College of Chiropractic Valedictorian

“From Student to Valedictorian: My Journey at Life University”


Becoming the valedictorian of her class at Life University (Life U) was never part of Kaylee Wilson Conlan’s initial plan.

“My journey in chiropractic education has been a blend of dedication, perseverance and a deep commitment to the field. As I reflect on my time at Life University, I realize that my achievements are a testament to the values instilled in me from a young age, the support of my mentors and peers, and the unique opportunities provided by Life U,” shared Wilson Conlan.

A Chiropractic Legacy

Chiropractic care has always been a significant part of Wilson Conlan’s life, thanks to her father, who is a chiropractor himself. Growing up, she never knew a life without Chiropractic, which she sees as a blessing. This early exposure shaped her aspirations and guided Wilson Conlan’s academic pursuits.

“During my undergraduate years at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, I explored various healthcare professions, shadowing numerous practitioners. However, none resonated with me as deeply as Chiropractic,” explained Wilson Conlan. “The ability to work with children and families and provide holistic care was unparalleled.”

Choosing Life University

Graduating in May 2020, amidst the pandemic, brought a unique set of challenges. With many opportunities shifting online, Wilson Conlan took six months to consider her next steps carefully. Visiting multiple chiropractic schools, she was drawn to Life U’s steadfast values and extensive offerings in pediatric and prenatal chiropractic care. The decision was significantly influenced by Dr. Gilles LaMarche, Vice President of University Advancement, whose invitation to visit Life U proved pivotal. The Life Leadership Weekend was an eye-opener, revealing a community and curriculum that aligned perfectly with her goals.

The Path to Valedictorian

Wilson Conlan’s time at Life U was marked by diverse experiences and active participation in various clubs. The initial quarters focused on acclimatizing to the rigorous coursework and building relationships with fellow students. As she progressed, Wilson Conlan immersed herself in clubs like Club PX (Pediatric Experience) and ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association), both of which resonated with her passion for pediatric and prenatal care. These clubs provided a platform to deepen Wilson Conlan’s knowledge and allow her to connect with like-minded peers.

“In addition to club involvement, I served as a quarter representative for the Student Council, advocating for my peers and gaining insights into the administrative aspects of student life. The mentorship and camaraderie within these groups were instrumental in my academic success, culminating in an unexpected honor—becoming the valedictorian of my class,” shared Wilson Conlan.

Embracing the Challenges

Achieving valedictorian status was never Wilson Conlan’s goal; rather, it was a byproduct of her dedication to excellence in every task.

“My mindset was simple: if I am here and investing significant time and resources into my education, I might as well do it well. This approach carried me through the rigorous coursework, board exams and clinical rotations. Each class, assignment and exam was an opportunity to learn and grow, even in subjects that were not my strongest,” she noted.

One of the most significant factors in her success was the support of peers and mentors. Wilson Conlan was fortunate to have friends in her quarter and upper quarters who offered guidance, shared their experiences and provided encouragement during challenging times. Their mentorship was invaluable, especially during the demanding periods of board exams and intensive coursework.

PEAKing and Learning the Valedictorian Achievement

“The moment I found out I was the valedictorian is etched in my memory,” said Wilson Conlan. It was a Tuesday morning at my PEAK office, Serving Life Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas. Our office has a routine where we don’t see patients until 1:00 p.m., allowing us to focus on other tasks. It was during one of these mornings that Dr. William G. Kessel, Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences, called me with the news. The timing was perfect, and the recognition felt like the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.”

Advice for Aspiring Chiropractors

Reflecting on her journey, Wilson Conlan emphasizes the importance of being present and committed to one’s goals. For those considering a career in Chiropractic, she recommends visiting potential schools during leadership weekends or organized tours. Engaging with current students and faculty provides invaluable insights into the community and curriculum, helping to make an informed decision.

Choosing Life U, despite being far from home, was pivotal in her development. It pushed her to adapt and thrive in new environments. Wilson Conlan encourages prospective students to seek growth opportunities and step out of their comfort zones. The decision to attend a school that aligns with your values and offers robust academic and extracurricular opportunities is crucial.