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Thirty-eight graduates received their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degrees at Palmer College of Chiropractic’s West Campus Fall Quarter 2011 commencement on Dec. 2 in the theater of the Santa Clara Convention Center.
Meghan Austin-Dowling (Santa Cruz, Calif.) graduated as the class valedictorian, with Summa Cum Laude (3.90-4.00) honors. Meghan also received a President’s Scholar award, for earning Dean’s List honors (GPA of at least 3.5) for each of the 13-quarter West Campus curriculum.
Meghan’s graduation marked the 100-year anniversary of her great-great grandparents, Drs. Jay and Mabel Austin, graduating from Palmer Davenport in 1911. Meghan’s father, Dr. Tom Austin, and her grandfather, Dr. Douglas Austin, joined in the presentation of Meghan’s diploma.
Joshua Bruce (Los Gatos, Calif.) graduated as class salutatorian with Magna Cum Laude honors (3.70-3.89). Other Magna graduates included Chris Baker (Eerie, Penn.), Nicole O’Dell (Oxnard, Calif.), Darci Robertson (Santa Cruz, Calif.), and Elizabeth Volk (Soquel, Calif.).
Cum Laude (3.5-3.69) graduates included Jachin Black (Rockland, Maine), Stephanie Desmarais (Rhode Island), Cristina Diaz (San Jose, Calif.), Bryan Ignacio (Pleasanton, Calif.), Aaron Ramos (Sunnyside, Wash.), Amanda Stevens (Rothesay, N.B., Canada), and Benjamin Stevens (Fredericton, N.B., Canada).
All of the honors graduates were also recognized for their selection as members to Palmer’s West Campus chapter of the Pi Tau Delta International Chiropractic Honor Society, the oldest and most distinguished honor society in the chiropractic profession.
Karo Isajan (Aurora, Colo.) earned the Virgil V. Strang Philosophy Award. Selected by a faculty panel, the Virgil V. Strang Philosophy Award recognizes a deserving graduate for his or her “distinctive accomplishment and contributions to the philosophical principles of chiropractic as a student at Palmer College’s West Campus.”
Allison Schroeder-Mankey received the Clinical Excellence Award, which is presented to the graduate who has uniquely distinguished him- or herself during the internship portion of their educational experience at Palmer’s West Campus, and who has performed the tasks of the student doctor with exceptional proficiency in the following categories: patient diagnosis; chiropractic technique; radiography; and case management.
Allison received her diploma from her father, Dr. Tom Schroeder. The Schroeder family includes 72 chiropractors who are part of the immediate or extended family; Allison graduates as number 73.
Joshua Bruce also received the Student Fellow Award, which is selected by members of the graduating class, and is presented to the individual whom the class feels has uniquely distinguished him or herself by their “unselfish service and dedication to the betterment of the Palmer West experience.”
Fall Quarter graduates who received awards for serving as executive officers of the Associated Student Government included: Jachin Black (Rockland, Maine), second vice president/social director; Joshua Bruce, treasurer; Raheel Mann (San Francisco, Calif.), community service director; Darci Robertson, president; Amanda Stevens (Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada), secretary; and Quinn Will, vice president.
Members of the Fall ’11 graduating class who received special awards for serving as executive officers of the West Campus Sports Council included: Michael Braccio (Camano Island, Wash.) on-campus events coordinator; Joshua Bruce, vice president; Darci Robertson, project manager; Benjamin Stevens (Fredericton, N.B., Canada), president; and Amanda Stevens, secretary/treasurer.
Members of the Fall Quarter class who were recognized for serving as West Campus Guides included Sondra Jean Catania (Las Vegas, Nev.), Danielle Fratellone (Poconos, Penn.), Graham Mankey (Paso Robles, Calif.), Darci Robertson (Santa Cruz, Calif.), and Quinn Will (Iron Mountain, Mich.). The Campus Guides are a student volunteer organization that conducts campus tours and assists at major College events.
Dr. Richard Brown, West Campus professor, presented the invocation. Dr. Kimberlee Davis, West Campus associate professor, read the names of the graduates, and Dr. Richard DeSarbo, associate professor, turned the hoods.
Dr. Frank Sovinsky presented the commencement address. Dr Sovinsky is the CEO of DC Mentors, a leadership training and practice management company, who is the co-author of “The E-Myth Chiropractor,” and author of the recently published, “Life: The Manual,” which helps provide its readers with a less-complicated path to achieve meaning and balance in life. Dr. Sovinsky serves an adviser to the Palmer Center for Business Development, and this year he was named a Fellow in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic.