Faculty & Staff Profiles
- Regina M. Cobb
- Karlo Berger
- Alda Medeiros
- Deb Luhrs
- Lou Ann Botsford
- Thom Saucier
- Patricia Bachus
- Leanor (Lee) Silva
- Valerie Benedetti
- Victoria Moutahir
- Jay O'Conner
Since 2001, Regina has been the Program Director of the Therapeutic Massage Program at the Community College of Rhode Island, overseeing the curriculum, adjunct faculty and students. While much of her time is focused on the administrative management of the program, she is a continual advocate for the profession—for the students, CCRI alumni, and the community. In addition, she is one of the instructors of the program, a role that she thoroughly enjoys—teaching the physiological and emotional benefits of therapeutic massage. Among the courses she teaches are Pathophysiology, Introduction to Therapeutic Massage, Medical Terminology, Deep Tissue, Professional Development Seminars, and acts as coordinator of the In-House Student Clinic each year. Regina received her Masters in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Psychology and Criminal Justice from C.W. Post University. Since 1997, Regina has served as a Red Cross volunteer, First Responder, for Disaster Mental Health. She is the coordinator for the Crisis Massage Team of Rhode Island and is an active member and committee chairperson for the Rhode Island chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association. She is a nationally certified, licensed massage therapist for over 10 years, having graduated from the Muscular Therapy Institute. Her areas of concentration are Deep Tissue massage, Sports massage, Pregnancy massage, and stress relief.
Karlo Berger has practiced shiatsu at Harvard University Health Services since 1998, and maintains a private practice in Providence, RI specializing in pregnancy shiatsu. He has also practiced at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. A graduate of the Boston Shiatsu School, Karlo has studied with Kikuko Miyazaki, Patricia Carusone, Janet MacDonald, and Suzanne Yates. Karlo is founder of the Boston-based Integrative Medicine Alliance, and is President of Whole Health Solutions LLC (www.KarloBerger.com). He is also co-director of the Integrative Medicine @ Brown forum at Brown Medical School. Karlo teaches shiatsu and massage-shiatsu integration.
Alda Medeiros has worked in the medical field for 27 years. She graduated from CCRI with an Associate Degree in 1981 (Medical Secretarial Sciences) and in 2005, graduated from CCRI’s (Therapeutic Massage Associate Program). She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Health & Social Services at Roger Williams University in 2002 and received certification as an Educator of Infant Massage through the International Association of Infant Massage in 2007. Over the years, she has worked in various supervisory and management capacities in the health care field. She is a nationally certified, licensed massage therapist for the past three years. In her private practice, she offers relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, pregnancy massage, hot stone treatments, and infant massage instruction. She is a member of CCRI’s Therapeutic Massage Advisory Council and is also a mentor for students in the Therapeutic Massage program. She is a member of the Rhode Island Crisis Massage Team, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), and serves as Secretary and Education chairperson for the Rhode Island chapter. This Fall, she joined the adjunct faculty of the Therapeutic Massage program at CCRI and teaches Swedish Massage.
Deb Luhrs has been in practice for over 20 years. A graduate of the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in 1990, Deb has continued her massage education in sports, neuromuscular, myofascial release and lymphatic drainage and most recently orthopedic assessment. She has worked with athletes, from an Olympic hopeful in 1992, tennis professionals in 1993, and to an individual cyclist completing the Race maintaining a practice and teaches at CCRI. She has been a member of the RI chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association since 1990, serving in various capacities including President and Immediate Past President. It has been her involvement with this association that has given her guidance and helped her grow both personally and professionally. Deb is a member of CCRI’s Therapeutic Massage Advisory Council and is also a mentor for students in the Therapeutic Massage program. She is a member of the Rhode Island Crisis Massage Team. Deb continues to teach the Introduction to Therapeutic Massage course at the Newport and Providence campuses. http://www.massagetherapyri.com
Lou Ann is an Adjunct Faculty member at CCRI’s Newport Campus and has served as the Sports Massage Instructor since 2009.
She began her career as a Licensed, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist at the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester MA and is also a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Rhode Island. Her additional certifications include Orthopedic Massage from the Orthopedic Massage Education & Research Institute (OMERI) and Mother Massage ® with Elaine Stillerman. She is also trained in Active Isolated Stretching – The Mattes Method, neuromuscular techniques, Thai massage and reflexology.
Lou Ann’s personal focus on a healthy lifestyle, a keen interest in nutrition, and her commitment to fitness are what ultimately led her to specialize in Sports Massage and to her current role as Sports Massage Chair for the Rhode Island American Massage Therapy Association (RIAMTA) where she was the 2008 recipient of the National AMTA Sports Massage Team Award for her work with the RI Chapter. Her award-winning team has been involved with numerous sporting events in RI, MA & CT including the Boston Marathon, RI Special Olympics, MS-150, Save The Bay, Pan Mass Challenge, The Flattest Century in The East and Operation Stand Down for Veterans.
In her private practice at an athletic training facility, Lou Ann’s focus is orthopedic and sports massage and she has had the opportunity to work on high school, collegiate and professional athletes.
Lou Ann’s desire to lead by example and her passion for Sports Massage are obvious through her other pursuits:
- She has been a Certified Spinning Instructor since 2005 and has taught in a variety of settings including Brown University and Boston Sports Club.
- Since 2008 she has participated in the Rhode Island MS-150: a 150 mile, 2 day cycling event and has been the team captain for 2 years.
- In 2011 her athletic pursuits have broadened to include triathlons in Hawaii, Rhode Island & Massachusetts.
