Fifty-One Celebrated in Sherman College’s First Virtual Commencement

Tara Dawn Levesque presents the farewell address

Fifty-one students from around the world celebrated their graduation from Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg, SC, on Saturday, September 19, 2020, during the college’s first ever virtual commencement ceremony. The college’s 137th commencement was a shared ceremony for June and September 2020 graduates. The ceremony premiered on the college’s Facebook and YouTube platforms and featured award presentations, speeches, and a photo presentation of the graduates.

Vice President for Student Affairs LaShanda Hutto Harris, MSW, said because the college was unable to host a traditional ceremony, it sought to use the digital format to its benefit, creating a personalized program. “We were able to provide a more intimate ceremony with personal touches,” she shared. “Students participated in the production by submitting photos to be premiered in the graduate presentation, and our elected student announcer, Cid Marie Correa Irizarry, read the names of her classmates during the program.”

Watch the ceremony online:

Michael Gregory Haun of Tennessee (June class) and Tara Dawn Levesque of Maine (September class) received the Milton W. Garfunkel Award, the highest award given at graduation; Levesque presented the farewell address to their classmates. Students receiving the Garfunkel Award must have a grade point average of 3.5 or above, and in addition, best exemplify those qualities Sherman College would like to inculcate in all of its graduates: love of the profession, an understanding of the philosophy, willingness to share, and service to the college and community.

Haun (June class) and Megan Grady of Pennsylvania (September class) received the Academic Achievement Award. The Academic Achievement Award is given to the individual in each graduating class who maintains the highest grade point average throughout his or her studies at Sherman College.

Charles Thomas Tucker III of South Carolina (June class) and Regina Renee Sanders of South Carolina (September class) received the Service Distinction Award. This distinction is not given at every graduation; rather it is given to students who stand out for their significant and distinguished service contributions to Sherman College and the local community throughout their course of study.

Cid Marie Correa Irizarry of Puerto Rico (June class) and Levesque (September class) received the Clinical Excellence Award in recognition of their successful practices in the Health Center. This award is given to an intern in each class who has diligently worked to develop skills in the art, science and philosophy of chiropractic, maintained an A average in the clinical program and exhibited superior overall clinical performance and professionalism.

Teena Marie Rowe of Kentucky (June class) and Tucker (June class) received the B.J. Palmer Philosophy Distinction Award. This honor is given to outstanding students who exemplify the profound philosophical understanding necessary to translate the universal principles of life into the workable philosophy, science and art which is chiropractic.

Sherman College Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences Terry E. Lancaster, M.A., presented the commencement address. Lancaster teaches courses in anatomy and physiology, osteology, integration of human systems and more. She also works to help maintain the college’s Anatomy Lab, oversees student tutors, promotes research, advises and mentors students and serves on several faculty committees. Lancaster is currently finishing her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences – cellular/molecular biology at Kent State University, with an anticipated completion date of December 2021. Sherman College named her Faculty Member of the Year in 2017. She serves as advisor for Sherman College’s chapter of the League of Chiropractic Women and the college’s Sports Club.

Frank Vaught Jr., D.C., delivered the charge to the graduates. Vaught is the founder and owner of Health on Earth Wellness Centers, LLC, in Alsip, IL, and a founding partner of Evoke Chiropractic Coaching. His practice focuses on prenatal and family care as well as athletes, and he is co-founder of three other health and wellness locations in Illinois. Vaught is a leader in personal health and wellness and an inspirational speaker. Growing up in Detroit, MI, his primary focus was helping people maintain composure in the face of adversity. Vaught speaks both locally and internationally and was the recipient of the 2013 African American Male Image Award. In 2014, he was invited to lecture on his research at a Sport and Society Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The doctor of chiropractic program at Sherman College requires students to complete approximately nearly 5,000 hours (14 quarters) of classroom and laboratory study and includes an internship in the college’s on-campus Chiropractic Health Center. To enter the D.C. program, students must have at least 90 semester hours of college-level courses, including courses in the sciences. 


Sherman College of Chiropractic provides students with a comprehensive chiropractic education, preparing them to enter the field as doctors of chiropractic who are highly skilled, compassionate, ethical and successful. On its 80-acre campus in South Carolina, Sherman offers a first professional degree program unique in its approach to health care and known globally for the skill and art of chiropractic delivered by graduates. For more information, visit or call 800-849-8771.

For more information, please contact:

Karen Rhodes

Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

Sherman College of Chiropractic

Phone: 800-849-8771, ext. 242