Director, Therapeutic Massage Program,
website Content Manager
Faculty & Staff Profiles
- Regina M. Cobb
- Karlo Berger
- Alda Medeiros
- Deb Luhrs
- Lou Ann Botsford
- Alana Godet
- Patricia Bachus
- Leanor (Lee) Silva
- Valerie Benedetti
- Victoria Moutahir
- Jay O'Conner
Regina Cobb, MSW, BCMT is the Program Director and Associate Professor of the Therapeutic Massage Program at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). She is also the Program Director, Dedicated Visionary and Coordinator for the CCRI Center for Workforce and Continuing Education (CWCE) Hospital-based Oncology Massage Therapy Program that is held twice yearly at Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, R.I. and Saint Anne’s Hospital, Fall River, Mass.
Regina received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Criminal Justice and Psychology from C.W. Post University.
Always wanting to do more for her community, Regina pursued an alternate career in Massage Therapy and graduated from the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge, Mass. This was the beginning of numerous educational workshops and trainings as evidenced by the curriculum Regina has developed and spearheaded for the Therapeutic Massage Program at CCRI. Due to her leadership, dedication and perseverance, CCRI is the premiere Massage Therapy School in New England. Read More
Karlo Berger joined the CCRI faculty in 2009 as its instructor in shiatsu, massage-shiatsu integration, and traditional Chinese medicine. He is a Registered Instructor with the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA-RI) in Zen Shiatsu. He has practiced shiatsu at Harvard University Health Services since 1998, and maintains a private practice in Providence, RI. 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 Zen Shiatsu with Kikuko Miyazaki, Patricia Carusone, Keith Phillips, Frank Davis, Nicola Pooley, and Janet MacDonald, and Pregnancy Shiatsu with Suzanne Yates. Karlo is founder of the Boston-based Integrative Medicine Alliance and a co-founder of the Integrative Medicine at Brown forum at Brown Medical School. He operates Whole Health Solutions LLC, a consultancy that brings together people and ideas in ways that promote healing and a more just and sustainable world.
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 over seven 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 Education chairperson for the Rhode Island chapter. In 2009 she joined the adjunct faculty of the Therapeutic Massage program at CCRI.
Deb Luhrs has been in practice for over 23 years. After graduating from the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in 1990, Deb has continued her massage education in sports, orthopedic assessment, neuromuscular, myofascial release, lymphatic drainage and most recently has successfully completed the Level 1 MLD at the Vodder School. She continues to enhance her skills by studying Oncology & Hospital based massage training. She has worked with a variety of endurance athletes, from an Olympic hopeful sail boarder, tennis professionals at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and an individual cyclist and four man team competing in the Race Across AMerica (RAAM).
Deb maintains a practice in Middletown RI and supports the Therapeutic Massage Program at CCRI. She is a member of CCRI's Therapeutic Massage Advisory Council and a mentor for students. Currently she teaches the Introduction to Therapeutic Massage course at the Newport and Providence campuses
She has been a member of the RI Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association since 1990, serving in various capacities including President and Government Relations Chairperson. She is a Team Leader of the Rhode Island Crisis Massage Team, and has most recently volunteered at the World Burn Congress in Providence. It has been her involvement with this association that has given her guidance and helped her grow both personally and professionally. On a national level, Deb supports the Alliance for Therapeutic Massage Education and is Board Certified by NCBTMB. As you can see, Deb has a commitment to advancing both the profession and massage education. Visit Deb Luhr's website.
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. Lou Ann is also a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner and has earned additional certifications in Orthopedic Massage from the Orthopedic Massage Education & Research Institute (OMERI) and Mother Massage ® with Elaine Stillerman. She is also trained in Active Isolated Stretching and Oncology Massage.
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 including the Providence Bruins and ATP World Tour athletes at the Tennis Hall of Fame Championships. In 2012 she completed a medical volunteer rotation at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs working with a myriad of athletes preparing for the 2012 London Games: US Women's Boxing and Wrestling Teams, USA Tae Kwon Do, Triathletes, Swimmers, and Track & Field athletes. This led to an opportunity to support the U.S. Men's Ski Jumping Team during the National Championships in 2012 and 2013 at the US Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid and ultimately an invitation to support the team in Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Lou Ann is Sports Massage Chair for the Rhode Island American Massage Therapy Association (RIAMTA) where she was the 2008 and 2013 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.
Lou Ann's desire to lead by example and her passion for Sports Massage are obvious through her other pursuits: she is a triathlete, a 6 year veteran and team Captain of the MS150 and has participated in numerous road races. Lou Ann is also a Certified Spinning Instructor and has taught in a variety of settings including Brown University and Boston Sports Club. She is also 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.
[See "My teaching approach"]
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 Therapeutic massage, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage as well as Cranial 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 Commity.
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.
Alana graduated from CCRI's Therapeutic Massage Program in 2011. She has been an assistant to Karlo Berger's Shiatsu class at CCRI's Newport Campus since the spring semester of 2012 and assisted Lou Ann Botsford with the Sport's Massage class in the summer of 2013. While assisting Karlo, she has done independent studies on Pregnancy & Infant Shiatsu and has since decided to do more advanced training on working with infants and teaching parents how to massage their children.
She is an AMTA member & currently works as a LCMT at West Side Wellness in Providence, RI which focuses on "promoting bodywork as a practical and enjoyable form of health care". There she incorporates many different forms of massage like Swedish, Myofascial, Deep Tissue & Massage-Shiatsu integration. She is dedicated to her profession and continues to learn more each day.
Victoria Moutahir joined the CCRI faculty in 2011. She has earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and is completing her M.S. in Nutrition at Northeastern University. Victoria is also a graduate, of the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy, is nationally certified through the NCBTMB, a RI licensed massage therapist, and the founder and director of Body Kneads, Inc. in Providence, RI.
Victoria is active with the RI chapter of the AMTA and works as part of the Government Relations Committee to further the professional standards for massage therapists. Additionally, she mentors CCRI students during their field placements.
Over the past 16 years, Victoria has received certifications in Oncology Massage, Orthopedic and Medical Massage, Craniosacral Therapy I, Myofascial Release, Reflexology, Spa therapies, and is a certified Infant Massage instructor.
Since 2004, Victoria has brought her experience in and passion for massage therapy education to traditional academic and workshop settings. She is a continuing education provider for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and has presented at the New England Regional Conference, RI AMTA meetings, and offers a 5 hour CE course for Insurance Reimbursement for Massage Therapists.
Victoria loves to watch the transformation of her students, their willingness to challenge themselves and to step out of their comfort zones to achieve their goals. It is what has fueled her passion for education over the past decade.
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.