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.
Director of Financial Aid. 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 two children and a Pomeranian named Pixel around, typically in local hiking areas.
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.
Administrative Assistant. Brett has been with EWC for many, many years. We have come to conclusion that it is not our dynamic personalities that keep him here, but rather those of each of the thousands of students he has met through his interactions at the front desk. That and he needs his paycheck to fund all the barbeques he has for his friends on the weekends. He must be a good cook, because they all keep coming back. We wouldn’t really know… since we’ve never been invited.
Finance Manager/HR Manager. Claudia graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Minnesota State University in Mankato, MN. She has enjoyed many years experience in the accounting field in various capacities, and welcomes the new and exciting challenges that come her way. She has been with East West College since 2015 as their Finance Manager and Human Resource Coordinator and finds that that the calm, supportive atmosphere suits her perfectly. A lover of travel and history, she frequently travels to visit far-flung family in Texas, Alaska, and Minnesota, as well as national parks, Oregon’s beaches and enjoys anything related to the history of the United States and the Pacific Northwest. For the occasional adrenaline rush she goes whitewater rafting. Her seven grandchildren and family are her joy. She loves spending time with them, cheering them on at their ball games and other events. In her spare time she takes a break from working with numbers and fills in as a tour guide for her friend’s tour company, taking groups out to the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood and the Oregon Coast.
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.
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, LAc, Faculty Member. Dusty grew up in Springfield, Oregon and still loves calling Oregon his home. Dusty was a three-sport athlete whose sports career was cut short by a devastating collarbone injury playing varsity football. As a result of his injury, he began to pursue other interests and fell in love with acting. He attended the University of Oregon where he graduated with departmental honors in Theater.
While attending the University of Oregon, Dusty continued to struggle with his football injury. After graduation, Dusty left for an adventure in New Zealand where he lived and worked at retreat center. It was at this center that Dusty began meditating, doing yoga and receiving massage therapy for his old injury. After years of pain and guarding of his collarbone, Dusty finally found relief and a new dream was born—living a life dedicated to the healing of oneself and that of others.
Today, Dusty is owner of Epiphany Acupuncture, LLC (www.epiphanyacupuncutre.com). He received his Massage Therapy Certificate from East West College of the Healing Arts and his Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. For the last ten years Dusty has also studied Gene Keys, a personal liberation system that unlocks powerful traits hidden within our DNA. Dusty uses his enthusiasm for personal growth, massage and Eastern Philosophy to inspire and guide his students.
LMT, Director of Education. Erika earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts. While pursuing a Ph.D. at Johns 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.
LMT, Faculty Member. 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 in Thai massage. She teaches Energetic Massage, Bodywork and Thai Massage 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.
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, 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 2003 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.
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 Anatomy, Physiology and 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.”
Alumni Services Coordinator. Maryanne is from Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with her BA. After working for many years in the legal field including as Student Services Coordinator at the Denver Paralegal Institute, she decided to change careers. She went to the Colorado School for Healing Arts and for over 15 years had a private practice helping her clients manage stress and chronic illness. Early in 2019, she and her husband moved to Portland to be closer to family and friends. Besides her passion for massage, she loves aromatherapy and in her spare time is blending essential oils and handcrafting soap. She is excited to be part of such a great community at East West College.
Admissions Representative. Hailing originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, and having graduated with a BA in Learning and Pedagogy from Northern Arizona University, Myles has always been driven by two passions: their need to help other people and their tireless curiosity to travel the world. After a number of years working seasonally and backpacking from one new location after the next, Myles felt compelled to do more, and elected to pursue licensure in Massage Therapy. Relying upon their previous skills as an educator and their new found passion for healing Myles 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. 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. Renee has been involved with the American Massage Therapy Association, serving on the Oregon State Board, and presenting at national conventions. She has presented the findings of her massage therapy research projects at national and international conferences.
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.”
BS, LMT, Dean of Students. After 15 years in the social services field, Tina undertook a period of reflection in order to shift her life direction to be able to be helping others while also feeling positive and energized at the end of a day. She completed the program at East West College in 2016 and became a massage therapist. “I am honored to practice massage therapy and have the opportunity to connect with clients to focus together on their pain relief and healing.” She joined the East West College team in 2017 and feels excited to be able to support students as they journey through the program to become massage therapists. Tina enjoys cooking, photography, reading, and being out 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, Continuing Education Coordinator. 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.