Faculty & Staff

The practice of teaching requires a dedication to meet each class and student with an open mind and heart every day.

Select a Campus to learn more about our Faculty and Staff



Jessica English, LMT
Campus Director/Regional Director of Admissions

Jessica had a feeling the first time she walked into FLSM that it was a very special place. She is thrilled that as the Regional Admissions Director she gets to help others discover the magic of the school and the amazing knowledge that can be gained there. She graduated from FLSM in 2008 and has been working there since 2010 in many capacities: Clinic Coordinator, massage instructor and CEU program organizer. She believes in the holistic approach the school offers and in the commitment of its teachers and staff. Helping to guide the school is an honor and she loves working with the other Directors to make FLSM the exceptional educational institution that it is.

Jeannie O’Neill
Education Director

Jeannie is an Ithaca native that has recently returned to the area as a seasoned educator, with experience in the public school system as well as charter and alternative schools. Currently working toward her doctorate in Mindful Education, Jeannie has provided countless hours of professional development workshops to educators and community partners. Having owned a Yoga studio in Bennington, VT and now teaching yoga locally and at SUNY Cortland; Jeannie has taught Yoga to students ages 3-83 and has extensive Yoga anatomy, physiology and philosophy knowledge. She is so thrilled to be back in her home town and was drawn to the culture and community at Finger Lakes School of Massage. Jeannie feels that massage school is an opportunity for people to illuminate their inner path. As someone who likes to serve, she knows that helping people on their journey is a way to give back to the community that has given her so much.

Barbara Nellenback, BA, LMT
Regional Director of Financial Planning

Barb is a 2003 graduate of FLSM and is delighted to be a part of the dynamic and engaging learning environment that is FLSM. She studied Sociology at Columbia University and has a background in counseling, human services. She is currently the Director of Financial Planning and also gets to pop into the classroom on occasion. She feels privileged to offer support to staff and students alike, and to witness the learning, self-discovery and growth that continuously happens at FLSM. Her massage practice takes an integrative approach to guiding clients toward greater balance and well-being. Barb is also a certified Let Your Yoga Dance instructor and teaches a weekly class locally. She seeks to promote ease in her own body through yoga and dance and enjoys sharing her love for movement and music with one and all!

Rick Alvord
Director of Student Services, BSW

Rick earned his degree in social work from Buffalo State College and has devoted his career to social justice and helping people overcome barriers in order to realize their potential. He has worked as a Workforce Specialist, assisting inner city youth in completing their high school equivalency diploma and providing access to training and secondary education opportunities that build pathways to rewarding careers, and as a Self Sufficiency Case Manager he taught money management strategies that provided pathways to homeownership. Most recently, Rick has worked in the Ithaca area as an Education and Employment Coordinator, creating hands on learning opportunities that allow students to explore careers and discover their passions.He believes in a strengths based, person centered approach that utilizes the principles of effective listening, motivational interviewing and trauma informed care. Rick loves to laugh,spend time with family and attempt home improvement projects. He is thrilled to be a part of FLSM team and grateful for the opportunity to help students reach their goals and move forward on their journey.


Yumi Asakura, BA, LMT

Yumi has been studying, giving, and receiving Shiatsu since her childhood in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to her NYS Massage License, she holds a certification through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork and an Aromatherapy Certification through the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. She maintains a massage and aromatherapy practice in downtown Ithaca. For many years, Yumi has also pursued theatrical arts, studying acting, dancing, singing, and mime. She has performed in Tokyo, London, and New York City.

Ryan Barker, MS

Ryan is a lifelong teacher and student. In 1998 he moved to Japan where he taught English. After returning to the United States in 2003, he studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and Five Elements Acupuncture in Seattle. Ryan holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Philosophy, a Certification in Asian Studies and a Master of Science in Education. He is excited to be a part of the science team, expanding his understanding of both Integrative Medical Care and what it means to teach and learn.

Ilana Berman, LMT, BA

As a 2013 FLSM graduate, Ilana is ecstatic to be part of the FLSM teaching team. Deeply inspired by the body in motion, Ilana has been a teacher since she graduated from her yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA in 2010 and has done further studies in Thai Yoga Massage and Biodynamic Craniosacral Work. She spends her days teaching Kripalu yoga and providing integrative massage to clients in her downtown private practice. Both are incredibly rewarding experiences that she feels privileged to call her work. Ilana sees the avenue of therapeutic massage as a place of safety and freedom where we can realize how deserving we are to feel good in our bodies, release judgements, and practice being our most empowered, loving, and awesome selves.

