Members of the Alumni Advisory Council (AAC) serve as ambassadors for CUKC. AAC members are alumni who represent all degree programs, and who love CUKC. The goal of the AAC is to embody all facets of CUKC to ensure a diverse collaboration of efforts, including but not limited to location, academic degree, year of graduation, etc. Applications for AAC members are accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed as positions become available. If you are interested in applying for the AAC, please email email@example.com.
The Cleveland University-Kansas City Alumni Advisory Council (AAC) exists to help build strong and lasting relationships between alumni and friends of CUKC. Members of the AAC serve as volunteers, spokespeople and advocates of CUKC. The AAC collaborates with and supports the University’s Office of Campus and Alumni Relations but does not have binding decision-making or spending authority, which remains at the discretion of the Office of Campus and Alumni Relations. The AAC is an integral part of the continued success of CUKC’s alumni efforts and the commitment to connecting with lifelong CUKC supporters.
1. Serve on the AAC for three consecutive years.
2. Attend the scheduled meetings of the AAC (three per year). Two consecutive absences without prior notice will result in a review to determine if continued service is feasible.
3. Remain knowledgeable and current about CUKC and the Office of Campus and Alumni Relations. Read emails and visit the website periodically to stay current on activities and initiatives. Have a thorough understanding of CUKC’s mission and vision.
4. Stay informed and supportive of alumni opportunities such as volunteering, benefits programs, initiatives and events.
5. Aid the Office of Campus and Alumni Relations in identifying volunteers, regional contacts and other potential AAC members.
6. Be an alumni ambassador by attending alumni programs in your area, on-campus or virtually a minimum of three times per year.
7. Fulfill other duties as assigned.
Michael Brucks is a native Kansas Citian, and grew up in Grandview, Mo. He performed his undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry at Avila University in Kansas City, where he was also a member of the baseball team. He went on to receive his Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Cleveland University-Kansas City and completed his clinical internship in late 2015. A diplomat of the Missouri Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, he holds his chiropractic license in Missouri. He worked in Lee’s Summit, Mo., for three years prior to taking over Heritage Chiropractic Clinic in Raymore, Mo., in 2019.
Michael is an active member of the American Chiropractic Association and the Missouri Chiropractic Physicians Association (MCPA). He currently serves as president of District 2 within the MCPA. Outside of practice, Michael enjoys running, reading, and spending time with his wife, Emily.
Darrell McDonald graduated from Central High School in the inner city of Kansas City, where his life was surrounded by violence, drugs, and alcohol. He was accepted into Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he studied business management. It was there that his life changed forever. He met a yogi who taught him the art and science of yoga. Darrell immediately noticed changes in his body, mental acuity, and outlook. He was able to deal with temporary obstacles and childhood trauma with patience. Yoga encouraged him to eat a healthy diet in order to gain the maximum benefits of doing breathing techniques, movements and postures.
In 2016, Darrell enrolled at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), where he earned an Associate of Arts in Biological Sciences. He continued his studies at CUKC, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, and graduating magna cum laude and valedictorian. In addition, he has completed courses in Black Child and Youth Development, and Stress Management for Health and Wellness.
Darrell is a devoted practitioner and teacher of Kemetic Yoga. He is a certified yoga teacher in the Yoga Skills Method (YSM) at the School of Kemetic Yoga, a registered school with the Yoga Alliance. He completed courses at Art of Living Foundation, and learned the Sudharshan Kriya (SKY) meditation technique. He is dedicated to sharing the healing practices of yoga and stress management with others.
Originally from Edmond, Okla., Aya Hadachek grew up in a family of chiropractors. She always saw their passion for chiropractic, but it wasn’t until injuries playing basketball, and playing the cello, that she learned to truly appreciate it. Her passion for music drew her to the University of Arkansas for a degree in music business, but by the end of her first semester of college, she realized her true purpose was to serve others with chiropractic.
With the help of the wonderful admission department at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), Aya was the first in her family to attend CUKC for chiropractic school. While there, she loved her time on Student Council and associated committees, because it brought her closer to her peers. Kansas brought some of Aya’s best friends, but most importantly her husband, Gary.
Being out of state for her undergraduate and doctoral degrees raised Aya’s excitement to return to Edmond, to open her own practice, A. Rowe Chiropractic. In the summer of 2021, A. Rowe Chiropractic opened and has since been serving members of the Edmond community, focusing on enabling patients to move forward in their health journey. When out of the office, Aya, Gary, and their dog Oakley love to be outside, attend fun events with friends, and spend time with family!
Chris Hargrave feels like he has lived a life full of such a variety of experiences that he has been extremely blessed, fortunate, or whatever you may call it. He grew up in central Missouri, and started working at a very young age like so many of his friends. He delivered newspapers, mowed grass, trimmed trees, cut hay, put up hay, and even did a little computer networking.
After changing his major in college every chance he got, and realizing he was wasting his time, like so many others, Chris enlisted. He was in line to be the third generation Air Force, that’s where he ended up. He enlisted as an Aircraft Hydraulic Specialist, and ended up stationed at “No Hope Pope,” (Pope AFB) right next door to the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Shortly after arriving in North Carolina, the terrorist attacks on 9/11 occurred, and like so many others, his life changed dramatically. While he did not deploy for OEF, he did deploy for OIF with the A-10 Warthogs in February of 2003. Following deployment, he PCS’d to the Azore Islands and worked en route there. He later separated from active duty and eventually worked as a deputy sheriff, and re-enlisted into the Air National Guard as a firefighter.
Chris then realized he wanted to do something different and decided it was time to go back to school. He wanted something more out of life, but really had no ideas on what that might look like. Grad school was a pivotal time for him. He completed his Doctor of Chiropractic degree, and met Erica, who is now his wife, partner and colleague.
