2024 DEAC Award Nominees

May 17, 2024 8:15:00 AM | distance education Spotlight on Excellence: Meet our Remarkable 2024 DEAC Award Nominees

Discover the exceptional achievements of ACHS 2024 DEAC Award Nominees. Meet the nominees and their inspiring journeys toward excellence in integrative health.

Every year, ACHS eagerly accepts nominations for the prestigious Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) Awards. Award categories include Outstanding Graduate and Famous Alumni. These accolades, presented by our accrediting commission, DEAC, celebrate the exceptional achievements of graduates who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to their studies at ACHS and the integrative health community.

Our nominees represent the pinnacle of excellence, and we are thrilled to showcase their remarkable accomplishments. The recipients of this year's awards will be honored at the esteemed ACHS 2024 Commencement Ceremony. Meet our 2024 nominees!



Jennifer Conpropst

Jennifer ConpropstJennifer’s holistic health education journey started with an interest in essential oils, which led her to pursue degrees in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) at the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS). Over the years, she has earned an Associate of Applied Science in CAM, a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health Sciences, and a Master of Science in Health and Wellness

Jennifer’s studies equipped her to promote integrative health practices, leading to impactful roles at Catholic Charities of Broome County, where she helped clients improve their overall wellness through holistic approaches. She progressed from being a health mentor to supervising wellness programs. Eventually, she became a Wellness Specialist on an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team, aiding individuals with serious mental illness and other health challenges. 

Jennifer says, “ACHS taught me holistic health and wellness strategies I share with clients to help them improve their lives! Because of my education at ACHS and my role at Catholic Charities, I can impact positive change in the community around me by helping those who need it most.” Jennifer is currently pursuing a Doctor of Science in Integrative Health and aspires to teach while continuing to assist others.


Amber Elliott

Amber ElliottAmber has an extensive history of promoting holistic health within her community. She has been featured in publications, including Knoxville Voyager magazine, and has collaborated with local businesses, organized wellness retreats, launched a product line, and authored books on spirituality and wellness. 

Amber credits her role as a leading figure in health and wellness in her community to her education at ACHS, where she obtained multiple wellness certifications and a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health Sciences specializing in herbal medicine. "My journey as a holistic health practitioner has been greatly empowered by distance education”, she says. The flexibility and empowerment of distance education allowed her to balance roles as a stay-at-home mom and entrepreneur while excelling in her studies. Amber has decided to further her education by enrolling in ACHS's Master of Science in Herbal Medicine degree.


Kaitlyn Musick

Kaitlyn Musick

Kaitlyn found holistic health through practicing yoga when she decided to earn her yoga certification. This led her to fall in love with living a holistic lifestyle. Not initially pursuing college after high school, Kaitlyn was able to find something she loved, and this passion led her to ACHS, where she earned a degree in Complementary Alternative Medicine (now Integrative Health Sciences) in 2022. 

While seeking holistic education, Kaitlyn got the opportunity to work at an acupuncture clinic. She now works as an acupuncture assistant, holistic health practitioner, and herbal technician. Her education at ACHS prepared her for this role, particularly through hands-on labs. She continues to expand her skills, offering auricular acupuncture and various modalities to patients at the clinic.

Kaitlyn enjoys collaborating with a local nonprofit to provide community resources for mental health and addiction recovery, hosting events like Healthy Happy Hour. She also provides AcuWellness services to firefighters experiencing stress. “The skills I learned at ACHS allow me to provide these stress and emotional health management tools as guidelines while offering a holistic approach to my community members’ lifestyles,” she shares.




Ondina Valiaah Hawthorne

Ondina Valiaah Hawthorne

Ondina graduated from ACHS  with a Master of Science in Integrative Health Sciences and also earned a Graduate Certificate in Wellness Coaching. Ondina believes in the power of integrating prayer, food, herbs, allopathic, and naturopathic medicine to promote health and wellness.

Despite some initial challenges in finding a program that aligned with her aspirations at other institutions, Ondina’s research eventually led her to ACHS. She found fulfillment in her studies and discovered the value of integrating various healthcare approaches. 

She feels her time at ACHS “will have an eternal impact on my life, and I know other people's lives will benefit from the skills I have gained and the knowledge I have attained.”  She is committed to sharing her knowledge with her community and promoting a holistic approach to healthcare.


