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Meet Our Team

Center for Health & Counseling

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DaSheek Akwenye

Director

 

DaSheek was born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia and came to the U.S on a Track & Field scholarship. He is a former student-athlete competed at Utah Valley State College & Utah State University. DaSheek is grateful for Higher Education and his experience as a Student-Athlete for affording him the opportunity to overcome adversity and teaching him what it means to succeed as a “student” first and “athlete” second.  Enrolling into college as a first-generation international student, DaSheek has had to overcome a variety of personal challenges that have helped him aspire to grow professionally as well as personally.

DaSheek received his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Communications and a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Utah State University with a minor in Corporate Wellness. During his time as a student-athlete, DaSheek was a recipient of the Aggie Achievement Award for his outstanding ability to overcome personal challenges as a student-athlete at Utah State University and succeeding both in and out of the classroom. DaSheek is also a prior recipient of the Board of Trustees Award of Excellence, Student Affairs Award of Excellence and Champion of Inclusion Award.

DaSheek has served on various committees in higher education.  He is most passionate about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion work. Being a former international and underrepresented student himself,  this work is critical to an institution to better help serve our diverse and marginalized community of students that come from all walks of life feel welcome, safe, and at home at Salt Lake Community College. DaSheek enjoys interacting and helping students find their niche on campus and chase their passions through engaging and life changing programing and services offered within his department, "The Center for Health & Counseling". DaSheek finds energy in leading his team and collaborating with other departments in creating opportunities that inspire student engagement & success through improving emotional, psychological and social well-being for the mind, body and spirit.

DaSheek and his wife Jocelyn have four kids (Davian, Nyla, Avi & Tayden). DaSheek loves all dimensions of exercising, meditating, and reading. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing a variety of sports, and supporting and attending family sporting events.

Campus:

Taylorsville

Phone:

801-957-4703

Email:

dakwenye@slcc.edu

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Mike Rhode

Administration Assistant

 

Born and raised in Utah, I studied theater and instrumental music at the College of Eastern Utah. I have worked in higher education for over 10 years, most of which at Salt Lake Community College. I plan on getting my bachelors in Theater and Music with the intention of teaching Junior High or High School. I enjoy seeing students succeed and helping them along the way. After working for Intermountain Healthcare, I found that coming to the Center for Health and Counseling gave me the ability to work on both sides of what I enjoy doing, helping patients and students.

I enjoy playing the bass with my band, reading, playing video games with my nephews and spending time with my family. They are my support system.

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Scott Kadera, Ph.D. Psychologist

Counseling Manager

 

Born outside Chicago, I mainly grew up in central California, and have been in Utah since the early 1980s. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, I switched careers and earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Brigham Young University in 1996. I completed my internship at the Counseling Center at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and am a licensed Psychologist. Prior to the SLCC Center for Health & Counseling, I worked at the counseling/health center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and later with older adults at Valley Behavioral Health. My areas of interest include psychotherapy outcome research; the college student mental health crisis; the impacts of the economy, technology and culture on mental health; spirituality and religion; and emerging treatments for brief therapy. My orientation to counseling is integrative/eclectic, and I draw from Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Humanistic-Existential and Interpersonal approaches. In my free time I enjoy camping and hiking, reading widely, and listening to classical music.

Campus:

Taylorsville

Phone:

801-957-4755

Email:

scott.kadera@slcc.edu

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Whitney Ockey, CHES

Health Promotion Manager

 

I’m a proud Idaho native but I really enjoy living in Salt Lake. I joined SLCC shortly after acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Utah Valley University. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, and am actively pursuing my MPH online through Utah State University. I value preventative healthcare approaches and believe health education is a vital element in preventing disease and improving well-being.

When I am not at work, I enjoy being outside, reading, playing with my dog, spending time with my husband, and exercising.

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Philip Howland, DNP, NP-C

Clinic Manager

 

I really enjoy working with students, faculty, and staff at Salt Lake Community College. My special interests are preventative medicine, hypertension, diabetes, PrEP, and helping people adopt a healthy and active lifestyle.

