Arlene Gillis

The Institute is the brainchild of our founder, Arlene Gillis, CP, LPO, M.Ed. Ms. Gillis is a noteworthy O&P professional with over 27 years of experience, including 10 years as a practitioner, followed by 17 years as an educator and O&P Program Director at St. Petersburg College, Florida State University and Florida International University.  Ms. Gillis has served on numerous Orthotic and Prosthetic boards, and committees, as well as National Commission for Orthotics and Prosthetic of Education, Chair.

Collectively, these experiences led Ms. Gillis to identify two significant voids in the O&P education, profession, and more particularly, in the treatment of members of the armed services who have lost limbs. Specifically, Ms. Gillis observed that O&P veterans benefit significantly from a holistic approach to the treatment of their injuries, but noted that the availability of such holistic care is limited; and Ms. Gillis recognized that a collaborative approach between researchers, educators and practitioners is necessary for the advancement of the treatment of O&P patients, the training and the education of O&P practitioners, and research and development in the O&P profession.

Mrs. Gillis first became interested in the field of rehabilitation when she was just 12 years old after her mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and subsequently passed away. Determined to help other families who are challenged with any kind of physical impairment, Ms. Gillis eventually pursued a career in Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy. It was during this time that she discovered the field of Orthotics and Prosthetics, and it has remained her life-long passion to help educate others about the profession and develop competent O & P practitioners. Gillis leads an inovative team of O&P educators. They hope to have impact on patients, the profession and our students lives.

Read more

Dale Petersen

Born in Dunedin, Florida in 1940, Dale grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, where his father owned a business, The Harper Balanced Shoe Company, that made and fitted custom shoes, arch supports, molded leather lower limb orthotic devices and partial foot prostheses. When he was 11 years old, he began working with his father in his shop. By the time he graduated high school, Dale had gained the skills of fabricating custom shoes, arch supports, and making molded leather devices custom to cast.

Dale entered the U.S. Army in 1959. Following his release from active duty in 1962, Dale used his VA educational benefits to enter an apprenticeship in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Building on the skills gained at a young age, he completed 6 years of O&P training and subsequently worked at O&P facilities in Florida, Washington and Oregon.

In 1979 Petersen joined Michael Danforth in Orlando, Florida and partnered with him in establishing DOBI Symplex, Inc., an orthotic and prosthetic central fabrication business. As managing partner, Petersen, together with Mike Danforth, quickly developed the company into an industry leading orthotic and prosthetic custom fabrication business.

In 1988, after having sold his interest in DOBI Symplex, Dale purchased several orthotic and prosthetic clinical facilities in Florida, and established OrthoKraft Laboratories, Inc. to provide fabrication services to these facilities. He operated these business until retirement in 2008.

After his retirement, Arlene Gillis encouraged Petersen to join St. Petersburg College’s new Orthotics & Prosthetics batchelor’s degree program as Laboratory Manager. Dale joined Arlene at SPC in 2008 and remained there until the program closed in 2017. After his second retirement, Dale joined Arlene as she founded the International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics, and remains on staff as Lab Manager.

Read more

Cyndy Donnelly

Cyndy has 15  years of experience as an Executive Administrative Assistant with six years of experience in Orthotics and Prosthetics at St. Petersburg College.  With a passion to help others, she has a professional proactive approach to successfully assist Administration, Faculty, and Students to achieve success.  Cyndy thrives in a diverse work environment, enjoy wearing multiple hats, and has the energy to learn and strive for innovation in processes and procedures.


Cyndy’s certificates and accolades include her Business Administration Certificate, Certificate of Distinction I and II, Employee of the year, and Team Player awards.


Outside of work Cyndy enjoys playing tennis, gardening, and best of all spending time with my grandchildren and family.

