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Life West’s Winter 2019 commencement spotlights new grads

The latest group of Life Chiropractic College West graduates celebrated recently as the fall quarter drew to a close. In addition to the Winter 2019 commencement ceremony last week, the slate of events also included a banquet for graduates, friends and family as well as the distribution of awards from the Health Center during last week’s Friday seminar.


Life West gave out diplomas to 100 new doctors of chiropractic at the school’s 76th commencement ceremony on Friday night in the Standard Process Assembly Hall. The students either finished their studies in the fall quarter or will be completing the program in the upcoming winter quarter, which ends in March.

“Trust your insides,” urged commencement speaker Peter Kevorkian, DC, when addressing the graduates. “Trust your intuition. Trust that little voice. Isn’t that what you trusted when you decided to go to chiropractic school? Remember the moment when you made the decision to become a chiropractor. You followed that little voice, that intuitive sense, knowing deep down inside that this was your path.”

Valedictorians Benjamin Tan, Rachel Roberts and Dominik Woods also addressed their classmates, who had spent more than three years in classrooms and clinics pursuing their degrees.

“You can’t trick the universe,” said Roberts, in homage to mentor, faculty member and former Life West valedictorian Lauren Clum, DC. “Even if it feels cloudy, fuzzy or hazy right now and you don’t know what the next step is, trust that the universe has your back.”

“I’ve known I wanted to be a chiropractor since I was 17 years old,” Woods added. “We literally change lives and change how people see this world. I’ve known my ‘why’ for over 10 years, and I keep it close to my heart. As we embark on this journey ahead, do not forget your ‘why.’”

Life West President Dr. Ron Oberstein presided over the ceremony and also honored graduates Dahren Doss and Christine Smith with Presidential Awards. These honors recognize students for academic performance, leadership, participation, communication and clinical excellence.

“In order to select these Presidential Award recipients, each class first nominated the students from their own class that they felt best exemplified these characteristics,” Dr. Oberstein said. “Each nominee was part of a rigorous selection process in order to determine the final selection for this prestigious award.”

After being recognized by name, the members of the graduating class were led in the chiropractic oath. They then participated in the symbolic turning of tassels prior to being officially recognized as Doctors of Chiropractic.

The list of graduates recognized at the ceremony is below.

Summer 2019

Kamelia Habina
Anne-Marie Rouse

Fall 2019

Alyssa Agrella
Matthew Anderson
Chia-Hua Chan
Jonathan Clayton
Kiranjot Dhaliwal
Dahren Doss
Jodie Gibson
Harjot Grewal
Alexander Halstead
George Janji
Landon Khau
Anthony Lai
Jennifer Luna
Kimberly Ma
Joe Manzanilla
Jeffrey Matson
Caleb McInnis
Kristopher Nguyen
Matthew O’Brien
Min Pan
Eva Quach
Jacy Rainer
Pamela Riggs
Tera Roycraft
Brook Sheehan
Joel Stryker
Zachary Thomas
Sullivan Truong
Clayton Welch
Joshua Wheeler

Winter 2020

Tino Abon, Jr.
Hiba Ahmed
Danielle Aldrich
Priya Amin
Ian Barwick
Erica Bass
JoAnne Bates
Torey Berncich
Placido Castrejon
Claudia Catalan
Guillaume Cazenave
Avery Champagne
Ken Chilton
Andrew Crawford
Isaac Del Toro
Marie Estanislao
Ace Fletcher
Marco Gudino
Jennifer Habchi
Anyon Harrington
Tyler Jackson
Avram Jimenez
Vinson Johnson
Rochelle Johnson
Ruslan Kazak
Anne Kitchens
Jamie Laing
Alexander Lee
Jacob Lee
Benito Lopez
Lisa Ly
Kevin Mansour
Benjamin Maynard
Erin “Sage” McClive
Megan McLoughlin
Samuel Mika
Abigail Mitchell
Mason Modad
Alexander Morrow
Namir Moussa
Christine Nguyen
Monique Pangilinan
Katarina Payne
Evan Peake
Abigail Petkov
Amanda Randolph
Nicholas Randolph
Andrew Rebd
Nicholas Recupero
Brittany Rojo
Silvaray Rumedi
Annie Schmidt
Erica Simpson
Christine Smith
Calvin Smolich
Nicolas Spagnuolo
Jess Stief
Josephlucas Thompson
Dominik Woods
Kyle Young
Jonathan Zuchowski

Commencement banquet

The night before commencement, soon-to-be graduates gathered with classmates, friends and family to celebrate their achievements at the bi-annual commencement banquet. In addition to dinner and refreshments, the program included presentations from guest speakers and Life West faculty members Sue Ray, DC, and Jamie Motley, DC, DACBR.

“Commencement marks the culmination of years of study and preparation that have gone into the Life West student’s degree,” Dr. Oberstein said at the start of the event. “The presence of family and friends signifies the support, love and belief in these students that helped make their graduation possible.”

Dr. Oberstein also honored recipients of Give, Do, Love and Serve awards, which went to four members of each graduating class.

Give: Anthony O’Brien, Kyle Young
Do: Jodie Gibson, Christine Smith
Love: Sullivan Truong, Josephlucas Thompson
Serve: Jacy Rainer, Christine Nguyen

In addition, graduates who earned summa cum laude (3.75 GPA or higher) and magna cum laude (3.50-3.74 GPA) were individually honored and presented with gold cords.

Finally, members of the Life West community were given the chance to honor those close to them. The TIC Awards represent recognition of extraordinary assistance by friends, family and loved ones that allowed students to pursue their degrees.

“Your acts of service not only made it possible for these students to complete this incredibly rigorous and challenging program, but your loving service will make it possible for thousands upon thousands of patients to have better lives through chiropractic care,” Dr. Oberstein said. “You have made an incredible contribution to humanity.”

Friday seminar

Dr. Susan Hilliker poses with award-winner Eva Quach

The final Friday seminar of the quarter honored Health Center interns with exemplary records of service. Life West students with more than 300 clinical visits were honored with multiple levels of awards, including bronze (300 visits), silver (350 visits), gold (400 visits), emerald (450 visits) and platinum (500 visits).

Life West students Qisheng Li, Eva Quach and Yuxin Wang all earned platinum awards. Additionally, Christine Nguyen and Clayton Welch both earned emerald status.

Life West’s mentor docs also presented two students with a pair of additional awards. Zachary Bloom was honored as the Intern of the Quarter, and Benjamin Tan was celebrated as the latest recipient of the Clinical Excellence Award.

A full list of student honorees is below.


Qisheng Li
Eva Quach
Yuxin Wang


Christine Nguyen
Clayton Welch


Benjamin Tan


Ian Barwick
Mariecar Estanislao
Harjot Grewal
Jennifer Habchi
Avram Jimenez
Ernest Luong
Kristopher Nguyen
Matthew Anthony O’Brien
Katarina Payne
Josephlucas Thompson


Claudia Catalan
Jonathan Clayton
Dahren Doss
Jodie Gibson
Marco Antonio Gudino
Alexander Halstead
Dana Koren
Jamie Laing
Kimberly Ma
Joeviel Manzanilla
Patrick Martens
Benjamin Maynard
Alexander Morrow
Pamela Riggs
Rachel Roberts
Brittany Rojo
Diane Tran
Sullivan Truong
Joshua Wheeler
Dominik Woods

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