AMTA 2024 Schools Summit Education Sessions

The AMTA 2024 Schools Summit will take place February 1-2 in Arlington, VA. This event will feature high-quality educational programming designed to strengthen and support your massage therapy school, your career and your students.

The Science of Learning: Understanding the Brain to Transform Teaching

Kick off the 2024 Schools Summit with this interactive keynote session by Dr. Heather Ashley Hayes, as she explores the relationship between neuroscience and inclusive education. As remote work and digital connectivity are increasingly becoming the norm, we are recognizing that traditional learning spaces are not designed to accommodate the needs of our students and community. And, with over a third of Americans pursuing career changes and young people increasingly working independently, the diversity of learning environments continues to expand. Listen as Dr. Hayes maps out the ways that neuroscience offers insight into inclusive teaching and educational approaches that serve all students as they pursue new paths to learning.

Dr. Heather Ashley Hayes is an award-winning researcher, educator, author, and speaker with over two decades of experience. She is an Advanced Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama and Director of The Teach Out, an educational nonprofit. Heather’s areas of research combine the study of communication, community engagement, and neuroscience to better understand what makes meaningful learning possible. After recovering from a life-threatening brain tumor in 2019, she now focuses her work on learning, accessibility, education, neuroscience, social change, and everyday communication.

Best Practices for Keeping Your Course Content Fresh and Current

Refresh your teaching materials with ease in this fast-paced, interactive session. Develop strategies and receive feedback on keeping course content current and engaging. Bring a sample of a single class outline or a whole-term syllabus and a single-class lecture (didactic) or an experiential learning class plan that you would like to update and reference during this session. With these samples, you will brainstorm ways to strengthen your program offerings.

Please note: Bring a sample of a single class outline or a whole-term syllabus and a single-class lecture (didactic) or an experiential learning class plan that you would like to update and reference during this session.

Pete Whitridge, BA, LMT has been a licensed massage therapist since 1988. He has served as a faculty member at massage schools nationwide and teaches classes in Myofascial Components of Pain, business building, and research literacy.

Beyond the Textbook: Active Learning for Long-Term Retention

In this session, delve into how to use creative lesson planning to help students retain information long term. We will explore engaging activities that aid different learning styles and strategies to preserve classroom knowledge for a lifetime.

Donna Schriver, LMT has been a massage therapist for 25 years. She became a massage instructor in 2007 and started teaching continuing education courses in 2010. Currently, Donna is the Massage Therapy Program Director at The Lodge at Woodloch and is the Massage Instructor at Lackawanna College in Hawley, PA.

Mentoring Faculty, Staff and Students

Mentoring is a sustained relationship between an experienced, trusted person who gives advice to a less experienced person. The mentoring process involves guiding and instructing mentees to help fuel their personal and professional growth. In this session, we will explore best practices in mentoring to help foster and encourage the development of successful careers in the massage therapy profession.

Jeffrey Montoya, EdD, LMT, BCTMB is a dedicated massage therapist and educator. He holds a doctorate degree in health professions education from Logan University where the focus of his research was applying blended (online and in-person) models of education to entry-level massage education. He is also the founder and president of the nonprofit massage school, Academy of Health.

Promoting Collegiality in the Classroom

Teaching and promoting collegiality is crucial to creating a positive and supportive learning environment. As educators, our role extends beyond imparting knowledge and skills to fostering community, respect, and student collaboration. Collegiality enhances the overall educational experience, promotes effective communication, and prepares students for success in their future endeavors. This session will explore seven key strategies educators can employ to teach and promote collegiality. By implementing these practices, we can cultivate a collaborative and inclusive environment where students thrive and develop essential skills for personal and professional growth.

Christopher Deery, LMT is a massage therapist with over 25 years of experience in the profession. He runs his own private practice with a focus on sports massage, massage for pain, fascial techniques, trigger point work and resistive modalities. As the previous Director of Sciences at the Institute for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, Chris has helped design curriculum for many massage schools.

AMTA 2024 Massage Profession Research Report

Start the day off with an overview of this insightful AMTA resource designed to give you information to improve your school, address the needs of your students, and respond to changes within the massage profession. Take advantage of this opportunity to engage in discussions with fellow attendees on how to use this report as soon as you return home! All summit attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the resource.

Winona Bontrager, LPN, BCTMB, LMT has been a massage therapist since 1986, and founded the Lancaster School of Massage in Pennsylvania in 1991. She is currently a Partner for Health on the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) and continues to be active on national committees that involve massage and healthcare.

Demara Stamler is a mindset and vision coach, consultant and teacher with over 30 years of experience in the fields of massage therapy, accreditation, and non-profits. Through her work as an educator, administrator, and business owner, she has developed concrete pathways for creating change, growth and success in life and business.

Admissions, Retention, and Student Support: Optimizing Limited Resources in Your School

Do you stress about meeting deadlines, compliance standards and the needs of your students with limited staff? In this session, we will discuss the challenges administrators face, and explore how to incorporate strategies and tools to empower staff in their roles and achieve deliverables with limited personnel.

Michelle Cordero, LMT received her Bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1999, and her Associates of Applied Science in Massage Therapy in 2003. She has been teaching for over a decade and has been the Director of Education for ASIS Massage Education for the past six years.

Building Connections to Support Success in Massage Therapy Graduates

Discover how to guide career direction and strengthen student relationships by exploring the concepts of “flourishing” and “work as a calling”. Drawing from theory and evidence, we will look at interventions and applications to increase caring, meaning and purpose in our professional lives.

Lurana Bain, M.Ed., LMT, BCTMB has over 20 years of experience as an administrator, educator, and instructional designer for massage therapy and related healthcare programs. She is a COMTA Commissioner, an active member of the Illinois Massage Licensing Board, and maintains a massage therapy practice.

Closing Panel: Marketing Your Program and Attracting Students

Every school has a unique program with a diverse student body, and discovering how to market your program and attract new students is essential for school owners and administrators. Close out the 2024 Schools Summit with our panelists, as they discuss best practices for marketing your school while providing valuable insights on how to increase enrollment and gain more exposure.

Selene Del Valle, LMT has been a massage therapist since 1998 and is licensed in New Jersey. She graduated from the Academy of Massage Therapy, and went on to gain experience working in wellness centers, spas, and chiropractic offices, and as a private practitioner. Selene joined the American Institute in 2006 as an instructor where she developed their massage therapy program. Currently serving as the Corporate Director, Selene oversees the massage therapy programs across all five campuses.

Tiffany Hemrick, LMBT has been a licensed massage therapist in the state of North Carolina for over 21 years and has been a nationally certified approved continuing education provider since 2010. She started the therapeutic massage program at Davidson-Davie Community College in 2006 and now serves as Division Chair of Salon & Spa Services.

Jeff Shuman, LMT has been practicing massage therapy for almost 14 years. He currently works at a spa while also serving as an adjunct professor and enrollment management specialist for a massage education program at a community college. In addition, Jeff is pursuing a Doctor of Health Science degree and provides peer review services for the IJTMB.