Dr. Mel Muchnik
By Abigail Gonsalves, OD
Get inspired and learn a little bit more about your fellow VOSH-Illinois volunteers.
This month we are talking to Dr. Mel Muchnik
Dr. Mel Muchnik received his B.S. in psychology and M.A. in Radio and Television at the University of Maryland. He served for four years as an officer in the U.S. Navy on board destroyers in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Red Sea. He then joined the faculty of the University of Denver where he later received his Ph.D. in Communications and Media.
Dr. Muchnik, who has a PhD in communications, is Professor Emeritus and a founding faculty member and administrator for Governors State University in Illinois. Dr. Muchnik is also Chair Emeritus of the National University Technology Network.
For the last 11years, Mel and his wife Janet have been involved with VOSH, or Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, one of the largest volunteer eye care organizations in the world with its 88 chapters globally. Mel has been on 14 VOSH missions, or clinics, including Bolivia four times, Cameroon in west Africa, Grenada, Guatemala, San Juan, New Orleans, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.) As a lay volunteer, he has seen more than 25,000 patients in these clinics. From 2012-2019, he served on the VOSH/International Board of Directors chairing its communications team and has produced videos for VOSH now in broad distribution.
Mel’s voice has been heard at numerous running events including as the lead finish line announcer at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, one of the world marathons majors. He is also the voice of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra where he served as President of the Board and was appointed Life Director in 2016. He also has been heard previously as a journalist on National Public Radio and the Voice of America.
“How does one describe a first VOSH mission experience? Anticipation, inspiration, selflessness, tears, laughter, fatigue, renewal, extraordinary are only a beginning.“