Jennifer Cook, BS, LMT

Jennifer is a 1996 FLSM graduate and began supervising the student clinic in 2002. In 2008, she retired from her full-time administrative “day job” at Cornell and completed the FLSM teaching apprenticeship program. She has been teaching at the school ever since. Jennifer is also a certified Rosen Method practitioner and is endlessly fascinated by the stories that our bodies reveal when we are touched. She is honored to be a witness to the process of growth and discovery that occurs at FLSM, and is ever in awe and appreciation of the body’s innate wisdom in its unending movement towards health and balance.

Sarah Craft, BA, LMT

Sarah is a 2003 graduate of FLSM and thrilled to come back as Continuing Education Coordinator and as a teacher of Swedish, Energy Palpation, Essential Oils, and Connective Tissue Therapy. A former professional dancer for eleven years, Sarah brings her keen understanding of body mechanics and proper alignment to her teaching of massage. She is also a certified Bowen Practitioner and VortexHealing practitioner and enjoys working intuitively to cater to her client’s unique needs. Sarah also writes children’s books, practices yoga of all kinds, and enjoys swinging in hammocks with her daughter.

Dawn Eller, ND

Dawn received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in 2003 from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology. As a part of the Science team, she brings warmth and joy to the classroom and a sincere desire to support learning. Dawn sees her role as a teacher, not only to impart knowledge, but promote self-love and confidence. She has a keen appreciation for the unique healing potential of massage and bodywork and is honored to be a part of the education of future massage therapists. Outside of FLSM, Dawn maintains a naturopathic medical practice in Ithaca and is Mom to two boys.

Heidi Eckerson, BA, MAT, LMT

After living in the past (and her head) for over a decade teaching history, Heidi decided a change was in order. Attending FLSM reminded her about the importance of being present and allowed her get reacquainted with the rest of her body. After graduating in 2012, she opened a private practice where she is honored to help others experience change in their bodies and lives. Heidi also enjoys filling in at Binghamton University’s Wellness Center providing mindful massage to students, faculty and staff—and wishes they had this on campus when she was a student there. She is excited to be a part of the Science and Business teams here in Ithaca.

Bernadette Fiocca, LMT

Bernadette is a 1983 graduate of the Florida School of Massage and a 1995 graduate of the I.M. School of Healing Arts. Her advanced studies include The Trager Approach®, Continuum Movement®, craniosacral therapy, Integrated Energy Therapy, Reflexology, and Level 3 Reiki. She is continually exploring ways to integrate these many techniques and approaches, and enjoys uncovering the threads that unite them all. Bernadette teaches KAM, Energy Palpation, Shiatsu, Of Sound Body, and The Danse of Massage. Her areas of specialty are integrative massage and energy-based healing. She has a special interest in sound healing with advanced study in Biosonics Repatterning (tuning forks) and the Yoga of Voice. A student and performer of dance for many years, Bernadette loves all forms of movement.

Cindy Getchonis, BA, LMT

Cindy studied Holistic Health Theory and Philosophy in college, attended the Boulder School of Massage, and then pursued continued study in movement-based bodywork. Swedish Massage and Body Mechanics are her main courses at FLSM. Client education, empowerment, and personal responsibility are issues that continue to intrigue her as both a therapist and an instructor. She is a Trager Approach Practitioner® and Certified Aston Patterner®. Cindy thinks humor is essential in the classroom. She combines bodywork and movement education in her private practice.

Kate Goldswer, BA, LMT

Kate is excited to return to FLSM to help students in Swedish Massage and in their clinics as they develop their own style and gain skills and confidence in their work. She graduated from FLSM in 2012 and since then has worked in local spas and maintained a private practice. Kate is passionate about Thai Yoga Massage and Thai Poultice Massage, and integrating these modalities into her table work. She values self-awareness, compassionate presence, and open communication, and feels inspired to teach these core FLSM principles. She volunteers at Ithaca Community Acupuncture and enjoys hiking the gorges around Ithaca.

