The Arizona State Board for Private Post Secondary Education approved for the Arizona School of Integrative Studies to begin classes in the Fall of 1995. Directors Joseph and Jamie Rongo began training massage therapists in January 1996 at the Healing Arts Center at 753 North Main Street, Cottonwood, Arizona.
In January 2000, the first ASIS campus was opened at 701 South Broadway, Clarkdale, Arizona. Once again in January, but this time in 2005—five years after the original campus opened—ASIS Massage Education opened its second campus at 115 South McCormick Street in Prescott.
ASIS Massage Education opened its third Northern Arizona campus at 113 West Phoenix in Flagstaff's historic downtown district, just off the iconic Route 66.
And in May 2012, ASIS opened its fourth campus at 639 North 6th Avenue in Tucson, at the old Desert Institute of the Healing Arts Building.
Shortly after the grand opening in Tucson, a new partnership was born between ASIS founders Jamie and Joseph Rongo, and David Merwin and John Robinson, owners of the Finger Lakes School of Massage and the Central Maryland School of Massage. It was a natural merger as all schools share a common vision.
In the spring of 2016, ASIS moved its flagship campus to downtown Mesa, at 209 West Main Street.
We are proud to say that ASIS has produced, and continues to produce, well-trained, passionate, dedicated, and satisfied graduates that embody the spirit of trust, cooperation and integrity that ASIS prides itself on.
Kristin is a true Prescott native, and has spent most of her life growing up here. She has seen the area grow from a small town with dirt streets to the large Tri-city area it has become. Throughout her career Kristin has enjoyed helping people gain meaningful employment not only for the locals but for the many families that have moved to the area. She has spent over 15 years in Staffing and Human resources and truly enjoys helping people find and thrive in a career they enjoy. Kristin enjoys most anything outdoors, fitness and small weekend getaways, the constant Arizona sun and running with her dog Page.
Griselda Martinez, BA
Griselda was born and raised in Tucson, yet has strong roots in Sonora, Mexico, where her parents partly reside and where she graduated from High School. She is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, where she received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an Emphasis in Public Management.
Griselda is Director of Financial Aid at ASIS Massage Education located in Tucson, AZ. Her 20 years of Financial Aid Services have flourished her quality, compliance and customer service skills, while supporting students in a career she loves. She is happily married for seventeen years and is raising three beautiful children. She comes from a very diverse background allowing her to develop and use these skills on a daily basis.
Jessica Ricketts, BA, MA
Jessica is an Arizona native, who earned her B.A. from Arizona State University and M.A. from Northern Arizona University. After teaching the English language abroad in China and Russia, she found that her calling was working in education. Currently, she strives to help students pursue their passion to become certified massage therapists. Outside of work, Jessica loves to research the local history of Flagstaff, traveling, spending time outdoors, and photography.
Laura has almost 20 years experience working with students in all aspects of the education system. Her passion is working with students, and following them from that first spark of interest through graduation and career placement. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has completed programs in Cosmetology, Medical Central Service, Surgical Services, as well as trainings in Business and Marketing. Laura is both the Admissions Director and the Campus Manager at ASIS Mesa.
Kaitlyn Verbanic, MA
Kaitlyn grew up in Traverse City, Michigan and relocated to Arizona in 2008, shortly after she attended massage therapy school in 2007. She then put her massage therapy career on hold for a few years as she advanced her education. During these years she pursued a master's degree in biomedical science and developed a deep passion for teaching. In 2017 she found ASIS and fell in love with the curriculum and community it has to offer. She teaches at the Prescott campus and is our continuing education coordinator.
Jesse Bray, LMT, AA
Jesse is an athlete, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society, and plays roller derby. Having sustained multiple injuries as an athlete, Jesse knows the importance of physical therapy and massage therapy. Both a mother and wife, she highly values family. Jesse teaches Shiatsu in the classroom.
JoDee Breame Vale HHP, LMT
JoDee became an alternative health practitioner as a way to partner with people on their healing journey. She believes that the body has an innate wisdom through which it can heal itself if given the proper nutrition and tools to do so.
JoDee is a board certified Holistic Health Practitioner, certified through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and a Licensed Massage Therapist in Prescott, Arizona. Her focus is to assist people in achieving optimal health by reducing stress and listening to what the body needs in order to heal. She has been practicing Massage Therapy since 1983, and has been working in Arizona since 1999.
