East West College’s faculty and staff are hired for their professional training and expertise. Bodywork instructors have a minimum of two years education and practice in the subject they teach. Science instructors have a university degree in science or a health-related field or appropriate undergraduate coursework.
All East West College instructors continually strive to inspire excellence and provide an environment that encourages student
success. Students find the instructors are warm, caring, compassionate, well trained and experienced.
East West College is managed by a President and an Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee is responsible for running and reviewing day-to-day East West operations, as well as strategic and long term planning approved by the President. The Oversight Committee consists of David Slawson, President; Edie Moll, Director of Operations; and Erika Baern, Director of Education.
LMT, Faculty Member. Aaron graduated from East West College in 2000 and established his private bodywork practice. He began studying Advanced Myofascial Techniques with Til Luchau in 2002, achieved the highest level of certification in 2012 (CAMT II), and has assisted in Til’s classes. Aaron’s myofascial bodywork practice was profoundly influenced by Kung-Fu, and allowed him to adapt a unique approach to helping clients find their center and move with ease from it. He is an NCBTMB Approved Continuing Education Provider offering CE courses in Reiki, self-care, natural foot health and myofascial bodywork.
Aaron enjoys watching students grow as they progress from novice to mastery. He desires to meet students where they are to help guide them to their goals. When not geeking out on bodywork, he enjoys snowboarding, skateboarding, bike riding and time in nature with his wife, two children and black lab.
Ana Dugan, an adopted native Oregonian has been in the financial aid industry for 8 1/2 years. She studied Business Administration at Western Oregon University and locally at Portland Community College. She joined East West College in Fall 2017 as the Director of Financial Aid. While she strives to provide a high level of customer service, it is also her goal to deliver financial information efficiently and in an easy to understand format to promote EWC’s graduates success for the future. In her free time, she stays busy chasing her 2 children and Pom named Pixel around, typically in local hiking areas.
LMT, Alumni Clinic Therapist. Annie moved to Portland in 2010 for an Americorps position after graduation from DePaul University in Chicago. Her undergraduate course work in Sociology, Health Care and Community Service reflected a calling to help others that was present from a young age. This calling led her to her career in massage therapy; she graduated from East West College in 2015.
Annie excels at Swedish and Deep Tissue massage, and incorporates aspects of Myofascial Release, Structural Integration and Thai massage into her work. Constantly curious and growing as a massage therapist, Annie strives to provide effective massage with empathy and respect for each clients’ health needs and goals. Aside from massage, Annie enjoys her bike commute, gardening, print making and knitting.
Admissions Representative – Ashley has enjoyed working in career colleges since 2014, and has been with East West College in the role of Admissions Representative since 2015. She is passionate about guiding students through the initial steps in pursuing their college and career goals, and values each unique opportunity to connect genuinely with aspiring healers and heart-led individuals. As an outspoken advocate for massage and all its intrinsic, altruistic, health, and professional benefits, she happily began her own studies at East West College in the Spring of 2018. Born and raised just outside of Portland, Ashley enjoys hiking, camping, adventuring with her Australian Cattle Dog, seeing live music with her friends, and traveling when her free time allows.
Education Department Coordinator. Becky joined the East West College team in 2001, filling two positions – Dean of Students Services and Assistant to the Director of Education. She had found herself looking for something different from the banking career she had left behind. “I loved that this new job had an educational flavor to it.”
Becky’s current position gives her the opportunity to support EWC in many ways. She is there when faculty members need anything from assistance with administrative responsibilities to everything needed in the classrooms. It has been said of her, “She has a tremendous ability to find ‘win-win’ situations.” She is a lifesaver to everyone behind the scenes at EWC. “My position at East West College captures my desire to come alongside others and facilitate their success. My cup is being constantly filled by the give and take, the mutual appreciation we have for each other. We have the freedom to engage in deep and wonderful conversations with each other.” Becky enjoys nurturing her flower pots, and engaging in meditative reading and healthy eating.
Caly is a Colorado native who moved to the Pacific Northwest at the end of 2016. She began her career in financial aid as a work-study student while obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Colorado Mesa University. After graduating college, she moved around from state to state for awhile until deciding to head to the PNW. When not at work, she enjoys all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer including the insanely delicious food and breathtaking nature.
