Words of Encouragement for UWS Graduates

As we adjust to our new daily lives, our thoughts are with our persevering and dedicated students. Our hearts especially go out to those who would have attended in-person graduation this year. Having worked toward this goal for many years, our spring and fall graduates stand on the precipice of their professional career during the isolation and uncertainty of a global pandemic. Now more than ever, these students need the collective support of their 7,000+ strong UWS community.

Will you take a few moments today to show our 2021 graduates that you care? To provide a lift for our graduates during this emotional and disruptive time, we’ve created an avenue for alumni, staff and faculty to send words of encouragement to our spring and fall graduates. Let us show our new alumni that they are not alone.

Submit your message of encouragement

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2021 Words of Encouragement

Congratulations graduates! You’ve persevered through an incredibly difficult time and you’ve made it through to the other side. The lessons you’ve learned, the resilience you’ve cultivated and the accomplishments you’ve achieved will carry you to great places! We will miss you here at UWS and wish you the very best for your future.

Denise Dallmann

You have overcome an unprecedented global event. You have done so with poise and grace and are ready to take on whatever comes your way. Lead the way.

– Miranda Holtmann

As a 1984 WSCC graduate, I can only tell you that Chiropractic has been a fantastic journey for me and my family. There is such a great need for our services; so many people need so much help that you can go anywhere and be a success. The business side of Chiropractic needs some of your intellectual capital as well. We are more accepted than ever and we have millions of advocates in the form of satisfied patients. After 36 years in practice, I’m still happy to serve people and make a nice living while I’m doing something I love. Good luck on your days ahead.

William Martin Leff, DC

Dear 2021 Graduates, We celebrate each and every one of you for all of your hard work and dedication to the Chiropractic Profession, especially during these challenging times. You are about to enter an entirely new domain as you move from the world of academia to the world of clinical practice and this comes with new challenges which have been amplified by the pandemic we are experiencing. Stay strong in hope, trust and faith, for this too, shall pass and we believe you will come out stronger and more resilient than ever before. Stay true to yourself and remember why you decided to be a part of this profession. You will have difficulties but they are designed to mold you into the doctor you were meant to be. Stay in the highest orders of your hearts as you move through your challenges.

Richard Hebert

What an awesome accomplishment you each achieved under great challenges. I see this as a great blessing and benefit for your future success and we should be proud to now call you colleagues and fellow doctors!

Brian Tolman

Congratulations!! Even though I can imagine the disappointment, there is so much to look forward to. You will serve people you have yet to meet. You will face challenges and find solutions that will make your life meaningful. As always, know yourself! Always make sure you can look yourself in the mirror and love yourself for who you are and what you offer. People will go in all different directions. That is the way you will find exactly the way you will practice. Enjoy the process. Just remember we can make lemonade out of lemons!! COVID brought the lemons. It is you that will make the lemonade!! ENJOY THE RIDE!!

Dr. Elva Edwards

Celebrate that you are joining one of the most gratifying, satisfying, benevolent, synchronistic, miraculous professions that exist. As a doctor of chiropractic and a Functional Medicine specialist, I see miracles every day. Nothing walks in that I can’t help. A profession with a purpose. Congratulations and aloha!!

Dr. Timothy Hale Hendlin

Having been in private practice and chiropractic education in the USA, Great Britain, and now New Zealand – I can assure you that you have had the best preparation for entering the CAM healthcare profession. Your clinical reasoning, manual skills, and patient management skill are second to none. So, go with confidence out into your professional career. You are well equipped to share your knowledge and skills anywhere in the world with excellence due to your time at UWS. If you fancy having a go in abroad, shoot me an email for some tips on how to succeed overseas. Enjoy your celebrations, take some time off to rest and reflect on your accomplishments, and then launch into the next part of your journey with passion! Arohanui!

Dr. Cherye Roche

What a grand accomplishment you have undertaken! Now you will have the opportunity to touch many lives in this world. You have received an excellent education and the tools to help many. Embrace this career as many will be looking up to you, doctor.

