Careers in Chiropractic Blog

This is a blog for the Doctor of Chiropractic program at New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) that I worked on for Elliance.

Selected posts:

August 3, 2017 – Research resources for chiropractic students

July 27, 2017 – Building Relationships: A Foundation of Chiropractic

July 20, 2017 – Healing a nation in pain with evidence-informed chiropractic

June 22, 2017 – VA Relationships and NYCC Chiropractic Students

May 4, 2017 – What is diagnostic imaging?

April 20, 2017 – How real world experience benefits patients

March 16, 2017 – Chiropractic and Nutrition

March 9, 2017 – Chiropractic Sports Specialization, with Dr. Emily Canfield

March 3, 2017 – NYCC Faculty Profile: Dr. Brian Cunningham

December 22, 2016  –  Alumnus Tim Simansky, DC, DACBSP, CSCS, and Chiropractic for Athletes

November 23, 2016  –  Careers in Chiropractic Specialization Spotlight: Pediatrics

October 27, 2016  –  How do you become a chiropractor?

Power in pedals

This story was originally featured on November 18, 2012 in The Essay Magazine. The Photos were taken by Jasmine Beaubien.

Stephanie Dankelson cannot imagine her life without fitness. She’s participated in a 4000-mile bicycle trek across the United States, races on a triathlon team, recently completed her first full marathon and teaches weekly fitness classes. The Ohio University senior doesn’t stop there. She is constantly finding new ways to challenge herself and to teach others the joy that she’s found in staying active and living healthy.

Her proudest fitness accomplishment was participating in a summer-long bike event called Bike & Build, a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness for affordable housing funds. Through 2-3 month long trips, and eight different cycling routes all over the United States, groups of about 30 people ride each route every summer.

Stephanie heard about Bike & Build in the fall of her sophomore year from a freshman on the triathlon team while they were peeling potatoes. She instantly felt what she describes as a “fire to go,” something she just had to do.

Stephanie applied and found out she was accepted right before a French final in November of 2010. The initial barrier was getting her parents on board—letting your daughter ride her bike across the country is a big deal. After convincing, they were her biggest supporters.

Her course, the Northern route, stretched from Maine to Vancouver—through Niagara Falls on the 4th of July, down Chicago streets and through beautiful Western Montana—averaging 75 miles a day. This was an incredible journey for her, having to push herself mentally and physically, and learning so much about the world, about others and about herself.

“Pre-Bike & Build and Post-Bike & Build Stephanie are two different people, and it’s for the better,” Stephanie said.

Through this trip, she learned about the generosity of people, the necessity of flexibility in life and saw the vision for the things she could accomplish.

“This trip forever changed my life,” Stephanie said, “[It helped me] realize the strength in myself and in others. I met so many amazing people, realized there is so much good in the world and I learned how to accept things as the way they are. Life is so good and anyone can make a difference.”

Back at school, training is just as important as studies.

“Those who know me can tell which days I don’t get a good workout in,” Stephanie said, “If fitness were not a part of my day something would be wrong! Whether it be my morning workouts, taking the stairs or through working, I manage to fit it in one way or another.”

She believes that it is possible to make time for fitness, and that it allows her to get focused for the rest of the day. Stephanie does all kinds of things for fitness—lifts weights, rides her bike, runs and more.

“After getting my training done for the day I am focused and have a much clearer head on my shoulders. If that means getting up at 5:30 to be at the pool or on the road by 6 then so be it!” she said.

Above all, Stephanie’s favorite incorporation of fitness in her life is being a group fitness instructor. She currently teaches a cycling class at Ohio University’s Charles J. Ping Recreation Center.

“I find so much joy in sharing my love of fitness with others and helping them find their love as well.”

But Stephanie was not always the fit fan you see today. It was until her junior year of high school that she was the person her friends considered “the lazy one.”

“I tried to find every and any excuse to get out of track practice,” she said.

Her coach suggested she try cross-country, which she didn’t think she could ever do, but when peers started to joke about the unlikelihood of her success, Stephanie was motivated to prove them wrong.

“I discovered a new love in the process. I gave everything I had and by my senior year, I was successful on both the cross country and track teams, as well as my new found hobby, swimming.”

