Category Archives: Holler Back Y’all

Series of interviews. Mostly written by Michael Hollerbach

Gilles Lamarche DC: Here to Make a Difference

Holla Back Y’all
Gilles Lamarche DC: Here to Make a Difference
By Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

Holla Back Y’all is a regular column which gives one member of the Life University community an opportunity to offer their thoughts and opinions and share themselves with the rest of us; in addition, it gives the community the opportunity to be able to get to know one of the many incredible people on this campus.

This edition I would like to introduce Dr. Gilles Lamarche, DC. Giles LamarcheHe is a recent addition to the Life University family and comes here with boundless energy and passion for principled chiropractic. He is the new Vice President of Professional Relations and Gilles is an author, mentor, professional coach, motivational speaker and has an impressive resume. He came to Marietta with his wife, Melissa Briscoe Lamarche, DC and is here to bring the most passionate dynamic speakers in the world to our campus. He recently organized the first Philosophy Night in Lyceum Park. In addition, he is creating LifeTalks, an annual event that will soon rival the Ted Talks series. Currently, he his working to promote the Life Vision events. I recently was able to chat with Dr. Lamarche and get his story.

Michael Hollerbach: How did your journey bring you to Life University?
Dr. Gilles Lamarche: I spent 6 years at Parker University, beginning as seminar director and moving to VP in charge of clinics, research, CE and seminars. Left there in July 2012. Dr Riekeman reached out to me in May of 2013. I was driven to come to LIFE after sharing a couple days with him and learning of the vision for chiropractic that he had, and that was prevalent at LIFE. I saw this as an opportunity to have a major impact on world health, and leave a legacy.

MH: Oh that is fantastic. Very nice to hear. Do you have a personal mission statement or motto you live by?
GL: Yes I do, my personal mission statement is: “I hereby pledge my life to my greatest expression of love and service for the benefit of humanity.”

MH: So where were you born and raised and how did you find your way to chiropractic school?
GL: Born and raised in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. My first experience with chiropractic was at the age of 12. Though I presented for low back pain after an injury, I soon understood the importance of the nervous system and the negative effects of subluxation on my health. I had been an unwell child, digestion and elimination issues, and discovered that these were due to subluxation, likely caused during my forceps delivery. Within a short time I regained my health and decided to do what it would take to become a DC.

MH: What has your career path been since graduating?
GL: I started my own practice in a small town of Hearst, Ontario, population 5,000. Within a few short months I had a thriving practice. Spent 5 years there, and also had a satellite practice in the town of Longlac (population 1,500). Both were high volume, principled practices, teaching the chiropractic principles for health and wellbeing. I sold both practices and then moved back to my hometown of Timmins, Ontario. Built that practice to capacity within a few months and maintained a high level service practice there for 20 years.

MH: What do you enjoy doing outside of your office?
GL: I read a lot, rarely fiction, more philosophy, psychology of success, personal and professional growth; I write – articles, books etc. I run and cycle; spend quality time with my wife who is also a DC; have always enjoyed being dad and doing things with my children, who are now adults. I have three children – Jason is a DC in the Chicago area, as is his wife, Rebecca; they have a 6 month old daughter, Brielle. My daughter is an RMT, married with a 2-year-old daughter, Kherington, living in Edmonton, Alberta. And my youngest son, Christopher, is an automotive electronics technician, owns his own business in Timmins, ON, married to Melissa, and they recently, April 22, 2014, had a daughter, Harper.

MH: What do you think of Georgia and how has your experience been since arriving?
GL: It has been wonderful. Great people, beautiful terrain, greenery… We bought a beautiful home in Marietta, and have the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park as our backyard. It’s peaceful and a great place to think, live and thrive. The Marietta Town Square also offers so much. Close to downtown Atlanta for entertainment and all that life has to offer.

MH: Have you and your wife, Melissa, explored Georgia and/or Atlanta much yet?
GL: We have spent a bit of time getting acquainted with Atlanta, a few concerts, a few great restaurants, and our immediate area. We have had one trip up to the Blue Ridge Mountains with more to come this summer.