Steven Wilson, DC

I just wanted to let all the new chiropractic graduates know how essential it is the work you are entering into…..I am the front office person for my husband’s clinic. We have been in business since Jason graduated from WSu in 1999. We did have several closures during 2020 due to patients reporting that they contracted COVID. Thankfully, because of our diligent cleaning and masking we stayed healthy. My husband is an optimist and he conveys that optimism to his patients. I think our office (particularly Jason) has served as a safe place for our patients during a year when they needed someone to talk to and receive compassionate care. As you go into your own practice, please don’t just treat the body. We all need that listening ear, that person who does not judge how our pain expresses its self. Remember to take care of your own body/mind/spirit so that you can care for others. Blessing to you on your path into the chiropractic profession. Jacqueline Williams, Jacksonville Oregon

Jacqueine & Jason Williams

Dear new UWS graduates, you are exceptionally well-trained and the profession’s future, your future, is extremely bright! In the coming years, the road to improving your clinical skills becoming a better and better practitioner should always be under construction. Take every adjusting, patient evaluation, clinical symposium etc., possible and consider one of the advance degree programs or a program leading to board certification. Improving your skills is a journey and not a destination, you never quite arrive as there is always room for improvement. Lastly, I leave you will a bit of sage wisdom given to me by my late father Dr. Vern Saboe, Sr., 40 years ago was my first day of practice and I recall it as if it were yesterday: “Vern, always remember this. I don’t care how long or difficult the day has been nor how tired you might be or the time of day, give every patient your professional best, no exceptions, and you will always be successful.” Monday morning, March 1981 (and Dad was right).

Vern Saboe, Jr., DC

To the new graduates: congratulations on the completion of this first leg of your journey. My wish for you is that you are able stop and savor, at least for a few minutes, what you have managed to do despite obstacles, difficulties, and hardships, before moving on to the next part of your lifelong travels. There is no higher calling than helping your fellow human, and it is a good thing to recognize what you have done to earn the right to provide such help. While you are helping your patients now, don’t forget to help the doctor of the future. What the profession will look like 10 or 20 years from now, in the face of a rapidly changing world with even more rapidly changing needs, is up to you. Best of luck for the future.

Michael D Freeman, MedDr, PhD, MScFMS, MPH, DC, MFFLM, DLM, FACE

Congratulations on achieving such a noble goal especially in this time of weirdness! But the very best is on its way with practice on the horizon. Network and take advantage of your colleagues’ expertise and experience. Welcome, welcome to our wonderful healing profession!

Dr. Don Bonney, Corrales, NM, Class of 1985

Hello UWS students, It has been 36 years since I graduated. Looking back at my career I have much to be thankful for. Top on my list is what chiropractic care offers the general public. It has always been a rewarding experience helping others, who were often in pain. UWS offers you a chance to become a part of the legacy of care we all provide our patients. As chiropractic education goes, you can’t do better than the way UWS prepares you. Good luck to all of you!

Charles B. Lerner, MSAc, DC

Congratulations for your accomplishment. Going forward, make sure you know your “Why” and make this your drive and your passion to succeed. Always provide the best care possible and give your patients that “Disneyland experience.” Remember, people are trusting you with their care so go the extra mile! If you get stuck, ask for help! And lastly, keep your overhead low.

Daniel E. Marshall, DC

We’re on the verge of a new era of health and wellness and you are all on the cutting edge! Hang in there, the storm will pass.

Patrick Montgomery, DC

Congratulations to all of the 2021 graduates of UWS and a special congrats to Sami and Felix!!! Wishing you all the best that our great profession has to offer. Work hard, follow your dreams, make the profession better, and enjoy the journey because it goes by way faster than you ever realized! Go Hawks!!

– James Kurtz, DC

Congratulations Jordan, Liz and the rest of the graduating class. We are so proud of your dedication and hard work. It’s such a great accomplishment. Best of luck in your future careers.

– Dave Gillis

Congratulations Jordan and Liz! We are so incredibly proud of you both for all of the hard work and determination it has taken to complete your program. Wish we could be there with you to celebrate!

