Fleming graduate Tyler Leavitt wins 2019 Readers’ Choice for Best Massage Therapist

When Tyler Leavitt graduated from Fleming College in 2018, he never imagined winning the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Massage Therapist after his first year of practice.

“Just being nominated in my first year of practice was an honour itself,” said Tyler on The Peterborough Examiner Readers’ Choice Awards, where he was the Diamond Winner. “I cannot thank everyone enough. From my professors and parents all the way to my co-workers that have pushed me to the place I am now.”

Tyler is a Registered Massage Therapist at The Urban Spa in Peterborough, Ont. He joined the team in March 2018, working as a Spa Assistant while in college, and transitioned to an Urban RMT when he earned his registration in October 2018.

“The success that I have had in my career so far is definitely a correlating factor with the way that we were taught from our amazing staff at Fleming,” said the Fleming Massage Therapy graduate.

“The biggest thing that I found helped me the most was our clinic setting, where we were able to practice in a free and friendly environment with veteran RMTs that could easily help us along the way!” said Tyler about his Spa + Clinic at Fleming College experience, where Massage Therapy students provide therapeutic treatments to diverse audiences.

The Class of 2018 graduate said he would recommend Fleming’s Massage Therapy program “in a heartbeat,” explaining, “From what I have seen and experienced in the year-and-a-half I’ve been outside of school – from both employers and other RMTs – Fleming graduates are held to the highest standard.”

Although physical wellness was always important to Tyler, he didn’t originally plan to become an RMT. Tyler previously studied Fitness and Health Promotion at Fleming College and was hired by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada after graduating in 2016. But when the Peterborough branch relocated, Tyler made the decision to train for a new career.

“Loving Peterborough as much as I do, I decided to see what else was out there,” Tyler explains. “I applied to a few programs and something about the Massage Therapy program spoke to me, and the rest is history!”

Tyler says he is able to combine his skills from Fitness and Health Promotion and Massage Therapy to bring the most benefit to his clients.

“Through Fitness and Health Promotion, I was more drawn towards the health promotion side of things, which included a lot of going out into the community,” Tyler explains. “I learned the very valuable skill of not being afraid to really talk to anyone, as well as the ability to educate most on a level that they understand.’

‘This has made one of the bigger impacts on my career so far because once a client is able to understand what is going on with their body, they are able to make the appropriate changes to help themselves get better!”

Tyler’s advice to current students is to ask questions, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and be honest when you don’t know something.

Massage Therapy graduate Ashley Brzozowicz Dykstra wanted a healthcare career that makes a positive impact

ashley-brzozowicz-dykstra-blogAshley Brzozowicz Dykstra’s career criteria is that it is flexible, self-driven, and helps others. She decided that massage therapy met her requirements and, considering Fleming College is close to home and offers this program in a compressed two-year format, Ashley enrolled in Massage Therapy at Sutherland Campus.

Fleming’s five-semester, challenging and rewarding Massage Therapy program provides students with an excellent academic foundation and strong applied skills. Every week, students put their skills into practice at The Spa + Clinic at Fleming College, the onsite clinic supervised by a Registered Massage Therapist. The program has earned a great reputation, with a consistently high (over 90%) overall graduate employment rate.

“Working in the student clinic was by far my favourite experience of the program. It was awesome to get hands-on time working with real clients,” said Ashley. “Seeing how the practical application of everything we learned in class can make a difference to a client was very rewarding and put things into perspective for me.”

Ashley describes this Fleming College program as challenging and engaging. She also said the instructors and support staff are dedicated to ensuring students can succeed while having a good experience in the process.

“I already had experience with studying, but Fleming helped me develop my practical, hands-on skills,” she said. “There is a big difference between understanding something in a textbook or lecture and being able to apply that knowledge in a practical setting.”

After winning the top school award, School of Health & Wellness Academic Achievement Award, Ashley will be Valedictorian at the School of Health & Wellness convocation on Thursday, June 7 at 10 a.m.

“I hope people appreciate the importance of teamwork and can continue to work together after graduation,” said Ashley, on what she hopes people take away from her convocation speech.

Teamwork was a big part of Ashley’s Fleming College experience and made it a positive one for the Massage Therapy graduate.

“In my program, the students spend a lot of time together and became a dynamic team by the time we made it to the end of the program,” she said. “The instructors are also very engaged and ensure you feel like you are an important part of the program.”

After convocation, Ashley will be writing two provincial exams and completing her registration with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. She plans on working at the 360 Wellness Clinic in downtown Peterborough.

“It is pretty amazing to be a part of a healthcare profession where people enjoy and really look forward to their appointments,” said Ashley.

School of Health and Wellness unveils new Spa + Clinic

event-promoFleming College’s School of Health and Wellness unveiled the new Spa + Clinic this week at Sutherland Campus. This exceptional, real-world learning environment is used by Massage Therapy and Esthetician students, who gain applied learning and deliver services to the public in this space.

The official opening of the Spa + Clinic was Monday, Nov. 28 at Sutherland Campus. The event featured speeches, tours, and demonstrations by current students in the Massage Therapy and Esthetician programs.

“It’s thrilling to see,” said Carol Kelsey, Dean of the School of Health and Wellness. “The opportunities for inter-professional work, that kind of collaboration, can’t be beat. And this is a wonderful space for that to take place in. It’s great. It’s been so long coming, we’re really happy.”

The Spa + Clinic was created with the move of the Esthetician program from Cobourg Campus. The spa was developed adjacent to the student massage clinic – which underwent renovations this summer – in A wing to co-locate the services. The new space is 4, 470 square feet.

“This space gives the students an opportunity to work with current state-of-the-art equipment in a space that’s very similar to what they’ll be working in in the industry,” said Molly Westland, Chair of the School of Health and Wellness. “Work-integrated learning and applied learning is essential for our skills development for our next generation of employees, and it would be great for the Peterborough area as well.”

estheticianTracy Partridge, Esthetician program coordinator, is very happy with the new spa for her students. “I love the new space,” said Tracy at the Grand Opening event. “It’s like the real world for when the students graduate, and go and work in the industry.”

Tracy is particularly proud of the pedicure thrones and manicure tables. The spa offers six pedicure thrones, which students will learn to use, clean and sterilize. The pedicure process on thrones is different from pedicures on beds, so Tracy is happy to offer training with this equipment. She is also proud of the manicure tables, which feature vacuum suction vents to prevent students from breathing in dust.

The room also features an amazing ventilation system, soothing music, and screens for learning. Spa services, which are performed by Esthetician students, begin in January. Clients who book a full-service spa treatment in January can take advantage of a promotional offer to receive a free mini-manicure.

massage-therapyThe student massage clinic is currently offering services to the public. In January, the clinic will offer 1 hour treatments for $35, which includes an assessment and plan of care. The clinic is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, and prospective clientele may book appointments online.

“We’re really pleased. It’s fresh, we have great cupboard space now, we have space in each cubicle,” said Kristina Lonsberry, Massage Therapy program coordinator. “We have two rooms, so that’s lots of students available to give treatments and people to receive treatments. It’s wonderful.”

To see the new space for yourself, book an appointment with our students. Visit the new Spa + Clinic at Fleming College web page to learn more about the space, services, and staff.