Sondra Hartmann, BFA, LMT

Sondra is a graduate of the Florida School of Massage and has been on the faculty at FLSM since it opened in 1994. She teaches Reflexology, Energy Palpation, and Sound & Healing in the full-time program, and Elder Massage in the part-time program. What she absolutely loves about teaching is the deep level of connection that is possible from one human to another, particularly in the special learning environment at FLSM. In private practice for 17 years [WHAT YEAR?], Sondra currently offers the Arvigo techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage, and she is the massage therapist for Bridges, an assisted-living residence for elders. Her quote to live by: “The past is my teacher; the present, my creation; the future, my inspiration.”

Gabriel Hoff, BA, LMT

Gabriel is a 2012 graduate of FLSM that currently teaches Connective Tissue Therapy, Shiatsu, plus several other modalities, and integrates energy work in his private practice. He studied ritual-based Performance Art at Purchase College. After that he spent some time as a baker, actor, Butoh dancer, Georgian folk singer, and executive assistant, until finally following his dream to become a massage therapist. Being a student at FLSM was deeply transformational and he is honored to now be on the other side of the equation for FLSM students. He believes that the essential quality of this career is listening from the heart.

Charles Napolitano, LMT

A graduate of Finger Lakes School of Massage, Charles also has advanced training in Shiatsu, studying with Grand Master Wataru Ohashi at the Ohashi Institute in NYC, has completed the Advance Certification training of Thai Yoga Massage from the Lotus Palm School, and is a Master instructor of Integrative Energy Therapy. His love of practicing Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung has led him to the deeper study of energy/body work and holistic health. He feels that each step in massage therapy brings profound understanding and appreciation of human individual and community and is grateful to be given the opportunity to practice meditation and metta (loving kindness) in his professional work.

Matthew O’Neill M.S. Ed

Matthew holds a masters of arts in education from LaSalle University and is a Certified NYS Teacher. As an experienced educator who promotes universal design for learning across curricula, he specializes in creating interactive games for classroom instruction. He has worked for over a decade as a classroom teacher, coach, peer educator, team leader and interdisciplinary teaching mentor. His focus on mindful classroom environments and growth mindset have allowed him to inspire students to move toward their fullest potential

Cassie Osborne, LMT

Cassie graduated from FLSM in 2011. Since then, she has been practicing Massage and Integrated Energy Therapy at Heaven to Earth Wellness Spa in Elmira Heights. Cassie is thrilled to work as a Clinic Supervisor at FLSM in the hope of helping students to find their niche in massage and to help them grow in ways they didn’t know possible.

John A. Perestam, LMT, PKP

A 2007 graduate of FLSM, in 2010 John joined the school's science team and also teaches in the massage classroom. Certified in Touch for Health Kinesiology, his passion is combining the modalities of Applied Kinesiology with the amazing power of massage. One of his great joys is “seeing the light come on” when students realize their potential and make the connection between the sciences and the hands-on modalities of massage. John founded the Body Lab Wellness Center in Endicott, NY in 2010, and works there when not teaching.

Dakota River, LMT, BFA

When Dakota discovered FLSM in 2013, she knew it was the perfect environment for her to continue her life-long work assisting people with finding balance and healing through body/self awareness. She graduated FLSM in 2015 and has since started her own practice in Ithaca. Dakota has a pretty eclectic background—starting with earning a BFA degree from Syracuse University in Sculpture; she then learned skills in wilderness survival, after discovering her love of functional art made from nature; she studied Buddhist psychology to learn a different approach for healing mental/emotional issues; and she has also trained in several forms of martial arts, including Tai Chi, Kendo and Shotokan karate. Dakota has incorporated all of her experiences by combining them with her natural counseling abilities. She utilizes energy palpation in her massage therapy sessions to help guide a session that integrates deep tissue therapy, trigger point therapy, Swedish Massage, neuromuscular therapy, Shiatsu and Reiki. She employs her knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology to inform her therapeutic techniques. She believes that her clients can let go of a past history of trauma by allowing them to experience body awareness through therapeutic touch. Dakota is very excited to be a part of the FLSM team and play a role in students' experience with this unique school.