– Ryan and Kathy

Congratulations Jordan Gillis, Liz Hein and to the class of 2021 UWS graduates on this wonderful accomplishment! We are so incredibly proud of you! Your hard work and perseverance during these challenging times is a testament to what a wonderful group of Chiropractic professionals you are. We wish you much success and happiness in your new journey and know that you will greatly enhance the lives of many patients. The real reward comes from helping people and knowing that you will make a difference. Enjoy every moment of this wonderful journey! Jordan and Liz, I wish we could be there to celebrate with you, but we are sending you lots of love and hugs and are bursting with pride!

Angela, Dave and Alyssa Gillis

It was a pleasure and privilege the teach graduate UWS chiropractic students a bit about mental health. Encourage you to continue to follow your professional endeavors while taking care of what is most valuable to you. All the best class of 2021!

Karen Bruce Chenier

Hi fellow classmates, YOU DID IT!! GREAT JOB! And you did it during one of the weirdest, unsettling times of our lifetime. That truly is an accomplishment. I’m so excited for you to go forth in the world of nutrition and medicine and help heal others, they are lucky to have you!

Anna Gonwa Ramonda

Happy graduation class of 2021!! You have accomplished something that is amazing! Good luck on your future endeavors. Go show the world how wonderful you are!! Congratulations!!

– Michelle Dodge, Registrar

Dear graduates, You could not have made a better choice for a career! You will encounter endless opportunities to interact with people from all walks of life and help them on their path to healing that no other approach can offer, as you heal yourself through your own experiences, and gain wisdom that you will ultimately want to share with those following you. Never forget that your most powerful tools are your head, your hands and your heart. Nothing you develop with those tools can ever be co-opted, legislated against or taken away. Accept the risks you face, knowing that you can control those through constant preparation, humility and willingness to take responsibility. Invest heavily in your understanding of human physiology and mechanics, develop your touch, along with your people skills and you will enjoy a long and rewarding career, unhindered by competition, the need for marketing or the whims of society. My very best wishes for a long and exciting career, as you become the person we have been waiting for!

– Dana Weary, DC, DABCO

All of the hard work you have put in has paid off. You will have a successful future! We are so proud of you!


Congratulations graduates! You did it! Best of luck to you all as you go out into the world to help others. This is just the beginning!! I am so proud of you! Dr. A

– Amanda Armington, DC (class of 2006)

2020 Words of Encouragement

Well done to all of you. Now the real fun and learning begins!
Nathan Cashion, DC, MS – Class of 2016

Best wishes and congratulations to the class of 2020. Feel proud of your accomplishments in these trying times. You have had to finish a monumental step in your lives under trying circumstances and you did it!!! So proud of you all, especially Rhèa Marie!!!!”

Doreen Doyle

Congratulations guys! This is such an important step for you and the profession. We need evidence-based chiropractors more than ever. Now get out there and change your part of the world!

Dr. Jaime Medina

To my new colleagues: I congratulate you on your incredible achievement especially in light of the extraordinary circumstances of this past year. I wish you much success in your careers. I wish you much happiness, peace, and health in your lives. As I often said to my students, “make me proud!”

Dennis M. Hoyer, DC, Retired Clinical Sciences Faculty, 1985-2018

Congratulations new Doctors of Chiropractic! As a UWS (formerly WSCC) graduate of 30 years, I can tell you that you’re about to enter a wonderful profession where you can truly help people. This pandemic has made me appreciate our profession in a renewed way, as I experienced the gratitude and relief my patients found after having to forgo treatment for 8 weeks while my office was shut down in the spring. You will not only survive but will thrive as you begin your careers in chiropractic! If anyone is in the Mid Hudson Valley of New York, feel free to contact me.

Martin Lupowitz, DC

Congratulations to all the new graduates!! Woo Hoo!! It is quite an accomplishment to complete the program requirements for the Masters in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, especially during a pandemic year. I wish you all the best in all that you do to bring this work forward to those who most need it. Now is the time to celebrate your amazing achievement!