Now, Stephanie loves to share her love of fitness with others, and strives to motivate them to get active because of the value it has had on her life.

“Healthy starts in the soul,” she says, and pushes everyone to believe they have the power to get going with a little determination. Stephanie encourages everyone to get active— start with group fitness classes or with a workout buddy, to get excited about it and to not beat yourself up if you have a bad workout day.

“Healthy is being happy. Healthy is feeling good about yourself. It’s accepting the body you have and it’s about sharing fitness with other people, making healthy choices. It’s not about getting to a perfect image, or to what society defines as that— it’s accepting who you are and loving that person.”

Stephanie’s most recent accomplishment was completing her first full marathon in Columbus, Ohio on October 21 of this year. Next up, she is focusing on challenging others to make positive fitness changes in their lives. She cannot see herself in any other career path besides one inspiring and promoting healthy living or at least making it an important part of her life, but she is still trying to figure out what that looks like, where she wants to go and if she wants to swim there, bike there, or run. Most likely all three.

Undergraduate research: Greg Bernero

Photo by Max Brown
Photo by Max Brown

There are two positions in ultimate frisbee: the handler and the cutter. A handler’s job is to remain in the backfield while the offense runs around them. Handlers dump throws to cutters. If nothing is happening, the frisbee gets passed back to handlers to reset the offense. The frisbee is passed from person to person until someone catches it in the end zone. Carnegie Mellon senior Greg Bernero is a handler for his school’s team. He is also involved in the school’s physics research department— when he’s not on the field, he’s in the lab.

Carnegie Mellon is known for its involvement in scientific and technical research, and Bernero has taken advantage of this ever since his sophomore year. Like in ultimate, his current research position involves a lot of observations and research that can be passed on to the next researcher. And if it doesn’t work, he’s remaining in the backfield to reset and try again.

From an early age, Bernero knew science was what he wanted to do, messing with mini chemistry-lab kits and attending science camps every summer. In high school, he found a sense of freedom through Physics that was unlike any other science. “In biology and chemistry, there was pretty much always one approach to a problem and one answer. In physics, we learned to do things like orient your coordinate system however you wanted, or define variables to your liking. This is what really hooked me,” he said.

College Physics started off as a somewhat different story. It had been easy in high school, so Bernero thought he’d be able to breeze through his freshman courses. It wasn’t so simple. “College was harder than I had ever imagined it,” he recalled, “I got a 30% on my first physics exam.” This made him do some serious thinking. Had he made a giant mistake in investing all of this time in a field he might actually hate? “I had to remind myself of why I loved the subject in the first place. I knew that while it was going to be hard, it would all be worth it to get to all the juicy stuff later on.” He kept focused and read a lot of articles and papers on what was going on in the world of physics. Knowing what was going on outside the classroom kept him motivated to push through so he could get there too. After four years, it still keeps getting harder, but also more interesting.

The thought of something cooler in the world of higher-level physics is what kept him motivated to push through the tedious lower-level stuff, but Bernero then realized he didn’t have to wait until he graduated to get involved in the research he was reading about. All he had to do was, as he put it, “knock on some doors,” to get a position. “The fact that CMU as a whole is largely a research university and that most of the physics department is involved in awesome research was very influential,” Bernero said. He knew research was an excellent way to get your foot in the door on his track to a Ph.D., and found it wasn’t hard to help in research even as an undergrad. Since, he has dabbled with many areas of the field of physics— Astrophysics, Nuclear and Particle Physics to name a few.

His current position is looking at the clumpiness (yes, that’s the technical term), of hydrogen in space. He uses this clumpiness to write a program that analyzes simulation data of hydrogen, so that he and future physicists can take the simulations and apply them to actual observed data. What could the ability to estimate hydrogen levels through simulation and observations mean? It’s mostly to help others with data for their research. It could also mean a way to show how matter is actually formed in space, and take us all the way back to early expansion of the universe. Studying the current expansion of the universe could be telling in where it is headed, and what mass objects may or may not hold—all from mere hydrogen levels.

Bernero and his research partners calculate hydrogen levels by first looking at what are possibly the most distant objects in the universe, called quasi-stellar radio sources, or quasars. His work so far has been writing the software that calculates these hydrogen levels through simulations. Data from the Sloan Foundation telescope has provided them with absorption lines from these quasars, where neutral hydrogen can be detected in the appearance of protons each quasar emits.