Student Clinic Administrative Assistant. Candice joined the EWC family in 2016, working at the reception desk in the Student Clinic, as well as providing administrative support in various other departments. She enjoys working at East West while she works on her ultimate goal, which is to be a middle school science/special education teacher. She’s a science major working towards her master’s degree in teaching.
“East West is an awesome place to work. In my decades of being in the workforce, I’ve never worked anywhere like it. Everyone is genuine and they are sincere in making you feel like family. I’ve never experienced a company that cares so much and treats their employees so well. I’m honored to be here.”
You can see Candice in the Student Clinic where she will check you in with a warm smile. Don’t be surprised if she greets you by name!
LMT, Clinic Manager. Courtney was born in Portland, Oregon and has lived in Oregon most of her life. She attended University of Oregon where she received her BA in Sociology and minored in Business Administration and History. After graduating from college she moved back up to the Portland area where she worked in sales, health insurance, and for non-profits in the area. It was during this time that she realized that she wanted to be more hands on with helping others, which led her to graduating from East West College in 2010 and becoming a massage therapist. She currently owns and runs her own private massage practice, and on her off days, she works at East West College as the Clinic Manager.
She loves being able to be a part of the school that gave her career its start and to be able to mentor new LMTs as they begin their massaging careers. Helping to cultivate a supportive environment where everyone can grow and learn to become their best is a wonderful experience that she enjoys immensely.
LMT, Faculty Member. Crystal grew up in upstate New York and studied anthropology and archeology at the University of Montana in Missoula. She worked as a government archeologist for a time, but found her true passion as a massage therapist. After becoming injured while mountain climbing in Montana’s Glacier National Park, she began receiving massage from a therapist who had studied with an East West College instructor.
Massage gave Crystal real relief from her injuries. Soon she found herself comparing massage schools, and chose EWC. Crystal has been an LMT since 2008. She has worked in many, many massage environments, from spa to wellness center to chiropractic office. She currently has a private practice in Northeast Portland where she offers varied therapies, including Deep Tissue
and Thai Massage. “I love massage so much that I want to tell everyone about it. It nourishes me just as much as it nourishes my clients.” Crystal has been devoted to the EWC community since she graduated, mentoring students and appearing regularly at the college’s Massage Career Preview events. She realized that she wanted to become more involved, and so joined the faculty in 2014. Crystal enjoys teaching as well as supporting graduates in the Alumni Services office.
LMT, Faculty Member. Cyr’s early interest in activism and social altruism first led to a degree in social work from Eckerd College, a liberal arts school in St. Petersburg, Florida. While working as director of a shelter for homeless families, Cyr attended the Suncoast School of Massage in Tampa. Licensed as a massage therapist since 1991, their practice has evolved and changed over the years. “I’ve enjoyed working with a variety of populations, including athletes, pregnant women, spa clients, trauma survivors and children. Throughout my career I’ve studied Craniosacral Therapy with several different teachers. Today, Craniosacral Therapy comprises about seventy five percent of my practice. I love that my practice has an element of sacredness to it. I consider it an honor to be with clients and hold space for their healing.” A committed bike commuter, they fell in love with Portland and moved here in 2002.
The opportunity to teach felt like a natural fit. In 2007 Cyr joined the faculty at EWC and is currently teaching a wide range of classes, from Kinesiology to Craniosacral Therapy. Cyr feels the opportunity to teach is a gift, and through it strives to give back and share an endless sense of awe and fascination with the human body. “Teaching is a source of joy for me. I enjoy the spontaneity that arises in class both from students and me.” Outside of school, their interests include gardening, dancing, hiking and kayaking. “I still care deeply about social issues, especially those concerning the environment and LGBT equality. My social activism has changed over the years to working at more of an individual level. Each person’s life we impact affects the whole of our society.”
LMT, Director of Education. Erika earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts. While pursuing a Ph.D. at John Hopkins University, she realized that what she enjoyed most about graduate school was teaching, something she had been doing ever since middle school when she gave violin lessons to a younger student.
After leaving graduate school, Erika moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, started receiving regular massage, took an Intro to Massage class and discovered that she loved doing massage as much as she loved teaching. She completed a 1200 hour program at the Muscular Therapy Institute, and in 1991 began her private practice, focusing on clients with trauma history. She began teaching massage at MTI, and in 2000 became the school’s Director of Education.
