Faculty & Staff
OSTM is proud of its faculty and staff. Each instructor is fully trained in his/her respective field, with years of experience and successful private practices. They also each have a unique style and diversity in their expertise that enhances our well-rounded program. All staff members have also been carefully selected to help create a successful educational experience.
Student Services Director
Luana joined the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage in March of 2021, she served for 1 year as Drama and Arts Coordinator for the after-school program at The Redhouse Arts Center. Prior to the RAC she served for 3 years as Student Services Director at MZ Bilingual School in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she was born and raised. She also took on the roll of the Coordinator for the Arts and Robotics program at MZ. Luana Received a bachelor’s degree in Drama from the University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is dedicated to helping the students at OSTM further their education and achieve their professional goals.
Registrar and Bursar
Tara has joined the OSTM team in February of 2021. She was born in Phoenix, NY and has lived in Central New York her whole life. Tara brings 22 years of experience to her position at OSTM, most recently working at Hearth Management and Carrier as Accounts Payable Specialist and Office Manager. She enjoys hiking, boating, interior design, and spending time with her family, friends and her two dogs. Tara looks forward to supporting the great work of the staff and faculty and the hard work of the students of OSTM as they work to heal and change lives through Massage Therapy.
Karen Fresina has lived in Central New York most of her life. She studied Interior Design at Onondaga Community College and has taken courses in medical coding and medical terminology. Before coming to OSTM she worked for Orthopedic Surgeons in the medical records department. She joined the OSTM team in 2010, starting on the evening shift and was promoted to the position of Office Manager. Karen loves her job as it offers a variety of duties, some which include scheduling clients for our massage clinic, managing our bookstore and assisting other staff members. She always has a smile to greet everyone who at the Syracuse campus and she enjoys the opportunity to get to know our students and clients. Karen likes spending time with her family and has two sons and two grandsons. She’s taught Sunday school for children ages 2- 6 for many years. She also supports an organization that rescues women and children from human trafficking.
Shannon McMahon is a graduate of Bryant & Stratton College with an AAS degree in Accounting. She dedicates a few nights a week working as an Evening Office Administrator here at OSTM. She always has a positive attitude and is willing to give her time and energy to make others feel good! In her free time, Shannon enjoys shopping, traveling, spending time outdoors, and playing with her two dogs.
Dr. Baldini received his Chiropractic and Masters of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition degrees from New York Chiropractic College. He is board certified by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists, and holds the designation of Certified Nutrition Specialist. He has 14 years of experience working in critical care and emergency medicine as a respiratory therapist, and is currently the executive managing partner for Seneca Chiropractic & Family Wellness’s four locations in Syracuse, NY. He consults on a wide range of conditions with evidence-based nutritional interventions. He is an adjunct instructor at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage where he currently teaches Myology and has also taught Pathology. He also is an adjunct at Huntington College of Health Sciences where he teaches in the Masters of Science in Nutrition Program. Dr. Baldini holds an International Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner certification and is a staff Chiropractor and nutritional consultant for the AHL Syracuse Crunch hockey team/NHL Tampa Bay Lighting Affiliate. He is also an avid lecturer on many topics and is currently working on a review paper regarding the nutritional co-management of asthma.
John Capozzi is a graduate of Boulder College of Therapeutic Massage in Boulder Colorado. He is also a former massage instructor at the Utah College of Massage Therapy, and is currently teaching Swedish, Treatments and Sports Massage at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage at our Syracuse Campus. In private practice, John works at work at High Point Chiropractic Wellness and focuses on decreasing pain and restoring clients’ proper posture. John is skilled in trigger point therapy, structural body-work, and connective deep tissue massage. He is also certified in prenatal massage and Maya abdominal therapy (visceral manipulation). He has experience treating and achieving results with: Plantar fascitis, Sciatica, whiplash, Thoracic outlet syndrome, Rotator cuff injury and TMJ. John loves to treat his clients the whole body to restore wellness and improve clients’ body mechanics. John is an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing and running. While conquering the great outdoors, he once took on a pack of coyotes to save his beloved family dog, named Osita.
