Massage Therapy Program Featured at Iowa Lakes Trustees Meeting

(Spencer, Iowa) The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees met Tuesday afternoon on the Spencer Campus.

Robert Leifeld, Vice President of Administration, began Tuesday’s meeting by introducing Mary Faber, Director of the Spencer Campus, who provided an update on the Spencer Campus and introduced several employees who work from the campus.

“We have had such an exciting spring, watching and cheering on our Men’s Soccer team as they made it to the Semi-Finals at the NJCAA National Men’s Soccer Tournament. What a fun year this has been to watch our students grow and learn, both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Faber.

Leifeld then introduced Ellie Larsen, Massage Therapy Program Coordinator. Larsen has been the Program Coordinator and Instructor for the Massage Therapy program since its revitalization in 2019. Larsen brings more than 18 years of massage therapy experience to Iowa Lakes and earned her PHA in Healing Arts from the Windermere Institute.

Larsen shared, “The Massage Therapy Program at Iowa Lakes Community College provides so many unique opportunities for our Massage Therapy students that they would not be able to take advantage of when enrolled in other programs. Some of these opportunities include financial aid, scholarships, and even the opportunity to participate in student clubs and organizations offered on campus.”

The Iowa Lakes Massage Therapy program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and techniques needed to thrive in a career as a Massage Therapist. While earning their Massage Therapy Diploma, students at Iowa Lakes complete courses in Medical Terminology, Intro to Swedish Massage, Anatomy and Physiology, Sports Massage, and more.

Larsen added, “Our Massage Therapy Program is an Allied Health program, which means our curriculum is more science and healthcare based than what may be seen in other programs.”

In addition to work completed in the classroom, students gain hands-on, real-world experience through the clinical portion of the program and earn more than 800 contact hours, far exceeding the minimum required by the state.

Larsen then introduced Iowa Lakes Massage Therapy student Abby Kintzle, Swea City, Iowa. Kintzle shared with the Board why she chose Iowa Lakes, “ I have wanted to be a Massage Therapist since I was eight years old, and chose Iowa Lakes because the program was everything that I was looking for, and it was affordable and close to home.”

In closing, Larsen added, “As we move into a post-covid environment, holistic healthcare is going to be essential, and our Massage Therapy program will help fulfill that need for many years to come,” said Larsen.

Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Community and Business Relations, provided an update on various grant projects at Iowa Lakes.

One unique opportunity discussed at Tuesday’s meeting is the Career Ready Internship program. This internship program provides area high school students with the opportunity to obtain a paid internship through local businesses within their communities. Students can explore a career and better understand career options while building a resume with experience for the future.

“As part of the internship experience, high school students will receive support in drafting an education plan to assist with career planning and the college selection process,” said Rogers. “We have exceeded our goal for students interested in the Career Ready Internship program, receiving more than 70 applications. Currently, we have placed 27 area students with a local business to complete the internship program.”

Iowa Lakes Community College is seeking additional businesses to take part in the Career Ready Internship program. Companies interested in hosting a high school Career Ready Intern are encouraged to contact the Iowa Lakes High School Partnerships office at 712-852-5240 or email Autumn Larsen at

An additional opportunity highlighted by Rogers is the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. This fund provides scholarship dollars for students interested in career-focused programs in agriculture, business, construction, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing.

“While other scholarships are based on income eligibility, these scholarship dollars (GEER Funds) are available to support Iowans who have enrolled in these eligible programs regardless of family income,” said Rogers.

The GEER Fund is available to students enrolled full-time and who are work-ready individuals. The goal is for students to earn at least one industry-recognized credential and be ready to work.

For more information regarding scholarship opportunities available through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, contact Jolene Rogers at 712-362-0431 or by email at

In other business, Tom Brotherton, Executive Dean of the Emmetsburg Campus, received approval to renew the contract for the Iowa Lakes Head Start program located on the Emmetsburg Campus.

The next meeting of the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees will be held on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, at 4:30 pm on the Algona Campus, 2111 Highway 169 North, Algona, Iowa.

For additional information, contact the Iowa Lakes Marketing office at 712.362.7947.