April 9, 2015

Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – John A. Logan College massage therapy student Rhonda Barrett of Carbondale and her instructor, William “Bill” Connell, were both recognized for their accomplishments with awards at a state conference held late last month.

“I was both surprised and happy to learn that I had won the ‘Outstanding Student Service Award’,” Barrett said. “I guess you could say that the hard work has paid off.”

A non-traditional student, Barrett chose to enroll in Logan’s massage therapy program last fall so that she could assist her husband, Steve, in his chiropractic practice.

“We’ve been working with people and their health for 18 years now,” said the 43-year-old Barrett. “This training will now allow me to help out even more with the practice. I’m definitely looking forward to that.”

Barrett said she doesn’t have as much free time now compared to right out of high school, but she is better at managing what free time she does have.

“I feel I will be well equipped when I take the board exams,” she said.

Connell described Barrett as a natural.

“Rhonda was selected for both the quantity of community service work she has done and the quality. She has simply done an outstanding job in our program.”

Barrett was nominated for the award by Connell because of her detailed community service – from providing therapy for participants in area 5K runs to lending assistance with SIUC student-athletes in myriad sports.

“Rhonda is the first student in the 10 years we’ve had a massage therapy program win this state award,” Connell said. “I think that says a lot about her work ethic.”

Connell said he was recognized as “Educator of the Year” following a nomination from a former student of his, Christine Stearns.

“I’m deeply honored that she would think enough of me to nominate me,” he said. “I’m sure there are a number of other educators who are as deserving, if not moreso, than me.”

Connell, who has overseen the Logan program from its start, said he is grateful for the support he has received from the AMTA over the years and that he hopes to continue in his role as college instructor for years to come. 


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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.