Hallie Sawyers, BA, LMT, APP, NCTMB

Hallie is a 1996 graduate of FLSM. She now teaches Energy Palpation, Hydrotherapy, and Essential Oils for Massage Therapists at the school. She is licensed in both NY and CT, nationally certified in therapeutic massage, and nationally certified in holistic aromatherapy, with several years of advanced clinical training. Hallie is certified in Polarity Therapy and Reflexology, a master instructor of Reiki and Integrated Energy Therapy, an approved continuing education provider for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and the educational outreach chair and outreach VP for the Labyrinth Society. She is the owner of Soul Song, a bodywork and energy work practice offering classes, lectures, and client care in upstate New York and beyond.

Dana Shoemaker, LMSW, LMT

Dana studied massage at the Center for Natural Wellness in Albany, NY. She has been working as a massage therapist in a wellness center setting since 2009. Prior to that, she was a LMSW (Licensed Master of Social Work). She worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities and with the elderly. In addition to Integrated Swedish Massage, Dana specializes in Craniosacral Therapy. She has completed a 700-hour training in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy with Turtleback Craniosacral Education and supplemental training in Craniosacral Therapy with Infants. The study of this work has been life changing and truly resonates with her goals as a bodywork therapist: engaging with health rather than dysfunction and helping others to experience the power of light touch. She is also an experienced ballroom dancer, yoga enthusiast, and dachshund owner. Dana loves sharing what she has learned and helping students reach their full potential as massage therapists.

Linda S Strange, RN, MSN

With over 40 years of healing experience, including a career in nursing, Linda is a very exciting addition to the Finger Lakes School of Massage faculty. She has explored numerous techniques including Healing Touch, as a student of J. Mentger's program. Linda feels that education is both a means and an end to a life full of opportunities and as such earned an Associate Degree in Allied Sciences in Nursing at Bronx Community College, a Bachelor Degree in Nursing at Mercy College, and her Masters in Nursing Education at Chamberlain College, all while enjoying her four children and five grandchildren.

Julia Thompson, LMT

Julia is a 2000 graduate of FLSM and joined the staff shortly afterward. She teaches many massage modalities, including: Pregnancy, Elder, Sports, Chair, and Oncology. Julia continues to love what her private practice brings her way, from working with women through their childbearing months, to working with athletes and elders.

Kim Vaughan, BS, LMT

After graduating from FLSM in 2009, Kim moved to Arizona where she practiced massage at a chiropractor's office, massage studio, and resort spa. She returned to Ithaca in 2011 and has been teaching at FLSM since 2013. Kim loves working with students as a Kinesiology instructor, massage instructor, and clinic supervisor. She continues to practice as an on-call massage therapist at two spas, and in her free time she is one of the hosts of a WVBR radio show called Rockin' Remnants.

Dex White, LMT

Dex is a 1999 FLSM graduate, and has worked at the school since 2003, in both administrative roles and in the massage classroom. He currently teaches Swedish Massage, Communication Skills, Kinesthetic Awareness through Movement, Self-Care, Sports Massage, Energy Palpation, Connective Tissue Therapy, Hydrotherapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, and Medical Massage. Dex has worked in several spas including his current position at Rasa Spa here in Ithaca. He loves his family and pets, music, gardening, and laughter, and loves to see the unfolding growth of students in their time here.

Melanie A. Wood-Scureman, MA, PRYT-P

Melanie graduated from FLSM with the Fall 2016 class. After graduating and exploring the spa world for a little while, she returned “home” to accept the teacher, space-holder and room weaver archetype she has been handed in this life. Once a teacher, always a teacher. Melanie comes from a body/mind rich background that includes a Masters Degree in Transpersonal and Somatic Psychology, Massage Therapy Certification from FLSM, Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher Certifications, Master Reiki Certification and countless other certifications in Wellness Arts, Holistic Healing and Spiritual Practices. She has taught at a couple of colleges, developed programs for her community and continues to serve clients with all of the modalities in her tool belt. Melanie has a natural affinity to being a geek and loves to research answers to questions. Her classes have often been filled with exploration and project based learning. Ultimately, her passion and her intention is to help folks gain an informed, healthier perception of their body, mind and mood - so they can pay it forward too.