Erika moved to Portland and joined the East West College family in 2007. She had always been interested in living in the Pacific Northwest and wanted to enjoy the outdoors year round. Since coming to East West, Erika has enjoyed working with teachers and staff to provide a supportive learning environment and strong educational program. She often meets with students, helping them develop learning, study skills, and test taking strategies.
Passionate about the incredible healing powers of massage, Erika says “I realized I couldn’t reach as many people as I wanted to – there just weren’t enough hours in the day to give all the massages I wished I could give. So by teaching students and working with teachers, I could expand the number of people I could “touch” with massage. I believe we can bring peace to the world, one massage at a time. Through the gift of massage, we provide space for our clients to let go of stress and pain, making a difference in their body and spirit. That effect ripples out into every one in their lives.”
When not at East West, Erika enjoys being outdoors, gardening, knitting, and baking.
Erin Wright, LMT is a graduate of Arizona State University and East West College. She has been a licensed massage therapist since 2007 and, in her private practice, she specializes is Thai massage. She teaches Survey of Eastern Modalities at EWC and is excited to share her passion for massage with others. When she’s not teaching or practicing massage, she loves traveling, reading, cooking, eating, and spending time with her family and friends.
Fara grew up in Brooklyn, NY and earned her BA in English Literature from Rutgers University. She moved to Portland in 2000 and received her Master of Social Work degree from Portland State University. Fara has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2007, providing support services mostly in academic settings, which has allowed her to blend her professional passions for social work and education. After spending years working primarily with adolescents, a turning point in her life and a desire to work with adult learners brought her to East West College in 2010 to serve as Dean of Students. Fara is also a member of the EWC faculty, teaching Therapeutic Relationships. As Dean of Students, Fara offers compassionate support to the student body. She is interested in the ways that she can help to create community at EWC. “I hope that students feel this is their space, a home for them during their time in the program.” “I feel it is a privilege to be here and to serve in this role. I am humbled when I witness the capacity students have to overcome barriers when they really want something. Their drive and devotion is inspiring and I am honored to be along for the journey.” Fara loves having the opportunity to witness students achieving their goals, often in spite of significant personal and academic challenges. Fara enjoys teaching Therapeutic Relationships because it allows her to interact with students in a different way and to talk with them about topics that are close to her heart, personally and professionally. Students have expressed a deep appreciation for the authentic way Fara creates a safe space that leads to honest dialog. “It’s exciting to be an instructor. What happens in the classroom is dynamic because we are teaching and learning together.” Fara is happiest when she is dancing, running, practicing yoga, singing, taking photographs, and spending time with the people and the animals she loves.
LMT, Alumni Clinic Therapist. “Massage has been in my life for as long as I can remember. As a child, my parents would massage me whenever I would have trouble falling asleep or if the day was particularly difficult.” Always physically active and a hands-on learner, Gabe studied Theater as an undergraduate at Portland State University, doing his best to understand the magnificent movements of the body. After years of food service work, he was more than ready to reinvestigate the human body in motion, and East West College turned out to be the perfect place to do so. Gabe graduated from East West in 2016. “I am so pleased to be here now as a member of the East West Alumni Clinic and to have the opportunity to be directly involved in making people’s days a bit brighter, one massage at a time.”
LMT, Faculty Member. Gretchen began her massage studies during her first trip to Thailand in 2004, where she discovered a deep passion for traditional Thai bodywork. Upon returning from her trip, she immediately moved to Portland and enrolled in East West College, graduating in 2005. She continues her studies of traditional Thai medicine and therapeutic bodywork under the guidance of a number of wonderful teachers and mentors in Thailand and here at home. Gretchen is in private practice at her sunny studio in SE Portland, Akasa Thai Healing Arts (akasapdx.com), where she also offers continuing education workshops. “I feel lucky and grateful every day that I get to do something that I so deeply love, that continually challenges me to grow and expand my understanding of human experience, and that gives me the opportunity to support and care for others.” Gretchen joined the EWC faculty in 2009 and teaches Eastern Modalities and Thai Massage. “I love teaching Eastern bodywork because it challenges students to look at everything they have learned in massage school through a different lens.” Students find Gretchen enthusiastic, knowledgeable and very accessible. Gretchen has BA degrees in Literature and Film from Bard College in upstate New York. When she isn’t geeking out on Thai massage, Gretchen loves spending time with her family, reading, baking and seeking out new experiences.