MH: So this Life Talks series, what is it and what are your intentions for it?
GL: LIFE Talks – the inaugural event will be held at Life University in Marietta, GA (Atlanta), April 24 and 25, 2015. The goal is to have thought leaders/decision makers come together and experience the Vitalistic health paradigm conversation from a physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual wellbeing perspective. We want to invite speakers on nutrition, exercise physiology, positive psychology, compassion, relationships, vitalism, and environmental health – all important in our opinion to a Vitalistic balanced healthy lifestyle. We believe that having thought leaders involved in this conversation will lead to improved social change.

Well, thank you Dr. Lamarche, it was an honor to be able to interview you. I look forward to seeing what great things you do on this campus in the future.

Happy Monday Lady Says Hello!

Happy Monday Lady Says Hello!
Thirty Four Years and Still Loving Life
By Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

Holla Back Y’all is a regular column which gives one member of the Life University community an opportunity to share themselves with the rest of us and for the community to be able to get to know one of the many incredible people on this campus.

Anybody who has passed through the “unknown named” building that houses the library and the registrar’s office has passed a very unassuming, yet hidden, gem on this Life University campus and if they were friendly enough or fortunate enough they would be greeted with a cheery, “happy Monday” or “happy Tuesday” depending on the day of the week. happymonday2Mostly hidden from view, sitting behind her desk, this wonderful woman with the friendly greetings is a longtime employee of Life University and her name is Larrie Smisson. Recently, I took the time to sit with Larrie and get to know her a little bit better. She was very excited to be able to share some of her stories with the Life community.

Vital Source: You have a very unique name. Is it a nickname?

Larrie: My name is Larrie Smisson. Larrie with an “ie” I always say that because I get a lot of strange looks. Actually no, I’m not a mistake! It’s a third generation name which I am proud of!

VS: You have been here a long time, what has it been like for you?

Larrie: My life at Life started in 1980. I started in the Mailroom and Printing. Then ventured to Shipping and Receiving and Purchasing. I do have to say I learned a lot from each of those jobs!

When I started at Life I had always heard of “Dr. Sid and Dr. Nell” and had seen them from a distance. At the time, I didn’t have any vacation so we could work during the holidays. I remember being in the Admin. Bldg. cleaning the baseboards. No one was in the building, so we thought, so we had a rock music station on very loud! I recall seeing two large shoes come up beside me. I looked up and there was Dr. Williams!

Dr. Williams was very involved in the community so there was an annual event called Run for Life. I believe it started as a 5k run. It was a great way for Life to be a part of the community and the community to be a part of Life. As the Run for Life grew popular, we reached almost 2000 runners. Wow! The set up would begin Friday afternoon, as did the partying! BBQ was cooked all night. Volunteers came in at 3 am to make sandwiches, set up the race route and all the other tasks that had to be done. It was exciting! Then there was the beer truck! After all or most of the jobs were done some volunteers disappeared. Guess where? Behind the beer truck we would go! I remember popping my second beer and who comes around the truck! Dr. Sid! We all just knew we were going to be in trouble!! But all we got was a smile!

VS: Oh that is great what kind of beer do you prefer?

Larrie: I like several types of beer. Angry Orchard, Michelob Light and Tecate and I love my Pina Coladas! A variety is always good!

VS: You have been here quite a while. What are some of the better changes you have seen?

Larrie: In the first few years I can remember a student that lived in a camper in the woods, which is now the Rugby field. And another student that lived in a teepee! I really admired that! When we became Life University the basketball team was born! There are many, many stories during that timeframe. Faculty, staff and students worked hard and played hard together! There were so many ever changing events; you were never bored, to say the least! I think the changes that have been made by the current administration are incredible! The Café and Village Retreat are projects that were discussed for quite a while and are now a reality! As the dynamics change I love the way Life is going onward and upward for Chiropractic!

VS: So besides Life University, tell us something about yourself.

Larrie: Besides Life and chiropractic being a big part of my life, I love to travel! The Northeast Kingdom has become my favorite. I have children, but they have four legs! We adopt older, special needs, abused dogs. We have 6, but smaller dogs.

VS: What part of the world are you talking about when you say Northeast Kingdom?

Larrie: The Northeast Kingdom is Vermont. It is absolutely beautiful there!

VS: Is there anything else you would like to share with the Life community?

Larrie: I would have to say my philosophy in life is from a quote that says: “I’m still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”

VS: That is fantastic, thank you for sharing yourself with us Larrie.