I grew up in the Southeastern US, mostly in and around Atlanta, GA, but have lived in Alabama, Florida, North and South Carolina. My first degree was a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Citadel. After a career in the Army, I worked for a pharmaceutical company which sparked my interest in healthcare. I completed my prerequisites from SLCC and then attended the University of Utah to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2012. I worked at University Hospital as a nurse providing care to patients of all ages before returning to the U and to earn my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. I am board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

I really enjoying running (the longer distance the better!), skiing, and anything outdoors. In my spare time, I try to be active and spend time with my family, dog, and cat.

Phone:

801-957-3758

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Tiffany Khong

Medical Receptionist

Born and raised in Utah, I got my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies from the University of Utah. Shortly after graduating, I worked as a case manager at a psychiatric residential treatment program before joining SLCC's Center for Health and Counseling team. As I've always had a deep passion for helping others in whatever capacity that I can, I'm excited to be able to help both students and staff with navigating getting care, all while being able to connect and work with this wonderful team. After I take some time away from school, I plan on eventually applying for graduate school programs in the future to pursue a career in the field of psychology and mental health. I'm not entirely sure which program I want to pursue yet, I'm still trying to decide between a master's program for clinical mental health counseling or a doctoral program for clinical psychology with the intent to practice both counseling as well as research.

In my free time, I really enjoy listening to music, watching films/TV shows, taking naps when possible, and spending time with my dog, friends, and family.

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Jenny Williams

Medical Receptionist

I love being able to work with students here at Salt Lake Community College, especially since I am a current student at SLCC, studying dental hygiene. A few facts about myself: I was born and raised in Utah, and I speak fluent Spanish since I am half-Hispanic. I am currently a Marketing Coordinator for TrulaCampus, SLCC's Wellness Coaching Partner. I aspire to get my Real Estate License after I graduate and plan to be a realtor as well as a dental hygienist.

Some things that I love to do outside of work are going to the gym, hikes, reading, playing with my puppy, and enjoying life as much as I can.

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Maya Sweidan

Medical Receptionist

 

I am from the Middle East and I am Lebanese. I speak both English and Arabic. Throughout my years at Salt Lake Community College, I was highly interested in the medical field and want to follow my passion of becoming an aesthetic nurse injector. I am currently a full-time student.

I love to travel and I love adventures. Anything in nature makes me happy. I visited, Hawaii, San Francisco, Arizona, Idaho, & Vegas, I go back and forth every summer to my home country Lebanon, I went the summer of 2023 and I got engaged. And I currently reside in Utah.  My favorite quote is by Dolly Parton, "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."

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Philip Howland, DNP, NP-C

Clinic Manager

 

I really enjoy working with students, faculty, and staff at Salt Lake Community College. My special interests are preventative medicine, hypertension, diabetes, PrEP, and helping people adopt a healthy and active lifestyle.

I grew up in the Southeastern US, mostly in and around Atlanta, GA, but have lived in Alabama, Florida, North and South Carolina. My first degree was a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Citadel. After a career in the Army, I worked for a pharmaceutical company which sparked my interest in healthcare. I completed my prerequisites from SLCC and then attended the University of Utah to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2012. I worked at University Hospital as a nurse providing care to patients of all ages before returning to the U and to earn my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. I am board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

I really enjoying running (the longer distance the better!), skiing, and anything outdoors. In my spare time, I try to be active and spend time with my family, dog, and cat.

Phone:

801-957-3758

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Peggy Fischer MSN, NP-C

Family Nurse Practitioner

 

I was born and raised in Ohio and have spent most of my life in the Midwest.   I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati and worked as an RN in a variety of setting across the country (Oregon, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kansas). Many years ago, I worked as an RN in Student Health and really enjoyed the opportunities unique to college settings.  In fact, it played a big part in my decision to go back to school to earn my MSN and become a Family Nurse Practitioner.  At that time, I was living in Indiana and attended Goshen College.  For the last 7 years I have worked as a Primary Care provider in a hospital affiliated office practice, and in an on-site health center providing acute and primary care, as well as managing workman’s compensation office visits. I also spent seven months in a large ENT practice.

When we decided to move to Utah to bring the family in closer proximity to one another, I was excited to see a college health NP position available at SLCC, and even more excited to be hired!  I look forward to working with the rest of the CHC team to educate students about their health and in helping them learn to navigate the process of becoming their own health advocate.  

