By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Dallas — The Parker Alumni Association will present their annual awards at a luncheon held during the Parker Homecoming celebration on Friday, October 26. Awards will be presented to four noteworthy individuals who have impacted the chiropractic profession including: Dr. Rose Lepien,’91, Dr. James DeShazo,’95, Dr. Neil Gardner, ’09, and Dr. Jose Negron,’11.
Parker Trustee Emeritus Dr. Lepien will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her service and dedication to the chiropractic field. Inspired by the late Dr. James W. Parker, founder of Parker University, to move from a chiropractic assistant to a full-fledged chiropractor, she enrolled in the university in 1988. During her time at Parker, she held the positions of class president and student body president.
After graduating in 1991, she opened Aaragon Chiropractic Clinic in Lawton, Oklahoma. Shortly thereafter, she was named Woman of the Year by the Business Professional Women’s Association and Woman Chiropractor of the Year – awarded to her by the World Congress of Women Chiropractors.
In 2000, she was elected a Board of Director to the Parker Alumni Association and subsequently became president of the association. She also served on the Parker Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2010 as chairwoman. In 2007, Dr. Lepien was honored as the first person to ever receive one of the most highly regarded awards given by Parker University-the James. W. Parker Founders Award.
Dr. Lepien has been instrumental in establishing the Parker Alumni Association’s Endowment Fund, which currently exceeds $300,000 and has awarded $22,000 in scholarships to Parker students. Most recently, she started the Dr. Rose Lepien Student Scholarship, which is awarded to a deserving female student each trimester.
Dr. DeShazo has been named the Alumni of the Year for his contributions to Parker’s students through scholarships and overall philanthropic support of the university. He and his wife, Diane, have the largest named scholarship in university history and have made it their mission to raise more money for scholarships from his former Parker classmates and colleagues.
Since his graduation from Parker in 1995, Dr. DeShazo has been serving residents of Wasilla, Alaska. He uses chiropractic care, therapeutic exercise, and manual therapies to ensure his patients maintain good health so they can enjoy everything Alaska has to offer.
Dr. Gardner is receiving the International Alumni of the Year Award for his chiropractic work in his native Jamaica. He is the first chiropractor to present at both the Caribbean Neurosciences Symposium and the International Public Health Conference. In 2011, he was awarded the Courtney Walsh Award in Kingston, Jamaica, as an athlete exhibiting humility, integrity, and discipline.
As a former Olympic athlete, representing Jamaica in the 1996 games in Atlanta, Dr. Gardner recognizes the important role chiropractic plays in athletics. In 2004, he was asked by the Jamaican Olympian Association if he had ever considered a career in chiropractic. He specialized in chiropractic neurology and became the first to practice it in Jamaica. He was also the first recipient of a scholarship given specifically to Olympians wishing to study chiropractic.
“It is my desire that more Olympians will make use of this opportunity to change their own lives, and to touch and save the lives of countless generations of people around the world through chiropractic,” he said.
To honor his work as a recent graduate, Dr. Negron will receive the Young Alumni of the Year Award. A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Negron has developed an interest in chiropractic growth in Latin America, especially the new chiropractic program in Santiago, Chile. He also supports his alma mater’s relationship with the Universidad Estatal Del Valle de Ecatepec in Mexico through presentations on spinal biomechanics and scoliosis. As the previous director of CLEAR Scoliosis Clinic of Dallas, he assisted in setting up the first chiropractic scoliosis center in Mexico. He and his sister, Dr. Olga ’11, recently moved back to their home in Puerto Rico where they opened a clinic. This past summer he was interviewed by one of Puerto Rico’s largest television news shows where he discussed scoliosis and the importance of chiropractic treatment.
The award recipients will be recognized at a special luncheon held in the Parker Alumni Association Intern Lounge next to the Parker Chiropractic Wellness Clinic on the main campus in Dallas, Texas. Tickets are expected to be sold out prior to the event. To purchase tickets for the Parker Alumni Association Awards luncheon call 888.772.5867 or visit www.parker.edu/alumni-upcoming-events/.
About Parker University – Dallas-based Parker University, formerly known as Parker College of Chiropractic, is one of the world’s leading educators of health care professionals. Founded in 1982, this private, nonprofit, educational institution prepares men and women to become doctors of chiropractic. In addition, Parker University awards additional wellness-focused degrees including a bachelor of science with a major in anatomy and a major in health and wellness, massage therapy certificates, and continuing education specializations and certifications. Parker University also includes Parker Research Institute, which provides sound, scientific evidence supporting health and wellness; three chiropractic wellness clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex; Parker Seminars, the largest chiropractic seminar organization in the world, and Parker SHARE Products that provide innovative, high quality products, and current information on chiropractic wellness. For additional information about Parker University, visit the website at www.parker.edu.
Source: Parker University
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