Keep in touch with your fellow graduates and alma-mater by submitting a UWS alumni snapshot.
Whether you’re a recent graduate or a long-time graduate, we want to hear from you!
- Send us an update: we want to hear about a new job, promotion, accomplishments, wedding, birth, etc.
- Still get together with your fellow UWS alumni? Tell us about it.
- Share your favorite UWS memories!
In addition to your updates, we want to see your photos. Send us a photo of yourself, your family, pictures of you and your fellow graduates from the past or present, etc.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Submit Your Update
William Leff, DC | 1984
After 36 years of practice, I’m amazed I still enjoy helping people so much. I’ve cut down to a very full Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule with some paperwork on the off days.
What I’m glad to see is that the profession is still growing and professional. We get more respect every day and the amount of good we do by helping people avoid expensive and risky back surgeries, means that every day is a win for society.
The other life changing event is that I had two children late in life. I’m 64 with a one year old, and a three year old daughter to keep me busy and working.
Rick LaMarche, DC Elaine LaMarche, DC | 1985
Greetings old friends! After 30 years of practicing in Woodinville, WA, we sold the practice.
Rick does a volunteer practice once weekly at Lahai Health in Seattle, and Elaine is loving free time to do art. We moved to Pacific Beach, WA in September 2021, living on a bluff overlooking the beach and the blue Pacific.
Shortly after the move, Rick was diagnosed with aggressive bladder cancer, resulting in weekly 300-mile round trips to Seattle for treatment. Prognosis is good, but immunotherapy infusions will continue for another year. Getting stronger and feeling better every day. Life is good!
Harvey Schwartz, DC | 1979
I received my DC degree at Western States in 1979, and practiced for twenty-five years in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Bellingham, WA. In 2003, my career was highlighted with a cover story in “Chiropractic Economics.” My career was rewarding in many ways and of course intense. As we all know that intensity included learning to be a healer, managing patients and staff, and learning to have clear intentions with everyone.
I retired from practice in 2004. Since then, I’ve been an avid gardener, been in an improv group, taken twenty-three creative writing classes at Western Washington University with mostly twenty-year-olds classmates, and created a website with a collection of my writings.
Colleen and I have been married 46 years. My son Devan produces shows on NPR, my son Jerome is a TV writer as is his wife Shannon. They are also about to create two new shows. They have two sons five and ten.
I would be happy to discuss creative ideas for a chiropractic career with any student who would like someone with a bit of experience to brainstorm with or to ask questions. I’d also love to hear from any former compadres from chiropractic school.
Beatrice Schaer, DC | 1998
Nearly 25 years after graduation, I now live and have since (2004) in London (UK).
I stepped away from working with patients as a chiropractor, and now work as a rehabilitation specialist and strength coach.
I am also currently enrolled in the UWS sport and performance psychology program. Being back at the university, even if just online, is both enjoyable and challenging at the same time.
Westley Kuns, DC | 1998
It has been quite the run for 26 years. I took over for Dr. David MacFadden DC in 1997 in a little 650 sq/ft building, and in 2003 updated the building to 1800 sq/ft with newer amenities and have been here ever since. The practice is in Gresham, OR, the place where I grew up, my kids grew up and I still live.
I have reinvented myself a couple times. I find different facets of chiropractic fascinating. The longer I am in practice the more I am excited about more pure philosophy of chiropractic and working with patients. I have gotten to see the introduction of decompression traction, digital x-ray, and shockwave therapy, all while having the honor of the memory of shaking the hand of Parker, Sigafoose and Gold.
My hope is that UWS continues to put out high quality chiropractors that will continue to grow our ranks of strong philosophical chiropractors. I will continue to do my part for some time, but I hope when the time comes to pass the baton, the young DC’s standing there will be strong, ready and willing.
Don Bonney, DC | 1985
Greetings from Corrales, Nuevo Mexico! After 34 years of patient- centered care I have continued engaging the profession as a case reviewer offering medicolegal consulting and expert testimony across the country.
I am a commercial hot air balloon pilot and flight instructor flying for 20 years in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California. More recently, I have been a long-distance hiker and backpacker throughout the southwest hiking the Grand Canyon up to twice a year for many years.
Our family has grown with three children and five grandkids of whom we are all proud. Caryl and I recently faced the gift of cancer after I was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in November 2021. I was fortunate to be accepted at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, with a successful thoracotomy and left lower lobectomy in November 2022, after immunotherapy had provided all it could.
Some of my greatest memories (at UWS) were sitting with Dr. Appa Anderson in radiology. I also still smile remembering Dr. Paul Shervey demonstrating how to open a cranium in anatomy lab, and thereby catching his surgical glove in the whirling saw. Kudos as well to all the other wonderful physicians and educators at UWS who helped shape my career.
Caryl and I wish for each of you peace, joy and contentment. For the new graduates, I wish for you abundant success as you enter this dynamic and critical profession.
Mel Bornstein, DC | 1979
I’ve worked in Oregon and California for just under 20 years, and I Memorably and thoroughly enjoyed my years as a Western States Chiropractic College student.
Other practice highlights achieved include, living and practicing for one year in Italy and twenty-two years in Sweden, gaining Swedish/EU citizens status. I repatriated to Bend, OR, in 2011.
Alan Cook, DC | 1989
Life is good. I’m retired, as I want to be, residing in the redwoods in northern California.
The current chapter in this stage of life includes ample physical and mental activities. Physical activities include running on the beach, backpacking, growing food and carpentry. Mental activities include writing and working with chiropractic continuing education via EasyWebCE.
Robert Maier, DC | 1984
On March 18, 2003, I received a “Lifetime Appreciation Award,” from the organization Tools of Practice at their Synergy convention.
