Meet our Students

Polli Glatleider

My nursing and midwifery career included work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Grenada, a labor nurse in tertiary and community hospitals, and a certified nurse-midwife practicing locally and internationally. While maintaining a midwifery practice in Los Angeles, I conducted trainings and consultations in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Crimea, Albania and Indonesia for the World Health Organization, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and various non-governmental organizations.

Throughout my career I explored various healing modalities. The desire to expand my knowledge and incorporate new skills into my practice is what led me to Yo San University. I believe traditional Chinese medicine offers the best foundation for a complementary and alternative medicine practice. Midwifery embraces a holistic approach in caring for women throughout life. TCM practice can enhance the normal physiological processes of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum – an example of ancient wisdom integrated with modern science."

William Hwang

"When I was seven, my family moved from Shanghai to Sacramento.   My love of math and science as child and teenager led to a degree in Physics and advanced degrees in Applied Mathematics and Electrical Engineering.  During this time, I also attained a 2nd degree black belt in Shorinji Kempo. After many years as Vice President/Operations Manager in the satellite communications and telecommunications technology industry in the D.C. area, I moved to San Diego.  I was ready for a new career path that would help others, as well as energize my life and mental capabilities.

TCM provides an opportunity to integrate my western science background with eastern methods, culture, and philosophy. I knew that going back to school after many years of working would be a challenge, but I see it as a good challenge-- one with discernible, extremely rewarding results."

Monica Gonzales

 "While studying Natural Resource Science at college, I worked as a certified Emergency Medical Technician. Later, I combined both passions as an EMT and Interpretive Park Ranger for National Park Services.

My interest in alternative medicine began while living in a remote Ecuadorian village, deep in the Sierra Mountains, hours from the nearest hospital. Trips to the hospital were made as a last resort.  Patients frequently received care from both a MD and a local curandera or village “doctor.”  I was drawn to the currandera’s style of medicine for its simple effectiveness and lack of negative side effects.

I wanted to find a TCM program that supported the credo physician "heal thyself."  Yo San does this by complimenting their academic program with Qi cultivation, which encourages students to experience, firsthand, the triumphs and difficulties patients face while making healthy lifestyle changes. "

Monica Hilton

"Prior to attending Yo San, I worked for Duke Clinical Research Institute as a Clinical Research Associate.  I traveled to participating hospitals across the country to ensure adherence to study protocol, ICH guidelines, Good Clinical Practices and FDA regulations.  

My interest in Chinese medicine began with a suggestion from a friend to try acupuncture as an alternative treatment for migraine headaches.  I was drawn to TCM’s theory of treating the root of an illness and was motivated by the way it worked to heal the mind and body as one entity.  I knew immediately that I wanted to learn to practice this medicine and began the search for a school offering a strong foundation in TCM theory, acupuncture, herbology, and clinical training in China. I found all of those things and more at Yo San."  

Alanna Flanagan

"I grew up on an apple orchard in New Hampshire, and went on to become a USC alumna and a Peace Corps beekeeper.  I spent nearly a decade in non-profit community outreach, spearheading women’s health initiatives. This work included hosting panels with top physicians, celebrities and authors on a number of healthcare topics, including the benefits of complementary and alternative practices.  My passion for health and wellness led me to Yo San, to investigate and immerse myself in the medicine and lifestyle I’d been recommending to others."

The Qi Cultivation and the Taoist teachings attracted me to Yo San and I have found being here immensely rewarding.  There is a strong sense of appreciation for the Yo San experience among the students, administrators, teachers and clinicians.  It is rare to be a part of such a caring and steadfast community; I feel lucky to be here."

Adam Cappuccino

 "During my summers at McGill University, I found working at plant nurseries more enjoyable than the idea of life as a researcher.  I loved learning about how plants work, but knowing how to apply that knowledge to better our lives seemed much more interesting and relevant. A keen interest in ethnobotany and healthy, holistic living led me to acupuncture. Integrating Eastern and Western philosophies and theories allowed me to bring balance to my life, and I hope to one day to share this balance with others.

Yo San just felt right to me, right from the beginning. The emphasis on personal cultivation through the Qi Program made the whole thing feel complete.  I love the way everything fits together. Every day challenges me to learn and grow.  I’ve never had more fun at school."

Robert Youngs

"I spent time living in Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Long Island, before eventually settling down in New York City. I worked in Marketing at MTV Networks for five years, and then on to a MFA at Columbia in Acting followed by a decade in theater and film.  When I started receiving acupuncture about fifteen years ago, I was fascinated to learn about the effect of my emotions and thoughts on my health.

