Northeast Student Embraces Advocacy Along with Studies
For Jess Huck (D.C. '23), their time at Northeast has been defined by their activism as much as it has been by their classroom and clinical work. As the former vice president and current active member of Students for Social Diversity Awareness (SSDA), Huck has been able to have some important conversations with fellow students, professors, and administrators about the College's commitment to diversity.
"[When I talk to others] I say we want to claim that we're the best college," they said. "And if we want to do that, we have to be better. Because we're not there yet. I say things that are hard for people to say, and I think it's hard for others to hear. But I also know if we don't say it and don't address it, nothing is going to change."
The Columbus, Ohio native says there have been many productive conversations among students, faculty and staff at the College. They said many people are open to making changes that ensure the College will be welcoming to those from marginalized groups. At the urging of Huck and other student advocates for diversity, for example, clinicians now include their pronouns on their name tags. "That's a positive change," Huck says. "We have more diversity training and speakers now, and we continue to talk with the deans of education and others about how we can be more inclusive."
Huck came to Northeast with a broad portfolio of educational efforts: they have an undergraduate degree from Kent State University in photojournalism and a master's degree in acupuncture from the American Institute of Alternative Medicine in Columbus. Their desire to become a chiropractor stems from the sense that chiropractic and acupuncture work well together. This belief extends to Huck's hope for the future: to open a clinic where integrative medicine professionals work together to offer the
I think the most rewarding thing we live for as doctors is to see positive patient progress.
Quick Questions with Doctor of Chiropractic Student Jess Huck.
What made you choose Northeast and pivot from acupuncture to a chiropractic degree?
I was doing the acupuncture program and as I was treating patients in our student clinic, I kept thinking,'if we only had a chiropractor on staff, I could treat with acupuncture, and they could get adjusted, and they would have such better results'. I realized that the feedback my body received from working on someone else was very intense and rewarding. So, it was during that period in acupuncture school that I decided I was going to become a chiropractor.
Are there any professors at Northeast who have been particularly influential to you?
There are a ton. Dr. Maria Thomadaki, our faculty advisor for SSDA, has supported us as we work to create a more inclusive space within our school and profession. Dr. Rebecca Bauer has been pivotal in my growth with my technical/clinical skills. She is always there to offer support and constructive criticism to make us better doctors. Dr. Jeana Voorhies and Dr. Scott Voorhies are on the front lines in terms of having an environment that is safe and inviting for having the conversations about diversity in healthcare. They have created a space that welcomes these conversations amongst our peers.
You have two children and are homeschooling them. How hard is it to balance the rigors of your education with raising a family?
It's true when they say it takes a village (laughs). The "village" that I have created here, they have become my family: my classmates, my friends. They show up. They are there if I need them, and my kids love them. For instance, my daughter just had her birthday, and all her friends are back in Ohio, so her party was attended by all my friends here. She told me it was the best birthday ever. Being a single parent while completing this degree is one of the most challenging things I have ever done and I wouldn't be here today if I didn't have the support from everyone around me, and for that I am incredibly grateful.