Read more

Dr Alicia M. Orbea

Dr Alicia M. Orbea joined IIOP as Dean of Students and Faculty member in November 2019.  She is a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine with Certification in Acupuncture. Dr O received her Baccalaureate degree in Biology from St Petersburg College (SPC). While obtaining her degree she owned and managed a Massage Therapy Clinic in Largo, FL. While in school she was also employed as an Instructor of Anatomy, Pathology and Physiology at Cortiva Institute and working as a Supplemental Instructor and Learning Support Specialist at SPC. During Dr Orbea’s Chiropractic Internship she worked at Whole Health Center in Pinellas Park as well as The Veteran’s Acupuncture Clinic. She always knew she wanted to get back into Academia and was rehired as a Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at SPC. After leaving SPC she joined the team at International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics. Dr O is looking forward to a long and fulfilling career in the field of higher education at IIOP. Dr. O teachers the foundational courses in the first semester with an emphasis on interdisciplinary patient care.

Read more

Brad Martin CPO, LPO

Brad Martin was born and raised in South Florida and attended Palm Beach State University and the University of Central Florida before graduating from SPC in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics.  During his Orthotic Residency he focused on pediatrics and trauma.  During his Prosthetic Residency he was exposed to a wide variety of patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Brad is an ABC Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist and is licensed in the State of Florida.  He is a seasoned practitioner who has worked in three states and brings a wide range of experience and knowledge.  He looks forward to advancing the field of Orthotics and Prosthetics by sharing this experience with the future generations of clinicians.  When not at work he enjoys time with his family and exploring with his dog Remy.

Read more

Bobby Roe

Bobby Roe is ABC certified and licensed by the state of Florida in Prosthetics and Pedorthics. He has 25 years experience in the O&P profession working as a clinician in a corporate and private clinical setting as well as an instructor for the O&P Technology AS Program at St. Petersburg College.Bobby earned his AS degree in Prosthetics in 1993 from Shelby State Community College in Memphis, TN  and his BA from the University of Memphis in Foreign Language in 1995. After graduation, Bobby moved to Clearwater, FL and  completed his prosthetic residency from NovaCare Sabolich in Tampa, FL in 1997. He completed the Pedorthic program offered by Oklahoma State University in Tampa, FL in 2004.Bobby enjoys traveling and working on home improvement projects with his wife, Ami.

Read more

Madelyn Walsh, CO

Madelyn is a Certified/Licensed Orthotist and Board Eligible Prosthetist with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from the University of Florida. After completing her undergraduate studies, she went on to receive her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering specializing in Orthotics and Prosthetics from Florida International University. In her free time, Madelyn enjoys a good margarita, exercising, good food, boating and fishing, or relaxing at the beach with her friends and family.

Read more

Scott Auerbach, CPO, LPO

Scott Auerbach is a licensed and certified Prosthetist and Orthotist with over 20 years in the O&P profession. Scott completed his bachelor’s degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics at St. Petersburg College in 2010. Following graduation, he trained with Gottinger Orthopaditecnik GmbH in Munich, Germany before returning to the US to complete his residency at Hanger Clinic Nashville in 2013. Since then, he has experience in both clinic management & device fabrication bringing an outside perspective as a faculty member.  When he is not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, cooking, gardening and relaxing at the beach.

Read more

Tom Chmielewski, CPO, LPO

Tom Chmielewski was born in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Northwestern University’s Orthotics and Prosthetics program before making the move to Florida. He then worked for many years at Tampa General Hospital’s Orthotics department, gaining lots of experience in the orthotic management of patients in the rehab and trauma departments.

Tom later joined the faculty at St. Petersburg College’s Orthotics and Prosthetics program, teaching primarily the orthotic courses and their associated labs. A few of IIOP’s faculty had Mr. C as their professor when they attended school! Tom semi-retired when the program ended at SPC but was happy to join IIOP as full-time faculty for the spring semester, and adjunct for summer and fall terms for several of the orthotic courses. Tom likes to use humor to help his students connect with and remember the material and his teaching style never fails to keep his students engaged.

When he is not helping out at the school, Tom likes to keep active at the gym, spend time with his friends, and travel the world as much as possible.

Read more