Events Palmer West

Palmer College of Chiropractic West celebrates 147th commencement

Click here to see gallery of Fall ’18 ceremony highlights

Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, Calif., celebrated its 147th graduation at the Fall Quarter ’18 commencement ceremony on December 6 in the Santa Clara Convention Center theater.

Jake Halverson (Ogden, Utah) and Sarah Les (Chilliwack, B.C., Canada) graduated as class co-valedictorians with Summa Cum Laude honors (3.9-4.0). Chelsea Nelson (Calgary, Alb., Canada) graduated as class salutatorian, also with Summa honors.

(From left) Palmer College of Chiropractic West President Bill Meeker, D.C., presents Presidential Scholar awards to Fall ’18 graduates Courtney Bartel, Jake Halverson, Sarah Les and Chelsea Nelson for achieving Dean’s List academic honors in each of their 13 quarters of study at Palmer’s West branch campus.

Other members of the Fall ’18 class at Palmer’s West branch campus who graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors included Courtney Bartel (Chilliwack, B.C., Canada) and Annelies Wentzel (Kelowna, B.C., Canada).

Peter Hibl (Boulder, Colorado) graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors (3.70-3.89). Kamran Eghtesad (Coquitlam, B.C., Canada), Margot Monmousseau (Roujan, France), Taylor Moore (Springfield, Ill.), La Mar Sheppard (San Francisco, Calif.) and Michael Sydoryk (Calgary, Alb., Canada) graduated with Cum Laude honors (3.50-3.69).

Bartel, Halverson, Les and Nelson received Presidential Scholar awards, which are presented to members of the graduating class who achieved Dean’s List (3.50 GPA or above) honors in each of their 13 quarters of study at the West branch campus.

Austin Rico (Carmel, Calif.) received the Clinical Excellence Award, which is presented to the member of the graduating class who best exemplified the skills and qualities expected of a Palmer chiropractor during their yearlong experience as a student-doctor in the Palmer Clinics.

The Fall Quarter ’18 graduating class at Palmer College of Chiropractic West.

Selected by the six mentor-clinicians at the campus-based Palmer Chiropractic Clinics, the Clinical Excellence Award recognizes the member of the graduating class who demonstrated excellence in the following areas: patient evaluation and diagnosis; chiropractic techniques and rehabilitative procedures; diagnostic imaging; case management; and professionalism.

From students to doctors — presenting the 147th graduating class at Palmer College’s West branch campus!

Other special awards presented to Fall ’18 graduates included:

  • Monique Hamon (Pleasanton, Calif.) received the Student Fellowship Award. Selected by the graduating class, this award recognizes the honoree for “service and leadership while upholding the values of his or her class, college and profession.”

    Palmer West Director of Clinics Kyle Prusso, D.C, CCSP® presents the Clinical Excellence Award to Austin Rico.

  • Jake Halverson received the Virgil. V. Strang Philosophy Award, which honors the memory of Dr. Virgil V. Strang, a 1951 Palmer graduate and the seventh president of Palmer College of Chiropractic. The award is presented for “distinctive accomplishment and contributions to the philosophical principles of chiropractic as a student at Palmer College’s West campus.”
  • Halverson also was among the members of the graduating class who received special recognition for their service as Campus Guides. This specially selected group of students assist the College by conducting campus tours for prospective students and assisting at special events. Other Campus Guide honorees included: Alex Boyer (Danville, Calif.), Nancy Chu (Granite Bay, Calif.), Kamran Eghtesad and Monique Hamon.

    The South Bay area knows when it’s graduation day at Palmer West!

  • Corey Diamond (Irvine, Calif.), Marc Gusse (White Lake, Mich.), Ben Leong (San Jose, Calif.), Michael Sydoryk and Annelies Wentzel received special recognition for their service as officers of the Palmer West student-chapter of the ACA Sports Council, which is one of the oldest and most-active student sports organizations among all chiropractic colleges. The Palmer West Sports Council provides on-field care at some of the biggest sports events in northern California, including the Sea Otter Classic cycling festival; the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot; the Far West Valor Games; among others.
  • Emma Eskilson (Lawrence, Kan.) received special recognition for her service as an executive officer of the Palmer West student chapter of the American Chiropractic Association (SACA).

Tammi Clark, D.C., a ’94 Palmer West alumna and faculty-member for two decades (while maintaining a private practice), and Theresa Whitney, D.C., a ’95 West alumna and faculty-member for 22 years (while also concurrently maintaining a practice,) co-presented the commencement address, “Capture the Moments.”



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