In TCM theory, we see how the stagnation of emotions like resentment, sadness or irritation can be the beginning of many diseases. Historic changes are occurring right now in our health care system. Demand for Acupuncture and TCM will grow as the government and medical practitioners see its success and the cost savings when used in partnership with western medicine."

Natalie Jiaravanont

"Before Yo San, I worked internationally, in the auction world and then advertising and marketing.   I also took an active role in community service, establishing English as a Second Language Programs and tutoring immigrant women in low-income neighborhoods.  Business was great, but I found myself wanting a career helping individuals in a more personal and meaningful way.

TCM seemed like a natural choice since it has been a life long interest and acupuncture was the only treatment to alleviate pain from my back injury. It has been two years since I started at Yo San and I could not be more in love with this medicine; it is poetic, scientific, and humble all at once. I truly feel that it is an expression of who I am, and who I wish to become. The Students are generous, open and willing to share and learn from each other. We are each other’s best support system. I feel my classmates will not only become my peers, but also my best allies and friends."

Daniel Hutchinson

Daniel Hutchinson began reading the books of Master Ni at a young age, and they inspired him to seek out and eventually to enter the program at Yo San University. Daniel has a background in music and psychology. He has experience working in a Western medical office located in Harlem, New York. He also has experience working in an herbal remedies department in Georgia, where he began as an apprentice and eventually made his way to the manager position. Daniel’s father is a pediatrician with his own practice, and Daniel hopes to create similar footsteps by opening his own TCM healing center and herbal company.

Claudia Laufer

Claudia Laufer grew up in Germany and later came to the U.S. where she studied journalism and psychology at Antioch University. While at Antioch, Claudia attended a seminar on Traditional Chinese Medicine and realized she had a passion for and a future in TCM. After graduation, Claudia plans to create a healing arts center that will focus on teaching people how to take an active role in their own healing. Claudia is a dedicated tutor at Yo San, a talented fine artist, a proud mother, and an exceptional student.

"My time here at Yo San been very transformational. The warmth, love and commitment of the student body as well as the faculty has enabled me to grow in ways I never thought were possible. Even though I’m excited about becoming a licensed acupuncturist after graduation, I am also sad to think that my days at this wonderful school are numbered. These past two and-a-half years have definitely been the best of my life."


Anne Park

Anne Park is known for her mastery of tai chi sword form. Anne studied Mass Communication at the University of California in Berkeley, and went on to do communication work for an organization that facilitated non-profits and communityoutreach programs. She is now an intern moving toward completion of the program and says that her experience at  Yo San was everything she expected and more.

"When I got here, everything fit just right. There were so many amazing people from different backgrounds sharing one desire to heal and to be healed."


Sofia Samuelson

Sofia Samuelsson is originally from Sweden and came to Yo San seeking a more expansive program than was offered in Europe. She is fluent in several languages and has undertaken the study of several more, including Japanese. She has lived in Sweden, France, and now the U.S., and says the California sun makes studying much easier. After graduation, Sofia plans to move back to Sweden and start her own practice, bringing with her the knowledge she’s gained at Yo San.

Cole Alexander

Cole Alexander came to us as an experienced educator, having spent almost a decade working in the Los Angeles Unified School District. During his time teaching, Cole helped to introduce a new program into the LAUSD curriculum that included health awareness and violence education. Cole has been involved in many positive outreach programs in his own neighborhood, and he brings that same level of dedication to his studies and his peers at Yo San. Cole will graduate from here a strong TCM practitioner, having even more knowledge with which to educate and enlighten his community.

"I find the program at Yo San to be both rigorous and relevant. I feel like I am being given a solid foundation with which to practice TCM. By learning to manage and integrate all of the different aspects of this medicine, I feel much more confident in my abilities as a healer. I would recommend Yo San to anyone who likes a challenge and aspires to be more than they are today."

Henry Lee 

Henry Jun Wah Lee, president of the 2008 Yo San University Student Association, has studied and worked around the world: from Asia to the Middle East and from Europe to the Western United States. Henry began his studies at Cornell University as an engineering student and went on to study international development. He has applied his learning to his life and community through working with at-risk youth in low income communities, migrant workers, local governments, and international non-governmental organizations. Henry was inspired to come to Yo San by Chinese Medicine’s potential to transform lives and build communities through health, wellness and spiritual cultivation.

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