Archive for tag: faculty


2012-01-17_xmascardWell, guys, it's been fun but this will be my LAST trimester writing to you about my experiences. I can't believe how much time has flown by. Sometimes I felt it didn't go fast enough but now I realize as I am reaching the end, that it truly flies! I hope you all had a happy holiday season with your loved ones wherever you are in the world! :) 

Everyone else got a three-week break from school, however being in 9th trimester during the winter left us with a shorter break but still good enough! I spent a lot of time watching movies, playing board games, playing and singing music, and most importantly spending time with my loved ones. We got to spend a long weekend in Michigan with my in-laws and it was amazing. Being in the outdoors, breathing in fresh country air, and waking up to a giant Christmas tree lifted our spirits enough to come back and tackle reality.

When I left you last, I was going into what we call "finals" week. It was the last finals week I will EVER have to experience and that idea alone is an accomplishment considering this is my 14th trimester at NUHS. I am all "finaled" out! :) The hardest part of our finals week was not the exams since I actually only had ONE, but was saying goodbye to some amazing friends and colleagues.

Julie Martin

Dr. Julie Martin (our other ND clinician) has left to pursue her passion of practicing and chasing that dream! She has truly been the positive light in clinic for all of us with her warm smiles, big hugs and listening ear. Tears were definitely shed when she said her final goodbyes on graduation day. It was bittersweet for all of us because we were so happy for her new journey in life but so sad that she was no longer going to be with us every day in clinic.

Dr. Julie Martin and I at commencement.

Goodbye Party

The same day (graduation), we all had to say goodbye to our friends/colleagues that we've grown so close to. We've all grown so close together in different ways, built lifelong relationships and enjoyed never-ending support for all thehard times. I definitely learned something from each and every one of them and saying goodbye was also very bittersweet.

A final goodbye party minus a couple of the 10th trimester interns.

Although I am very anxious for April 19 (my graduation date) to come, the part that makes me most sad is saying goodbye to all my colleagues that have turned into amazing friends. The thought of us all going to different parts of the world and pursuing our dreams is amazing but also again, bittersweet.

One of my struggles throughout 8th and 9th tri was forgetting to rejoice in all the awesomeness of life that is within arms reach instead of focusing on all the negativity that I encountered.

So as a part of my new year's resolution I started a blog challenge: 1 blog a day for 2012. My website is:, which just goes through stories to uplift myself (and you)--and healthy recipes too!

Well, now back to reality. The trimester is going to end with a big bang and I'm excited to share it with all of you!

The Gathering

"Healing--remembering who we were made to be despite all of our life tragedies/trials, and allowing ourselves to feel unconditional love, which consists of compassion, living without fear, forgiveness, and a deep experience of peace that leaves you with joy and stability." Dr. Anthony Godfrey. 

NUHS and SCNM naturopathic students at "The Gathering"

Opening night of "The Gathering" at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was amazing as Dr. Godfrey eloquently discussed his interpretation of the "vis," the CORE of naturopathic medicine. It almost seemed as if Dr. Godfrey was speaking directly to my heart as he made his address during the opening of the conference.

Sidney and I with Dr. Godfrey.

"The Gathering" is an annual event hosted at different naturopathic schools. It was originally created as an event FOR the students. "Elders", experienced and successful NDs from across the country/world, assemble to provide inspiration, wisdom, and hope. The weekend was definitely packed with tons of sessions where the elders had ample opportunity to penetrate into the hearts/minds of everyone around them.

Dr. Paul Epstein and I.

Dr. Paul Epstein is a very well known ND who studies the connection between the mind and body. He also happens to be the classmate and very good friend of our amazing clinician, Dr. Julie Martin! Dr. Epstein was able expand upon Dr. Godfrey's opening message. It made me realize how powerful and strong our minds, past, stresses, etc., have on our health--short- and long-term.

Throughout all the hustle and bustle of getting through classes and studying for board exams, it is hard to focus on WHY we chose this profession in the first place. Anyone and everyone who chose the ND route but can only think with their mind and not their heart will end up failing in practice. "The Gathering" was a place of rejuvenation and revival for me, and I know that is exactly what it was for my colleagues who are also in clinic. Through all the botanicals, homeopathy, diet changes, etc. that we recommend to our patients, we lose sight of the root and core of our medicine which is the vis--the healing power of nature!

