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The faculty at the Northwest School of Animal Massage includes our experienced instructors and guest speakers, as well as administrative and student services staff.

Lola Michelin, founder and director of the school, is responsible for curriculum development and teaches many of our courses, including the advanced levels of training. Each student is assigned a Distance Learning instructors from our pool of professional and graduates to assist them in their online studies.

We are proud to have several guest speakers who share their expertise with our students; including Dr. Michael Salewski, DVM, a veterinarian with chirorpractic, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medcine expertise and Shelly Kerron is a World Cup Grand Prix Showjumping rider and trainer.  Others include farriers, canine behaviorists and animal trainers. 

The administrative staff offers assistance with program application and financing and tracks student progress.  Sandy Dochnahl serves our student body as their student services representative and Dan McDeviit oversees financial matters, while David Coat-Robles is on hand to field information technologies. And of course, Adina Cunningha works tirelessly to care for the many animals that serve as student models at our Paxhia Farm campus. 

Regardless of your path of study, you will find the NWSAM staff friendly, professional and committed to your success.     


The NWSAM Faculty:

Lola Michelin, LMP LAMP SAMP
Founder of NWSAM, Director of Education
Lola Michelin founded the Northwest School of Animal Massage in 2001. She has practiced animal massage for over 30 years and massage for people for 17 of those years. A graduate of the Animal Science program at Michigan State University, she has work experience in both the veterinarian and zoological fields. Currently, Lola maintains a private practice for horses, dogs and people in Seattle, in addition to teaching and curriculum development.  She speaks and writes regularly on the topic of animal massage and is active in promoting standards of practice and legislation for the industry. Her interests include equestrian competition, rowing and sustainable farming. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines and she appears on television and radio as an advocate for animal therapies. Director and Founder of the Northwest School of Animal Massage Chairman of the Washington Animal Massage Association, 2000-2004 Founding Board Member, National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure and Massage 2011-present Published and featured in: Massage MagazineJournal of Massage Washington Massage JournalWhole Horse Journal Modern Dog Women and Horses: Volume Two Radio appearances: Animals Aloud, San Francisco Martha Norwalk’s Animal World, Seattle Pet Shop Talk, Internet Radio National Public Radio Television appearances: Good Day Oregon
Megan Ayrault, LMP LAMP SAMP
While not currently teaching for NWSAM while in pursuit of other interests, Megan was an integra part of the development of the school and continues to be an important influence.
David Cota-Robles
Information Technologies
David is our go-to guy for all things technical.  When he joined the NWSAM staff in 2008, we were able to begin implementing many of the programs that have long been on our wish list, such as our email newsletter, better communication tools for our distance-learning students and instructors, improved database management for our student records and, coming soon, more interactive online activities for our students.His easy way with animals and true empathy for those animals in less fortunate situations shine through in all he does.  He has taken several of the NWSAM classes and hopes to expand his work into massage in the years to come.
Kim Bauer teaches both our LAMP and SAMP program and is based near our Portland campuses.  She is also our on-staff expert in acupressure and will be teaching acupressure classe s through our partnership with Tall Grass Animal Acupressure.  Kim works part-time as a technician in a small animal clinic when she isn't massaging her clients or spending time with her horses and other animals at home.  
Sandy Dochnahl
Student Services Representative
Sandy is the happy voice at the other end of the phone that most people hear when they first contact NWSAM.  In addition to answering questions for our potential students, she will assist you in enrolling for class and manage your progress throughout class.  She keeps all of us here organized and works closely with David to manage all of the information that passes through our doors.
Rubi Sullivan SAMP

Angela Dinsmoor SAMP

Janet Beeby LMP SAMP

Jean Olsen LMP LAMP

Donna Baxter LAMP

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