Viviani Drogalis LMT

I worked in retail for seven years before deciding to try a different career. I have always been passionate about retail and providing service to people. I looked at other career options but none seemed like something I would be passionate about. I was asked if I had ever considered Massage therapy and my thought was, "Me?! A Massage Therapist?! No way I would be good at that." Also, I had never received a professional massage before. I finally decided to take a tour at FLSM in Ithaca and I loved the energy and the environment so much that I decided to give it a shot. I started the program with an open mind and received all the new knowledge with excitement. I fell in love with the different modalities of practicing bodywork and being able to connect with clients on an energetic level. It is beautiful. Graduating from FLSM in July 2016 felt like one of my biggest achievements in life. I am excited for what this new career path will take me. Now I am happy to be back on campus this time as part of the staff sharing my experiences as a student and Massage Therapist with current and future students.

Elena Gonzales, LMT

Elena is a graduate of Ithaca College and the Finger Lakes School of Massage and is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She works at FLSM as a clinic supervisor and admissions guide, but dreams about one day traveling the country in an Airstream and being able to skip stones as well as Sue Bissell.

Dan Lashkoff

Dan joined FLSM as its retail manager (a job he loves) in 2012. He studied U.S. History at Stanislaus State University in hopes of teaching at the high school level and coaching baseball, however, his love for music took him on a different path and for 20 years he split his time between being a professional drummer and a shoe and apparel buyer for a family-owned chain of department stores. He and his family relocated to the Finger Lakes region in 2007 from the San Francisco Bay area. He is known to be kind to strangers.

Sarah Moshier, LMT, MSW, MA

Sarah graduated FLSM in 2007 and returned to FLSM to work as an admissions guide in 2015. She was inspired to attend massage school after receiving regular massage while completing a dual Master';s degree program in Social Work and Social Science at the University at Albany/Binghamton University. Bodywork seemed like the perfect compliment to social work and would allow her to provide a truly holistic approach to wellness. Working in the human services field shaped her deep care for humans and influenced both her massage practice and the work she does now at FLSM. Sarah approaches every potential student with the belief that this work can change lives for the better. She continues to see clients in a private practice and enjoys the balance this career field has brought to her life.

Anna Ottoson, LMT
Retail Assistant

Anna is a 2012 graduate of FLSM. She wanted to go to FLSM for almost a decade before taking the plunge, and is very grateful she did. She owns a small private practice, often "assisted" by her small dog. Helping people manage their chronic pain and feel their best is one of the most rewarding things she has ever done. Anna loves traveling and has been to 8 countries on three different continents. Her favorites so far are Scotland and Turkey, and her 'must visit' bucket list is too long to list. When not globetrotting, she spends her time at home in Ithaca, snuggling her cats, dog, and fiance, and researching her next grand adventure.

Emily Richards, BME
Admissions Guide

Emily Richards is a local Ithacan as well as an Ithaca College graduate with a degree in Music Education and a concentration in voice. She currently serves as one of the conductors for the Ithaca Children and Youth Chorus along with teaching baby and toddler music at CSMA and Jillian's Drawers. She has experience performing various styles of music and has performed with a variety of different choral groups throughout her life and has been a frequent soloist in many of those groups. She also has over 15 years of marketing and management experience. Emily is mom to two beautiful little girls who teach her everyday about the joy in life. She's thrilled to be a part of Admissions Team at the Finger Lakes School of Massage and bring her passion for education and pleasure in helping others to her role at the school.

Morgan Schrader
Admissions Guide

Nicole Uribe
Part Time Program Coordinator

Nicole has been living in the Ithaca area for two years now although she is originally from San Antonio, Texas. She is currently in her Junior year at Cornell University, studying Hospitality and Hotel Administration. Nicole has always highly regarded self-care and homeopathic treatments and truly believes massage therapy is the answer to many ailments. She is focusing on a concentration in health and wellness within the hospitality industry. Nicole is new to the FSLM family, but feels it is home and a perfect fit!

Trisha Vendryes, LMT
Retail Assistant

Trisha is a 2014 graduate of FLSM and has recently joined staff as a retail assistant in the school store. She is very excited and honored to be a part of this special community that prepared her so well for the massage therapy profession and profoundly transformed her life in so many wonderful ways. Trisha is passionate about her work as a massage therapist and is currently on staff at Massage Envy in Fayetteville, NY and Barrington Holistic Healing Spa in Dundee, NY.