Mike Ciszewski, LMT
Mike Ciszewski graduate from the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage as class valedictorian in 2011 from the six month program. Mike subsequently joined the OSTM team as a MYO tutor who has helped many students improve their study skills and their understanding of the body. He then transitioned into the role of Hands-On Instructor, teaching both Swedish, Treatments, and Clinical classes. In practice, he specializes in deep tissue and medical massage, aiming to bring out his clients’ optimal general and muscular health, whether their goal is to just relax or to help alleviate pain. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports (GO SU!), reading, and playing video games.
Valerie Cushman, LMT
Alumni of the 7th Evening program, graduating in 2005, and nominated as class speaker. Since passing her NYS boards she established a successful massage business, Body Basics Massage Therapy, specializing in deep tissue and trigger point work. She then became a nationally certified LMT, with an additional license in the state of Tennessee. Val enjoys teaching students in all aspects of the curriculum, to prepare them for their future in massage therapy. While employed part time at OSTM, she has taught Pathology, Law, DSP, clinic/chair supervisor, and is now clinic director.
Laura Hannett, is a graduate of Hamilton College and the College of William and Mary, as well as a 2003 OSTM alum. She lives in Dewitt with her husband and two amazing children, and works at Elan Therapeutic Massage in Liverpool. She has been teaching Anatomy & Physiology at OSTM since 2009, later adding Pathology. Laura loves to share her enthusiasm for the sciences, adding both instructional videos and other activities to her students’ classroom learning experience.
Pamela McGrath is a graduate of the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage who has been working as a Massage Therapist since 1998. Before Massage, Pam studied Visual Art at Syracuse University and spent a decade pursuing art in its many forms: Visual , Music, Dance and Writing. For employment, she has worked in an inclusive Pre-Kindergarten setting running an after school program where her interest in the arts was translated in the facilitation of creativity for little people. Massage took the forefront of her employment in 1998 as yet another creative medium, yet, this time it was for healing the body mind and soul. Pam has a private massage practice. In addition to teaching, Pam pursues an active creative life, as well as raising her two children.
Vince Scalisi, DC
Myology & Anatomy & Physiology Instructor
Dr. Vince received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY and has been a practicing Chiropractor in the Syracuse area for the past 23 years. He has been an adjunct instructor with OSTM since 2019 teaching Anatomy and Physiology and also at Bryant and Stratton College since 2010 teaching a variety of courses within their Medical Assisting program including Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2, Clinical procedures, Medical Terminology and Introduction to Healthcare. Dr. Vince has extensive experience teaching a wide diversity of adult learners and is passionate about educating and motivating students on their journey toward personal and professional development in their respective fields of study, as well as in guidance toward their success in accomplishing their goals. Dr. Vince teaches with a variety of practical examples from life and professional practice experience to enhance a student’s capacity to understand how to practically apply what their learning in the classroom to the benefit of their own lives as well as in their prospective future endeavors in the professional healthcare setting. He enjoys spending quality time with his family as well as golfing and fitness training.
Dr. Stevens was born in Syracuse, NY and attended Cicero-North Syracuse High School. He then received an Associate of Science degree from Onondaga Community College. After attending Onondaga Community College, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Professional Studies and Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College. Along with working as a member of the healthcare team at Seneca Chiropractic & Family Wellness, Dr. Stevens is an evening instructor at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Message where he teaches Myology and Pathology. Dr. Stevens has completed a certification as an International Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician and is a staff chiropractor for the AHL Syracuse Crunch hockey team/NHL Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate.