Angela Jett

Angela Jette

Angela has known since she was nine years old that she wanted to help people heal their bodies and spirits. Despite initially considering medical school, she found a more fulfilling path at ACHS. Through earning her Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health Sciences, Angela gained confidence and skills in coaching and herbalism, leading her to establish a virtual wellness center and become involved in peer tutoring, mentoring, and advocacy for integrative healthcare. 

Angela is grateful for her education at ACHS, which has equipped her to support others and pursue her goals in holistic health and wellness. “Because of my time here, I am more in tune with this beautiful planet and have grown a more profound love for our relationship with nature,” she says.

Angela has joined the American Herbalists Guild and plans to become a registered herbalist, obtain certification in holistic nutrition, and continue advocating for integrative healthcare practices. Her experiences at ACHS have deepened her connection to nature and her commitment to helping others.


Aisha Kelley

Aisha Kelley

Aisha’s ACHS education in herbal studies has had a great impact on her community involvement. She feels her gained knowledge allows her to educate others about herbs, suggest holistic treatments, and provide safety precautions. Aisha’s community engagement includes podcast appearances, magazine features, and local speaking engagements, which she believes create comfort for those seeking holistic advice. 

Aisha enjoys utilizing everything she has learned from ACHS by incorporating it into her everyday life in some way. She aims to inform her community about holistic approaches to health, wellness, and practices. Graduating with honors from ACHS in 2021 has elevated her knowledge in running her business and advocating for holistic health and wellness. It has also boosted her confidence to create quality products and provide continuous access to resources and support. 

Aisha expresses her gratitude for the sense of belonging and support from the ACHS community, regardless of distance learning. “I can honestly say although I attended courses online from another state, ACHS has provided a college family that is available to me when I need it. I am appreciative to have that support and access to these resources.”


Anne Moon

Anne MoonFor the past 14 years, Anne has navigated the gluten-free lifestyle due to her daughter's celiac disease diagnosis. She started a business called Beautifully Gluten Free to assist others in managing their own gluten-free journies. Anne saw a need for increased credibility and decided to pursue a degree in holistic nutrition at ACHS. 

During the pandemic, Anne enrolled in the Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition program. She focused on learning more about nutrition, holistic wellness, and interpreting medical research around gluten-related disorders. This education not only benefits her clients but also led to roles as chair of the Advisory Board for the Celiac Disease Program at Seattle Children's Hospital. She’s also a founding member of the Celiac Guild. 

Anne’s goal is to support celiac disease education and fundraising efforts. “What I’ve learned will have a direct positive impact on those within the Celiac Disease Program and my business community.” She recently turned her capstone project, about the impact of gluten on mental health disorders, into a poster that she presented at the NANP’s HEALCon conference at the end of April.


Bonnie Pearce

Bonnie PearceBonnie’s journey to ACHS began with a passion for growing food, health, and living a low-impact lifestyle. After living off-grid and graduating with a Bachelor's in Fine Art, she pursued herbal medicine and discovered the possibility of earning a Master of Science in Herbal Medicine

Since attending ACHS, Bonnie has gained extensive knowledge in herbal medicine and nutrition, enabling her to assist clients with various medical conditions. Her education has empowered her to expand her medicinal farm and lab, with the goal of creating an education center and community-supported agriculture system that offers monthly herbal boxes. Bonnie is also dedicated to preserving local at-risk medicinal plants through projects like "Michigan Protects." 

Upon graduation, Bonnie plans to open her clinical practice and continue her efforts in community education and medicinal plant preservation. She says, “I passionately feel that as herbalists, it is our duty to ensure that future generations have access to the medicines of those who came before us. This means honoring Native American traditions and respecting the Earth as our mother and the gifts she gives us that nurture our bodies and souls.” 

Graduate of ACHS Holistic Healthcare


This article is for informational purposes only. Please contact ACHS Admissions at admissions@achs.edu or 800-487-8839 for additional information and to apply for admission. Graduation from any ACHS program does not confer a license to practice medicine. ACHS graduates do not claim to treat, diagnose, cure, or prescribe. Please note that professional success is achieved by a number of factors beyond education and experience, including soft skills, work ethic, integrity, and other skills that may not be developed through education and training alone. Not all graduates will achieve the career outcomes provided as examples in this article and other ACHS marketing materials

American College of Healthcare Sciences

Written By: American College of Healthcare Sciences

ACHS's mission is to lead the advancement of evidence-based, integrative health and wellness education through experiential online learning and sustainable practices. This includes sharing helpful, informative, holistic healthcare articles on the ACHS Health and Wellness Blog.