Staff Bios

Staff Bios

Michelle Treffer, LMBT #14200

Massage Therapist/Personal Trainer

Michelle completed her massage licensure program on the island of Maui in 2003, where she practiced at a top-rated resort spa. In 2007 she became a certified personal trainer and worked with professional and recreational athletes ranging from triathletes to surfers. Michelle founded Maui’s first outdoor fitness boot camp, where she designed programs focused on healthy weight loss, wellness education and total fitness. She left the island in 2012 to begin a doctoral program in physical therapy. Michelle specializes in injury treatment and prevention. She approaches her practice holistically, considering and exploring the source of an issue, rather than treating symptoms alone. She is certified in a wide range of massage techniques and adapts treatments to specific needs, including educational tools to support individual fitness, functional mobility and pain management goals. Michelle enjoys riding bikes and taking trips with her son. She dabbles in triathlon, enjoys participating in charity bike rides and local 10K runs, and travels to Maui as often as possible to hit the surf.

Contact via email
michelle.treffer@unchealth.unc.edu

Nia Jackson, ACSM CEP

Personal Trainer

Nia is a fitness professional who has earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from North Carolina Central University. She is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist certified through the American College of Sports Medicine. Prior to the UNC Wellness Centers, her experience includes six years as a physical therapy aide at Duke Regional Hospital working with people who have had strokes, joint replacement orthopedic injuries and neuromuscular disorders. Nia has also gained experience in cardiac rehab conducting stress tests, developing exercise prescriptions and promoting physical activity for people who have chronic diseases or conditions. Nia joined the UNC Wellness Centers as a fitness instructor in 2013. She develops individualized exercise programs for a wide variety of populations. Her philosophy is to create a training environment that not only motivates but also empowers individuals to achieve their health and fitness goals. As a former basketball player, she loves the challenge of outdoor activities. She also enjoys traveling, live music and spending time with her family.

Contact via email
Saphonia.jackson@unch.unc.edu.

Kyle Blum, MA, CPT, PES

Personal Trainer

Kyle was born and raised in New Jersey, where he worked in a hospital-based fitness center for over 10 years. At UNC Wellness he shares his passion for fitness and helping others. Kyle has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts in Education from Arizona State University. Kyle uses science and research to develop his workouts and programs and uses his background to teach the people he works with, helping them understand why we exercise and how it translates to goals outside of the gym. Kyle is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (CPT) and has specializations in athletic performance, youth fitness, TRX and RIP Training. He also has experience working with individuals on a variety of goals from weight loss to cross-training athletes. When he is not training, you may find Kyle working out or teaching a group fitness class. Outside of the gym, he likes to play sports and enjoys hiking. He also loves to cook and enjoys putting healthy spins on traditional food recipes. Kyle believes your gym experience should be where fun meets function: “If you enjoy what you are doing, the more effort you will put in, and the more likely you are to continue. That’s key for long-term success”.

Contact via email
David.Blum@unchealth.unc.edu

Michelle Taylor, LMBT #6648

Massage Therapist

Michelle graduated from Hampton University with a degree in Business Marketing/Computer Science. While working in IT for Fortune 500 companies in New York, she experienced firsthand the effects of stress and mental fatigue, as well as the physical muscle injury that can occur from long hours of sitting at a desk. So, she decided to pursue her passion of making a difference one person at a time as a massage therapist. She graduated from the Advanced Fuller School of Massage Therapy in Virginia Beach, became nationally certified and worked at Chesapeake General Hospital’s Lifestyle Fitness Center for over 15 years. After moving to North Carolina, she graduated from Southeastern School of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapy of Charlotte. She has worked at private clubs and various spas. In addition to stress reduction, insomnia relief and relaxation massage, Michelle specializes in injury therapy, postural corrections such as forward head and seated posture syndrome, repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel and tennis elbow and pain relief for chronic conditions such as sciatica, headaches (tension, migraine and sinus), TMJ and diabetic neuropathy. She offers deep tissue relaxation, neuromuscular therapy, medical massage, hot stone, prenatal and geriatric massage. Michelle was a teaching artist for Raleigh’s Artspace Outreach Program and Charlotte’s Art Start Program. She enjoys oil painting in her spare time.

