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NHITA Faculty

Carol Peterson, BA, MSA, LMT

Carol Peterson, BA, MSA, LMT

Carol is Director of the school, providing administrative direction and student advisement at the Nashua campus. She is a licensed massage therapist by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and State of New Hampshire. Carol instructs Emergency Procedures, Health Service Management, Integrated Techniques, and Neuromuscular Technique. In addition to being a graduate of NHITA, Carol also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maine and a Master of Science in Administration from Boston University. Carol maintains a private practice in Andover, Massachusetts.

"When I decided to leave the technology industry and become a massage therapist, it was very important to me that I get the best training possible. NHITA provided that and more. In addition to learning healing massage techniques, NHITA provided me with a solid foundation on the business of massage. As an instructor, I am pleased and excited to share my experiences with students as they enter this rewarding profession. "

Karen Schilling, MS, LMT, RD

Karen Schilling, MS, RD

She came to massage therapy after 15 years as a CPA. After graduating from NHITA in 1995, she pursued further education in the field of nutrition and has since added RD to her credentials. In her position as Associate Director, Karen acts as an advisor to the school, involved in everything from curriculum development to management planning. Having taught every course within the curriculum she serves as a substitute instructor when called on.

"Teaching is the ultimate pursuit for me. I love to make complex subjects easy to learn through humor and play. For me watching people develop a passion for this great profession is its own reward."

Rhonda Cavers, LMT

Heather Brown, LMT

Harrison Instructor: Swedish Massage

Through Heather's education at NHITA and her natural sense of compassion, she has learned to use an integrative approach; combining intuition and technical skill at her private massage practice in the Lakes Region of Maine. She is a licensed massage therapist and has been a professional member of the AMTA since 2017. She was inspired by her experience from attending NHITA to join the faculty and pass along the education that she so gratefully received while maintaining her own private practice.

"Teaching Swedish technique gives me the ability to provide our students the first introduction to hands on, soft tissue manipulation. It is a joy to see each student's knowledge grow and thrive in a career path of their choosing. I am blessed to be able to pass on my passion and understanding to the students of NHITA and to be a part of their journey."

Rhonda Cavers, LMT

Rhonda Cavers, LMT

Nashua Instructor: Kinesiology I & II, Ethics, Swedish massage, Reflexology, Clinical Assessment

RJ is a New Hampshire state licensed graduate of NHITA who maintains a private practice and an associate practice with a local chiropractic office specializing in sports & trauma related injury, postural alignment, and sensory treatment for Autism. She is also a nationally certified educator of infant massage by CEIM and an internationally certified infant massage instructor by CIMI. Along with technique courses RJ also instructs in Ethics, Reflexology, Kinesiology, and Clinical Assessment.

"I couldn't possibly be more passionate about massage! The education I received attending NHITA, working and learning daily in my private practice, and working alongside a generously gifted chiropractor, have all been such rewarding experiences. It is a privilege to share my passion and experience with the students of NHITA. From the first days of Swedish, on to the exploration of muscles, ending with the last days of Clinical Assessment, it is such a joy to join in the journey and exploration of this giving profession and watch the development and evolution of each student's skills, knowledge and individual passions."

Ellen Chapman, MBA, LMT

Ellen Chapman, MBA, LMT

Harrison Instructor: Massage for People with Cancer

Ellen, approaching twenty years as a massage therapist, finds that her practice is a natural extension of her previous education and work experience in business and the sciences. A 1997 NHITA graduate, she has completed advanced training in Orthopedic, Myofascial, Oncology Massage, and Orthopedic Assessment. She currently teaches Massage for people with Cancer. Ellen also has many years of experience teaching Anatomy and Physiology. She is a passionate gardener, baker, and newbie triathlete. Ellen has a B.A. from Wheaton College and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern Maine.

"It is a gift to teach the Massage for People with Cancer class at NHITA as I never fail to get as much back from students as I give. It is wonderful to watch students connect the dots as to how they can harness both their technical skills and their compassion to work with people with a cancer diagnosis. I always appreciate the quality of the students that are attracted to our program; they are committed, mature and open to new ideas."

Liz Como, BA, EMT-B, LMT, RN

Liz Como BA, LMT, RN, CLLC

Harrison Instructor: CPR, First Aid, Emergency Procedures, Ethics, Neuromuscular Technique, Research Analysis, Skin Pathology, Public Health and Hygiene, Pharmacology, Cancer and Autoimmune Disease

Liz began her teaching career in massage therapy after graduating from NHITA. She came to the school with over 20 years of experience teaching at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. She is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., where she obtained a BA in English literature and secondary education, and a graduate of CMMC School of Nursing. She works as an RN in a critical access hospital in Maine. Her primary responsibility is in obstetrics and she continues to increase both patient and providers' access and understanding of integrative medicine. Liz is a perpetual student and is pursuing her graduate degree in nursing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

"I think that most of my life I have been naturally drawn to teaching. As an instructor at NHITA I have the pleasure of helping new massage therapists create a picture of holistic health for future clients as well as themselves."