Larrie: I hope I haven’t bored you all-too-much! I have met so many awesome people and am still meeting awesome people! There are so many people and so many stories that give, love and serve for Life University and chiropractic.

Happy Everyday Everybody.

Say It Ain’t So: Forese Moves On

Holla Back Y’all
Say It Ain’t So: Forese Moves On
Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

Holla Back Y’all is a regular column in the Vital Source which gives the Life community an opportunity to get to know one person here on our campus. Each person is chosen because of their involvement spirit and commitment to the Lasting Purpose philosophy.

It is with deep sympathy and regret I report Life University is losing another quality faculty member. One of the more personable and student friendly professors has decided to leave this school and venture off into a new path away from education. Following the recent retirement of Dr. Bert Silverman and the announcement that Dr. Franz is teaching his final quarter here, the chiropractic student body is deeply saddened to hear Dr. Joseph R. Forese will also be leaving at the end of the Fall 2013 quarter. The division chair of the basic sciences department has decided to take an administrative position at a hospital in north Georgia.

I was fortunate to catch up with Dr. Forese before he started packing up his office and was able to ask him a few questions about his time here and his future plans.

Vital Source: What was your career path leading up to this point?

Joe Forese, DC, MD: I served in the USAF from 1990-1994 being part of Desert Storm/Shield and the liberation of Kuwait. I am proud to be a decorated veteran of a foreign war! [I] attended Life University, graduating in 2001; practiced chiropractic in Smyrna until entering medical school in 2004; I graduated from medical school in 2007 and began working at Life University in 2007.

VS: What has your experience been like, here at Life University?

JF: I have truly enjoyed (almost) every minute here at the university. I started out begging Raj Pradhan for a job teaching undergraduate biology to help feed the family while doing my intern year. I enjoyed it so much and it snowballed into a full-time position teaching clinical lab studies, x-ray positioning, visceral diagnosis, and special senses. I became an administrator and enjoyed the challenge of that, as well. By far, the best thing about Life University to me is the interactions I have had with students and the colleagues I call friends.

VS: What are you going to miss most about Life U?

JF: The students.

VS: Why are you leaving, and what excites you about your new opportunity?

JF: I am leaving to work at a hospital in north Georgia, Mountain Lakes Medical Center. They are exploring options of opening wellness-based care, and I am excited that I may be able to further advancement towards the tipping point.

VS: When you mention “the tipping point”, are you referring to the promotion Dr. Riekeman is talking about, and are you going to be promoting and utilizing chiropractic in a hospital setting?

JF: The answer is yes. I will be going to a hospital that is trying to incorporate a wellness model. I will be utilizing my many skill sets to improve the wellness concept and the inclusion of chiropractic in that model.

VS: Where did you grow up, and do you have a family?

JF: I grew up in New York—born in the Bronx, moved to suburbs (Rockland County) in 1980. The best part of my life is my family, including a beautiful wife Maria and daughter Isabella, 8 years old.

VS: Do you have any closing things to say as you leave here?

JF: I would like to thank the students for being the very best part of the job for the last 8 years! I would like to thank Dr. Leslie King and Dr. Scott for giving me the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity at the university. I would like to thank Dr. Tim Gooding for showing me how to do successful, meaningful research on our many projects and his longstanding service to the community and myself. Lastly, I would like to thank Dr. Phil Librone, one of the under-appreciated treasures to the profession, for his willingness to help my endeavors any way possible, providing a role model and serving the community with his practice for over 15 years. I am sad to be leaving all of you I have called friend over the years, but I am proud to have known you all.

So once again, another wonderful person leaves this campus and there will be many people who will miss him. The ever-constant at this university is change. It is commonplace for students to leave each quarter; we are all accustomed to it and expect it, but it is a different kind of disappointment when a professor leaves, especially a professor like Dr. Forese, whom the majority of the students like and appreciate. Thanks, Dr. Forese, from all of us students, and good luck helping the profession getting to the tipping point.