Registrar Jan lived in an assortment of rectangular states before abandoning right angles and heading for the irregularly shaped New York University School of the Arts. Between film editing jobs, she slipped into a registrar position at a vocational school and found that it fit her perfectly. The ability to sort things out served her well as an editor and even better as a registrar. Jan’s first foray into the world of holistic health began when she moved to Massachusetts and became the Registrar at the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge. Ten years later, she was drawn to Oregon by the vaguely rectangular shape of the state, the discovery that most of her family had migrated here, and the position of Registrar at East West College. Jan attempts to balance the needs of students, faculty, and the building itself with humor and wit. Failing that, she may be able to distract you with her array of small, colorful toys. When she isn’t arranging things at school, she enjoys arranging pieces of wood into attractive and useful objects. “They don’t object to my plans for them, so I find it very satisfying.”
LMT. Jon’s journey towards a career in massage therapy dates back to a car accident he suffered as a teen. His first massage, included in his chiropractic care, affected him profoundly and left no doubt in his mind what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He wanted others to experience the true relief and healing powers of touch. Determined to learn from the best, he evaluated several schools. He found some to be too structured and lacking in course content. Others had the course content he wanted but an unstructured environment. He found the balance he sought at East West College. He graduated from a 1200 hour program in 1991. Jon has inspired generations of East West College graduates to aim higher and to excel in ways they never thought possible. Dynamic and gifted, he has mentored students in the art and science of massage therapy since 1993. Jon is dedicated to excellence in his teaching. In true mentor fashion, this dedication is emulated by many of his former students. He seeks to accommodate each student’s learning style and to instill confidence. His high energy humor helps students relax and learn. Jon teaches a wide variety of classes, including Tui Na, Eastern Modalities, and Special Populations. Jon’s professional practice www.sanosoma.com is varied as well – oncology massage, craniosacral therapy, and prenatal massage are among the modalities he masterfully practices.
LMT, Faculty Member. Born and raised in New York, Jonathan’s family taught him to be “independent, thoughtful, and hardworking.” He is a graduate of the State University of New York where he majored in English and minored in Constitutional Law. He is also a graduate of East West College and to this day considers his time at East West as a student one of the greatest periods of his life. Jonathan is the owner of Absolute Bodyworks www.absolutebodyworks.com in NE Portland, and has been practicing since 2003. He specializes in deep tissue, Trigger Point and Thai Massage and works under the principles of Structural Integration. He focuses on injury recovery, chronic pain issues and structural problems. “I have a wide and varied client base filled with people from all walks of life. The feeling of helping someone regain a piece of themselves they were missing is a nearly unexplainable experience. I treasure my clients and the experiences and teachings they bring to me.” Jonathan has traveled to Thailand to study bodywork at the International School of Thai Massage. This experience “was one of the pure delights of my lifetime. The journey was educational, spiritual, and filled with the sheer joy of being alive.” Jonathan is the co-author (with former EWC faculty member Alex Susbauer) of a popular bodywork textbook series titled Integrative Bodywork for the Manual Therapist. It has been found to be an effective tool for students in the classroom and a valuable resource for therapists working in the present day field. Jonathan also invests a good chunk of time to teaching at the continuing education level and finds this venue of teaching to also be so incredibly rewarding. Jonathan has taught many courses at East West including Kinesiology and Structural Bodywork.. He makes an immediate impact on his students with his enthusiasm, commitment to learning, and teaching skill. For him, teaching is one of the most fulfilling aspects of his career.
ND, LAc, Faculty Member. Kate has a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Monmouth College and worked in both corporate and broadcast television for nearly a decade before beginning medical school. She graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland with a doctorate in naturopathic medicine and a master’s degree in acupuncture and Chinese herbalism. Kate is the founder of Tend Natural Health, an integrative health community whose focus is treating the cause of illness to restore natural balance in the body. She is also co-owner of Doctor Bird Elixirs, an herbal beverage company and owner of Morsel Code Cookie Co., a paleo cookie deliver business. Kate has special interest in nutrition, homeopathy, western and eastern herbalism, and essential oils. She believes optimal health is fostered by the tiny little rituals for which we carve out time and practice every day.
MS, Faculty Member. Kevin is a graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Kinesiology and also holds a minor in psychology. He can be found on most weekends riding his road bike, hiking or backpacking, rock climbing, gardening, and talking to local farmers at the market. He has experienced the positive benefits of consistent bodywork and encourages the monthly practice to all. He loves the challenge of making science fun, and enjoys watching people learn and appreciate how complicated and amazing the body truly is.