Deborah Fraioli, BS
Administrative Director

Debbie is a lifelong resident of Westchester County. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science from Mercy College and worked many years in the corporate sector. Debbie is excited to incorporate her experience in the corporate world into her position as administrative director at FLSM. What most excites her is assisting students as they explore their passion and journey in massage therapy. In her off time, Debbie soaks up the sun and enjoys time with her family and friends.

Jessica Accetta, LMT
Director of Education

Jessica is a 2006 FLSM graduate whose journey to become a massage therapist started in 2000 when she was involved in a car accident. Not wanting to have surgery led her to seek the help of a chiropractor and massage therapist. After her first massage she knew her life was changed forever. Jess has worked in both spa and therapeutic settings and her passion lies in helping people. Since 2006, Jess has continued to explore alternative therapies by taking classes in craniosacral therapy through the Upledger Institute, integrative energy therapy, and deep tissue work. She is extremely excited to be back at FLSM.

Jeany Donpierre-Lundy, AS, BS, LMT
Director of Student and Career Services

Jeany is a 2013 graduate of the MT. Kisco campus of FLSM. She credits her father for instilling the passion for massage in her since she was as young as 6-years-old. After completing high school, she graduated from the Helma Institute of Massage Therapy in Saddlebrook, NJ. She later obtained her AS in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; as well as her BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, from Lehman College. Some of Jeany’s other interest include painting-by-numbers and writing poetry.


Alice Pan, BA, LMT

A 2009 FLSM Ithaca Alumni, Alice has continued to devote herself to practicing therapeutic massage and energy work in accordance with her innate sense of ‘Ethics = Truth + Love.’ In 2013, she followed her soul’s calling to travel abroad, and explore the art of life and healing in Scandinavia, Germany, and other parts of Northern Europe. This journey culminated in several months of research in Northern India. She feels grateful and honored to be part of the magic at FLSM as an instructor, and delights in witnessing and supporting each student’s process of “coming home to oneself.” Alice is wholeheartedly dedicated to sharing authentic presence, intuition, balance, and skillfulness to support the holistic journey of every being she is graced to meet. She finds that as we deepen in self-trust, we can allow essential learning and transformation to spontaneously transpire.

Amy Balter, BA, LMT, CHHC, CPT

Amy graduated from the New Center for Wholistic Health Education and Research in 1988, and is also a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and a Certified Personal Trainer. She's worked with the NYC Marathon, served as a massage therapist for folk singers at The Bottom Line, and managed 25 employees at Westchester's premiere gym, Club Fit. In 2011, Amy opened Hudson Holistic’s, which has enabled her to utilize her knowledge and certifications to pursue her passion for helping people achieve their potential for healthy living. Her modalities include sports massage, medical massage, pre and postnatal massage, and more. Amy is thrilled to be working at the FLSM as an instructor to assist the next generation of massage therapists.

Bob Lesnow, DC, CDN

Bob Lesnow is a master clinician and teacher with over three decades of private practice on his resume. He is a chiropractor, dietician-nutritionist, Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner, and yoga teacher. Bob has taught anatomy, physiology and pathology to massage therapy students since 1998 and served as a director of basic sciences for the North Jersey Massage Training Center from 1998 to 2003. Bob has applied a holistic, integrative approach to disease and healing for many years. He incorporates healthy diet and lifestyle choices, guided imagery and spiritual practices, therapeutic exercise, and nutritional/botanical pharmacology into his practice.

Cynthia Bunt-Gardner, MS, LMT

Cynthia is a 2011 graduate of FLSM. Her passion for massage therapy developed after a serious horseback riding accident. During her physical therapy she became aware of the significant effect massage has on the healing process and how necessary it is for a full recovery. In addition, she is certified in mat and apparatus power pilates instruction and she is a 200 hour certified yoga instructor and a level one yoga tune up instructor. Cynthia further studied Thai yoga massage, positional release, hot stone, and zero balancing after graduating. She currently teaches kinesiology at FLSM, yoga and pilates at Apogee Fitness, is an LMT at Apogee Fitness, and a pharmacist at Four Winds Hospital. She is thrilled to be teaching at FLSM where she can guide her students to a level of awareness that will allow them to mentally visualize every kinesthetic structure under the skin.

