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Massage program has record number of graduates

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May 30 2019
A group of students and instructors poses inside a building on SCC's Jackson Campus.
Instructors and students representing the Therapeutic Massage program at Southwestern Community College are pictured here at their pinning ceremony on May  9 in Sylva. They are, front row, from left: Instructor Casey Dupree, Brooke Long of Sylva, Jessica Knecht of Sylva, Becki Riddle of Maggie Valley, Natalie Brewton of Webster, Patricia Ryan of Clyde, Denise Panther of Cherokee and Instructor Jenny Burgess. Back row: Derek Galarza of Bryson City, Tyler Murray of Maggie Valley, Matthew Jones of Sylva, Michael Bray of Sylva, Lindsay Cross of Franklin, Matthew Nelson of Sylva and Becky Chap of Sylva.

The Therapeutic Massage program at Southwestern Community College celebrated its largest graduating class to date with a pinning ceremony on Thursday, May 9, at the Jackson Campus in Sylva.

Six students earned their associate degrees in Therapeutic Massage: Michael Bray of Sylva, Matthew Jones of Sylva, Jessica Knecht of Cullowhee, Tyler Murray of Maggie Valley, Denise Panther of Cherokee and Becki Riddle of Maggie Valley. They completed their second year of studies and also participated in the program’s advanced massage clinic.

Completing their diplomas in the program were Natalie Brewton of Webster, Becky Chap of Sylva, Lindsay Cross of Franklin, Derek Galarza of Bryson City, Brooke Long of Sylva, Matt Nelson of Sylva and Patricia Ryan of Clyde. Each of these graduates completed one year of classroom and clinical work.

“All of these students worked extremely hard, and we have every reason to believe they’ll be successful,” said Dr. Mitch Fischer, Dean of Health Sciences at SCC. “The field of Therapeutic Massage is on the rise, and we have seen a growing amount of research that reinforces the role of massage in the healing process.”

Associate degree graduates are eligible for immediate employment in direct client care settings while those earning their diplomas can enter the workforce or return this fall to pursue associate degrees.

For more information about the Therapeutic Massage program at SCC, contact Burgess at 828.339.4313 or j_burgess[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.