- She is a member of Rhode Island’s Crisis Massage Team (CMT-RI), and is trained to provide assistance to first responders in the event of a crisis or disaster within the state of RI. http://www.finishlinemassage.com/
[See "My teaching approach"]
Thom has been in practice for 8 years and is a graduate of the Community College of Rhode Island’s Therapeutic Massage Program. He has owned a business for many years and currently works full time as a private practitioner in Newport. Thom is a member of CCRI’s Therapeutic Massage Advisory Council and is also a mentor for students in the Therapeutic Massage program. He teaches Massage Practice Building at the Newport campus. Thom has continued his education in sports massage and has experience working with nationally ranked sports teams. Thom is a RIAMTA member, is nationally certified and has been a licensed massage therapist since 2001.
Prior to graduating from the Community College Of Rhode Island Therapeutic Massage Program in 2001 and obtaining her National Certification for Massage Therapists. Pat was a dedicated RN at Newport Hospital ICU/CCU with extensive critical,emergency and supervisory experience.She graduated from Truesdale Hospital School of Nursing and Salve Regina University.
In her private practice, she offers Theraputic massage, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage as well as Cranialal Sacral therapy, Reiki., Facial Lymphatic Drainage and Cancer Massage with continuous on going studies.
She is a member of CCRI’s Therapeutic Massage Advisory Council and is also a mentor for students in the Therapeutic Massage program. Pat has been an adjunct faculty member since 2003, a Clinical Supervisor for the In-House Student Clinic, and assists with field and sports events.
She is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), and served as President for the Rhode Island chapter. She is a member of the RI AMTA Crisis Massage Team, Sport Massage Team and RI Government Relations Team. She is the Rhode Island Delegate and Representative for AMTA New England Regional Conference and will be the National AMTA Conference Delegate this year in Portland Oregon.
She participates in numerous volunteer events such as Multiple Sclerosis 150-Mile Bike Tour, Gravity Games, Half Man Triathlon, Save the Bay, Stand Down for Veterans, Diabetes for the Cure,Boston Marathon, The Flattest Century in the East and various wellness health fairs annually.
Lee is a registered nurse and a graduate of CCRI’s Therapeutic Massage and Nursing Programs. She has a private massage practice in Tiverton and became recently certified in Dowsing, under Slim Spurling. Dowsing is used improve health from the negative impact on the electromagnetic field. Lee currently works at Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River in the Breast Care Woman’s Health Center where she provides chair massage, case management and is a circulating nurse for biopsies. She is a grandmother of three. Lee is a member of CCRI’s Therapeutic Massage Advisory Council and is also a mentor for students in the Therapeutic Massage program. She is a member of the Rhode Island Crisis Massage Team and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). She joined the adjunct faculty of the Therapeutic Massage program at CCRI in 2003 and is one of the supervisors of the In-House Student Clinic.
Valerie has been practicing massage for 22 years. She is a graduate of the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy and was a graduate of CCRI’s Physical Therapy Assistant Program in 1999. She maintains a private practice in Providence. Valerie has been assisting the Therapeutic Massage Program since 2002. She has been an invaluable support for the In-House Student Clinic, Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Sports Massage classes. She has been a member of the Crisis Massage Team since 2005.
Victoria Moutahir joined the CCRI faculty in 2011. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island in 1992 and worked in the mental health field for 5 years before attending the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy. Victoria graduated from BSMT in 1997. She is a nationally certified, RI licensed massage therapist and has been in practice since 1998 and has been teaching in the field of massage therapy since 2004. She owns and operates Body Kneads, Inc. in Providence, RI.
Victoria is an active member in the community where her first love is educating the public about massage therapy. She has been a speaker at conferences for stress reduction, she has been a mentor to CCRI students during their field placement at Body Kneads, Inc., and she a strong advocate for affordable and accessible massage.
Victorias’ certifications include orthopedic/medical massage, myofascial release, infant massage instruction, reflexology, and spa therapies.
Jay O’Connor is RI State licensed and nationally certified as a massage therapist. He has been cultivating his practice for over 15 years, specializing in deep tissue and sports massage. Jay is an active professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Locally, he has served on the board of the RIAMTA, served as Chairperson for the AMTA New England Regional Conference, and represented RIAMTA members as National Delegate to the AMTA . Jay has been locally and nationally recognized for his service to promote therapeutic massage, being awarded the RIAMTA Meritorious Award twice, in 2001 & 2007. He was also inducted into the AMTA’s New England Regional Conference Planning Committee’s “Hall of Fame” in 2007.
Prior to his massage career, Jay earned his BS in Physical Education and Health at the University of Rhode Island. In the 1980s, he utilized his training by teaching Physical Education and Health to children kindergarten through 12th grade on Block Island. A lifelong learner, he went on to gain his Masters of Science degree from Bridgewater State College.
Jay’s experience includes ten years working with physical therapists, occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors, and orthopedic physicians in clinical settings. During this time he pursued and attained certification as a massage therapist from Bancroft School of Massage Therapy (1996). He received valuable insight into caring for injured individuals while spending eight years as part of two physical therapy practices, where he combined his therapeutic exercise and massage therapy skills.
In 2001, Jay’s career changed course as he accepted the directorship of the upstart Community College of Rhode Island’s Therapeutic Massage Program. He led the program through the difficult stage of “start up”, creating and teaching the much of the curriculum.
Currently, Jay practices his private practice in Warwick, RI. Additionally, he is employed as a Health Educator for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. Jay feels blessed to be living with his lovely wife Valerie and their three beautiful children.