Emily Dunuwila, BA, LMT

Emily Dunuwila, BA, LMT

Harrison Instructor: Anatomy & Physiology

Emily is a proud graduate of NHITA and has returned to teach Anatomy & Physiology. As the owner of a small massage therapy business in Southern Maine, Emily relies on her strong education and knowledge of anatomy & physiology to help her clients find relief and manage pain. Emily has studied with renowned sports massage therapist, George Kousaleous to become a Certified Core Myofascial Therapist. She is also a certified practitioner of Neurokinetic Therapy. Emily has an extensive background in dance and teaches dance classes. She holds a Bachelors degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Michael Gelsanliter, BA, LMT

Michael Gelsanliter, BA, LMT

Harrison Instructor: Massage for People with Cancer

Michael Gelsanliter is a board certified massage therapist and a Reiki Master Therapist. He has a private practice in Portland, Maine and also provides oncology massage treatments at the Dempsey Centers in South Portland and Lewiston. Michael is particularly interested in combining Eastern and Western approaches to health and healing. Michael is a graduate of Kenyon College and speaks Italian, French and Spanish.

"When I was a student at NHITA, I felt grateful to be in an environment with such dedicated teachers who gave me a clear and comprehensive understanding of how the body functions on a physiological level. Their knowledge and care informed how I moved into my own practice. It is a pleasure to teach at NHITA - sharing the skills that I garnered both as a student and as an ongoing practitioner."

Andrea Johnson, LMT

Andrea Johnson, LMT

Harrison Instructor: Swedish massage, Ethics, Emergency Procedures, Lymphatic & Circulatory Massage Techniques

Andrea Johnson is a certified, licensed massage therapist having graduated from NHITA in 2011. She has been involved in gymnastics, first as a student from a very young age, and then as a coach for the last 20 years. In 2007 she became a certified mat instructor in rehabilitation Pilates. She is also a coach for soccer, basketball, and softball for the local recreation department. Andrea's fascination with the human body has made massage a smooth transition. She instructs Circulatory massage and Lymphatic Drainage massage at the Harrison, Maine school.

"Teaching anything, whether it is in a classroom or in the gym, is so gratifying to watch as students begin to understand and make connections with what they have been learning, and then apply and feel their accomplishments."

Janna Kucharski-Howard, PT, DPT, MSM

Jessica Kennon, LMT

Nashua Instructor: Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Kinesiology

Jessica graduated from the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge, MA in 2002. She holds additional certifications in Orthopedic Massage (Muscular Therapy Institute, 2006) and Myofascial Massage (CORE Institute, 2009). Jessica draws on her continual education and nearly two decades of experience to treat and educate every client to progress their physical, emotional, and mental health. Jessica has taken special interest in the treatment of: pre- and post-operative care, musculoskeletal injury, pain management, postural alignment, body mobility, infant massage, PTSD, trauma, and mental well-being.

"As with many who enter the massage field, I have an ardent passion for the intersection of fascinating science with compassionate care. Not only has education been a continual focus of my own progression, but it has also been an integral part of my massage treatments. I am delighted to have this opportunity to share almost two decades of experience and knowledge with future massage therapists."

Janna Kucharski-Howard, PT, DPT, MSM

Janna Kucharski-Howard, PT, DPT, MSM

Nashua Instructor: Anatomy & Physiology I, Kinesiology I and II, Neurology, Muscle Physiology

Janna is a practicing physical therapist in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She specializes in manual therapy in both the pediatric and orthopedic settings. In addition to being a NHITA graduate, she has a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology, her Masters and Doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She also holds a Master's degree in Management from Emmanuel College. Having designed and taught numerous courses such as Anatomy & Physiology I, II, Kinesiology I, II, Neurology, Muscle Physiology and Clinical Assessment at the Hudson campus for many years, Janna now serves as an educational consultant to the school.

"Anatomy is the foundation of Massage Therapy. I am honored to provide the springboard for students to excel in their career as a Massage Therapist. The NHITA program provides students with a solid background in science and a wide repertoire of Massage Therapy techniques, all in a positive and nurturing environment."

Gretchen Loeffler, BS, LMT

Gretchen Loeffler, BS, LMT

Harrison Instructor: Neuromuscular Technique, Sports Massage, Health Service Management, Clinical Assessment

Gretchen has a degree in Elementary Education and pursued massage therapy as a second career. She has been with the school since 2001 after she graduated from the program. Gretchen is very creative in her teaching and utilizes experiential learning whenever possible.

