Jocelyn Tierney, a student in the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree program at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), was recognized at the 15th Annual Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA) Leadership Conference. Tierney received the "Excellence in Leadership" award from SACA for her efforts while serving as national vice chair of the student ACA group. The presentation took place at the conference held Sept. 7-9 in Milwaukee. Tierney was recognized for her commitment to growing the organization, and for being instrumental in improving the image of chiropractic at all chiropractic institutions.
Tierney was nominated for the award by her peers, and was selected by the advisors of the group. To be considered for the honor, a SACA member must exhibit the ability to lead teams that are effective, while also possessing the skills to communicate, engage student leaders and mentor others as they ascend through ranks of the organization.
"This award means an immense amount to me," Tierney said. "Even more, though, the opportunity to be a part of the SACA community and serve a greater purpose is the most rewarding aspect. Award or no award, engaging in this community is extremely meaningful to me."
When announcing her for the award, a SACA advisor described Tierney as an innovator who is focused on the empowerment of others, is a driving force behind solutions to complex problems, and one who has laid the groundwork that will ensure that the group will continue to grow after her graduation. She was commended for her commitment to enhancing the committee structure and communication within SABCA, and she was praised for her ability to give students room to grow in the organization.
Tierney is nearing the end of the D.C. program, but she has been active in SACA since her second trimester. She started with the SACA chapter at CUKC, before becoming involved on a national level. The leadership accolade is a testament to her efforts on behalf of the group and the profession. She is confident about the organization's positive impact on its members when they are students, and later when they become practitioners.
According to Tierney, SACA helps its members develop new skills for both personal and professional advancement. Some of these include community service and outreach, legislative fundraising, marketing, goal setting, and event planning. The impact of the student group can be seen in many different aspects of the chiropractic profession.
"Students help make a difference," Tierney said. "In the last year, two pieces of legislation have passed the House and Senate, both of which SACA members helped lobby for. This includes the recently passed 'Travel to Treat' bill, which will soon be sent to the president's desk for signing. Furthermore, it includes the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in March of 2018, which contains language which will help expand access to chiropractic services for veterans."
Tierney went on to say that individuals in SACA are the students of today, but they are the future of chiropractic. They have a vested interest in advancing the profession so they work diligently on its behalf. Being involved in these activities sharpens the communication skills of SACA members, and leads to memories that will last forever.
"I have not only had many valuable experiences in professional development, but I have made great friends, too," Tierney said. "In SACA, we like to say, "Find Your Tribe. Love Them Hard." SACA is a tribe, or a community, and I am endlessly grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it while in school. Undoubtedly, the experiences I have had have better prepared me for the profession by challenging me to learn, grow and develop new skill sets."
The SACA Leadership Conference was attended by more than 120 SACA members from across the United States. The event offers chiropractic students guidance on leadership development from some of the most dynamic individuals in the chiropractic and health care communities. The students can then utilize those principles to enhance their leadership abilities when they enter into the profession.