Jan Goldberg, M.Sc., CN, NBC-HWC Class of 2017

Congratulations, UWS graduates! You will be forever recognized as a special group of students who faced new and great challenges with a solution-oriented approach. The unique circumstances that you have worked through will provide you with the hard-earned adaptability to be successful in any environment. You will make the world a better place as you now go forth and provide care for those who need your help. Life is supposed to be a great adventure – go make your adventure and life experience the best experience you can imagine. Thank you for coming to UWS – we are all proud of you and your accomplishments.

Dr. Bill Moreau

Congratulations to all the 2020 graduates! Not only did you complete rigorous programs, but you finished strong during some of the most trying times the world has ever seen. Remember, the faculty is and has always been here for you! Be bold, be courageous and be your best!

Dr. Carina Staab

Congratulations chiropractic graduates! You are joining the best profession and I am looking forward to having you as my colleagues! All the best as you begin your chiropractic career!

Denise Mathre

Congratulations to Brianna Harasimiuk, Cody Rondeau and to the rest of the 2020 graduates! It was not the way we thought we would be celebrating your accomplishment, but you should be so proud of it! We are very proud of you! All the best moving forward!

Wendy and Blaine Harasimiuk

CONGRATS ALL! YOU DID IT!! As you continue your new path, think about what you learned, who you met along the way, and how you got there. These life experiences last forever. Good Luck and be proud. Ms. “V”

– Dr. Pamela Verhulst
– Ron Rogers, UWS Board Chair

I can’t imagine going through UWS as a doctorate student WITH COVID right now. As the intensive curriculum may get you down, feeling as there is no end in sight sometimes with no light at the end of the tunnel, just remember that there are always blue skies about the clouds. Reach out to family, friends, and your classmates..they are going through the same if not a worse time than you. remember it WILL get better! You’re on the path of a super fulfilling, passionate profession. Keep your chins up, and try and carve some time for yourself 🙂 you’ve got this!

– Dr. Allison Guyn

Dear 2020 Grads,
This year has not ended the exact way that any of us had planned. It is my sincere wish that we could be together to cheer and shout and celebrate all you have achieved. But here we are. Home. Far from each other. And still I am shouting and cheering your accomplishment. You have demonstrated the utmost in flexibility and resilience. You are calm and reassuring and competent. This is exactly what I want in my own doctor! You are going to be such amazing healers. Go change the world! And know that I’m cheering for you and standing proud of who you are and what you have done and will do!

– Dana Sims

UWS Graduates of Spring 2020- fellow UWS-er! The world needs you more than ever. The shift from this crazy period has created an opening. Go ahead and create and dream and envision putting out your knowledge and talents to get this world to a better place of wholeness and wellness. One thing was said to me when I signed up for the MSNFM program, a person who had already graduated told me that the program attracted really good quality people. After two years with UWS I can say that I am inspired by my fellow classmates commitment to learning and growing and making the wellness conversation a whole lot louder. Good luck. I’m rooting for you!

– Jessica Nomi Spain-Levy

Congrats on your amazing achievement on becoming doctors of chiropractic! I’m sorry that the culminating experience that celebrates your success is not an option at this moment but it doesn’t make your struggles, sweat, and tears any less. Go out to the world with your head held high and your hands at the ready. You are needed.

– Jaime Medina

Dear students,
I know that none of you had choice in what’s happened but thank you for your patience and determination in these times. I’m proud of all the work you’ve done for your future paths. Good luck to all of you.

– Malia Cumming, UWS Library

Congratulations graduates! If you can get through this, you can do ANYTHING. ❤️❤️❤️

– Korin Rasmussen

It seems that most of us usually go through something a little nuts after we graduate. I personally, started out trying to build my practice up at two locations and then decided to have a baby with my husband. This slowed practice down a bit. Then, during pregnancy I broke my right 5th metarsal, which slowed my practice even more so. After maternity leave business was fairly dead. However it was perfect timing to have my daughter since things were slow to begin with. Luckily my business has been growing more and more thanks to having a Functional Medicine masters from UWS, and I can say that 2020 has actually been a good year for me. That is despite the craziness of the new Pandemic. With this in mind, try not to worry about the craziness of life at the moment because we all are going through it and your not alone. In addition, don’t give up, the beginning is always the hardest. Stay strong my fellow colleagues, you can, and will get through it.