LMT, Faculty Member. Kim is a graduate of the Potomac Massage Training Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Colorado College and a Master’s degree in Ecology from Colorado State University. He is the owner of Concordia Wellness, a massage therapy studio in northeast Portland. In addition to his private practice, Kim volunteers with several Portland-based organizations. He has advanced training in oncology massage and end-of-life caring touch. He believes that ardor, devotion, and achievement flourish when we live and work from our core values.
Krista Weikel Delaplane
ND, Faculty Member. Krista received her Bachelor of Science from Millikin University where she studied biology and psychology. She completed her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at National University of Natural Medicine. After several years of practicing naturopathic family medicine in New Hampshire and Oregon, she is taking a sabbatical from clinical practice to focus on teaching and research. Krista is a strong advocate for integrative and natural medicine as the best model for optimal wellness and patient care. She loves teaching Pathology to massage therapy students and empowering them to work collaboratively with other licensed natural medicine providers. Her favorite activities are spending time with friends and family, nature walks, singing and herbal medicine making. Krista has been a faculty member at East West College since 2015.
LMT, Faculty Member. Linda is a long-time teacher at East West College and an experienced and talented bodyworker. She graduated from East West College in 1990 and began teaching in 1993, “after seeing the profound effect a good teacher can have on a student’s life.” She currently focuses on teaching Student Clinic, but has taught many different classes over the years. Linda took advanced training in Polarity Therapy and earned the certification of Associate Polarity Practitioner through the American Polarity Therapy Association in 1997. She has a very eclectic practice in SW Portland, specializing in Polarity, Craniosacral therapy and shamanic practices. Linda teaches continuing education and mentors current students as well as those far beyond massage school. “I love helping others understand the subtle nuances of being a body worker.” Linda is also interested in offering energy work to those approaching medical procedures. “I have seen first-hand how working with people energetically before surgery decreases the degree of trauma the body experiences and how working with them immediately after surgery supports and can quicken the healing process.” Linda blends technique, knowledge, intuition and a sense of fun to create a very positive learning experience for her students. “To teach, touch, and see the lights go on in students is the ultimate reward.” “One can’t go through massage school without a personal transformation of some degree. It allows you to awaken to yourself. Like most people, I thought I was going to massage school to learn how to do something new with my hands. I had no idea I was signing up for a complete physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual transformation. I will always be grateful to the incredible teachers I had, fellow students, friends in the massage field and current students who always continue to teach me more.”
Lisa Ann VanAlstine
LMT, Faculty Member. Lisa Ann graduated from East West College in 1998, and earned a B.A. in Spanish from Portland State University in 2003. In addition to being a practicing Licensed Massage Therapist, Lisa Ann is also a Certified Stott Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer. Lisa Ann does bodywork at Parkside Clinic where she has had great success helping clients regain pain free movement. Lisa Ann was welcomed as an instructor at East West College in 2006. She has taught Kinesiology as well as numerous massage and bodywork courses. Her passion for healing and helping others translates into a creative, hands-on classroom environment. She has been described by her colleagues as “articulate” and in possession of “amazing, grounded energy.” Lisa Ann also teaches continuing education courses for Licensed Massage Therapists.
Dean of Admissions. Lori has spent over a decade in college admissions; working with students to help connect them to the right educational paths to meet their career goals. She knows that education has the power to make dreams a reality, which is why she takes great pride in working for East West, a heart led vocational school that offers a diverse student body the opportunity to learn a skilled and highly in demand trade. Raised by the ocean, Lori has a life time love of sailing, kayaking and the occasional river rafting adventure and in her spare time has been known to play a little Roller Derby with Portland’s own Rose City Rollers.
Student Services Office Administrative Assistant. Hailing from the land of lake effect snow, chicken wings, and Super Bowl losses (aka Buffalo, NY), Marc received his BS from SUNY New Paltz and briefly lived in the beautiful Hudson Valley before answering the call of the west. He has called Portland home for 10+ years. Serving as Administrative Assistant in the Student Services office since 2015, he enjoys helping students to achieve their goals and is continually inspired by the hard work and dedication of the students, faculty, and staff at East West.