Holla Back, Y’All – Champion Coach to Doctor

Holla Back, Y’All
Booted Now Suited: Champion Coach to Doctor
Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

James Isaacson is a 13th quarter DC student who is a player/coach for the men’s rugby team at Life University. James played his final game last month and now he begins a new chapter in his life. Having the passion and motivation to play and coach while being in the DC program he has had to make many sacrifices. Being so far away from his eight year old daughter Nicole is at the top of the list. As James’ days here dwindle, he looks forward to his new life and getting back to his little girl, as well as his upcoming marriage to Kerry.

MH: Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?
JI: I grew up in New Castle, a city in the northeast part of England best known for its beer over here, I suppose—a coldish kind of place. It is an interesting town known as a party town. I was brought up on the coast, a very beautiful place with the ocean and a lot of greenery. I grew up in the middle class. I had some opportunities. I was fortunate enough to go to a private high school and that is where I took up rugby. I found this game of rugby and it has sustained me for my entire adult life to be honest. I have been very fortunate and lucky to have had many opportunities because of the game. It ultimately took me to chiropractic school.

MH: How is that?
JI: I started playing the game at eight years old but I really didn’t take it serious. Probably because nobody said I had any talent in it, I suppose. When I arrived at high school I had coaches who told me I had talent. I was encouraged and it just started to snowball. I was fortunate enough to be offered a contract with the local professional team right out of high school. I played for the New Castle Falcons from 1998- 2005. They play in the Premiership League.

I started playing professional ball and balanced it with working on an undergrad degree. When I was twenty-one I was selected to play for England in The World Cup down in Australia. Eventually, I left the New Castle team and went to play for Leeds, which is a city about an hour and a half south.

While playing with Leeds I had a best friend who was a Palmer Graduate and he began talking to me about life after rugby and what great opportunities chiropractic has for a person. He said he went to Palmer on a rugby scholarship so I began to look into it. I was invested in chiropractic all of my years of playing rugby, it’s what kept me on the field.

I decided a year after being with Leeds I was going to divert my attention to chiropractic. My priorities changed once I had my daughter Nicole in 2005. I had to consider people other than myself. So I finished my undergrad in bio-medical science and was at Life in 2010.

MH: What was your experience like coming here from another country?
JI: I didn’t understand American rugby when I got here. I didn’t understand the landscape of rugby in America. I certainly do now!

I remember when I first got here, a week after I got off the plane we were on the Life bus on a trip to Ft. Lauderdale. We had two teams back then and both teams were on the bus. There are only 42 seats on the bus and not all of them are viable to sit in. We had every seat occupied. We had a few guys lying in the aisle; we had one guy standing down in the foot well next to the bathroom for the whole nine hour trip. I was miserable. It was so hot and then I had to get off the bus and play. It was a rude awakening for me though it got a lot better after that. Rugby has taken me all around this country. I have been to some beautiful cities and met some fantastic people. I have made some great friends for life.

MH: Life Rugby has had some success recently how was it when you arrived?
JI: I came in at a great time. I got here shortly after Dan Payne, and I have seen the changes since he got here. The changes have been night and day really. For example, it was a social club on campus and there was no organized lifting schedule and the guys actually paid dues to play on the team. Now it is an organized schedule of practicing three nights a week and there are scheduled weight trainings. Because Dan has a major in business he has worked it around so the guys don’t have to pay dues out of their pockets. Dan has molded a coaching team, which is providing results. We didn’t win any playoff games during my first year. This past year we were involved in five championship games and we won two of them. We should have won more actually, but winning two championships in one year is fantastic.

Having worked with Dan, Tui Osborne, Scott Lawrence, Kelly Hilton Greene and the past coaches I can say the rugby program is very well run. Dan and Scott have been the driving force behind this program and it has gotten a lot better since 2010. It’s a force for good and hopefully it will continue.

Life Student Defeats Death

Life Student Defeats Death
Aaron Kilgore’s Journey
Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

Aaron Kilgore, a modified 7th/8th quarter chiropractic student from Akron, OH, Aaron kilgoreawakened on a late August morning out of breath and with unbearable chest and back pain. Though reluctant, Aaron caved and went to an urgent care clinic, thinking he might have pneumonia. After a very brief examination the doctor told Aaron he needed to head immediately to the nearest emergency room. This is where his nightmare began to unfold.