– Catherine Seat DC, MS – 2018 Graduate

You have chosen an honorable profession. Focus on success and caring for your patients and doing the best you can. Chiropractic is a strong tool. Be encouraged.

– Andrew Lowell Shaw

When I graduated in 1985 I began an amazing journey, and I honor each of you as you too take steps into the unknown. Know beyond a shadow of doubt that you have the very best chiropractic education and are well equipped to serve humanity. Today’s atmosphere will surely prepare you to face any adversity that might come your way. Serve with compassion and the highest of ethics. Our patients and our profession need YOU now more than ever. Just do your very best. Congratulations!!

– Dr. Don Bonney, Corrales, NM

To the class of 2020,
The world needs your healing skills now more than ever. You will be an integral part of helping us put everything back together when we are through this incredibly difficult time. Your hard work and dedication is inspirational and you will be a bright light in the communities you will serve.

-Ritah Parrish

Dear DCs of tomorrow,
Greetings friends! Rest assured that you have exactly what is needed to lift a struggling humanity. While as chiropractors our means of helping is tending to the physical needs of others, the opportunity to lay on hands with care and affection for all of humanity is firmly established in our professional history. If you graduate, you’ll know what to do for those who seek your help. But IMHO it’s how much you care for each who enters your presence that makes the most difference. Let your heart be visible in your face, your smile, your attention, your touch and all good things will follow. Let your love and kindness be a magnet that attracts all others to you. This is the chiropractic life that will give you the best in this life. This is what you’ve worked so hard for. Go forward with a loving heart to serve all of humanity.

– Michael Sears, DC, IAYT

Good luck as you bring your healing and caring skills to our world. It is a time of great need and you can help. Stay positive, focus on the goal of health and be thoughtful in your actions. You are appreciated.

– Dr. Tony Schaefer

Hello graduates!
Congratulations! This is a tremendous milestone for you. I remember it like it was yesterday (and it was 28 years ago!)

I am here to tell you that this is one of the very best professions in the world. I go to work excited to face the day, I spend the day around people who WANT to be in my office, I get to help people in profound ways – physical, chemical and emotional, and I come home each day knowing that I am changing – and SAVING – lives.

Please don’t let this Corona Virus stand in your way of being very proud of what you’ve accomplished, and very excited to go forward and help the world with your hands and your knowledge.

If any of you would like to reach out, I’m happy to talk anytime. 617-312-4056.

Again, congratulations!

– Dr. Nina Englander (class of ’92), Lexington Mass

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” –Og Mandino

Class of 2020,
We are with you! Thinking of you all and wishing you the best graduation day possible. Remember that graduation is not the goal, becoming the doctor you have been training to become is the goal and that is what lies ahead and THAT is not canceled!

– Dr. Karlie Causey

It was 1977 when I graduated and what do I remember? I remember my classmates, I remember some excellent instructors, I remember the old campus. I don’t remember a lot about the graduation ceremony though. A fire in my office building in 1980 destroyed my graduation and class photos, but those were transient anyway, the knowledge gained is still there.

After 43 years in practice I admire the journey you’re embarking on; I’d do it all over again. You’re all about to graduate into a time of massive change, and though there are a lot of unknowns, your skills, knowledge, and dedication will hold you in good stead. Crisis and opportunity are two sides of the same coin, with adversity comes the possibility of great change for the better, so let that be your focus.

Today, I went to work in a beautiful office, recently purchased and newly renovated by my two younger associates, [one a U.W.S. grad], Though I no longer have to work, I want to because the rewards are beyond financial. Due to Covid we’re working reduced hours and wearing protective gear in order to treat urgent patients. One patient to whom I had brought great relief today, said “I’m so grateful for your help, but with these challenges why do you take it on?” I pointed to the WSCC oath that was framed and hanging above her left shoulder and said the following. ” I swore that oath in 1977 and have been doing my best to live it ever since. In times of confusion and conflict it has been my guide.” There was a brief look of astonishment, then realization followed by words of immense gratitude that warmed my heart, I wish this for you all, its out there waiting.