Dr. Louise Edwards and I.

On our campus, Dr. Louise Edwards is our Dr. Godfrey and Dr. Epstein. She has been a beaming light and continues to carry the torch for what defines us and green allopaths. She is such an amazing person that has done so much for our new program; and after "The Gathering," I have learned to really appreciate her more! When you start the program, make sure to soak in as much goodness from her as you can just like I have. She will be a constant reminder for you of the physician you SHOULD be when you become a naturopath.

Overall, I had the most unforgettable, inspiring, and life-changing experience and it was worth the 9-1/2 hour drive, getting through Toronto traffic, and the lack of sleep! :)

Blissor: "The Gathering." Thank you for changing my life!

Another Fallen

This is a very hard blog for me to write. I sit here in awe of the loss I feel in my heart. My heart dropped when I opened the email from Dr. Strehl's wife informing us of his passing after a long battle with cancer.

2011-10-25_strehlHow ironic that the last week of his life was NUHS' "Frank Strehl Appreciation Week." It almost seemed too appropriate that he was able to SEE, WITNESS and FEEL the love we had for him and the IMPACT he has had, not only in our small NUHS community, but also in our profession. I did not know that my video message to him during his appreciation week would be the last words I spoke to him. My husband (who also had been previously been taught by Dr. Strehl) and I both spent time praying for him, his family, and that he would pull through...and after reading the email that he lost his battle with his family by his side, we sat in silence. 

Dr. Strehl was a pioneer for alternative health for our profession. Not only did I have the opportunity (along with many other students) to work by his side in Washington D.C. for the National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC) lobbying for chiropractic rights, but I also had the pleasure of sitting in his class as he inspired so many students to go against the grain.

Dr. Strehl had a practice that focused primarily on women's health. He was not the typical chiropractor that focused on physical medicine. He actually rarely adjusted patients in his practice, but provided women with a safer and natural alternative to anything under the "women's health" umbrella. He was a true PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN. He wasn't trying to be the ONE-STOP shop that a lot of chiropractors are trying to achieve. He knew that he could be the BEST by specializing and leaving the physical medicine side of chiropractic to the people that really enjoyed it.

He formulated his own products that his patients used. He dedicated all his energy into being an extraordinary example of what a physician should be. He maintained a full-time practice but at the same time, took time out of his schedule to come and give NUHS students a little inspiration. He also was the Illinois Delegate for the American Chiropractic Association and truly cared about helping progress our profession. Chiropractors like him make me feel PROUD to own the same title. His drive, passion and determination to be the best went against the traditional stereotype of a chiropractor and he dedicated his life to the REAL issues of our profession in D.C.

Dr. Strehl is one of the reasons I began my naturopathic journey. He was a DABCI (chiropractic internist), and he always told me that if I wanted to do women's health in the future, I needed to suck it up and go back to school (his exact words!). So that's when I truly took ownership of my naturopathic journey and since that conversation with him, I have always wanted to specialize in women's health. He was an incredible man. (I was also saddened to learn that a close friend of Dr. Strehl's, Dr. Kessinger, who was a DC and an ND and taught in the DABCI program with him, also lost his battle to cancer this week as well.

Our profession has a hole right now with him gone. I only hope that we can continue the legacy and foundation that he has spent his life building. With this being the third death NUHS has had to experience recently, there is a huge void on campus, so I ask that you keep us in your thoughts.

I've been at NUHS for almost 5 years and have never had to experience such loss as we have experienced in the past two months. Life is so short. I find myself not taking advantage of everything God has blessed me with and this is a wake-up call for me. We cannot be small minions in our profession and depend on the shoulder of the giants (Dr. Strehl & Dr. Kessinger) to pave the entire path for us. We need to take the torch and run with it… hoping that we will make them smile down on us.

Dr. Strehl, you were such a pioneer for what is RIGHT in our profession and in the world. Your work is not finished and I hope we can make you proud by carrying your legacy forth. Thank you for inspiring Ryan and I both to truly love the work we do...despite all the hardships that come along with it. We miss you...

Memories Made

 What a whirlwind of emotions this past week at National. Out of all the years I've been here (which is a lot!), I don't think our community here has ever had to experience such a hard time emotionally.