After graduation, they moved to Arizona to start their chiropractic practice. They chose their overarching brand as “Life Aligned,” and set out to leave their mark. He truly believes to this day that when all aspects of your life are aligned, you are able to live your life to its fullest potential. That means your relationships, work, personal life and play time all align to build a life that is far more than we could ever imagine. With this mission, they own and operate Complete Rehab in Queen Creek, Ariz.
Throughout his time at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), he was active in clubs and student council. He and Erica both served as “tri-reps” in student council for their class. He helped found the Veterans Club, and served as an officer for the sports council through the majority of his time at CUKC. Since graduation, he has continued to serve the ACA Sports Council in various roles, including treasurer, vice president, and president. He looks forward to serving on this new board!
Caitlin Walter was born and raised in Wichita, Kan. She was a competitive gymnast and cheerleader for many years. Chiropractic care is what allowed her to continue her sports with limited pain. She knew being a chiropractor was her dream profession based on that experience. She attended Wichita State University for the majority of her undergrad curriculum, but finished her academic career at Cleveland University-Kansas City, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, and Doctor of Chiropractic degrees.
During her education, she held leadership positions in many clubs including Women’s Chiropractic Club and the Country Swingin’ Chiros. She was a member of Student American Chiropractic Association and traveled to Washington D.C., to attend the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) legislative conference. She is the Current Alternate Delegate for the State of Montana for the ACA. She is also a proud member of the Montana Chiropractic Association (MCA). She specializes in whiplash and traumatic brain injuries.
In her free time, she travels across the country as a competitive cheerleading coach with Rise Athletics in Great Falls, Mont. During her summers, she spends her time floating down the Missouri River, and tries to catch paddlefish. Caitlin’s pride and joy are her nieces and nephew back in Kansas.
Originally from Arkansas, Brandon Johns didn’t grow up with the dream of being a chiropractor. He worked as a welder for a number of years, building air conditioning systems for schools and hospitals, before injuring his shoulder in a motorcycle accident.
Unable to afford surgery, he sought chiropractic care, which successfully treated his shoulder. His personal results are what inspired him to become a chiropractor. He wanted to help others experience that same joy of getting better without drugs or surgery.
Brandon and his wife moved from Arkansas to Kansas City, where he attended Cleveland University-Kansas City. He graduated with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree in December 2013. After graduation, they were looking for some place different from Arkansas – but not quite as much of a city as Kansas City. Jefferson City, Mo., was a perfect compromise, and Align Chiropractic Clinic opened in the spring of 2014.
Leslie Layton grew up in Southern California. After high school, she became a certified massage therapist, physical therapy aide, chiropractic assistant, learned German and Italian concurrently, then spent several months living with her grandparents in England.
Upon her return, she began her studies at CUKC. She earned her A.S. and B.S. from the Los Angeles campus, and transferred to the Kansas City campus after her seventh trimester to receive her D.C. After graduation, Layton moved back to the Los Angeles area and began practicing at a high volume clinic specializing in personal injuries. After leaving that practice, she began working at an integrated medical practice, where she gained further knowledge and experience that allowed her to open her own practice.
Layton currently owns a practice in Kansas City, Kan., loves to give back to her community, and regularly volunteers. She has been on the community board of the local YMCA and was an ambassador for the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce. For the past five years, she has taught general biology, along with anatomy and physiology for the diploma+ program at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Ashley Emel is a highly accomplished chiropractor, wellness practitioner, and community leader. Originally, from Fulton, Mo., she developed a deep-rooted connection to her community, and a drive to make a positive impact on the lives of those around her.
Ashley’s educational journey began at Lincoln University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Realizing her true calling was in healthcare, she pursued a master’s degree in business administration to enhance her skills and knowledge in managing and operating her own practice in the future.
In 2011, Ashley graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College, emerging as a skilled chiropractor ready to make a difference in the lives of her patients. Driven by her desire to provide comprehensive and holistic care, she established Compass Chiropractic and Wellness in Columbia, Mo., where she has dedicated herself to promoting well-being and improving the quality of life for her clients.
Throughout her nine years as the owner and operator of Compass Chiropractic and Wellness, Ashley has cultivated a specialization in various areas. Her expertise encompasses pelvic floor exercises, assisting families with tongue and lip tie issues, and focusing on pediatric and family care. Recognizing the importance of women’s health, Ashley has developed a profound interest in this area and now teaches courses on the pelvic floor and women’s health to fellow professionals, sharing her knowledge and promoting excellence in the field.
While she dedicates much of her time and energy to her profession, Ashley is also a proud and loving mother. She cherishes her role as a wife and mom to two beautiful girls, Finley and Charley, who inspire her to maintain a healthy work-life balance and continue striving for excellence in her career.
Emel’s unwavering commitment to her patients, her community, and her family make her an exemplary healthcare professional and an invaluable asset to the Columbia, Mo., area. Through her expertise, compassion, and dedication, she continues to positively impact the lives of countless individuals and families, empowering them to live their lives to the fullest.
In addition to her thriving chiropractic practice and her role as a dedicated mother, Emel also serves as an influential community leader. She currently holds the esteemed position of board president on the Board of Directors for True North of Columbia, a prominent organization committed to supporting individuals affected by domestic and sexual assault.
Ashley’s involvement with True North of Columbia showcases her deep empathy and commitment to social justice. As the board president, she plays a crucial role in guiding the organization’s mission and vision, ensuring that survivors of domestic and sexual assault receive the care, resources, and support they need to heal and rebuild their lives.
During her time at Cleveland Chiropractic College, Ashley was actively involved in student leadership. She sat on the Student Council as the Social Chair for a remarkable three-year tenure, where she organized and coordinated various social events, fostering a sense of camaraderie among her fellow students.