– Dr. Ken Pepperdine

I always say you don’t remember days you remember moments. This is a moment you will always remember. The Kent State massacre was such a moment for me and now 50 years later we are in the Covid -19 moment. Your memories will be a series of these moments and the brilliant thing is you can mold them. My wish for you is to make this a great moment. Practicing Chiropractic has been wonderful and I would choose it again in a “moment”. Best wishes and stay healthy.

– Neil McMahon, R.N.,D.C.

I am typing this message of encouragement because I care. I care about your accomplishment! This was not an easy road and you did it. Sucks this pandemic screwed up the traditional graduation ceremony.

However, be prepared for this next step of your journey because this will truly be “the best years of your life.” Trust me on this because being a chiropractor is the best!

– Teddy Sim

Hey grad, congratulations! It’s been a long hard road but you made it! Well done. COVID has robbed you of enjoying the commencement frosting on your academic cake. Still you have much to look forward to. You will now accept employment, or create or buy a practice. You have an excellent UWS education; use it to help others and never compromise your integrity for an easy buck. My wife and I met on the first day of school at the then WSCC, 38 years ago. We have retired and now live on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Commencement was the final page in that chapter of our lives, but we never look fondly back at it. What is important is that we helped many people and enjoyed much in the way of friendship, fresh vegetables, baked goods, and other gifts from grateful patients. In my heart I know that I was skilled, compassionate, and caring, in no small part because of excellent training. Commencement or not, take that excellent training and make the world better!

– Drs. Rick & Elaine LaMarche, WSCC/UWS ’85

In every challenge there is opportunity. Chiropractic offers you a great way to contribute to humanity and nurture your own personal growth.

– Michael Gottfried, DC

Best wishes to all of you as you embark on your new careers! Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished and welcome to the best profession on the planet. It is truly an honor to serve and change lives with Chiropractic.

– Anthony Cutting, DC

Although it may be easy to become stressed and worried about entering practice during these challenging times, I would like to reassure you that you provide a valuable service, and are truly appreciated by public. In the over 20 years I’ve been in practice, I can honestly say I have never felt more appreciated by my patients.

The education you are receiving at Western States will give you the knowledge you need to be an excellent chiropractor, and if you practice with integrity, empathy, and honesty, you will reap great rewards.

Best regards,

– Dr. Jon Stobee, class of ‘99

Congratulations class of 2020!

You have worked hard to earn this privilege and the world needs you now more than ever.

Please reach out if you ever need someone to talk to in the field, and best of luck in your new profession, DOCTORS!

– Dr. Melanie Brown, UWS Class of 2006, Pure Life Clinic

Congratulations on your many accomplishments and reaching another milestone. You deserve a little break to prepare for a life long commitment in healthcare so please take this downtime as an opportunity to update your resume, develop professional website, business planning and mission, or prepare for your state licensing examine. I’ve been in private practice for over 20 years and also working as an expert witness, I can say with total confidence that Western States has prepared you to become one of the very best practitioners in the nation. Take that leap of faith because they have given you wings. Good luck and best wishes to you all.

– Sandy Liu

The people need you, they need you to show up and serve them, be their beacon of hope. As Chiropractors, we have all of the tools to help people improve their health/life, naturally. We can all wait for a panacea, some magic drug that will make this go away. We will waste precious time waiting for something that history has shown us, rarely comes. Today, start talking about eating well, moving well and thinking well, the basics of chiropractic principles. Keep it simple. Be bold. The people are waiting for you to show up, as you, as imperfect you, sharing your voice and they will pay you for this. There has never been a greater need for us and our message. You just have to move through the fear and get your voice out there and change lives.You got this! I know this because if I can do it, so can you. Be well and be BIG. Take good care.

– Dr. Sarah Conroy, Sisters, Oregon ’02