As you know, we lost Zandi suddenly and now recently lost a very loved faculty member, Dr. Shellee Handley, as a result of injuries following a motorcycle accident. She was such a positive person and always had a smile on her face...just like Zandi. It was a shock to our community here, especially after enduring such a hard time the previous week. It was touching to attend Dr. Handley's memorial service at NUHS and to see all the love that poured out from faculty, staff, and students. She will be sorely missed and her positive energy will forever resonate through campus.

Dr. Shellee Handley

One of the biggest benefits of attending National is my instant support system. I get to be near my friends and family, which reminds me of how amazing my life is through all the rough patches I've experienced. On Saturday, my girlfriends got together to celebrate one of my childhood friend's birthday. We surprised her with a pottery day! We went to this place called "Glazed Expressions" in Lincoln Park (Chicago) and painted pottery. We brought tons of healthy and yummy food and had time to spend together. We laughed and reminisced about everything! Martha recently accepted a job offer to work for University of Akron in Ohio and will be moving in two weeks! So it was really nice to spend time with her before she moves on to her "grown up" job.

Making pottery with friends at Glazed Expressions in Chicago.

My brother, Toby, who lives in California is actually in town visiting for two weeks and we celebrated his birthday on Sunday! All my colleagues at school always say, " are ALWAYS busy with your family every weekend!" There are always "get-togethers" with people from school but I have been turning them down lately because of all my busy family events! But I love it!


The recent campus deaths have really kicked my butt into gear. I stopped complaining about everything I complained about (well, I am trying) and am trying to focus on the great and amazing things in life. The sermon at my church on Sunday was about "Life after Death," which is so crazy how appropriate it was for me during this time. The pastor emphasized this question, "What legacy are you going to leave?" And that has truly resonated through my life the past two weeks. It's unfortunate that death has to happen for me to realize the life I am living and how amazing it is...but at least death is not in vain.


So all in all, my rough week ended with more memories made with my loving family and friends. I am on a journey to make sure I leave a legacy! Have a blessed week everyone and tell someone you love them today! :)

Blissor: Well if you can't tell by the blog, my FAMILY and FRIENDS! :)

Dirty and Rustic

Top -friends -camping

What an amazing week it has been! I feel rejuvenated and having lots of ME time has helped. A couple friends from school and I (with our significant others) went camping in Northern Michigan for three days and two nights. It was such a fun and relaxing experience minus the bugs (which were not that bad actually). We spent the nights around the campfire making yummy food like steaks, vegetables, hot dogs, etc., and s'mores of course! We even made small apple pies in these cast iron skillets!  

We spent the day canoeing on Pine River (a level one/two river) that was higher and faster because of the 30-minute storm we had. Ryan and I finished the six-hour trip in five! We had fun but also had a chance to relax together after all the obstacles we have overcome as a couple lately. I can't believe we are close to our one-year marriage mark!  We canoed without tipping over once. We definitely came close but made it out of all the trees and rocks we hit. 

Miravone _Ryan -komen

I always talk about how important it is to still have a life in school, and I cannot emphasize it enough. Not only is there the beautiful (and busy) city of Chicago to enjoy, but also all the states around Illinois have beautiful places to visit, like Michigan! Pine River has campgrounds in the entire area and it is only about four and one-half or five hours away from Chicago. It sounds like a long drive but it is so worth it. Getting away from the busy city/suburbs of Chicago is very therapeutic. Do it!  (In the picture above, note the caution tape on my head, given us "rookies" by the group we were with. I guess Pine River is a pretty big deal!)  

Clinic is going well. I've been keeping busy with a couple new patients but doing outreach marketing is still very challenging. I've been handing out my business cards and speaking with different people that I know, but so far, I have not been lucky to get any new patients. It's very frustrating and discouraging at times, but having this glimpse into what private practice will be like is refreshing. 

I do not want to be that graduate that looks back and wishes that I gained more knowledge of the business and marketing aspect of clinic success. I am trying to soak up all the knowledge of all the clinicians around me. I am so fortunate to be on Dr. Solecki's shift because he has been so successful in his private practice and has learned the dos and don'ts and is willing to share all! The clinician you get for main clinic is VERY important! Choose wisely!