Contact via email
michelle.taylor@unchealth.unc.edu

Evan Adler

Physical Therapist/Clinic Coordinator

Evan is originally from New York where he spent a successful decade working in the music industry. After running several marathons for charity, however, Evan wanted to pair his extra-curricular interests with his career. He moved to Durham in 2008, and he shifted his focus to the harmonics of the human body where he earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Elon University. He enjoys the orthopedic side of PT, particularly pathologies of the shoulder, hip, and knee. He also enjoys working with middle/high school students as well as having a passion for working with endurance athletes such as runners, cyclists, and triathletes. He has enjoyed success in getting his patients back in the game by utilizing a variety of techniques including soft tissue mobilization (Graston Technique Certified), joint mobilization and manipulation, and individualized therapeutic exercises. He sees every patient as an individual and takes each person’s unique situation into account with every treatment. Evan is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy (OCS) by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

Evan is also an avid runner, cyclist, and sometimes triathlete who also enjoys playing tennis, softball, and most outdoor activities.  Though a transplant to the area, Evan has made the Triangle his home and has become a proud member of the community. When not at work, he can be found spending time with his family at any of the many parks, museums, restaurants, and live music venues throughout the Triangle.

 

Sara Dydyn, OTR/L, MS, ATP

Occupational Therapist

Originally from the Connecticut and New York areas, Sara recently moved to Durham to enjoy the many opportunities for fun and adventure that NC has to offer.  Graduating from Wagner College with a bachelor’s of science in psychology,  Sara went on to study Occupational therapy at Sacred Heart University, where she would find her passion in helping people through a holistic approach to treatment.  Sara’s approach to treatment honors each patient’s interests and goals throughout the rehabilitation process.  She uses multiple modalities and manual techniques such as cupping, instrument-assisted therapies, and therapeutic taping to ensure a well-rounded approach to treatment.  She enjoys working with orthopedic conditions of the hand and upper extremity as well as various neurological conditions.  She has a passion for assistive technologies – specifically custom wheelchairs and is a certified Assistive Technology Professional.  When not at work, she enjoys hiking, flag football, yoga, pottery, and spending time with her husband and dog.  

 

Carla Hill, PT, DPT, OCS, CEEAA, Cert MDT

Physical Therapist

Carla has been a physical therapist for more than twenty years. She enjoys treating a variety of orthopedic and geriatric conditions with a special interest in spine, hip, knee, and shoulder rehabilitation as well as balance disorders. Carla earned a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of Florida, a Master of Physical Therapy from Emory University, and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy (OCS) and Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (CEEAA). She is also certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy by the McKenzie Institute and performs dry needling to treat myofascial trigger points. She is focused on patient-centered, evidence-based care to promote lifelong wellness for all patients. As such, she uses an array of treatment techniques and patient education to improve her patients’ abilities to participate in desired activities. In addition to patient care, Carla is involved in research, quality improvement, and interdisciplinary initiatives at UNC to improve patient outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities and traveling with family and friends.

Laura “Ellese” Nickles PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Ellese received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016.  Ellese grew up dancing and was trained in classical ballet, modern and Jazz. She danced throughout college and given her interest in movement she completed yoga teacher training in 2008. Since then, she has taught yoga and strength training classes and has served as a clinical expert in yoga teacher training curriculum development and teaching workshops.  She has completed additional training and is certified in trigger point dry needling and pelvic health physical therapy.  She has also completed coursework for Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist and has a particular interest in working with prenatal and postpartum patients. When Ellese is not working in clinic she enjoys teaching yoga, taking dance classes, gardening, traveling and spending time with her family.

 

Pete Olmos, PT, MPT

Physical Therapist

Peter Olmos became a licensed physical therapist in 2006.  He has worked in an outpatient physical therapy setting for his entire career, treating patients with various musculoskeletal injuries. Pete’s interests include the post-operative return to sports for patients with shoulder and knee dysfunction as well as integration back into functional activities for the non-sports patient.

 

Sarah Roney, PT, DPT, WCS

Physical Therapist

Sarah graduated from Northwestern University with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in Dec 2008. After working in acute care and neurological rehab, she decided to shift her focus to the in-demand field of pelvic floor physical therapy in 2015. Since then, she has received her board-certified clinical specialist designation in women’s health physical therapy (WCS) from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. She enjoys working with a wide array of both male and female patients with bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction. Additionally, she is well versed to treat both pregnant and postpartum clients with pelvic floor issues. Sarah enjoys mentoring in the Women’s Health residency program at UNC. In her free time, she likes to travel and spend time outdoors with her husband and son.