Student Spotlight: Holly Tharp

Holly Tharp

January 31, 2019
By Chelsea Grunden, Communications Coordinator

Holly Tharp graduated from Louisiana State University Shreveport in December 2013 with her B.S. in Health Promotion with concentrations in Kinesiology and Epidemiology. Throughout college she wanted to be a physical therapist, but she was inspired to become a chiropractor after she watched her father’s chronic pain gain relief through chiropractic and her sister enrolled at TCC.

John Tharp had chronic low back pain after being in the military for 21 years. After he retired, he began to seek treatment. After his physical therapy rehab was not working for him, his MD recommended surgery. As one more type of presurgical care, John decided to see a local chiropractor.

“I can’t remember how many treatments it took, but it was like night and day,” Holly said. “His pain started to go away, he started to get better, and he started being the silly, funny, dad-jokey guy that we knew again. It was amazing to see.”

At this time, Holly’s sister, Caitlin, graduated nursing school to be an RN. After seeing their father’s results and experiencing chiropractic treatment herself, she knew being a doctor of chiropractic would give her the opportunity to treat patients the way she always hoped.

Holly followed her sister, who is three trimesters ahead of her, and also enrolled at TCC. Holly said she was excited to join a profession that could help patients like her father see results without having to get surgery or rely on physical therapy alone.

“Caitlin started school at TCC and opened my eyes to what chiropractors can do,” she said. “I was skeptical at first, but after seeing the amazing things Caitlin was learning in this science-based program, the freedoms she would have once she graduated and the results that could be seen in patients, I was hooked and wanted to be a chiropractor instead.”

Although her sister told her how rigorous the first year of sciences courses is, Holly said the most surprising aspect of studying chiropractic was the depth of the science courses. She said learning the science behind the human body so deeply will help her explain to her future patients exactly what she is doing and why.

“I am so very proud of the science and knowledge we learn here and how we are taught to use the knowledge on our patients,” she said. “We get to learn why our patients have the problem they have, which helps us figure out what we need to do to fix it.”

As one of the many roles she serves at TCC, Holly was elected as ex-officio board member last year, and currently represents the students’ interests to the Board of Regents. She also serves as president of the Student Body Association and student representative for the President’s Advisory Council. She is also a TCC Ambassador as well as a member of Omega Si, the International Fellowship of TCC, Student American Chiropractic Association and Student Texas Chiropractic Association.

“As ex-officio board member, I am allowed to ask questions and give suggestions when we vote on ways to spend money or on school policies,” Holly said. “I am honored that I was asked to be at each of these meetings as a voice for the students. I feel like I have a unique perspective since I am involved in so many student activities and have a sister ahead of me in the program. I strive to represent our student body to the best of my ability.”

Holly is currently in her sixth trimester at TCC and is expected to graduate in August 2020. She said loves how connected she is with the college and her classmates.

“The thing I love most about our school is how we are really a big family,” she said. “You can’t make it a day here without saying hi or waving to at least 10 people. I know each trimester it may take a minute to learn all of the names of the new Tri 1s, but it is really awesome seeing how people from different trimesters come together at lunch or shout at each other in the parking lot as they move to their next classes. I love that at TCC everyone is a person, not just a small number in a very large crowd.”

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