By Kristen Lutz
Communications Program Chair
I had the pleasure of sitting down with our 2019 Dianne Polseno Scholarship 1st Place Winner, Caressa Moy, to get to know a little more about how this award will affect her and her future practice. Caressa was the recipient of $1,000 and a free year of AMTA-MA membership. Did you know we have $1,000 and $500 (PLUS A YEAR OF FREE AMTA MEMBERSHIP!) just waiting for some brilliant and talented souls to take home each year? Here's what Caressa had to say about how the scholarship will make an impact on her career.
Q. How did you hear about the Dianne Polseno Scholarship?
A. Before I’d even heard of the scholarship, I learned of Dianne Polseno through the staff and instructors here at Bancroft School of Massage Therapy, where I’m currently a student. From what I gather from stories I’ve been told, Dianne was a beloved mentor, colleague, and friend, not to mention a community and industry leader fiercely committed to the advancement of massage ethics and education. Thus, I have to thank:
- Mike Conlon, Department Head of Anatomy & Physiology and Sports Massage & Pathology;
- Sister Pat Dowler, Education Director;
- Judie Morin, Admissions Director; and
- Greg Hurd, Director of Career Advancement and Outreach
for encouraging my class to be inspired by her legacy and apply for the Dianne Polseno Scholarship.
Q. Where are you attending school and do you have a favorite class/area of study?
A. I’m attending Bancroft School of Massage Therapy, and will graduate in October later this year. It‘s difficult to say which is my favorite class because the entire program is fantastic and all the courses are fundamental and complementary to one another. If I HAD to choose, I’d say the clinic and internship components of the program, because they’re real-world opportunities for hands-on application of everything I’ve learned so far in Swedish, regional/deep tissue, ethics, anatomy & physiology, kinesiology...told you I couldn’t pick just one favorite, I had to try and slip them all in there!
Q. What will be the first thing you do with your Scholarship Award? If you're not sure, you can talk about some ways the money will help you prepare for the start of your practice.
A. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to cover the costs of MBLEx certification and licensure, as well as to invest in my education now and in the future. One of the things I love about the massage therapy industry is its diversity, which is reflected by the abundance of continuing education courses available to massage therapists and students.
I will be taking Mike’s cadaver study to strengthen my understanding of the structure and function of the human body. Beyond that, I have many interests! I've been eyeing Linda MacConnell's Intro to Trager and Tracy Walton’s oncology massage course, as well as classes related to myofascial release, cupping massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi...instead of going on and on, in short, I'm very excited about the opportunity the Scholarship gives me to keep learning and adding to my tool box!
Q. How will the Award make an impact on your massage therapy practice?
A. I alluded to it earlier, but the Award will help me take advantage of opportunities to learn and incorporate new techniques into my work, allowing me to better tailor each treatment session to my clients' needs. I want to have the right tools for the job at hand and use skilled touch to, to paraphrase from my scholarship application essay, help people experience how caring for your body facilitates the health of your whole person. The more modalities I know, the better equipped I am to empower my clients to reach their health and wellness goals through massage, education, and self-care, and thus, continue Dianne's work of changing the world, one massage at a time.
Q. What would you like to say to next year's applicants?
A. I'm grateful and honored to receive the scholarship established in memory of an influential woman who had such a profound impact on not only the people fortunate to meet her, but also the massage therapy industry; her character and contributions are some things to aspire to. The Scholarship is a great opportunity to revisit the journey that brought you to where you are now and your motivations to enter the field. I'd encourage next year's applicants to take the time to reflect and articulate what fuels their passion and what unique qualities and experiences they have that drive them to pursue and excel in this profession, and to share their vision of the future and how they're working to make it a reality.
Q. Why is it important for people to contribute to the Dianne Polseno Scholarship Fund?
A. Everyone that speaks of Dianne mentions her love for teaching her students and giving to the massage community, and I think she would have loved that her eponymous scholarship supports aspiring massage therapists who share her passion for helping others and making a difference in the world. Thank you to everyone who's contributed to The Dianne Polseno Scholarship Fund!