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National University celebrates new graduates and longtime faculty member Dr. Elder during commencement ceremony

by Apr 24, 2023

Home » Campus Happenings » National University celebrates new graduates and longtime faculty member Dr. Elder during commencement ceremony

A commencement ceremony held Friday recognized the accomplishments of the graduates of the chiropractic, naturopathic, acupuncture and biomedical science programs.  

Terry Elder, DC, who holds the distinction of being one of National University of Health Sciences’ longest serving basic and clinical sciences instructors, served as commencement speaker. After 31 years with the university, he retires from NUHS this month.  

During his speech, Dr. Elder collectively described the instructors he’s worked with over the years as icons, or representative symbols worthy of veneration. 

“These instructors would do anything for the university or the individual students they were responsible for teaching. Several icons I would call personal friends and would not have survived 31 years without their friendship. These were also the ones you probably went to for help when you needed clarification, clinical advice or maybe just some emotional support,” he said. 

He recalled that while today is the end of graduates’ tenth trimester, it’s the end of his 110th trimester.  

Terry Elder, DC, who holds the distinction of being one of National University of Health Sciences’ longest serving basic and clinical sciences instructors, gives his commencement speech to graduates.

“I strive to learn more every trimester and every year. As future doctors and health care providers, you should also never stop learning or listening to your patients.” 

He also encouraged students to stand out. 

“Graduates, don’t ever be happy with average but stand out and make some noise in your profession and in your community,” he said. 

The valedictorians of each class also gave speeches during the ceremony, 

Valedictorian of the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences program, Josephine Paula Jones, reflected on the hard work, resilience, determination and passion that got graduates to their commencement ceremony. 

Valedictorian of the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences program, Josephine Paula Jones, provides her valedictorian address.

“Each of us has had our own special memories here at NUHS, our second home,” she said. “I will never forget the warm and encouraging words faculty as well as classmates conveyed to me. We need genuine, positive doctors and biomedical field specialists like you to continue to uplift and inspire people and prospective students.” 

In her address, Valedictorian of the Master of Science in Acupuncture program, Alphecca May T. Octava, expressed gratitude to the most important people in her life, including her family, classmates, faculty and the university as a whole. 

“Gratitude is so much more than saying thank you, gratitude changes your perspective of your world,” she said. 

In his closing remarks, NUHS President Joseph Stiefel, MS, EdD, DC, reflected back on the speeches given by valedictorians and Dr. Elder regarding transformation and being iconic. 

“You will undoubtedly forget what I say here today but you will undoubtedly also see a fantastic moving iconic picture in your future,” he said.  

Doctor of Chiropractic 

Dalila Asad 

Jordan Nycolette Darrough-Spranger  

Darrian Raymond’ Davis 

Taylor B. Hershey  

Sari Rachel Katz 

Priscilla Kuazko-Pack 

Amelia Ann Kurkowski 

Sophia Marie Langheier 

Ellie A. MacGregor 

Eric Mai 

Olivia Muzones 

Alexandria Pete 

Theresa Kieu Pham  

Kennedi Chaise Pierce 

Noelle Rennie 

Fawzi Mohamed Turkmani 

Ryan Robert VanBommel

Master of Science in Acupuncture 

Whitney Leigh Grier 

Amanda Myers 

Alphecca May T. Octava 

Bryancis Perdomo

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine 

Priyanka Borkar 

Chezalyn Grant 

Thomas Joseph Imbrogno Jr. 

Rishard Angelos Lekkas 

Amelia Ann Kurkowski (Spring ‘21) 

Elizabeth Clarice Malouf 

Shay-Ann Melaine Scott-Johnson  

Nikol Zdravkova 

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science 

Ron Ford Jr. 

Josephine Paula Jones 

Kathryn Nichole Pagan Roman 

Patrick Pak 

Kaley Walsh 

Kaleb Woodring 

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