Danielle Guillet, BA, LMT

Danielle is a 2002 graduate of FLSM’s Ithaca campus and has an educational background in biology, nutrition, music, and maritime navigation. she has advanced certifications in pregnancy massage and medical massage and her private practice focuses on pre and post natal work.  Danielle aims to mix both knowledge and perspective with joy and fun in the classroom to create a dynamic experience. She teaches communications, self-care, elder massage, pregnancy massage, chair massage, connective tissue therapy, hydrotherapy, pathology, and medical massage.    

Diana Brenes Seiler, BS, LMT

Diana brings an educational background of art, yoga, and Thai massage—along with a love for dance and play—to the classroom as an FLSM instructor. She is a graduate of FLSM and has studied Thai massage at both the Lotus Palm School and the Thai Massage Circus in Laos. She has a BS in fine and visual arts from SUNY New Paltz. A student of permaculture, Diana passionately advocates for Earth care and connecting others with their innate source, nature. Her specialties are integrative massage and Thai massage. Diana recognizes the incredible power of self knowledge and is committed to supporting others as they unfold into their highest potential.

Jean McGee, BS, LMT

Before graduating from FLSM, Jean obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology and followed those studies with a concentration in physiology of exercise for her graduate work. She has taught at Springfield College in Massachusetts and at Iona College in New York. As the former education director at FLSM, Jean is thankful for having had the opportunity to help guide students on their journey to becoming massage therapists. Jean continues to give to the FLSM community as an instructor and clinic supervisor. Away from campus, Jean runs a food co-op and sits on the board of directors for a non-profit organization.

Jessica Katzowitz, BS, MS, LMT

As a former competitive cyclist and college swimmer, Jessica always wanted to work with athletes, so she left her career in the biotechnology field in hopes of fulfilling this dream by becoming a massage therapist. In 1997 she completed her training at the Swedish Institute in New York City and has been practicing massage therapy ever since. Her career as a massage therapist has not only afforded her the opportunity to work with athletes, but has enabled her to treat many medical conditions. Through the various twists and turns of her career, most of her work has become medically oriented. With a master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University as well as a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Lehman College, it only makes sense for her to share some of her scientific knowledge by teaching. She joined the FLSM team in hopes of imparting some of her love and passion for massage therapy to others.

Joyce Kent, LMT

Joyce is a 2009 graduate of FLSM’s MT. Kisco campus, with additional certifications in myofascial release massage, Reiki I and II, and Lymphatic Drainage I. She is licensed to practice massage therapy in New York, New Jersey, and is also Nationally Certified. Joyce came to massage after a healing experience at the hands of a fellow FLSM graduate after a traumatic vehicle accident and is now an instructor and clinic supervisor at FLSM. She knows firsthand the healing touch of massage which fuels her ambitions to continue learning, exploring, and helping people. In her private practice in Chestnut Ridge, NY, Joyce encourages her clients to continue to heal and grow through their own therapeutic body awareness. Compassionate and intuitive, she believes that all students have the ability to tap into their healing spirits to help others.

Karin Floh-Elias, LMT

Karin Floh-Elias came to massage through dance and creative movement. She received her training at the Swedish Institute, the Ohashi Institute, and the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy. In her practice she combines massage and bodywork with the therapeutic properties of essential oils. Karin teaches Swedish massage at FLSM with a special focus on the joy of movement and the peaceful aspects of bodywork.

Laura Jensen, LMT

Laura's healing journey began after college when she visited Kripalu and took her first yoga class and received her first massage. Always movement and health oriented, she had been searching for a way to bring a sense of meaning and wellbeing to her life and work. After several years of working a 9 to 5 job, and teaching yoga and Thai yoga on the side, Laura decided to take the next step and become an LMT, so she attended FLSM, graduating in 2011. Laura practices out of her yoga studio in Mt. Kisco, where she works and lives. Her style is an eclectic mix of Swedish, Thai, and myofascial release.