Aaron was admitted to Wellstar Kennestone on August 31, feeling certain he would only be there overnight for observation. However, in addition to pneumonia, his weakened state had allowed a virus to attack his heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs. Emergency surgery was necessary to implant an Impella 2.5 cardiac assist device to function as his heart. Aaron’s heart had essentially stopped working. He was placed on a respirator and twenty-four hour kidney dialysis. In an instant it became apparent Aaron was fighting for his life—he was on life support.

Heavily sedated and barely responsive, the machines were also allowing his organs time to rest. On day 11, the Impella was surgically removed, but he still remained on dialysis. Aaron appeared to be making progress until day 20, when fluid rapidly began accumulating in his lungs and a blood clot formed in one leg. He also began bleeding internally requiring a blood transfusion. These setbacks required he again be placed on the ventilator; amazingly eight liters of fluid were removed from his lungs in just two days!

Over the next several days, Aaron endured extensive testing of his heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys; doctors were not certain if the virus was gone. Aaron’s vitals began stabilizing, as well as his heart. His condition appeared to be improving and he was moved from ICU to the cardiac unit. Twenty-four hours later he took yet another turn for the worse. He was rushed back into surgery to install a much larger Impella device and had to be given several more units of blood. A second blood clot was discovered in his neck and his liver began failing. He was again placed on a respirator and heavily sedated.

By day 30 doctors informed Aaron’s mother and Emily Fleming, his girlfriend of four years and dietetics intern at Life University, they could no longer stabilize Aaron and his heart was irreparably damaged. The options offered were either the implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or a heart transplant.

Wellstar Kennestone personnel worked diligently to secure a location for the procedure. Within a few short hours he was transported by ambulance to the cardiac team of Dr. David Dean, a cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical director for heart transplant and device therapy at Piedmont Transplant Institute. After numerous preliminary tests, Dr. Dean explained Aaron’s only option was the LVAD. Aaron asked “Am I going to die?” With confidence, Dr. Dean replied, “That’s not an option. I will make sure of that!”

On Monday, October 7 after four hours of prep beginning at 6am, the surgery began and by 1:00pm, the surgical team was finished. Aaron’s chest would remain open for twenty-four hours in case he developed an infection. Fortunately, all went smoothly and Aaron’s surgery was a complete success. Shortly afterwards the respirator was removed and he has been regaining strength and energy every day since. He absolutely realizes the road to recovery is a long one, and one he is gratefully happy to take. Thankfully, his family from Akron, Ohio was able to be at his side from the start and Emily has remained faithfully by Aaron’s side every step of the way. Aaron’s mentor, Dr. Michael Shimmel of Stow Kent Chiropractic (Logan Chiropractic College ’86), made a weekend trip to offer moral support and continues to encourage him.

When asked about Aaron’s illness, class treasurer and 9th quarter student, Kelsey Brenner said, “We heard about Aaron’s illness through his Facebook page and eventually his girlfriend. We had all seen him days before and were shocked to hear he was in the hospital in such critical condition.” Kelsey and her class stepped up to help their ailing colleague by donating their class funds, requesting donations via Facebook and on the website Give Forward. The goal to raise $5,000.00 was reached in only a matter of weeks! Kelsey went on to say, “Aaron is a good friend of mine and I knew we needed to do something for him. Our class is a strong and close class and we like to look out for each other. It was awesome to see us all come together and do this for Aaron and watch how the page spread throughout Facebook and donations grew. We knew that $5,000 would only be a minor dent in his hospital bills but it was better than nothing. Right now we have exceeded our goal and have raised $5,300. We would love to receive even more donations.”

This has been an extremely difficult and emotional time for Aaron and his family. They are overwhelmed by the generosity and outpouring of love and prayers they have received throughout this journey. He is hopeful to reach his goal of returning to Life University in January, in time for the winter quarter.

If you or anyone you know would like to help support Aaron you can go to the give forward website to donate to his fund.

So Long Ishkabibble!

So Long Ishkabibble!
Dr. Bert Silverman Leaves Life U for a New Life
By: Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

Dr Silverman

The iconic Dr. Bert Silverman, who for seventeen years has taught Biochemistry at this university has decided to lay down his wet-erase markers and step away from the overhead projector to pursue his many passions in life. After years of “killing plastic transparencies,” rambling on about “wood chips” and “peeing on trees,” Dr. Silverman will perform his final lecture at the end of this quarter. The charismatic yet controversial but still lovable professor created his own language to help students learn and understand information about the chemical reactions that happen in the body. His strategy for teaching was designed for one goal – to help students pass the National Board Exams. For nearly 68 quarters, incoming students were introduced to Life University by Dr. Silverman in their very first class of the DC program.