It was a surprise and honor to be recognized. Tools of Practice is one of two Massachusetts chiropractic societies. In my speech I spoke about how I found my way to WSCC, and the use of my hands to help others. I also talked about A.E. Homewood, whose words and adjusting skills inspired the class of 1984. His phrase, “when in doubt, adjust,” helped me through my first few years when I had the skills but not the experience.
Lindsey Berkson, DC | 1979
I presently work at Dr. Perlmutter’s old clinic in Naple’s Florida, lecture internationally, and I’m ready to publish my 22nd book on oxytocin and a 23rd textbook. I am an oldie but a goodie, all because of UWS.
One of my biggest accomplishments was being a distinguished hormone scholar at Tulane’s Center for Bioenvironmental Research, after writing “Hormone Deception,” and discovering I was a DES daughter, the very victim of what my breakthrough book on endocrine disruption was about. This also explained my many cancers even though I was “living” cleanly.
This past year, I was also chosen as the best speaker of the past several decades for the prestigious International College of Integrative Medicine, the Dr. David Brownstein’s group.
Katherine Garrott | 2017
I have been living my dream! I own a thriving functional nutrition practice with a handful of employees. One of them is a UWS grad, and another is a UWS student! Another is certified from a program taught by a UWS alumni. While I’ve hired other people over the years who don’t have a UWS connection (and have one on my team now who is fantastic), I’m always on the lookout for those that do because I’ve found they reliably meet the standards of excellence that our practice stands for.
I realized how valuable my education was when I attended the IFM AFMCP conference for my elective. I was in my late 20s, sitting at tables with MDs and DOs with 20 yrs of experience. They were all amazed, and even a little confused, by the information on how the systems of the body function. For me, the information was just reinforcement of what I had already learned at UWS. Much of our roundtable discussions actually consisted of me connecting the dots for them and explaining more. I was shocked, and it gave me a lot of confidence as a new nutritionist that I could help people with their dysfunctions more than their current providers.
Now, our practice has >300 clients at any given time. We help them get rid of their symptoms, reverse diseases, get off medications, optimize labs, and truly thrive. It’s so rewarding, and it wouldn’t be possible without UWS. I still often go back to the IFM Textbook, Dr Gaby’s book, and certainly my notes and powerpoint slides from many of my classes, 6 years later! Because of my practice’s success, my husband was able to quit a career he hated and work from home doing what he loves (and get healthier eating from our kitchen! Lol). Prospective students reach out to me often from finding me online, and I always make time to share why I think UWS is one of the best decisions they can make. I also love connecting with alumni both through a local meet-up I organized as well as on social media, as we share the same evidence-based, in-depth, and non-dogmatic approach to wellness. Thank you UWS!
Dr. Tyler Vallario | 2022
I started this journey in 2017, when I was still on active duty and running the Water Survival School on Parris Island for the Marines. Back then, I used what was taught to help individuals overcome their fear and anxiety when operating in a high-risk environment where keeping a cool head was absolutely paramount.
How things change! After exiting the Marines in 2018, I continued my education and applied it to every aspect of life, aiding individuals to succeed in sport, personal and professional growth. My focus now is using everything from these programs in a corporate setting. Creating and delivering organizational and leadership development course that focus on the skills that often get overlooked but are critical to performing at your best. All while still making time to mentor veterans as they exit active duty (and the occasional athlete!).
I am happily married to my wife Jenn, residing in Colorado. Living a life outside while balancing our own personal and professional development.
Amanda Armington, DC | 2006
After graduation in 2006 I remained in the Portland area, practicing both privately in Portland and Forest Grove, as well as at the UWS Campus Health Center/teaching clinic for many years. The pandemic created some interesting times to say the very least, and ultimately our family relocated to Bend, OR in 2021.
I am enjoying a thriving private practice (Armington Chiropractic in Bend, OR) and share space alongside a WSCC classmate Dr. Jason Kremer at Wellness Doctor. My focus is primarily prenatal, perinatal, and pediatrics, and I work alongside other providers in the office and around town that include functional medicine, massage therapy, pelvic floor therapy and physical medicine. Life is good in Central Oregon, where everyone plays outside all year long in all the abundant sunshine 🙂 My family has slid into the lifestyle quite nicely, and spend winter skiing at Mt. Bachelor and summer exploring rivers, lakes and concerts. (We do not miss the rain in PDX!)
My fondest memories at WSCC as a student are those of study groups with classmates, and ASB events and social gatherings like the BBQ Booksale events. As a former UWS employee, I miss working closely with interns in the clinic as well as the camaraderie of UWS faculty and staff.
Marti Wolfson | 2016
In February 2023, I was hired as the chef and coordinator of The Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen Hudson Valley Hospital, New York Presbyterian. The teaching kitchen was founded in 2014, named after the Iron Chef winner and owner of Xaviars Restaurant Group. Each month a variety of innovative programs and cooking classes are offered to the community, including our physicians in the kitchen program where I teach alongside one of our esteemed physicians.
The teaching kitchen also supports the employees by offering hands on team building classes and events that allow them to take a break, nourish themselves and connect in a community setting. Every week the kitchen brings homemade soup to the patients in our Infusion Center where they can enjoy a delicious bowl of organic soup while waiting for treatment.
Lastly, our kitchen is proud to have an organic garden right outside our doors, managed by myself and a group of dedicated volunteers. The harvest is used in our classes and programs as well as donated to CHHOP, Caring for the Hungry and Homeless of Peekskill.
I feel very fortunate to carry out my work as a culinary nutritionist for this wonderful community hospital.