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Denise Martin

Medical Assistant

 

I was born and raised in Oxnard California 15 minutes away from the beach, out of high school I attended medical assistant course and I have stuck with it for 18 years, I was with the same company for 16 years I have experience in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pain Management, OBGYN, Pediatrics and Urgent Care. I love being a medical assistant its taught me compassion, patience and not to hurry and judge people. In late March of 2021 we decided to trade the beach for the mountains.

I’m very happy to be a part of CHC staff and SLCC I enjoy working with my team and helping our students.

I have two teenage boys and two dogs, my husband and I love to find new places to explore in Utah we enjoy music and BBQs and board games with our boys. My hobbies are Olympic Weightlifting I compete as a Master Athlete I enjoy competing and training hard, I enjoy Pod Cast – murder mystery, plants hikes and cooking.

Quote: if you’re going to fight you fight to win – ( my dad )

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Fauna Wittmann

Medical Assistant, Immunization Specialist

 

I am from Hungary, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing there in 2019 and worked as a nurse for a year. After moving here in 2020 I started working as a Medical Assistant at a pain clinic and now I am here at SLCC. I genuinely enjoy helping people and giving the best care possible. I am very excited to be a part of this great team! I plan on doing the Mortuary Science program here at the college while working at the Center for Health and Counseling.

In my free time, I enjoy playing video games, watching TV shows, hanging out with friends and my cats, and doing Arts and Crafts projects.

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Renata Lievano

Medical Assistant, Immunization Specialist

 

I am from El Salvador, and I speak both English and Spanish. I am currently a full-time student. I have been living in the United States for a year and four months. I was studying in California before moving to Utah and is the best decision I could have made. I moved to Utah four months ago, and I am so happy to be part of the Center for Health and Counseling team and working at Salt Lake Community College.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing videogames, and watching scary movies. Dancing and music are not just a hobby for me, it’s a part of who I am, it brings me so much joy I cannot imagine a life without it.

I enjoy being there for people who need help. I am always ready to find a solution to problems and try to assist in the best way possible.

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Scott Kadera, Ph.D. Psychologist

Counseling Manager

 

Born outside Chicago, I mainly grew up in central California, and have been in Utah since the early 1980s. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, I switched careers and earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Brigham Young University in 1996. I completed my internship at the Counseling Center at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and am a licensed Psychologist. Prior to the SLCC Center for Health & Counseling, I worked at the counseling/health center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and later with older adults at Valley Behavioral Health. My areas of interest include psychotherapy outcome research; the college student mental health crisis; the impacts of the economy, technology and culture on mental health; spirituality and religion; and emerging treatments for brief therapy. My orientation to counseling is integrative/eclectic, and I draw from Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Humanistic-Existential and Interpersonal approaches. In my free time I enjoy camping and hiking, reading widely, and listening to classical music.

Campus:

Taylorsville

Phone:

801-957-4755

Email:

scott.kadera@slcc.edu

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Aja Washington, LCSW

Therapist

 

I was born in Aurora, Colorado, and grew up in Southern California for most of my life, then moved to Utah in 2018. I earned a Bachelor's in Television, Film, and Media Studies from California State University-Los Angeles. After a few years, I switched careers and received my Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California. I am a Certified Social Worker (CSW) who enjoys supporting people from all walks of life. Before joining the Center for Health and Counseling team, I worked as a sexual assault advocate in Davis County. After that, I worked with people experiencing homelessness in the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City. Recently, I worked as a therapist on an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team working with individuals in the community who have a serious and persistent mental illness. My orientation to counseling is strengths-based and client-focused. I enjoy using mindfulness-based approaches to therapy, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I also draw from other methods such as Attachment-based Therapy, Somatic Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and brief-therapy methods. I enjoy watching television and films, hiking, spending time with friends and family, and getting involved with various community projects in my free time.

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Cielle Smith, CMHC

Therapist / Referral Resources Coordinator

 

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology, from Utah State University in 2012. I moved to central Illinois in 2014 to attend the Clinical Counseling Psychology program at Illinois State University, and upon graduating in 2016, moved back to Utah and became licensed as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor.  Before the SLCC Center for Health & Counseling, I worked in a community agency in Midvale, Utah. My main areas of interest include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, interpersonal and communication skills, and stress management. I enjoy working with a wide variety of concerns. I take a non-judgmental, supportive, and empathetic approach with clients, believing they are the experts on their own lives. I work with clients to identify and express their concerns and find solutions for them. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Strength-Based Therapy are my main approaches, but I borrow interventions from a wide range of therapeutic approaches. In my free time, I enjoy time with friends and family, being creative, and checking out different local events across the Wasatch front.

