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West Campus Fall 2012 Class Graduates 32 New Doctors

12/7/2012 (Archived)

West Campus graduation 11/12Photo gallery 

Thirty-two graduates received their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degrees at Palmer College of Chiropractic’s West Campus Fall Quarter 2012 commencement on Nov. 30 in the theater of the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Kayleigh Knudson (San Diego, Calif.) and Stephanie Johnson (Goleta, Calif.) graduated as class valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, with Magna Cum Laude (3.70-3.89) honors. 

Fall Quarter graduates with Cum Laude (3.50-3.69) academic honors included: Abbey Denaro (North Reading, Mass.), Rashad Khan (Live Oak, Calif.), Joshua Kinney (Westwood, Calif.), Laurel Stenger (Edmonton, Alberta, Can.), and Megan Thoma (Rochester Hills, Mich.).

West Campus Fall Quarter 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.

Elizabeth Wisniewski (Ada, Mich.) received the Virgil V. Strang Philosophy Award, which is selected by a faculty panel, and 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.”

Marc Grow (Poway, Calif.) 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.” 

Rhiannon Dickison (Redding, Calif.) 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.

Stephanie Coleman (Lake Tapps, Wash.), Kayleigh Knudson, Michael Smith (Crown Point, Ind.), and Lisa Viapiano (Buffalo, NY) received special awards in recognition of their service as executive officers of the West Campus Sports Council.

Marc Grow (past president), Stephanie Johnson, Kayleigh Knudson, Michael Smith, and Megan Thoma earned special awards for serving as members of the West Campus Guides, a volunteer group of students who conduct campus tours for prospective students and assist at major College events.

Rhiannon Dickison and Megan Thoma received special awards in recognition of their service as executive officers of the West Campus Associated Student Government.

Joining in the diploma presentation to Fall 2012 graduate Kimberly Kerch (Phoenix, Ariz.) was her uncle, Dr. Wayne Kerch; Joshua Kinney (Westwood, Calif.) had his uncle, Dr. Scott Kinney, join in the presentation of his diploma.

West Campus emeritus faculty member Dr. Gary de Wet (Palmer Davenport, ’66) read the names of the graduates, and Dr. Richard DeSarbo (Palmer Davenport, ’64) turned the hoods. 

The Fall Quarter commencement marked the final graduation as an active member of the West faculty for Dr. DeSarbo, a member of the West Campus faculty for nearly 30 years who has turned the hoods at virtually every West commencement since the College moved to the San Jose-based campus in 1993, as Dr. DeSarbo announced his retirement at the beginning of the quarter.

Dr. William Morgan, a 1985 West Campus alumnus who currently serves as the chiropractor to the United States Capitol, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House, presented the commencement address. Since 1998, Dr. Morgan, a member of the Palmer College Board of Trustees and a Fellow in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic, has also provided chiropractic care at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., the largest military medical center in the world.

A pioneer in hospital-based chiropractic, Dr. Morgan is credentialed in five hospitals, and he developed a rounds-program at Walter Reed that has enabled interns from all three Palmer College campuses – including a member of the Fall Quarter graduating class, Stephanie Johnson -- to gain an incredible learning experience, observing and interacting with some of the premier health care specialists in the world.