Patricia Benjamin to Receive AMTA’s Dianne Polseno Award


The American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) congratulates Dr. Patricia Benjamin as the newest recipient of its Dianne Polseno Lifetime Achievement Award.

When she became a massage therapist in 1984, Patricia Benjamin brought with her a rich background of academic knowledge, classroom experience, historical perspectives, and a strong drive to help build the profession. She holds both a BS and a MS in Physical Education, a Certificate of Advanced Study in Education Curriculum and Supervision and a PhD in Recreation and Leisure studies with a focus on Historic Preservation. She was instrumental in efforts to pass the Illinois Massage Licensing Act and served on the Illinois Massage Licensing Board from 2008 to 2013.

"We are delighted to recognize Pat for her outstanding contributions to the massage therapy profession, especially in educating everyone about the long history of massage therapy and of AMTA’s 73 year history,” says AMTA President Nathan Nordstrom.

She is co-author of Tappan’s Handbook of Healing Massage Techniques (1998), and recently published Emergence of the Massage Therapy Profession in North America: A History in Archetypes. She also has authored innumerable articles and essays in Massage Therapy Journal over the past 30 years, including Brush Up on the History of Your Profession. Advancing entry-level massage therapy education, she has previously been Director of Education for the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy and Academic Dean/Accreditation Compliance at the Chicago School of Massage Therapy.

The Dianne Polseno Lifetime Achievement Award

In October 2012, AMTA announced the creation of this new award in the name of the late Dianne Polseno, because she was such an inspiration to educators, students and practitioners over her lifetime. The award is to honor excellence for a person’s body of work in the advancement of massage therapy education. Dr. Benjamin is the third recipient of this award.

Dr. Benjamin will receive her award at the AMTA National Convention on October 27 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and will be further recognized at the Teachers Celebration Luncheon during the convention.

About AMTA

The American Massage Therapy Association, the most respected name in massage therapy, is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.

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