Twenty-five students from around the world received the doctor of chiropractic degree from Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg, SC, on Saturday, June 21, 2014. The commencement was a shared ceremony for June and September 2014 graduates.
Justin M. Berg of Illinois, a recipient of the Milton W. Garfunkel Award, presented the farewell address to his classmates. The Garfunkel Award is the highest award given at graduation. Students receiving this honor 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.
Berg graduated summa cum laude and also 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.
The Clinical Excellence Award was presented to Eric Nathan Goans of North Carolina for the June class and Gregory J. Russo of Georgia for the September class, 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.
Goans also 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.
Also during the ceremony, chiropractic advocate, author, and speaker, Keith Wassung was presented with the honorary Doctor of Chiropractic Humanities degree, a rare honor given by the college to noteworthy individuals.
The commencement address was given by Ronald R. Castellucci, D.C., associate professor of clinical sciences at Sherman College. Castellucci is a 1988 graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, MO. After 10 years of successful practice in Lexington, MA, Castellucci moved south to join the Sherman College faculty in 1998. He also maintains a wellness-oriented family practice in Hendersonville, NC, and is a member of Sherman College’s prestigious Academy of Chiropractic Philosophers. Castellucci was named Faculty Member of the Year for 2013, 2004 and 2000. He teaches full spine techniques, spinal palpation, and patient education. Castellucci teaches pediatric adjusting techniques worldwide for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
William M. Decken, D.C., L.C.P., associate professor of clinical sciences and chair of the Philosophy Department at Sherman College, delivered the charge to the graduates. Decken is a 1986 cum laude graduate of Sherman College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Marist College (1979) and a Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers distinction from Palmer College of Chiropractic. Decken joined the Sherman College faculty in 1987; he teaches courses in philosophy, subluxation theory, and communication. Since 2008 he has served as chairman of the International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations, and he developed and coordinates Sherman College’s Academy of Chiropractic Philosophers program. He often speaks on philosophy at chiropractic seminars. Decken practices at Family Straight Chiropractic, which he established and has owned for 27 years.
The doctor of chiropractic program at Sherman College requires students to complete more than 4,800 hours (14 quarters) of classroom and laboratory study and also 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.