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NUHS honors latest graduates at commencement ceremony

by Dec 15, 2023

Home » Campus Happenings » NUHS honors latest graduates at commencement ceremony

Ashley Burkman, ND, ‘11, a physician with Collaborative Natural Health Partners and member of NUHS’s Board of Trustees since 2015, speaks during commencement Friday.

The National University of Health Sciences community gathered at the Illinois campus Friday to celebrate the culmination of dedication, hard work, and unwavering determination of over 60 new graduates.  

Ashley Burkman, ND, ‘11, a physician with Collaborative Natural Health Partners and member of NUHS’s Board of Trustees since 2015, helped mark the occasion as commencement speaker. During her speech, she shared some memories from her time at NUHS and what graduates can expect in future practice. While there are challenges ahead, she reassured graduates that they now have the tools to face them. 

Valedictorians of various programs also provided addresses to an audience of proud friends and family, including Peter Antal Kiss, valedictorian of the Chiropractic Medicine program, Danielle Maritato, valedictorian of the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences program, Kaitlin Condon, valedictorian of the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine program and Katie Ralene Kavicky-Mels, valedictorian of the Naturopathic Medicine program. They each reflected on the challenges they have overcome, the support they received from friends, family and faculty and the overall impact the university has had on their lives.  

In her speech, Dr. Kavicky-Mels discussed the Hero’s Journey, a common story structure in mythology, comparing it to the transformation graduates have gone through during their time at National University. 

“Becoming who we truly are requires the most amount of change,” she said. 

In his closing remarks, NUHS President Joseph Stiefel, MS, EdD, DC, also discussed the transformative power of a journey.  

“Given the right opportunities and tools, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish,” he said. 

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences   

Michael Hoes   

Patrick Janicki  

Angela M Laurie  

Danielle Maritato   

Alexis Waul  

Doctor of Chiropractic   

Laith Arabi   

Manol Atanassov  

Vincent Bedami   

Christian Berendes     

Zachary Berendes   

Jared Bywater    

Nicole Colson    

Kaylee Rae Confer   

Randal Austin Cybulski    

Jonathan Denski    

Nikolas DeStephano  

Connor Edward Fagan   

Jalyn Christine Gosser    

Alexis Herrera    

Tatiana Jefferson   

Ryan J. Johnston   

Bryan Arthur Karn  

Christopher Kerio   

John Spencer Kingsley   

Peter Antal Kiss  

Alex Kixmiller  

Mac A. Kozaczuk  

Kyle Laughlin  

Samantha Molda  

Hussen Ngo  

Ryan William Pinter  

Maria Psikogios  

Matthew David Rayis   


Clementine Russell    

Alexandra Simic Hachmann  

Hannah Synon 

Giorgio Terracciano

Jesse Throw 

Patric Weber 

Zachary Wolverton

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine  

Carla LeeAnn Anderson   

Ann Marie Carpenter  

Alannah Chaney 

Amanda Chaplin  

Katie Ralene Kavicky-Mels  

Gabrielle Kim  

Kathryn Jordan Knoch   

Jason J Labedz    

Jacinda M. Lisi   

Franchesca Lucia Martinez Castillo   

Michelle Mathew  

Symone Nicole Ferguson Meriwether   

Paula Ortiz Guerrero   

Jennifer Pedigo  

Makayla Shaye Rosekrans  

Anna Tu-Anh Tran  

Master of Science in Acupuncture   

Justina Baranauskaite  

Amanda Chaplin  

Joseph DeMaria  

Ali Ibrahim Sobh 

Master of Science in Oriental Medicine   

Kaitlin Condon   

Jacinda M. Lisi  

Master of Science in Advanced Clinical Practice  

Atlanta Page Benjamin 

Charles R. Elchert  

Tony Burnett Williams   


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