LMT, Faculty Member. Marta grew up on a rural island in Washington State’s Puget Sound. She studied Spanish, Political Science, and Organic Farming at Evergreen State College, then lived and worked in Mexico, Central and South America. “I worked on public health and organic farming projects and taught English to make ends meet. In all my experiences there, I was the student and the beneficiary.” Marta made a shift from bilingual social work when she began living and working in Holistic Learning Centers on the East Coast. She completed a yoga teacher training at the Himalayan Institute in India and did her first massage training at Kripalu in Massachusetts. “This training was yoga based, focusing on breath, presence, and spirit. I wanted to balance my yoga-based foundation with solid science. I choose East West College based on its national reputation.” Marta graduated from EWC in 2007 and built her skills in the school’s Alumni Clinic. She now works in her thriving private practice. Her approach to bodywork is rooted in her study and practice of hatha yoga, meditation and ecstatic dance. Marta currently teaches a varieity of massage and bodywork courses at East West. Her yoga background makes her uniquely able to help students with body mechanics, breath, and the synergistic exchange between client and therapist. “I love being a part of the discovery process. In my classroom there is playfulness, room to experiment and grow. I seek to help students recognize their unique gifts as bodyworkers.” In her free time Marta enjoys kayaking, gardening and improving her Italian language skills. “I like to recharge my batteries through connecting with all of Nature’s elements.”
LMT, Faculty Member. Mary was raised in Pennsylvania and moved to Portland in 1996, drawn to the year round skiing, big trees and Cascade Mountains. Her journey towards a career as a massage therapist began when massage helped her rehabilitate a shoulder injury. She chose East West College and graduated in 1999. Mary’s first years as an LMT were spent practicing at health and wellness centers. She now has a private practice out of her Mt. Tabor home. Her approach to massage integrates both subtle, more sensitive therapies like craniosacral and lymphatic drainage with Swedish-style and deep tissue techniques. “It feels rewarding to help people become more aware of their bodies and their needs.” Mary became a massage educator in 2004, and has been a part of East West College’s faculty since 2007. She has taught a whole range of courses, from the sciences to advanced massage and bodywork modalities. “I feel that teaching at East West College is a unique and wonderful opportunity to share with students both the science and the art that go into this amazing field.” Mary is known to be a teacher that really allows students to explore in a way that is safe and fun. “It is wonderful to observe the transformation that students make over the course of their program here at EWC.”
LMT, Alumni Clinic Therapist. Mary began her career as a licensed massage therapist in Portland, OR where she graduated from the East West College of the Healing Arts in 2009. Mary quickly learned the amazing benefits of regular body and energy work in support of her own active lifestyle, including a lifetime passion playing recreational soccer, and wishes to share those benefits with you. She brings a combination of the most enjoyable and effective healing elements of Swedish, Reiki, Deep Tissue and Compassionate Touch to each client, and encourages her clients to be active participants in their healing process.
LMT, Admissions Representative. Hailing originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, and having graduated with a BA in Learning and Pedagogy from Northern Arizona University, Meredith has always been driven by two passions: her need to help other people and her tireless curiosity to travel the world. After a number of years working seasonally and backpacking from one new location after the next, Meredith felt compelled to do more, and elected to pursue licensure in Massage Therapy. Relying upon her previous skills as an educator and her new found passion for healing Meredith is excited to finally develop roots within the East West College Community and help future students follow their own unique path in life.
LMT, Faculty Member. Neesie is a graduate of East West College and has received continuing education in reflexology, myofascial release and Shiatsu. She enjoys reading, hiking and spending time with her husband and friends.
LMT, Faculty Member. Pamela graduated from EWC in 2003, and holds a master’s degree in education from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she also worked in Student Services. Combining a passion for learning with experience in busy clinics and private practice as an LMT, Pamela focuses on students getting the most information and guidance possible while having fun. In her private practice, she incorporates focused deep tissue, myofascial release and a healthy dose of Tui Na to bring relief to her client’s aches, pains and injuries. Pamela enjoys long hikes with her dog, swimming, seeing movies and spending time with family.
