Academic Program Director
Cheryl Walker M.L., MCC
Cheryl Walker is academic director for Tai Sophia Institute’s Department of Applied Philosophy and Practices and an independent leadership development consultant. Ms. Walker has a Master of Leadership from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and holds a Master Certified Coach (MCC) certification from the International Coach Federation.
Core and Adjunct Faculty
Peggy Alexander, M.Ed., M.S., PCC
Peggy Alexander holds a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology and Master of Education in School Psychology from Loyola College in Baltimore. She has served on the faculty at Howard Community College since 2006 and has served as academic and student support advisor at Tai Sophia Institute since 2008. She is a certified professional coach through the International Coach Federation and has trained and developed health coaches for Health Howard of Howard County, Maryland.
Kimberly Duncan, Ph.D.
Dr. Duncan is the former director of the Integrative Health Sciences program and has served on the Tai Sophia faculty since 2006. Her doctorate is in pharmacology from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. For nearly 30 years, she has worked in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology at academic centers, including the National Cancer Institute and at Cambridge University in England. She also holds a faculty appointment at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In addition to her role as associate director of the Integrative Health Sciences program at Tai Sophia, she teaches and designs courses for the program that integrate studies in wellness and biomedicine with the traditional teachings of the Institute.
Julie Luht, M.P.H., MCHES
Julie Luht holds a Master of Public Health from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from James Madison University. She has more a decade of public health consulting and workplace wellness experience. Her areas of expertise include nutrition, exercise, and weight management program design; continuing education for health professionals; online training; health policy development; programming for underserved communities and adolescents; and curriculum design. Ms. Luht is very active in the health education community, serving the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) as the vice coordinator on the Division Board for Professional Development and as a member of the Board of Commissioners. She is also a master certified health education specialist (MCHES).
David Schenck, Ph.D.
Dr. Schenck received his doctorate in Religious Studies from Duke University and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in Medical Ethics at the University of Tennessee. He is currently a research assistant professor with the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Schenck has been teaching for more than twenty years as a professor of philosophy and religion and has published articles in numerous journals, including Annals of Internal Medicine and Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.
Tia Simmons, M.P.H., CHES
Tia Simmons holds a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a certified health education specialist (CHES). She has served as medical instructor and training coordinator with the Division of Community Health, Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, where she was responsible for the community-based service learning activities to teach learners from multiple disciplines how to effectively engage with the community, including aspects of cultural competency and community program development. She directed the Community Health Elective for medical students, and also provided training and instruction in community health rotations and experiences for pre-health undergraduates and health professional students. Ms. Simmons also has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Phoenix, with teaching responsibilities in foundational science courses such as Nutrition and Elements of Health and Wellness.
James Snow, M.A., RH(AHG)
James Snow holds a Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Social Change from the Tai Sophia Institute, completed the herbal residency program at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, and is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. He was the primary clinical instructor at the California School of Herbal Studies, served as the program director of Herbal Medicine at Tai Sophia Institute, and is the acting program director of Integrative Health Sciences at Tai Sophia Institute, where he also teaches.
Michael Tims, Ph.D.
Dr. Tims holds a doctorate in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in herbal supplement research. He has served as associate faculty at Montgomery College and has also taught courses at Trinity University, Northern Virginia Community College, and the University of Maryland. Dr. Tims also has served as a pharmacognosist at the Alternative Medicine Foundation, and as a contractor for the FDA, where he provided toxicity assessments to prioritize medicinal plant research. He is a science writer and editor for Radix Medicina, a company he founded that provides editorial support in science communications.
Darlene M. Trandel, Ph.D., M.S.N., RN, FNP, CCP, PCC
Dr. Trandel holds a doctorate in Nursing Science/Health Care Research from the University of Washington and completed a post-graduate special study program in Public Health at Harvard University. She has served on the faculty of the University of Virginia, the University of Washington, the University of North Carolina and Queens University for academic research and teaching. In addition, Dr. Trandel authored the text book Nursing and the Law, published more than 40 articles in professional journals and text-book chapters, and is an advisory board member and research consultant in chronic care for The Health Sciences Institute.