National University of Health Sciences Honors Fall 2020 Graduates
Despite the continued global challenges presented by COVID-19, National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) honored its fall 2020 graduates with a virtual graduation ceremony.
Remarks from NUHS President Joseph Stiefel, MS, EdD, DC, along with the presentation of 55 graduates were the focus of the event. The fall class of 2020 earned diplomas in chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, oriental medicine, massage therapy and biomedical science. Dr. Stiefel’s remarks honored graduates and remembered Dr. Robert Humphreys with a heartfelt tribute.
“Congratulations to all of you from all of us on achieving your academic goals, and special thanks to all of those who supported you on this all-important journey,” said Dr. Stiefel. “Professor Robert Humphreys was a friend, mentor and professor of clinical sciences for more than 37 years. He was a celebrated mind, and had one of the most contagious laughs of anyone I can think of. Whether teaching at a symposium or learning at one, he epitomized the lifelong learner. It is my hope that all of us here at the university–all of the alumni–can carry on his legacy as a lifelong learner.”
Valedictorians from each academic program, who typically give speeches during the ceremony, also took a moment to share a few words of gratitude and encouragement for their fellow students:
“I guess I never knew the purpose in my life until right now,” said Brandon Joda, valedictorian of the massage therapy program.”I truly feel amazing doing the work that I am doing, and I owe it to National’s wonderful program, as well as my family. Massage therapy is a service that I don’t ever see changing, even with all the technology today, because human touch is irreplaceable.” He concluded his speech by advising: “Never go for the trophy. Go for the lifestyle of it all. It’s this everyday mindset that makes a person accomplish great things.”
“The journey began a long time ago,” said Velemira Grecheva, valedictorian of the bachelor of science program. “Up until now, we have been a team working as one. We have done it all, and we have done it together. Without the support of our families and teachers, we may not have made it to this day. Let’s honor their effort, and thank them for showing us the right path to success. We have a fresh, blank page ahead of us. It’s up to us to grab our pens and write our own stories. So, let us take what we have learned, and let it guide us through our future.”
Ashley Lopez-Maldonado, valedictorian of the acupuncture program, recalled many of the dire global highlights of 2020, and expressed enthusiastic hope for the future because of what she and her classmates learned at NUHS. “We give hope. There is value and need for our medicine. I am so proud of all of us. Not only the acupuncture and AOM cohort, but my naturopathic and chiropractic classmates as well. You are changing someone’s lifeevery day, and you will continue to do so throughout your entire life. Be the health care practitioner you wish you had. I am so excited to see what amazing things we all do in this wild and humbling journey.”
Whitney Dunlop, chiropractic medicine valedictorian offered deep gratitude to all the members of her family, and encouraged gratefulness in her classmates. “Let those who have gotten you to this point know just how much their sacrifices mean to you. We have been immensely prepared to be doctors. But the work doesn’t end here. We must continue to love and treat patients with the utmost respect and concern. And we must become those doctors that finally change the way the world looks at chiropractic medicine. Love your practice. Be grateful for your patients. And be the light the world currently needs.”
Kamila Bafia, naturopathic medicine valedictorian acknowledged the difficult year behind the graduates, and urged her classmates to take charge of their experiences and memories. “Whether we have an in-person ceremony or a virtual ceremony, we should be so incredibly proud of ourselves for this huge accomplishment. What kind of experiences will you create for yourself? What kind of memories will you make? When things do not go quite as planned in life, how you handle the roadblocks and challenges determines the experiences that you will have and the memories you will make. Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2020!
GRADUATES OF THE MASSAGE THERAPY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Jean F. Mueller
Klaudia K. Rusin
Charles Stewart, Jr.
GRADUATES OF THE ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE IN MASSAGE THERAPY PROGRAM
GRADUATES OF THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES PROGRAM
GRADUATES OF THE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ACUPUNCTURE PROGRAM
Sarah Ann Ghekierevu
Christopher M. Hartmanu
Taylor R. Tesar
GRADUATES OF THE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ORIENTAL MEDICINE PROGRAM
GRADUATES OF THE CHIROPRACTIC MEDICINE PROGRAM
Allison Nathan Ailor
Thomas J. Ambrose
Viktoria Lubomirova Andonova
Thomas A. Kinney
Thomas Ermscher Marciano
Shane G. Martin
Dana Demenico Muligano
Cody L. Noyes
Addison A. Ozakyol
Paul Daniel Shirk
GRADUATES OF THE NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE PROGRAM
Kamila Monika Bafia
Aquilla Anita Braxton
Princess L. Burnett
Jasmine Renee Morris
James C. Morton, Jr.
Crystal Lynn Sciarini
Mari Rosa Seda Sánchez