LMT, Faculty Member. The science as well as the art of human anatomy has always fascinated Renee. An avid traveler, Renee visited the Body Worlds exhibit in England. Created by a German anatomist, this exhibit preserves human cadavers by injecting them with a plastic polymer, enabling the viewer to see the many complex layers of the body and how intricately the structures are interrelated. Renee explains, “The exhibit brought the art of the body to light. It changed forever the way I perceive the body.” Renee graduated from the University of Oregon with degrees in psychology and community health. She chose East West College as a place to continue her interest in health and wellness. “I was really inspired by the depth of knowledge of the instructors at East West, and by the diversity of the student body.” As a student, Renee was so excited by the material that she organized and led study groups. Several students told her she was good at helping them understand difficult concepts. Today, she teaches massage therapy sciences and therapeutic massage skills. She also runs her own massage practice, specializing in neuromuscular techniques to treat people with chronic pain. Renn has been involved with the American Massage Therapy Association, serving on the Oregon state board, and presenting tat national conventions. She has presented the findings of her massage therapy research projects at national and international conferences.
Robert Wright, BA, MEd, LMT spent then years teaching eighth grade history in Massachusetts. After moving to Portland in 2011, he attended East West College and graduated in 2013. He uses his teaching experience to help his clients enhance their body awareness. In his spare time, he enjoys playing his handpans for his dog and cat.
MS, Dean of Students. Sara Thompson is a licensed school counselor, having earned a Master’s Degree at The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York. A lifelong resident of the Empire State, Sara relocated to Oregon upon completing her graduate program with the suggestion that she “might like it here.” She did indeed like it here and has lived in Portland since 2010, now with her husband and two daughters. Prior to coming to East West College, Sara was employed for several years at a small nonprofit that serves at-risk youth and young adults. Sara enjoys assisting others with overcoming their barriers to success, believing in the strengths-based philosophy that “people do well if they can.” Sara is intrigued by massage’s ability to act as a conduit for the mind-body connection and hopes to help students nurture this connection as they developing as massage professionals.
LMT, Faculty Member. Sarah grew up in New York and Colorado, but has been an Oregonian since 1992. She graduated. with honors from Bard College with a B.A. in Sociology. She also studied literature, painting, Spanish and biology. Sarah received her massage therapy education at Lane Community College. She has worked in a variety of massage settings, including her own practice focusing on injury recovery, chronic illness management, on-site and outcall massage, spa therapies and geriatric massage. “I’m honored and privileged to serve and support a client’s healing journey.” She is inspired by the dynamic power of massage to facilitate healing of the body, mind, heart and spirit. A perpetual student of the human body and of human relationships, Sarah hopes to inspire in her students the same passion for learning, discovery and service. “I am passionate about the subject matter and I have a lot of energy. That combination seems to help students become engaged and excited too.” Sarah’s students are inspired by her enthusiasm. Her intensity challenges them to do their best. They appreciate being supported and encouraged and also being able to have fun and connect with others in the midst of the work. Sarah loves to hear from graduates about their career successes and challenges. “It’s wonderful to witness their journey from student to professional peer.” “Creativity is important in my life. I love to cook, garden, knit and write. I am an AVID reader. Every room in my house has an overflowing bookshelf.”
LMT, Faculty Member. Sheila grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she studied English and Sociology and played varsity volleyball and lacrosse. “I spent many hours in the training room to stay healthy — hydrotherapy, preventative exercises — and had my first experience with manual therapy, which I called magic.” Sheila’s first jobs out of college were computer-oriented. “I knew I wasn’t really satisfied with that work, and eventually I realized I wanted something that used my whole self, not just my mind. I was living in New York City at the time and after living through 9/11, realized I needed to make a big change.” She transitioned out of that lifestyle and into massage school at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy, in Colorado. Sheila’s private practice, True North Massage, (www.truenorthmassage.com) serves clients who are recovering from injuries, surgeries or overuse; who are prenatal or postpartum; or who want preventative care. “My ideal clients want to collaborate with me on the table, taking an active role in the healing process. My mission as a massage therapist is to help people befriend their bodies again, to find the joy of being embodied, of movement, of living.” She has taught many massage and bodywork courses at East West. “I love the energy, curiosity, and discovery that happen in a room full of interested, engaged people. I love finding ways to make learning fun and joyful. Students often comment on my sense of humor. I bring my skills as a workshop facilitator to the classroom. A lot of times I can see students have questions through body language, before they even realize they want to ask.” Sheila uses a Facebook LMT support network to interact with local peers. “Massge therapy involves a lot of one-on-one time, so consulting wth colleagues and building community is valuable..” Sheila sings in an intergenerational women’s choir, and loves to commute by bike. She is a new mom and appreciates the flexibility of her chosen field.