Alix DeWald LMT
Alix teaches lomilomi (Hawai'ian massage) and 4-handed massage at ASIS. Rooted in traditions of shamanism and opening channels of listening, she brings an authentic enthusiasm and curiosity to bodywork, and a practice of sacred reverence for the entire being: emotional, physical, and spiritual. The wisdom of cycles is inspiring to her. Her initial steps into bodywork were spending time on Kauai and the Big Island absorbing lomilomi and her subsequent training continues to fold back into and radiate outward from the core principle of Aloha, unconditional love. She is most enlivened and full of Spirit when giving 4-handed sessions, and sharing her belief that true healing can be invited in through spiritual intimacy.
Devin McKinley LMT
An instructor at ASIS Prescott, Devin is often described as enthusiastic, compassionate, and authentic. She has been a licensed massage therapist practicing neuromuscular therapy, perinatal, and integrative therapy since 2000, who operates her own mobile massage practice and works closely with local chiropractors. Devin began attending workshops at the Upledger Institute and attained her license from the Body Wisdom Massage Therapy School. Since then, she has created a varied healing path for herself, attending trainings in compassionate communication and neuromuscular therapy. Outside of her enthusiasm for bodywork, she delights in being the mother of two beautiful children, spending time in nature, needle felting, and connecting with friends and family.
Robert Morris, LMT
Robert moved to Arizona in 1999 and has since worked in many fields. Robert is both an ASIS alumni, and a business owner with a practice in Prescott Valley.
Robert has joined ASIS as a clinic supervisor to help students prepare for their journey towards being a professional therapist. Robert enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking and boating with his wife and boys. He also attends football and baseball games whenever possible. Go OSU!
Kaitlyn Verbanic, MA
Kaitlyn grew up in Traverse city Michigan and relocated to Arizona in 2008, shortly after she attended massage therapy school in 2007. She then put her massage therapy career on hold for a few years as she advanced her education. During these years she pursued a master's degree in biomedical science. Now combining massage therapy with her love of science. Kaitlyn teaches Anatomy and physiology at the Prescott Campus.
Heidi Berry LMT
Heidi is originally from Casa Grande AZ, with beginning her interest in massage through a vocational school CAVIT, that paired up with her high school to help with a range of programs to help get into a career path. She is a recent graduate from our Flagstaff ASIS campus, and along with continuing to massage in her spare time changed career paths from hospitality and restaurant to planting her roots back into the school she graduated from to help others achieve the dream of becoming a massage therapist and help bring others into the community that wish to heal and hold space for those in need!
Rose Adams, LMT
For 30 years, Rose's work as a massage therapist has included private practice and collaboration with midwives, and chiropractors. She also was instrumental in developing the therapeutic massage department at Flagstaff Medical Center. Her initial training was at Pacific School of Massage and Healing Arts, which started her on a path of learning which included acupressure, cross fiber myotherapy, craniosacral, pregnancy and infant massage, reflexology, manual lymphatic drainage, oncology massage, and breast cancer rehabilitation. While working at the hospital, she guided a research study looking at pain management in the hospital setting. She believes that our training provides the techniques needed to use touch therapeutically, but it is our mindful presence and ability to be in the moment with each individual person that brings clarity and healing to the interaction.
Robbie Bergman – BS, MA
Robbie is trained in Communication/Theatre and Business and Applied Sociology from Northern Arizona University (NAU.) A native New Yorker, Robbie moved to Phoenix in 1970 and landed in Flagstaff where he has resided for 34 years. He was a business co-owner of a natural juice manufacturing company with 15 employees in Phoenix , as well as a pet store in Flagstaff. But his passion surfaced as he got involved in Flagstaff’s HIV/AIDS community in 1988, sparking his interest in community service closely aligned to the health professions. A recently retired employee of NAU for 30 years, he decided on Massage Therapy as his retirement career. Robbie sought out ASIS to offer HIV education as a certified AIDS educator of the Coconino County Health Dept. as well as the Northern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross and 25 years of AIDS education experience. His business experience made for a natural progression to begin teaching the ASIS business courses. Robbie grounds his philosophy on the values of respect and acknowledgment between people, and the words of St. Francis – "We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way."
Jodi Johnson, LMT
A graduate of three craniosacral programs, Jodi is a therapist, healer, and teacher. She is devoted to facilitating her clients and students journey to accessing their inner wisdom and healing. Her exploration of the healing arts began after experiencing a profound transformation of her own chronic health issues. She has studied extensively for more than a decade and a half and now teaches in the fields of craniosacral therapy, infant massage, polarity therapy, hot stone massage, essential oils, communications, and ethics.
Aileen Judson, LMT, BA
Aileen unknowingly started her career in healthcare as a young child when her mother would pay her a quarter to rub her neck. She went on to earn a BA in Human Relations/Social Services from Pace University, and worked as a medical social worker for several years. Her love for the body, its structure and function, drew her back to massage. Aileen became a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in 1995, a meditation teacher in 1999, a yoga instructor in 2004, and has taught massage since 2005.
