faculty Council, Dean’s Diversity Cabinet and currently sits on the Committee on Professionalism and the C-Change Task Force, chairing the subcommittee on underrepresented Minority Faculty in Medicine. An active member of the California Radiological Society and Los Angeles Radiological Society, she serves on both organization’s executive committees. She is also a member of the American College of Radiology, the American College of Physicians and the American Association for Women Radiologists.

Donna Lynne Skerrett, MD ’84

As a founding board member of Mount Vernon Star Scholars, a nonprofit community organization, Dr. Skerrett has been working to advance the professional futures of gifted high school students by mentoring and helping them gain admittance to selective colleges and universities. In 2004, research collaboration led to her involvement in regenerative medicine and her subsequent role as a founding contributor to Mesoblast. In her post as Chief Medical Officer, she provides strategic insight and direction to the development of cell-based therapies for tissue repair, and the modulation of pathological immune responses. In addition to her role with Mesoblast, Dr. Skerrett is an Executive Board member with the Alliance of Regenerative Medicine and until recently (June 2016) chaired the New York State Department of Health Council of Blood and Transfusion Services. Dr. Skerrett is a member of the Board of Visitors for the Lewis Katz School of Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors of Fox Chase Cancer Center.


The Honored Professor Award

For Katz School Faculty who exemplify the knowledge and values that Temple strives to instill

David J. Karras, MD

Widely revered for his teaching excellence, professor David J. Karras, MD, has devoted his career to the specialty of emergency medicine, training emergency medicine residents, and to undergraduate medical education. Dr. Karras currently serves as Associate Dean for pre-clerkship education and associate chair of academic affairs for the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Karras has previously received the “Outstanding Educator in Emergency Medicine” award from medical students at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine in 2005, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. He received the “Excellence in Teaching” award from the Temple University Hospital emergency medicine residents in 2008. Dr. Karras is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Medical Honor Society, and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.


The Emerging Leader Award

Honoring exemplary leadership and promise in medicine

Benjamin J. Scoll, MD ’04

Dr. Scoll is a founding partner of Fore River Urology, LLC in South Portland, ME, which was established in 2013. He is a staff physician at Mercy Hospital, Southern Maine Medical Center and Intermed Ambulatory Surgery Center and a member of the American Urological Association, the European Association of Urology and the Maine Urological Association. Dr. Scoll has published papers and a textbook chapter on topics such as kidney cancer, ureteral cancer, prostate cancer and minimally invasive surgery. He has presented many research papers and videos at local and national meetings.

Dr. Scoll served on the advisory board of the South Portland Cancer Community Center from 2011 to 2015. A member of the local chapter of 100 Men Who Care, he currently volunteers at the South Portland Food Cupboard. He lives in South Portland with his family.