BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech alumnus Brett Volpp says his new career as a massage therapist is a welcomed change from his former career in carpentry. Volpp graduated with a certificate in therapeutic massage in December, 2018 and will work as an independent contractor at the Blue Lotus Massage & Spa in Ellettsville, Ind. with former instructor and spa owner, Kristen Lewis.

“Carpentry was really hard on me physically,” said Volpp. “The repetitive motions took a toll on me over the years and I’ve had therapeutic body work done to help heal some of that.”

Volpp said that he enrolled at Ivy Tech to find a career that was less physical. He also required a more flexible work schedule that would allow him time to work on his farm and to create art. Volpp earned a fine arts degree in painting at Indiana University and frequently exhibits work locally and regionally.

“As a farmer and an artist I wanted a flexible, part-time schedule. I also wanted to do something that I could do long-term and past retirement age,” said Volpp. “I realize that therapeutic massage would be something that would allow me to help other people, because I had been helped in that way. I really enjoy connecting with people, so I find that it helps me too.”

Ivy Tech’s therapeutic massage program gives students opportunities to earn more than the 500 training hours required for state certification through the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). Students and faculty operate The Oasis Massage Therapy Center at Ivy Tech, and appointments are available year-round.

“Participating in The Oasis was a class requirement,” said Volpp. “We also did special events throughout the years including chair massages and massages in the community. We did one massage session at a local nursing home.”

Volpp said the atmosphere at Ivy Tech was supportive and felt like a smaller community than Indiana University.

“Everyone at Ivy Tech is trying to help you,” said Volpp. “There’s a lot of one-on-one support, including technology support and librarians. If I have questions, I prefer to speak to somebody in person and I was able to do that here.”

Volpp said that many of his classmates had also found local massage therapy employment after graduation.

“There are a lot of openings still in massage in Bloomington,” said Volpp. “It’s a good career to get into. I have three appointments next week already and I will soon start working with clients from The Center for Wholism. I feel like I’m flooded with opportunity.”

More information about Ivy Tech’s therapeutic massage center can be found online at The certificate can be completed in 26 credit hours, or two full-time semesters. Students who complete the Therapeutic Massage certificate will be eligible to continue their education in the Healthcare Specialist Associate of Applied Science degree program, for increased employment opportunities.

Ivy Tech Bloomington offers many associate degrees and short-term certificates in the healthcare field. Other associate degrees offered include Healthcare SpecialistKinesiology and Exercise ScienceMedical AssistingNursing and Practical NursingOptometric TechnologyParamedic ScienceRespiratory Therapy, and Radiation Therapy. For a full list of degrees offered in Bloomington, visit

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.