When asked about Dr. Silverman’s retirement, longtime colleague Dr. Rick Sherkel said, “His tenure at Life has involved changes that we at the time called growing pains. His historical perspective is no doubt priceless. He brought a strong academic presence as well as a student-centered attitude to the institution during those developmental years when it was most needed.” Dr. Sherkel went on to say, “When the students have spoken of Dr. Silverman, it is with the utmost respect not only for his intellectual abilities but also the fairness that he exercises while managing his academic responsibilities. I will miss Bert and wish him success during his retirement years.”

Dr. Silverman plans to spend his time away from teaching by enjoying some interests that he has been unable to fully enjoy due to the demands of teaching in a quarter system. He is looking forward to spending more time with his eight parrots which include an African Grey and a Cockatoo. He is an avid lover of art, and he enjoys going to art auctions and collecting many various types of art.

Dr Silverman2He also enjoys photography and travel. Although he has no immediate plans to travel, he and his wife Mary have many places in mind for upcoming adventures. Ireland is one of their favorite travel destinations and he and Mary Kelly look forward to returning there in the near future. Of the many countries he has not visited, South Africa and Australia are at the top of his list, if he can convince his wife to endure the long flights. By combining his passions of travel and photography, Dr. Silverman has many beautiful photographs from his travels. Some of the things he enjoys photographing on his journeys are the local people as well as the beautiful architecture of buildings and churches.

Dr. Silverman earned his B.S. degrees in biology and chemistry from the Carnegie-Mellon University and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Illinois. Following his education in Illinois, he spent some time as a professor at the Rockefeller University in New York City. This is not the first retirement for Bert. His careers are diverse and include many years in the field of ophthalmology research, as well as a successful stint in the new business/acquisitions field. According to Dr. Silverman, “I guess my big claim to fame was discovering an enzyme in the cornea that protects the eye from ultraviolet light damage.”

Silverman has been an active advocate of vitalistic chiropractic, when asked about his chiropractic experiences he said, “I have been under chiropractic care since I was eight years old. I really believe in what chiropractors do. I want to see all of my students graduate and get out there and help people.”

When asked to comment, former student and current chiropractor George Alexiades said, “I know one thing is for certain – I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for Dr. Silverman. It has been years since I’ve been in his classes, but funny enough, I have never stopped learning from him. He taught on a much deeper level than just biochemistry. He always had the utmost respect for his students, which is rare, and sadly, not all of his students realize it. Someday, they will, but, hey, what can I say? I love the [guy]. This is an end to an era and I’m really going to miss him. Take care, Bert.”

When asked if his recent health problems were involved in his decision to retire, Dr. Silverman declined discussing it, saying it is not the reason. His decision was based on enjoying many other aspects of life with his wife. When asked what he will miss most when he closes his office door for the last time he said, “I have really enjoyed teaching here all these years. I am really going to miss the students. I have very much enjoyed interacting with them over the past seventeen years. I get a big kick when past students approach me years after being in my class and say they remember my teachings and how they heard my voice in their heads while taking their Board Exams. I honestly believe my students have taught me more than I have taught them. I truly believe that.” He went on to add, “But I will be back from time to time to check on the progress of the 20/20 plan.”

So as the quarter draws to a close, so too does an era! Future generations of chiropractic students will unknowingly miss out on the nonsensical ramblings of a man who truly cared about his students; and, in the testing rooms of the National Board Exams over the next two years, those nonsensical ramblings will come together to make perfect sense for Dr. Silverman’s former students as they pass their board exams. So, on Friday September 20th, at 11am in room C-1, the last lecture of a historic chapter in Life University lore will come to a close. Undoubtedly, there will never be another professor at Life University with the personality, humor, and political incorrectness of this man.

The Vital Source staff would like to say, thank you Dr. Silverman; we appreciate all you have sacrificed and given to us on behalf of the students and the university. We are sincerely grateful for all you have given. We wish you improved health to you and great travels, to you and Mary. Take care, and so long, Ishkabibble.