Michael Knapp, ND
Michael Knapp is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Root Natural Health in the city of Flagstaff. He practices family and pediatric medicine with a focus in digestive, allergic, hormone, and neurologic complaints (including ADHD, MS, and anxiety/depression). Dr. Mike also teaches at ASIS Flagstaff, serves as a board member of Naturopaths International (NI), and is an attending physician providing community health outreach for NI. He is also a certified Emergence Care Therapy provider.
Kendra Ringle LMT, CCT
At 6 years old living in Central America Kendra received her 1st acupuncture treatment from a bush doctor. She read her 1st book on reflexology at 7, after her parents reflexologist friends gave her a short treatment. She started practicing on friends and family, out of high school massage therapy schools s colon hydrotherapy certification was the next step. After moving to Arizona, she fell in love with the Grand Canyon State and feels like a southwest native. Continuing her education with the Upledger institute and Myofascial release centers, her private practice focuses on Myofascial Release, CranioSacral, brain and lymphatic drainage therapies. Kendra has instructed courses in Colon Hydrotherapy, Group Fitness, and Massage Therapy.
For PTMC. She incorporates skills learned from her previous experience as a personal trainer (N.A.S.M) in corrective exercise therapy. She has worked extensively with nutrition, gut health, healthy eating as part of a holistic lifestyle approach. Grateful to study with masters of these fields, she loves spreading skill and professionalism through education for herself, her students and clients.
Patricia Sharpe LMT Myofascial Release Specialist
Patricia discovered the benefits of Therapeutic Massage in 1986 and pursued a career in Massage Therapy at the Mueller College of Holistic Studies in San Diego, California. Patricia since graduated at the Institute of Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Plains, New Jersey becoming successful in her private practice there. Patricia was called to Arizona and received her license to practice her skills in 2008. Patricia was moved to specialize in Myofascial Release where she studies and practices at her studio in Flagstaff. Patricia was moved to expand her knowledge and experience with students pursuing the healing Arts. Patricia currently is and instructor of Connective Tissue Therapy at the Flagstaff Campus.
Aubree Davis AA
Aubree has been a native of Tucson, AZ for 32 years; and is an alumni of Canyon Del Oro high school and Pima Community College, pursuing a Social Services degree.
She is married and has two wonderful children; she was in the Tucson Girls Chorus for 6 years and enjoys singing and cooking. Outside of work she enjoys watching baseball and football games with her family.
Aubree began her career in Behavioral Health in 2006, leading to 10 years of direct services to the community. She advanced to the role of Administrative Assistant, gaining the experience and allowing her to move into the Administration/Registrar position at ASIS Massage Education at the Tucson campus.
Kinsee was Southern born and raised in Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia where she studied Journalism. She worked at UGA in the registrar's office for over four years and then went into the world of sales for many years. Kinsee enjoys family, friends, her dog, and the "UGA Dawgs" of course, music, church, cooking, and outdoor activities in the mountains, beaches, and lakes.
Kinsee is the Admissions Representative at ASIS Massage Education located in Tucson, Arizona. She attributes her customer relations skills to her love for people and her many years in sales and service. She moved to Tucson for a new adventure, career, and lifestyle and found ASIS to be a big part of why she has grown to love life in Tucson. She admires the integrity, passion, dedication and kind-hearted spirit of the ASIS administration, staff, and faculty, as well as the smiling faces of their students. Kinsee is proud and happy to be a part of the ASIS family
Lauren was born and raised in the Tucson area, and has a deep love for the beauty of the desert. After graduating from a 1,000 hour massage program in 2011 she worked in various business models, gaining experience from each. After settling into a management position focused on developing therapists in the professional setting, she recognized the value in sharing that experience. This, coupled with a deepening interest in the mind body connection has led her to pursue her BS in Psychology. She anticipates graduating in May of 2020. As a career Massage Therapist, she intends on coupling bodywork with her degree in Psychology to further the Massage Industry through focused research. Lauren approaches bodywork through a combination of professional, client-centered awareness, energy modalities, connective tissue and neuromuscular work to facilitate the greatest possible healing for both her clients and ultimately her students.
Tanja Bungardt-Price, CAP
Tanja Bungardt-Price is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (CAP), Bliss Treatment technician; certified yoga teacher; member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), member of the faculty for Ayurveda studies at Yoga teacher training, Ayurveda lecturer at the UofA Integrative Medicine program, Ayurveda teacher at ASIS and artist. She has been an avid student of yoga and Ayurveda since 2005 with a keen interest in exploring this ancient and holistic system of harmonizing body, mind and spirit. Tanja loves not only practicing Ayurveda but spreading the love and knowledge of this ancient wisdom to her students.