Jodi Brodner, LMT
Jodi graduated from the New York Institute of Massage and became a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist in 2000. She began working as an LMT at a Chiropractors office and a spa before opening her own practice and joining OSTM in 2004. She began her career at OSTM as the Clinic Director. After receiving her degree in Business Administration, Jodi moved into the Financial Aid Director position in 2016, and then into the Campus Director position in 2019. When not at work Jodi enjoys hiking, kayaking, and being outdoors.
Registrar & Bursar
Maryjo or MJ has been part of the OSTM family for the past seventeen years. She started as the office manager and currently holds the position of Registrar/Bursar. She is a graduate of Genesee Community college, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. MJ is a Certified Higher Education Professional in Campus Operations through CECU (Career Education Colleges and Universities) and is also a certified personal trainer and has a passion for health & fitness. In 2011 she competed in her first natural figure completion and took first place in the amateurs division and second overall. MJ lives in Irondequoit, NY and enjoy cross training and spending time with family and friends.
Financial Aid Director
Caitlin Dance began working at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage as the Evening Office Manager in 2014 and has been with the school since. Currently the Financial Aid Director for OSTM’s Rochester Campus, Caitlin is a Certified Higher Education Professional in Campus Operations through CECU (Career Education Colleges and Universities). Originally born in the State of Hawaii Caitlin has made Rochester her home, where she graduated from the Harley School after moving around much of the world most of her childhood. Caitlin possess an enthusiastic, resourceful and motivated attitude which carries over to the rest of the OSTM family. When she is not helping applicants and current students manage their financial aid she enjoys all forms of art, painting, and pottery and spending time with her friends and family.
Deszirae Mastowski, LMT
Student Services Director
Deszirae is a graduate of the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage and has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2018. She joined the OSTM family shortly after graduation as the Student Services Director where she shares her love for the program and profession with each cohort. Deszirae continues to practice massage therapy part time at a S[a near her home of Geneseo, NY. She is passionate about providing support to meet the individual needs of each student so that they can achieve success in the program and ultimately join the profession she cares so deeply for.
Michelle came to the OSTM Team this year. Michelle has held numerous positions in the education and wellness fields. She joined the OSTM family as a part-time office manager in February 2021. She loves greeting and welcoming clients into the office. Developing relationships with clients, students and staff is her favorite part of the job.
Gail Valente is a 2001 alumni of Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage where she has stayed and taught business classes and is currently OSTM’s Student Clinic Director. Her success and longtime experience in running her own business the Retreat House Massage and Wellness Center has provided her with the tools to successfully instruct many class that have come though the school and are now successful massage therapists all over the country.
Gail specializes in massage for those with fibromyalgia and other painful conditions. With an interest in chronic pain conditions, Gail has extensive training in Medical Massage as well as Myofascial Pain Release treatments that are especially helpful for lower back and neck pain. Gail is a Kripalu trained Foot Reflexologist. Her passion for this healing modality has led her to become a Faculty Assistant in Kripalu’s Foot Reflexology Training Program. She enjoys bringing the peace and meditative focus of her yoga practice to her healing massage work and her teaching style here at OSTM. When Gail is not working at the school she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and family.
Philip Dodge, DC
Dr. Philip Dodge, OSTM’s Pathology Instructor, is a New York State certified doctor of chiropractic medicine. He has been practicing since 2000 and has recently started his own practice in Fairport, NY.
Dr. Dodge is a native to the Southern Tier – he grew up in Canisteo, NY. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Buffalo. Dr. Dodge received his Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine in Georgia from Life University School of Chiropractic. In addition to his practice, Dr. Dodge teaches Pathology and Physiology classes at RIT and Nazareth in addition to designing the curriculum her at OSTM. Dr. Dodge currently resides in Victor, NY with his wife, Kathleen and their three children – Ryan, Allison and Makayla.
Tristum Eaton, DC
Anatomy & Physiology, Pathology Instructor
Dr. Eaton is OSTM’s Human Anatomy & Physiology and Pathology Instructor and has been a practicing chiropractor for almost ten years. He grew up in Central New York, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from SUNY Albany and received his Doctorate of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls. Dr. Eaton served the Boston, MA area for five years before following his desire to be closer to his family and moving to the Rochester area.