Holla Back Y’all – Not Just Another Pretty Face

Holla Back Y’all
Not Just Another Pretty Face
Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

Meryl Adis is a dynamic, caring, positive woman with a zest for life and a love of people. Loving people so much, she has committed her life to one of service. She is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has been here at Life University for nearly three years. Meryl has completed an undergraduate degree, majoring in psychology. She is the proud mother of Emma, 22, and Olivia, who is 27. She is a graduate of numerous Landmark Education courses and has impacted many Life University students during her time here, having developed very close friendships with students both young and old. Meryl graduated magna cum laude this June.

MH: What are your feelings about Life University?

merylMERYL: “This is a very very special community. Being that I am the age of most people’s mother here and for me to be able to fit in, enjoy it, grow, be included in whatever goes on and feel very comfortable with it really points to how special it is. It is a very open group of mostly young people who are full of possibility at this school. And that makes a lot of things possible in all ways.”

MH: Why did you choose the psychology program?

Meryl: “I did originally come here to be in the DC program, since I had an application to go here when I was 23, and I never sent it in. Long story short, I thought, ‘Why not?’, even though I had been an art major 35 years ago. After taking my pre-reqs here and learning more and more about it, I realized I wasn’t willing to do what it would take because I really don’t know how all of the DC students do it. I have an even deeper appreciation for chiropractors for having endured all that this program can put them through. So I happily stayed here, I figured why not, and just finish my undergrad degree. I liked it here and I like the sunshine, and on June 14th I [graduated]—woo-hoo!—with a bachelor of science in psychology, which I am as passionate about as I am chiropractic. We have really good professors here. The psychology department here is a match for our school. It appreciates being under the roof of a chiropractic college, and the conversations tie into that. I wish the chiropractic students were required to take more of the undergrad psychology classes because they’re such a match. I think that is a lot of what kept me interested and focused, because they have a vitalistic approach, more existential approach, and sometime soon, they will have a master’s program here, and if they keep going the way they are, it will attract a lot of people that have never heard of Life University.

MH: What do you like to do away from school?

MERYL: “The most exciting positive thing I have done recently is that I was trained in transcendental Meditation. I wanted to do this when I was in the 11th grade, back in the 70s, and back then I needed my parents’ permission, and they wouldn’t give it to me. Since then, I have meditated and done a variety of things like that, but I figured why not? So I did; I was trained by the local TM teacher. I learned a lot about it, and just meditation in general in my psychology classes, so it was intriguing to me. And learning how to do it, I have found it to be my new best friend. It is such a very interesting, exhilarating, peaceful practice. But, much to my surprise, within six weeks’ time, I had a check-up at my cardiologist. I have been on blood pressure medication for ten years, and even though I am not considered to be overweight and have been very fit at times, even still, my blood pressure was high—it runs in my family, across the board. So, I have been taking those medications. When I went for the check up six weeks after I was trained in transcendental meditation, much to my and my doctor’s surprise, my blood pressure was so low he was forced to take me off of one of my medications. And that was not why I even started to meditate. I figured if that was a by-product a year from now, cool. Who knows what other health benefits and spiritual benefits meditation is going to provide for me, or for anybody.”

MH: What do you like to do for fun around town?

MERYL: “One of my saviors here has been Darwin’s Burgers and Blues on Roswell Rd. in Marietta. I didn’t know about this place for the first year and a half I lived here; then some dear friends of mine mentioned it to me. I love live music and I love the blues—I forgot how much I loved the blues. Darwin’s was a place where I was willing to go to by myself. It became what I call “my house of joy”. The music is so great—it’s a small place and you are right up there next to them while the musicians are playing. The people that hang out there and the staff have become my family. They save me a seat at the bar.


They are just wonderful wonderful people. Darwin’s was the balance for me since I would say the biggest depravation for me since I have been here is not having contemporaries—people of my age bracket that have the same concerns and issues I have and can relate. I love everybody here, but it has been a big imbalance and by going to Darwin’s, it made my heart sing because it literally tapped into something that was so necessary for me. In turn I have made some older adult friends that have really gotten me by.

Another thing that I really enjoy about Atlanta is the Dekalb Farmers Market. Darwin’s and Dekalb Farmers Market are my two joys of Atlanta outside of Life University.”