Tanja graduated from Kanyakumari Ayurveda and Yoga Wellness Center in Glendale, Wisconsin in 2014. She now runs her own practice for Ayurvedic consultations and Panchakarma treatments with her husband Bill Price (C-SA, Panchakarma therapist) in Tucson, Arizona (Ananda Ayurveda & Yogalish). She supports individuals in finding natural solutions to chronic health conditions and living in optimal health through individual consultations, group self-healing programs, wellness and yoga classes, workshops, lectures, and self-care. Her passion is empowering individuals to develop the awareness, resources and confidence so they can be their best with a healthy body, sharp mind, vibrant energy and fulfilled, happy life.
Todd Edwards, LMT
Todd spent years as a copper miner before he found his calling as a massage therapist, graduating from the Desert Institute of the Healing Arts in 2001. Shortly thereafter he found his second calling—teaching massage therapy—and has been teaching ever since. Todd currently teaches kinesiology at ASIS Tucson.
Alanna Freitag-Morrison ,LMT
After graduating from ASIS in 2014, Alanna gained experience working in a high-volume clinic, specifically with clients experiencing chronic pain. From there she spent some time as an independent contractor for a local massage business, as well as opening her own business in 2016 on Tucson's East side. Alanna specializes in Neuromuscular Techniques, Prenatal Massage, Hot Stone Massage; she also teaches our business, communications, and ethics courses. Through her experiences in various business models, Alanna discovered her love for helping other therapists develop their skill sets and has found her calling in teaching at ASIS.
Cathleen Massey, BS, LMT, RPP
Cathleen has worked as a professional massage therapist at Canyon Ranch Resort in Tucson for over 18 years. She is certified in polarity therapy and trained in craniosacral therapy at the Upledger Institute. She was a park ranger for Gainesville, FL nature centers, teaching ecology, gardening, animal care, and early American Crafts and Cultures. A close encounter with an alligator became the inspiration to change her career and ultimately she graduated from the Florida School of Massage in 1993. Her passions are organic gardening, natural environments, and her family.
Dr. Noel L. Shaw DC
Noel is a certified chiropractic sports physician in private practice in Tucson since 1986. A graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Shaw has post-graduate certifications and training in various gentle adjusting techniques, whiplash and motor vehicle collision trauma, sports therapy rehabilitation protocols, and nutritional guidance. Dr. Shaw specializes in treating spinal stress and trauma from sports injuries, whiplash, and excessive computer, desk, and phone use.
Heidi Wilson, BA, ABOT
Heidi is certified in Visionary Craniosacral Work by the Milne Institute and in Shiatsu by the Desert Institute for the Healing Arts. She owns a craniosacral and shiatsu therapies practice and has developed a continuing education (CEU) workshop series called “Riding the Wave, Touching Stillness: Craniosacral Work with a Biodynamic Perspective.” She teaches Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Qi Dance (her own creative movement class offering).
Claire Hofstetter, LMT, CA, NCBTMB, BA
Claire has lived between the Prescott and Phoenix area most of her life. With the exception of living on Catalina Island as a child and on Oahu, where she attended University of Hawaii, Arizona has been home. She received her bachelors degree from Northern Arizona University in public administration and graduated from the Prescott ASIS campus in 2012. As a massage therapist, she emphasizes movement education and injury rehab with a holistic approach. She now helps others find their true path at ASIS!
Kristyn was born and raised in Orange County, CA until moving here at 17 to graduate high school. Since she graduated from University of Phoenix and went on with a focus in Elementary Education and Psychology. Financial Aid was something she fell into while obtaining her degree and it became somewhat of a passion along with Business Accounting. She has 10+ years experience of Student Financing/Accounting and working with the Department of Education. Higher Education has always been a focus, but on her free time she enjoys spending it with Gunner, her best friend and cat, and self-learning to play acoustic guitar.
Michelle Cordero, BA, LMT, CIMT
Michelle received her Bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1999. After teaching English in Japan for 2 years, she moved to Arizona and received her Associates of Applied Science in Massage Therapy in 2003. She has run her own successful massage therapy practice and currently works in a chiropractic setting. She taught at another massage school for 2 years and enjoyed introducing new students to the art of massage therapy. Michelle completed her Certified Infant Massage Teacher training from the ‘Liddle Kidz Foundation’ in 2015 and holds classes for caregivers to give them the tools to bond with and help their babies through massage. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family, tap dancing, crochet and volunteering for an animal shelter. She is an active board member in the AZ chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association.
