MT Instructor is Educator of the Year
LaWanda Allen said she was quite surprised when she heard that she had been named a 2017 Educator of the Year by The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, Biofreeze and BonVital. She knew she had been nominated by one of her peers. She had submitted an essay about her love of Massage Therapy. But, there were more than 1,000 entries. She really hadnât thought much about it since submitting her essay.
âIt kind of came out of the blue,â said Allen, a Massage Therapy instructor at Concordeâs campus in Southaven, Miss. âI was very surprised to win this award, but was very honored. The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) has been around for years. Theyâre highly regarded in my industry.â
Allen was one of two Educator of the Year recipients and the only teacher selected. Her award came with a lot of perks, including a one-year membership in AFMTE, a $1,000 stipend for travel and lodging at the 2017 AFMTE Conference and more than $250 in free products from Biofreeze and BonVital.
âI use Biofreeze a lot, so that was really nice,â Allen said.
Roots in Massage Therapy and Concorde
Allen has taught Massage Therapy for 10 years, the last two at Concorde â Southaven. And itâs no accident that she ended up teaching at Concorde. She graduated with honors and received her diploma in MT back in 2003 at Concordeâs Memphis, Tenn. campus
âItâs been great for me to come back here and share my experience,â she said. âIâd been teaching a total of 18 years; I was doing childhood safety training for Shelby County (Tenn.) before going into Massage Therapy.â
Allen is the full-time caretaker for her mother and said it was when she and her mother experienced health issues that she considered switching careers to Massage Therapy. She decided on what then was the nine-month MT diploma program at Concorde â Memphis and has never looked back.
âIt was the flexibility of the program that I really enjoyed,â she said. âThat, and the diversity of the instructors I had. Allowing instructors to impart their experiences was really great. They gave all us students a variety of experiences that sparked my interest in the field even more.â
More than a Massage Therapy instructor
Allen said teaching at Concorde â Southaven, which opened in 2013, was the perfect way for her to be able to give back to the community, just as her instructors had. She initially started at Concorde part-time, but has since moved to full-time. She also is the campusâs Extern Coordinator.
A medical massage practitioner who works on health-related issues, rehabilitation from injuries and stress management, Allen also owns her own business and takes her services into clientsâ homes, allowing her a flexible work schedule.
âI tell my students itâs well worth it,â she said. âI tell them, if youâre consistent, your clientele will be consistent.
âThe way I see it, Iâm able to do what I love. It is very rewarding.â