One of Bernero’s nuisances has been getting enough access time to the supercomputer in his school research center, as his program requires greater power to run it properly. But his biggest challenge has been getting simulation data to match the actual observed data. Bernero has to get it to match so well through his software, that simulations will be much more accurate, even when a person using his software has fewer statistics on observed hydrogen levels. “This means that when we eventually analyze our preliminary results, there will be lots of refining and optimizing to be done,” he said, “Our hopes are for somebody else to be able to use our work on his or her own project, as is the case with many physics projects.”

Bernero initially had no interest in Astrophysics until he took up this particular project. His largest interest is High Energy Particle Physics, which he plans to do his thesis work on. The irony is that it’s all circling back around. “I am currently taking Intro to Nuclear and Particle Physics, which is my first real exposure to the subject. So far it has been quite challenging, but also incredibly interesting. I am excited to go into more depth in graduate school.”

His first four years studying physics at the university level have come with a few surprises too. What surprised him most was how lazy physicists often are. “Our notation is sloppy, we hand-wave ourselves through rough patches in the math, and we sweep many issues under the rug,” he laughed, “Mathematicians would cringe at some of the operations we do on a regular basis. And yet, somehow it all works. We often ignore some clutter and semantics in order to understand the meat of a problem.” It’s a freedom he likes. Like Physicist Richard Feynman described it in one of his most famous lectures, mathematicians work in the very concrete, and the reasons behind their numbers and calculations aren’t necessarily relevant for them to know, but “the physicist is always interested in the special case.” Feynman explains that the greatest discoveries always turn out abstract from the model. They rely on each other, but it’s the physicist who gets to stray.

Bernero’s next steps: his Masters and then his Ph.D., where he plans to work on High Energy Particle Physics. Bernero plans to, one day, work in a lab or accelerator studying particle physics—the branch of physics that has brought more attention to things, like the search for the Higgs Boson, a theoretical particle that would explain a great deal about our universe. For now, he’s working hard in his research. Getting published as an undergraduate isn’t as easy as finding research positions at Carnegie Mellon. But he still has a few more years for his studies. And he’s loving the freedom.

Sol Restaurant brings Cuban Fusion to Athens

This article was published in The Essay Magazine on October 4, 2012: 

Take a turn into the alley at 33 N. Court Street and you’re greeted by Cuban music, growing in volume as you approach Sol’s front entrance. When you walk in the door of the Cuban Fusion restaurant,

you’ve entered an atmosphere like no other in Athens, Ohio.

As Sol owner Todd Wilson describes it, Sol is “a place where people can feel like they’re on vacation without having to leave Athens.”

Cuban-fusion cuisine got its name from the many cultural cuisines combined to create it, including Spanish, Carribbean and African. The meat is the central part of the dish, blended with vegetables, rice or beans.

“Everybody I know that has ever tried Cuban food loves it,” Wilson said, “It’s fresh, it’s different, but familiar enough ingredients that you’re not freaked out.”

Wilson grew up in Athens and met his wife here in grade school. His wife was born in Miami, Florida, where her parents had immigrated to the US from Cuba. They then moved to Athens. She and Martin moved to Miami in 1994 after they graduated from Ohio University. They spent ten years living in Miami, the Cuban-Fusion center of the United States, before moving back to Athens and starting Sol.

Sol began as a street buggy and opened it its new location on February 2 this year.

The restaurant has been using various local food products in its cuisine since it opened. Because of this, Sol’s menus and specials are constantly changing with the seasons and what is available locally.

For example, a recent dish offered was a shrimp avocado and mango salad that used a dressing made from Ohio’s own pawpaw.

“You can’t get that anywhere else,” Wilson said.

The restaurant has a bar with drink specials and dancing late on weekend nights. From 10:30-11:30pm, Sol hosts Salsa lessons with Cuban appetizers available, and from 11:30-2:00am, there is a DJ and open dancing on Fridays.

Sol is unique to Athens for its cuisine, its atmosphere, and its vacation-esque nightlife.

Check out Sol’s website at for menu updates, special events, and photos of the Cuban Fusion Cuisine.