Massage Therapy Students Practice their Skills at Paint the Mall Pink

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Massage therapy program chair Tina Simunek setting up the table at the Paint the Mall Pink event.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Sioux Falls community is working to spread the word in a variety of ways.

Our massage therapy students and program chair recently participated an event called Paint the Mall Pink by giving free massages to people who visited the information booth. This event helps community members learn about health care services available in Sioux Falls.

The event also functioned as an applied learning opportunity for students. Applied learning is critical in the massage therapy field and students are encouraged to take every chance to practice their skills and become better massage therapists.

Tina Simunek, massage therapy program chair, had this to say about the event: “This is our third year participating in the Paint the Mall Pink event. Applied learning events like these are one of the ways students in the massage therapy program can build up their confidence and skills by practicing techniques out on the general public.

“Events such as Paint the Mall Pink also showcase our students to a wide variety of potential employers and keep our students at the forefront of their minds if and when they are looking for qualified employees.

“Shawn Guenther and Brad DeWitt were two students who were able to help with the event. Overall, it was a great success and the students tend to enjoy the interaction with the community as well.”

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Brad DeWitt and Shawn Guenther participating in the Paint the Mall Pink event.

Charlie Buehler, director of admissions, was also at the event and agreed that it was a success, saying: “Paint the Mall Pink has been a great event for our massage therapy students for the past three years. It gives them the opportunity to participate in an applied learning event that will not only allow them to utilize the skills they learn in the classroom, but also give back to the community in multiple ways.

“It is amazing to see our massage therapy students practice their technical skills while engaging with the community to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. They not only build relationships with community partners but also learn valuable communications and professionalism skills.

“Events like this provide an experience that we cannot create in a classroom or lab setting. Seeing them do well in these situations reinforces to them and us that their classroom education is taking them in the right direction.”

Brad DeWitt, massage therapy student, enjoyed the event as well, saying: “It was very rewarding to volunteer my time to help with the Paint the Mall Pink event. It was amazing to see all of the survivors of breast cancer and hear of the support that they received during their fight. Everyone enjoyed the massages and were grateful for the stress releasing benefits that come from massages.”