"I am very excited about the education I received at NHITA. I liked the well-integrated focus on science and clinical experience as well as the very tangible aspect of the hands-on experience. I feel I am meant to be a teacher and appreciate being able to share the education I found so valuable at this school."

Annette Mahoney, BS, LMT, NCTM

Annette Mahoney, BS, LMT, NCTM

Harrison Instructor: Kinesiology, Neuromuscular Technique, Hydrotherapy, Pathology Assessment & Trigger Point, Emergency Procedures, Ethics

Annette is a nationally certified NHITA graduate and holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts. She instructs hydrotherapy, trigger point, neuromuscular technique, muscle physiology, pathology and assessment at the Harrison campus. As a member of the NHITA community, she pursues a real-approach in her teaching by maintaining an active practice in North Conway, New Hampshire.

"Each day I am grateful that I have found my passion in massage therapy. I consider myself very fortunate to have been given the education that NHITA gave me and to now have the opportunity to share it as part of the faculty is a gift. I love to witness how students evolve through their education and be part of the transformation from start to finish."

Taylor McLaughlin

Taylor McLaughlin, BS, LMT

Nashua Instructor: Hydrotherapy, Nutrition I/II, Cancer & Massage, various Pathology classes

A graduate of the New Hampshire Institute of Therapeutic Arts, Taylor came to massage therapy after more than 20 years in healthcare. After graduating Ithaca College with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation where she also began her hobby in aromatherapy and natural healing, Taylor worked in a variety of healthcare settings until her passion for aromatherapy, the human body, and wholistic wellness prevailed and she began her career as a Certified Aromatherapist following closely with her license in massage therapy. Taylor, a member of both AMTA and NAHA, currently owns and operates her own private massage & aromatherapy practice in addition to sharing her expertise as an instructor here at NHITA teaching our Hydrotherapy course as well as Nutrition, Cancer and Massage, Skin Pathology & Communicable Diseases.

"As a lifelong learner it has always been important to me as a student to have instructors that are passionate about their subject and supportive throughout the educational process, which is why I chose NHITA. Now as a graduate, I am honored to be a part of this amazing faculty and to share my passion for massage, aromatherapy, nutrition, and specific pathologies, in a way that empowers the students to continue their educational journeys beyond the classroom."

Julie Stillman LMT, ATC, NHLAT

Julie Stillman, BS, LMT

Nashua Instructor: Sports Massage, Trigger Point, Circulatory and Lymphatic Technique

Julie is a graduate of NHITA. She has been a professional member of the AMTA since 2012. She holds a bachelor's degree in Athletic Training from Colby-Sawyer College and has maintained a NH license for massage therapy. Julie maintains a practice in Nashua, NH that she started in 2012. She is very eager to pass along her knowledge and experience from her sports medicine background and prepare students to integrate this technique for athletic injuries and complex conditions.

"I love school and learning. We need each other to build and grow to reach our full potential to be the best therapists we can be and I am honored to be a part of that journey."

Julie Morrissey LMT, ATC, NHLAT

Linda Nickerson, BS, NBCR, RM, MEP-C

Harrison Instructor: Introduction to Reflexology, Introduction to Income Tax and Bookkeeping

Linda has been practicing Reflexology since 2006; she earned her national board certification through the American Reflexology Certification Board. She is an active member of various Reflexology organizations and has served in a variety of volunteer positions, including the Executive Board. Linda shares her passion about the benefits of Reflexology by participating in community outreach programs. Prior to pursuing a career in Reflexology, Linda provided service as a corporate accountant for many years after earning a Bachelors in Applied Science Accounting degree.

"I have great passion and gratitude for the opportunity to share with NHITA student's knowledge and insights that I have gained in my professional experiences as a Certified Reflexologist and as a Corporate Accountant. It is a joy for me to witness the expansion in the student as they develop their knowledge and confidence on the subject. My experience as an instructor at NHITA has allowed me to expand into an aspect of myself that is deeply rewarding and inspiring."

Gina Toce

Gina Toce, BA, LMT

Nashua Instructor: Health Service Management, Neuromuscular Technique

Gina is a graduate of the NHITA program and holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management with a concentration on Communication and Technology from Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts and is a Reiki Master Instructor. She maintains a Massage license in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts and is currently practicing at a Functional Medicine Doctors office in Salem, New Hampshire. At NHITA, she instructs Ethics, Health Services Management as well as the Neuromuscular Technique.

"My whole life, all I have ever wanted to do was help people. I am so grateful that I received such a strong education foundation at NHITA that allows me to do exactly that, every day. Being part of the team that brings that education to the students at NHITA as they embark on a new career as a Massage Therapist is like a dream come true for me."