Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine
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Administrative Team

"The dedicated and highly competent [ESATM] administrative staff keep the school running like a well-oiled machine."
-- Site Visit Team, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM).

Aida Almanzar, MBA
Chief Executive Officer / President

administrative teamAida Almanzar is the current Chief Executive Officer / President at the Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine (ESATM) and has been with the college since 2006. Aida was asked to join ESATM as the Executive Assistant after graduating with her Bachelor of Science in finance from the State University of New York, College at Oswego. While completing her Masters of Business Administration in management and marketing at the New York Institute of Technology, Aida was promoted to Vice President and later appointed to CEO in 2009 by the Governing Board.

During her time as CEO, Aida has realized major milestones on behalf of the college. With her direct involvement in layout and design of the new facility in Bloomfield, Aida was presented with recognition of the Business Development Recognition Award from the Suburban Essex Chamber of Commerce in 2015. Under Aida's direction, the institution was recognized for becoming a degree conferring institution by the State of New Jersey, Office of Higher Education, in 2016.

As an active member of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, representing NJ colleges, Aida continues to explore new ways for ESATM to advance in the field of higher education and to maintain and continue to offer the students at ESATM a quality education resulting in a post-education career.

Dr. Thomas Kouo, DAOM, L.Ac, Dipl. OM
Academic Dean

administrative teamDr. Thomas Kouo served at Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (VUIM) as the Academic Dean and Chair of the Herbology department. While at VUIM, he led the university through the ACAOM accreditation process and the university was awarded the maximum five years initial accreditation in March 2015. Prior to VUIM, Dr. Kouo worked at Pacific College of Health Sciences San Diego, where he was the chair of the Herbal Department and taught in both the Master's and Doctoral programs while also serving as a Clinical Supervisor. A graduate of the Master's and Doctoral programs at Pacific College, Dr. Kouo founded and was the clinical director of Elemental Harmony Acupuncture in San Diego. Elemental Harmony Acupuncture served San Diego and was one of the foremost clinics for pediatrics, orthopedics, and women's health. He was also the creator of a special facial rejuvenation protocol named "Age-Reversal Therapy" (ART) that was featured at the renowned A & B Medical Spa in Hillcrest, California.

Dr. Kouo has treated athletes on the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Lakers, the US Winter Olympic Training team, and was the acupuncturist for the La Jolla Open Tennis Tournament at the La Jolla Tennis Center. Dr. Kouo was one of the original acupuncturists selected to pilot UCSD's Center for Integrative Medicine and was on staff in family medicine with hospital privileges working alongside UCSD's best physicians. He has also worked in the oncology department of Radys Children's Hospital in San Diego where he developed his love and compassion in working with children.

Dr. Kouo is honored to serve on the medical advisory board of Miracle Babies, a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of women and families with babies born prematurely. He has lectured both locally and nationally on topics such as Chinese Medicine and HIV/AIDS, Fatty Liver Disease, healthy pregnancy, pediatric care, sports injury care, and integrative medicine. He was also the Director of Wellness for a Fortune 500 company in Los Angeles and was the herbal consultant for the licensure review preparatory company, TCM Tests.

Kelly Williams, MS.Ed
Director of Admissions

administrative teamKelly Williams has been the Director of Admissions at the Eastern School since 2008. Initially hired in 2005 as a financial aid assistant, Kelly is the longest standing administrator at ESATM. Her first degree from William Paterson University was in fine art and art history and worked as a swimwear designer for Gramercy Mills and eventually as a reference librarian at the Montclair Art Museum. She also taught middle school art and seniors art appreciation courses. After receiving her Certification in Creative Arts Therapy at The New School University, Kelly interned at Sloane Kettering in New York, NY as an art therapist. While working at the Eastern School Kelly went on to get her Master’s in Education at Keiser University. She is an active member of the Middle States Association of Collegiate Registrars & Officers of Admission. In addition to her duties as the Director of Admissions, Kelly also assists with the schools marketing and social media presence. She also remains active in art therapy creating therapeutic crafts for those who suffer with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Jennifer Coppola
Director of Financial Aid

administrative teamJennifer Coppola has been employed in the broad area of finance for 25 years. Jennifer learned various accounting methods by working in a variety of industries over the years. Her career began in banking, and includes retail corporate accounting, real estate management, manufacturing, and general management experience. Her past experience has prepared her well for the services she provides to the school and to our students. Ms. Coppola has exceled in the position of bursar/bookkeeper and financial aid director at the ESATM.

Rebecca Reisen, JD
Director of Administrative Operations & Registrar

Rebecca Reisen is the Registrar and Student Services Officer at The Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine since March 2017. Rebecca earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA. She travelled abroad to study International and Comparative Law at the Zhejiang University Guanghua College of Law in Hangzhou, China. In 2009, Rebecca graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a P-12 Teaching Certificate.

Rebecca has dedicated her career to public service. She has interned with the Office of the Public Defender, researching and drafting motions relevant to Major Case work, and Casa Cornelia, where she provided quality pro bono services to victims of domestic violence. She enjoys working with environmental and social justice non-profit organizations and continues to be active in her community and beyond.

Sherlley Alvarez
Administrative Assistant

Lawrence Lane, JD, MLIS
Director of Library Services