LAc, LMT, Faculty Member. Sheridan graduated from East West College in 2001 and received her MA in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 2008. She then studied at Nanjing Traditional Chinese Medicine University in China. She practices Traditional East Asian Medicine, offering acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine, lifestyle and dietary advice along with qi gong healing to her patients. “I specialize in treating mental-emotional conditions such as anxiety, depression and PTSD, and many types of pain including musculoskeletal and nerve. I’m also a general practitioner so I treat many other conditions like allergies, asthma, migraines, insomnia, digestive issues, and gynecological issues” Using intention to communicate with the body, she encourages the discharge of stored trauma and stress, creating a very deep release to areas that other therapies can’t reach. “There is nothing more rewarding than bringing peace and comfort to someone’s life.” Her website is riverwestacupuncture.com. She also studied from 2005-2008 with the principal teachers of the Ling Gui International Healing Qigong School, the grandchildren of the doctor to the Last Emperor of China, who continue to carry an important piece of Chinese Medicine lineage. She was certified and has been teaching Ling Gui School qi gong since 2007. Sheridan joined the East West College faculty in 2013. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to be inspired by the beginner’s mind and I have fallen in love with massage all over again.” Students have the unique experience of practicing qi gong in Sheridan’s classes. “I love teaching qi gong because it helps physically integrate concepts we study in Eastern Modalities so we can feel in our bodies instead of just think in our heads. It is also an excellent system of self care that not only strengthens immunity, but also the ability to perceive and engage with a patient’s qi with solid energetic boundaries.” “I have lived in Portland since 1999 and love supporting my friends in the local music and performance art scene, getting involved in a show at least once a year myself. I really love dancing to glitchy electronic music, riding my bike, and hunting at thrift stores around Portland.”
LMT, Alumni Clinic Therapist. Susie graduated from East West College of the Healing Arts in 2017. Touch and movement have always been at the heart of her life’s practice. She was raised in an athletic and musical family. As an adult she has practiced Okinawan Karate, QiGong, and Yoga, and has worked professionally as a baker.
She enjoys working with clients as active participants in their healing journeys using Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue work, while incorporating TuiNa and CranioSacral techniques. Through stretching and exercise, breathwork and rhythmic presence, her intention is to bring attention to the stuck places in the body and initiate fluidity, greater ease of movement, and deep relaxation.
LMT, Continuing Education Coordinator. After 15 years in the social services field, Tina undertook a period of reflection in order to align her life direction and work with her heart and energy. “It’s important to me to go home at the end of the day and feel that I’ve helped people in important ways, and that I also feel fulfilled and happy rather than exhausted.” Tina completed her education at East West College and became a massage therapist. Having the opportunity to join the East West team and support alumni to access continuing education has been a joyful experience. “East West is such a supportive, caring environment – I experienced this as a student and experience it now as a staff member.” Tina enjoys caring for her chickens, gardening, reading and being outside in nature.
LAc, LMT Faculty Member. Tony received his Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology from the University of Oregon. He completed his Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. He teaches Kinesiology, Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology at East West College. In his free time he enjoys bicycle touring, running and spending time with family and friends.
LMT, Alumni Clinic Therapist. Vanessa, a graduate of East West College, was born and raised on a farm in Oregon’s southern Willamette valley. She’s always had a passion for the outdoors and caring for people and animals. Along with her rugged country upbringing came many injuries, and she found that massage always assisted in her reconnecting with and healing her body as a whole during difficult times. After years of consideration, she found herself at East West College, more excited than ever about the benefits of massage therapy. She has been trained in Swedish massage as well as deep tissue and aspires to further her education with a structural bodywork approach. Vanessa views massage as a way of increasing quality of life by helping individuals feel more connected, comfortable and in control of their bodies.
LMT, Alumni Clinic Therapist. Victoria Gomez, a 2017 graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts, grew up playing soccer in the Northwest where her love of the game and time spent on the pitch helped to develop her sense of sportsmanship and communication. This passion led her to spend many years volunteering her time to work with youth players as a coach. After earning her associate degree at PCC in 2016, she decided that she wanted to help players improve their performance and lessen their injuries. Enrolling in East West College of the Healing Arts in the fall of 2016 was the beginning of this journey as she discovered her calling in helping others find peace, healing, and beauty in their lives through touch and compassion.