Jennifer Grisham-Dobbs, LMT
Jennifer has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2000. She is originally from Chicago and received her massage diploma certificate from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, under the direction of Bob King. Jen also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from The University of Arizona. She has always been passionate about education, specializing in teaching dance composition, dance technique, pedagogy, anatomy and injury prevention. She is happy to have the opportunity to share her knowledge of Massage Therapy with the students at ASIS Massage Education. She currently is teaching Swedish Massage, Intro to Anatomy & Physiology and CrainoSacral Therapy. Jen is also a member of the American Massage Therapy Association and the owner of Southwest Therapeutic Massage, LLC.
Jonathan began studying Chinese medicine and Taoism with a Master of Chinese Medicine in 2010 and continues to this day. Specializing in Chinese Medicine, Tui Na, Zen Shiatsu, and Reiki. Jonathan looks for the reason(s) as to why each individual may be dealing with different conditions. He was always told Chinese medicine is a science and an art; that there is a cause (source) and effect (symptom) and the science finds the cause and the art changes the effect. He meets those who are looking for a natural and safe way to heal with enthusiasm and teaches healing with foods, chi kung, and ways to meditate for a greater and more fulfilled life. Work isn't work when you love what you do and Jonathan takes this to heart and encourages everyone to love what they do too. The ancient Taoist secrets in Chinese medicine are hidden even to many of those whom practice traditional Chinese medicine and Jonathan wants to reveal more of these to people who are ready to learn.
Lani Oft Mitchell, LMT, HHP, CA
Lani is an Arizona native, whose work and enjoyment of adventure took her to California and Colorado for a decade before recently returning back to her hometown. She began her early career as a chiropractic assistant while studying psychology in school. During this time, she sustained several major injuries that led her to seek out healing from massage therapy. The work touched her so deeply that she felt called to pay it forward. She embarked on an education in massage and bodywork in 2010, where she earned her massage therapy and holistic health practitioner certifications. She's been in private practice since 2012, and falls more deeply in love with the work with every person it helps. She began teaching at ASIS in 2018, hoping to pass down all the wisdom to other aspiring healers. She advocates for massage therapy to be perceived as a valuable and sometimes necessary method of care in the medical field. She currently does integrative care with many medical professionals, and hopes to eventually expand her practice, maybe even adding some ASIS graduates to her team.
Susan Pomfret MA, LMT
Susan Pomfret began her massage career in 1976 in San Francisco. After finishing her basic training, she remained at the Massage Institute of California to train as an instructor. Susan has worked at local resorts such as Camelback Inn, The Phoenician, and the Ritz Carlton while always having a private practice. She has worked with doctors, midwives, and psychotherapists. Clients have invited her to be present during their most intimate moments including during births and final days at hospice. Susan has also taught, written curriculum, and directed programs at several Phoenix-area schools. She appreciates the caring atmosphere at ASIS.
Susan has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Operational Development from Ottawa University. She has two beautiful daughter, Bea and Nicole.
Jason Sarkissian CNMT & LMT
Jason has been actively practicing massage therapy since 2008, when he decided to make a career change after 13 years in the roofing industry. He currently practices Neuromuscular Therapy and has taught numerous classes at ASMT (Arizona School of Massage Therapy). This is where he found his love for educating others. He also teaches continuing education classes, including Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. He became particularly interested in Exercise Science, while taking the classes in college, and enjoys incorporating his learnings into his practice. Jason has always led an active lifestyle. He was a wrestler for 13 years and achieved a national ranking. Jason is currently an avid rock climber and spends his spare time with his son, Jaxton, born in 2017. He can also be seen scaling rock walls with his wife.
Melissa Voight, LMT, BCTMB, BCSI
Melissa became a Licensed Massage Therapist and Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork in 2003 after graduating from the Central Florida School of Massage Therapy. She later became a Board Certified Structural Integrator, completing Tom Myers’ Anatomy Trains Structural Integration program in 2010. She began her massage career in outpatient rehab and sports medicine at the Florida Hospital. There she worked closely with many physical therapists in patient care, providing therapeutic massage for athletes, pregnant women, and patients rehabilitating from surgery and injury, as well as patients seeking pain management for chronic conditions. Since moving to Arizona in 2005, she has maintained a private practice administering goal-based therapeutic massage and structural integration and has contracted her services to several resorts and therapeutic offices for specialized client care. Her basic massage training provided her with a solid foundation that has allowed her to pursue a successful and meaningful career, and she’s passionate about passing on that education to another generation of massage therapists so that they’re given every opportunity to succeed in this ever growing career field.