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Faculty and Staff

Teacher/Student Ratio

The Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy is fortunate to have an excellent student/faculty ratio.


The foundational massage technique courses have one instructor assigned to a maximum of eight tables. This provides an optimal hands-on learning experience.


Science lecture classes typically consist of one instructor to a maximum of 25 students.


Zen Stones

Our faculty understands and is completely aware that student’s learn and retain information in different ways. 


The curriculum is specifically designed to address various learning styles.  Instructors will work with each student to ensure his or her success throughout the program.

Administrative Staff

Desirae Carosi, BSN, LMT
Director of Education

A dedicated licensed massage therapist and educator, Desirae Carosi, BSN, LMT has built a career pursuing her passion for elevating massage therapy while bringing the benefits of massage to the wider community. She is the Director of Education and owner of the Center for Natural Wellness School of Message Therapy (CNWSMT) where she develops and teaches courses for therapists at all stages of their careers. In addition to her role as a school owner, Desirae serves as secretary for the New York State Society of Medical Massage Therapists and as a member of the New York State Council of Massage Therapy Educators (NYSCMTE). As part of these organizations, she uses her knowledge and industry influence to spread greater awareness of massage's role in healthcare, especially within underserved communities.  To date, Desirae has been instrumental in several outreach efforts, as well as work with NYSED, the Office of the Professions, and NYSSMMT. During the pandemic, Desirae provided a much-needed lifeline for massage therapy schools by staying closely connected with the NYSCMTE to help ensure compliance with DOH and NYSED.


Desirae is a graduate from CNWSMT. Her professional experience includes time as a college instructor teaching microbiology, pharmacology, medical billing/coding, and insurance. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year several times and credits this experience along with her massage therapy background for setting the groundwork for her next role as Director of Education at CNWSMT. Desirae holds a bachelor’s degree in science and a diploma in Massage Therapy. She is currently enrolled in school, working toward her Ph.D.


Today, Desirae welcomes opportunities to connect with fellow professionals to make massage therapy more accessible to everyone. 

Sara Young, BA, LMT

Bursar/Registrar & Placement Representative

Sara is a 2009 graduate from The Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Plattsburgh where she majored in Communications and minored in English. In addition to being a CNW Alumni and Licensed Massage Therapist, Sara has had an extensive career working for well-known national and global brands in business, reporting, recruiting, marketing and customer service.


When Sara isn’t at CNW helping prepare students for their future careers as LMTs, she enjoys cookie decorating, reading, going for walks and spending time with her husband and their three boys.

Brian Kavanaugh, LMT, CBR, CIREC, REALTOR

Director of Admissions

Brian graduated from CNW in 2005 and since has been practicing Integrative Therapeutic Massage and Medical Massage. Brian started working at CNW in 2006 and has instructed in a variety of classes including Foundations of Massage, A&P, Myology, Applied Techniques, Sports Massage, Chair Massage, NMT and Assessment Skills in addition to being appointed Director of Career Development and Alumni Services from January 2015-2019. In 2023 Brian returned to CNW and is now Director of Admissions. Brian hopes his students find massage and attending CNW as life transforming as he has.

Brian has been practicing the art of Bonsai trees for over 15 years. He finds the time spent working on his trees to be beautifully therapeutic and feels it is essential to his mental wellbeing. It is his way to “keep his well full” to better his work for his clients and to keep connected to his loved ones. Reading, listening to vinyl records and nutrition are among his other passions.



Stephanie Robinson

Administrative Support

Stephanie Robinson is a 2011 graduate of Stillwater Central School District. Stephanie found a calling in wholesale customer service and department management for 10 years. After the pandemic, Stephanie wanted to find a new career path.


In September of 2021 Stephanie began a new career at Center of Natural Wellness where she puts her retail skills in action at the CNW school store. Stephanie has brought in new products such as Bach Remedies and much needed supplies for our massage students.


Stephanie is the pulse of the school in the administrative department.


In Stephanie’s spare time she enjoys reading long novels, being outdoors and spending time with her 2 children, husband, friends and family.


Julia Koopman

Continuing Education Director

Julia is a 2013 graduate of CNWSMT but originally majored in Architecture/Building Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a minor in Psychology and concentration in English.


Prior to working full time at CNW, she worked for the City School District of Albany (AIC, NAMS, DCS, EON) as well as the SUNY Systems Administration (RRC, SLSC) and Higher Education Services Corporation (Office of Student Loan Collection/Bureau of Default Management).


Her varied professional and personal background also include: journalism, credit negotiation, auditing, concrete design, charcoal and ink drawing, administrative wage garnishment and culinary adventures.


In addition to being a Reiki Master, Julia studied Loku Lomi, Lomi Lomi and trained through the Upledger Institute in CranioSacral Therapy. 


She credits the start of positive change in her health and healing to the massage program at CNW. 

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