Since starting his practice in 2007, Dr. Eaton has worked hard to provide his patients and students with above-average care and support. In addition to his Gates office he also practices out of the Acupuncture Center in Lakeville, NY. Dr. Eaton has spent many years as a valued faculty member here at OSTM and his expertise in Chiropractic services and desire for each person to live a valuable and healthy life has positively influenced each and every student who has come through his class.
Wendy Kiedrowski, LMT
Swedish, Chair, Pregnancy & Sports Instructor
Wendy is an Alumni of OSTM and is the Swedish, Chair Massage and Pregnancy Massage Instructor. Wendy has been an Instructor here at OSTM since July 2006 and continues to spread her enthusiasm and passion for her chosen profession of massage therapy. Wendy’s knowledge and teaching style continues to grow with each new class and inspires the love and dedication that goes hand in hand with becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist.
Kate Gruenfelder, LMT
Kate is a graduate of OSTM’s 6-Month Program. She Graduated in December 2012 and has been actively massaging ever since. Kate is currently OSTM Rochester Campus’ Treatments Instructor. Since April 2013, Kate’s private massage practice has been focused on treating specific orthopedic conditions and applying a number of deep tissue techniques. She focuses on pain management and helping her clients achieve a deeper level of wellbeing and healing. Kate is a Certified Higher Education Professional in Teaching through CECU (Career Education Colleges and Universities). Her skill set and experience makes her an amazing addition to OSTM’s Instructor team.
Paula Schank, BS, LMT
Shiatsu, Swedish, Pregnancy & Energy Instructor
Paula Schank teaches Shiatsu, Swedish Massage and Energy Work courses here at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage. . Paula Schank. BS. LMT has been a licensed massage therapist since 1996. Spending those years of experience receiving training from places like the Ohashi Institute in New York, the Shiatsu Center in Toronto, and the Lokai Institute in Tokyo. Paula teaches the art of Shiatsu and its principles of how it awakens internal healing. All of her training and experience in Shiatsu and Craniosacral Therapy complements her commitment to quality care, teaching style and compassionate touch. Paula’s wisdom and positive energy knowledge has imprinted on many graduates of OSTM allowing them to grow and move on to be amazing contributions to the massage therapy world.
Donald Smith, DC, CFT
Evening Myology & Anatomy Instructor
Dr. Smith is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY. He has worked with the Buffalo Gladiators semi-pro football team and was a member of the National Ski Patrol since 1985. Dr. Smith is OSTM’s Anatomy and Physiology and Myology Instructor in the evenings. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and doing outdoor activities such as sailing, kayaking, biking, hiking and even salsa dancing.
Kelly Weisensel, LMT
Evening Pathology Instructor
Kelly has a BA from SUNY Geneseo in 1994 and became an Alumni of the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage in 2014. Kelly subsequently joined the OSTM team as a Science tutor who has helped many students improve their study skills and their understanding of the body. She has since then transitioned into the role of teaching Myology, Pathology and Anatomy to OSTM’s Evening students. In practice, she specializes in deep tissue and Swedish massage, and Shiatsu work aiming to provide a customized massage experience and the experience of the students she instructs.
Missy Reho, LMT
Energy & Shiatsu Instructor, Director of Education
Missy is an alumni of OSTM and instructor for Shiatsu and Energy. She also holds a B.S. in education from Edinboro University and NYS nursing license. In private practice, Missy specializes in a variety of energy healing modalities, including Reiki, Integrated Energy Healing, Craniosacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, and Crystal Healing, as well as deep tissue and prenatal massage. Missy is an avid learner and explorer, continually taking courses to advance her knowledge and understanding for ancient healing practices and massage techniques. She brings this knowledge to both her practice, private trainings, and the classroom.