Lori D'Amato, LMT

Lori has been a practicing LMT for over 20 years. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist in both New York and Connecticut, and holds National Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage. Lori is also a phlebotomist and New York State EMT. She has advanced certifications in cadaver labs, medical massage, oncology massage, pathology, and human anatomy and physiology. Lori’s passion and focus has nearly always been connected with medical pathologies in conjunction with massage. She enjoys being a part of assisting someone in their journey to become well through massage and conveys information with humor and enthusiasm as an instructor in the Finger Lakes School of Massage classroom.

Steve Goodstein, DC, CCN

Dr. Steven Goodstein is a licensed chiropractor with over 27 years in practice. He is also a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Personal Trainer who has been certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Dr. Goodstein specializes in applied kinesiology, a branch of chiropractic that utilizes muscle testing to evaluate body function. Dr. Goodstein has hosted his own local cable TV show on alternative healing and is featured on Channel News 12 Westchester as an expert on health-related topics. Through the Foundation for Wellness Professionals, Dr. Goodstein has provided educational wellness programs to local institutions, businesses and Fortune 500 companies. He currently runs two private practices, one in Briarcliff Manor, NY, and the other in Pleasantville, NY.

Steve Sarno, BS, LMT

Steve, a kinesiology instructor at FLSM, is also a FLSM MT. Kisco graduate. He is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Federation for Personal Trainers (NFPT) as a personal trainer. Steve also develops education webinars for the NFPT and runs continuing education classes specifically for personal trainers. He is a NYS licensed and nationally certified massage therapist.

Tracy Malikowski, LMT

A former gymnast, Tracy danced for 15 years and explored various somatic modalities throughout her life. Her athletic background and personal experience in rehabilitating injuries greatly inform her work as she strives to facilitate her clients’ innate ability to return to health. Tracy graduated from the Swedish Institute in 2006, holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and one in psychology from the University of Oregon, holds advanced certification in prenatal massage, and has studied Myofascial Release Technique (MFR) extensively with John F. Barnes since 2010. She loves sharing her passion for MFR with students in the connective tissue therapy course at FLSM. Her latest personal accomplishment is completing Ironman Lake Placid in 2014.



Angela Neivert, LMT
Clinic Coordinator

Angela graduated from the Academy of Massage Therapy in June 2002, and has been working at a local health club since 2004. She has also worked at several spas in Westchester County. Her modalities include Swedish, sports, medical, deep tissue, and prenatal massage; and aromatherapy. She holds certificates in Shiatsu, Language of Touch (an energy work), and Thai massage. She holds an associate's degree in information technology in visual communication and a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix.

Brian Delgiudice, BS

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Economics at Buffalo State, Brian decided to pursue a career that involved helping students. Vividly remembering what it was like to be one himself, Brian understands that choosing a career can be difficult with so many options being available. He is passionate about guiding potential and incoming students towards a fulfilling career as an admissions representative at FLSM. Brian was born in Dutchess County, is the middle child of three boys, a huge fan of fiction, climbing, bike riding, and spending time with friends and family. 

Deana Evangelista, BA, AOS, LMT
Financial Aid Coordinator

Deana is a graduate of the Swedish Institute and has been a practicing NYS licensed massage therapist since 1999. Her associate degree in occupational studies from the Swedish Institute complements her bachelor's in psychology from Manhattan College. Deana has extensive experience in therapeutic, rehabilitative, and medical massage, and is passionate about treating individuals inflicted with spinal cord injury, strokes and/or life altering illnesses. Her philosophy is that healing can happen on many levels therefore she also integrates energy work as a Reiki practitioner for her clients’ recovery and wellness. Her diverse knowledge of massage modalities has served to enhance her skills, intuition and experience, all helping to create a quality, individualized treatment for each person. She is thrilled to be able to contribute to the FLSM team as a financial aid coordinator. Deana also manages an active practice at Helen Hayes Hospital in addition to her private office in Suffern, NY.

Samantha Sciortino, BA

In her position as admissions representative at FLSM's Mt. Kisco campus, Samantha is dedicated to helping people learn more about FLSM and all it has to offer. She holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education and English from Rider University and loves getting caught up in a great novel or spending time outdoors when she isn't at FLSM. Prior to working at FLSM, she traveled throughout California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C., with international students sharing, guiding, and exploring American culture and language. Throughout her career she has loved not only following her passions, but guiding others to find and follow theirs as well. She looks forward to continuing her experiences and meeting future healers to help them discover the rewarding world of massage.



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