Claudia Eli Zeppelini Cioni, CMHC

Claudia Eli Zeppelini Cioni, CMHC

Therapist / Group Coordinator

 

I grew up in a megalopolis in Brazil, one of the biggest in the world today. That experience brought me breadth of perspective of many different cultures, religions, and philosophies, as much as the notion that I would prefer today to be in a smaller city with opportunities like Salt Lake City. I graduated in Psychology in Brazil and received my master’s degree at the University of Utah and am a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. I have worked in facilities with many different populations with diverse issues and ages. I have a passion for my work, and I love studying about it constantly. When I am not studying something related to the integration of mind-heart, I listen to music (Brazilian and World), engage in knitting/crocheting or spend time with friends and family. I have been in the USA for almost 20 years and have raised my children and many pets (cats and dogs). I love the changing of the seasons here and being around the big mountains.

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Daniela Maldonado, CSW

Therapist

 

I was born and raised in New York City. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Utah. During the HDFS program, my passion for behavioral psychology grew. This motivated me to earn a Masters in Social Work from the University of Central Florida. Through my internship at Salt Lake Community College - Center for Health & Counseling, I developed a passion for working with diverse multicultural populations, students, and adults.

I aim to foster a safe and non-judgmental environment where clients feel heard and understood. I approach counseling with a multi-cultural, strength-based, and collaborative lens—tailoring sessions to the needs of each client. I practice a combination of evidence-based modalities including, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. My areas of interest include interpersonal relationships, adjustment issues, communication skills, life transitions, anxiety, depression, and identity development.

In my free time, I enjoy going to museum exhibitions, hiking, jogging, and spending quality time with family and friends.

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Jodi Lorenzen, CMHC

Therapist / Outreach Coordinator

 

I grew up in San Antonio, Texas and Lakewood, Colorado. I moved to Utah to earn my undergraduate degree in English Literature. After several years of parenthood, and raising foster teenagers, I became interested in trauma and how traumatic experience shapes perception. I returned to school to pursue my master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Utah and am a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Prior to the SLCC Center for Health and Counseling, I worked in residential treatment with adults dealing with severe trauma, abuse and addiction, as well as in a behavioral health hospital as a crisis counselor. My areas of interest include post-traumatic growth, resilience, shifts in perception, identity development and the power of narrative. My orientation to counseling is Person-Centered, and I typically use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) approaches. In my free time I enjoy reading (mostly fiction), writing, learning new things and listening to podcasts. My favorite yearly activity is going to the Shakespeare Festival to watch plays. 

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Khanh Tong, LCSW

Therapist

 

Born in southern Vietnam, my family immigrated to Salt Lake City, Utah in the early 1990s. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2008, and a Master of Social work in 2017, both from the University of Utah. Prior to the SLCC Center for Health & Counseling, I worked at Salt Lake County Youth Services as a family therapist. I enjoy working with people on different paths of life. My areas of interest include relationships, attachment, trauma, communication skills, adjustment disorders, and stress management. My orientation to therapy is client-centered, and I draw from different modalities such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (A.R.T.). In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, camping, eating, fishing, and spending time with my family.

Marni Brunstetter LCSW

Therapist

I was born in Olympia Washington and have lived most of my life in the Salt Lake Valley. I earned by Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at the University of Utah. During my undergraduate studies I took an intro to Social Work class that appealed to my sense of social justice and helping those in our society often left in the margins. I completed my Masters of Social work with an emphasis on health and started working with Chronically Homeless Veterans through a partnership with the VA and the Housing Authority. I love the intersection of medicine and mental health and have worked in healthcare for the last 13 years helping clients achieve their best quality of life. I have worked with clients from across the life span from toddlers to seniors and love seeing their growth and building a therapeutic relationship that is effective for them. I work from a strengths based approach and try to help the client in the here and now of each session. I have trained in Motivational Interviewing, Attachment Regulation and Competency, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I have worked at the University of Utah in the Transplant department and as a pediatric medical social worker at Shriners Children’s hospital until I came to the Center for Health and Counseling here at SLCC. I am excited to help students navigate this often tumultuous and exciting time in their life and help them reach their health and educational goals!

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Whitney Ockey, CHES

Health Promotion Manager

 

I’m a proud Idaho native but I really enjoy living in Salt Lake. I joined SLCC shortly after acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Utah Valley University. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, and am actively pursuing my MPH online through Utah State University. I value preventative healthcare approaches and believe health education is a vital element in preventing disease and improving well-being.

When I am not at work, I enjoy being outside, reading, playing with my dog, spending time with my husband, and exercising.

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Jasmin Wesley

Graphic Designer

 

I was born and raised in Utah. I’ve loved art and tech since I was a kid, so when I discovered Graphic Design I instantly fell in love with it. I got an Associates of Arts from SLCC and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Utah. I love helping our students get through school happier and healthier!

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Madison Gregory

Health Promotion Coordinator

 

 

Email:

 

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Linda Ngalle

Health Promotion Coordinator

 

I am originally from Cameroon, Africa but I have been in the USA for over 10 years. I lived in Washington DC before moving to Utah 2015, fell in love with the quality indoor/outdoor lifestyle and never left. I completed my associate degree at SLCC and completed my undergraduate online at the University of Wisconsin River Falls in Health and Wellness Management which focuses on multidimensional health: physical, emotional, occupational, financial, social, spiritual, intellectual, and environmental.

I’m very passionate about meeting people where they are and work together to help them reach their full potential. Outside working at the Center and Health Counseling, I independently work as a health coach and volunteer my time as a Continuing Education Units chair at the Utah Worksite Wellness Council.

I also enjoy reading, camping, indoor cycling, yoga, meditate, hiking, traveling and trying new DIY projects.

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Alexis Apeiros

Licensed Massage Therapist

 

My first introduction to the healing arts was at the Utah College of Massage Therapy. I completed my training in 1999 with extra training in Reiki energy healing. I have had several opportunities to travel and work freelance as a spa massage therapist on luxury yachts around the world.

It was a hard decision to leave my clients and try something new but I took the leap, and it was an experience of a lifetime. I relocated back to Utah in 2019 and reopened my practice a couple of months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which proposed many challenges, as one can imagine.

I am excited to be a massage therapist at Salt Lake Community College working with a wonderful team of staff, medical and mental health practitioners, and massage therapists. I look forward to doing massage for the students and staff of SLCC and building back the personal interaction and community involvement which I missed so much!

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Holly Scholz, LMT

Massage Therapist

 

My specialty blends Swedish Relaxation, Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Segmental - focusing on antebrachial (forearm) release and neck/headache tension relief. Though I’m very clinical and technical, my style is intuitive and nurturing, Therapeutic and detailed, yet gentle. Through massage therapy, I’ve found a deeper awareness of my own body and share this education with others, along with my deep understanding of college culture. I continue seeking my AS in Pre-Medical Health Sciences and other prerequisites, with the hopes of being an Osteopathic physician someday.

I spent years in college studying anatomy and physiology, following my passion for bodywork, beginning my BS in 2013 at UVU concurrently with my AS. I took some time off and transferred to SLCC in 2019, challenging my limits by doing a triathlon, then taking CrossFit, Chem, and Physics together and it was one of the best collegiate decisions I’ve made. It led me to work for SLCC at the end of 2020. I discovered my niche, helping others achieve optimal health by being a part of a team working at the CHC.

In my spare time, I enjoy Netflix, yoga, meditation, powerlifting, making healthy meals and snacks and training for 5Ks and Spartan Races.

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Kim Davis

Licensed Massage Therapist

 

I am happy to be a team member working part time in the Center for Health and Counseling at SLCC giving massages. I enjoy helping students and staff to relax and heal. I graduated in 2014 from Myotherapy College of Utah as a Licensed Massage Therapist. I have worked the last 6 yrs with clients from my home/office. Outside of work, I enjoy time with family & friends, gardening, outdoor activities and reading. Everyone experiences stress; especially as a student or on the job. Come schedule with us to relax and de-stress!