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Home / About / Leadership, Faculty & Staff / Executive Management Committee


Executive Management Committee

The Executive Management Committee at Maryland University of Integrative Health unites the administrative and academic leaders in a transparent and inclusive shared governance model. This group creates strategic initiatives and manages the University’s financial and human capital to advance the University’s mission and vision.


John A. Palmucci, M.B.A.

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

John A. Palmucci, M.B.A., a long time member of the MUIH Board of Trustees and Chair of its Audit and Finance Committee, was appointed on June 17, 2016 to serve as Interim President and CEO following the retirement of Frank Vitale. A veteran of more than 40 years in pubic and private college and university business and financial senior management, he most recently served in the president’s cabinet as Valparaiso University’s Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration. Noted for sound financial management skills in support of student excellence, Mr. Palmucci’s vast responsibilities included oversight of the Indiana university’s $250 million endowment. He joined the MUIH Board in 2008 while serving as Vice President for Finance and Treasurer of Loyola University Maryland. During his six years at Baltimore-based Loyola,  reporting directly to the President, he played a key role in all phases of finance and administration in support of the University’s 4,000-plus students. During his tenure the school’s endowment grew to nearly $195 million.  

For 14 years prior to joining Loyola, Mr. Palmucci served in several administrative roles, including vice president of fiscal affairs, at Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts. Before joining Merrimack, an outstanding private liberal arts college, he served as registrar and dean of administration at Northern Essex Community College, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. His long and distinguished career in higher education began at his alma mater (earning an M.S. and M.B.A.), Northeastern University in Boston, where for six years he held several positions, including director of the undergraduate program, assistant dean of the College of Business Administration, assistant director of student activities, and instructor of accounting in the College of Business. 

A tireless worker with a  passion for the mission of higher education, Mr. Palmucci maintains involvement with several professional organizations in a variety of leadership positions, including: the National Association of College and University Business Officers, Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers, the Association of Jesuit College and University Business Officers, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, The Investment Management Institute, The Opal Financial Group, The Archdiocese of Baltimore Audit Committee, and The Associated Sulpicians Investment Committee.  He was awarded the EACUBO Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and the NACUBO Distinguished Business Officer Award in 2003. He also was awarded the Cardinal John Henry Newman Medal at the Loyola University Commencement exercises on May 15, 2010. He also serves as a Board Member of New York Chiropractic College.

Gail Doerr

Gail Doerr, M.S.

Vice President for University and Student Affairs

Gail Doerr currently serves as Vice President for University and Student Affairs. In this role, she oversees strategic planning, branding, and partnerships as well as the student life cycle from recruitment through alumni affairs. She brings to her role more than 20 years of previous executive-level experience in healthcare and higher education.

Ms. Doerr rejoined Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute) in March 2012, having previously worked at the school from 1999 to 2003 as Director of Communications and Outreach. During this period, she oversaw a national rebranding campaign, successfully launched additional graduate degrees, and contributed to the success of a capital campaign that funded a new 12-acre campus.

From 2003 – 2012, Ms. Doerr worked with the University of Maryland School of Nursing as the Assistant Dean for Communications and Professional Development. In this role, she provided the leadership for positioning the college and its programs within the highly competitive field of nursing. Within the first year of Ms. Doerr's tenure, through strategic branding and communications, the university moved up in U.S. News and World Report rankings from number 10 to number seven among more than 400 national nursing schools. She was responsible for enrollment marketing and enrollment management for baccalaureate, master, and doctoral programs, and successfully launched Maryland’s first doctor of nursing practice degree and first clinical nurse leader master’s degree. She also oversaw all professional development programs and contributed to the development of strategic partnerships.

Ms. Doerr has also worked in program and business development and communications for the LifeBridge Health System and served as the Director of Nursing and Allied Health for Howard Community College in the Division of Continuing Education. She consults on organizational development, as well as strategic branding, and facilitates programs on leadership, change management, and personal values.

Ms. Doerr received a bachelor’s degree from Mercy College, a master’s degree from Fordham University, and post-graduate certificates in leadership and organization development from the Harvard Business School and Georgetown University.

An active proponent of community health and wellness, Ms. Doerr serves on the board of directors for Evergreen Health Care and is the Chair of their Communications and Outreach Committee. She also and serves on Howard County's Local Health Improvement Coalition and is the immediate past Vice Chair of the Howard County Board of Health.

410-888-9048 ext. 6652

Louise Gussin

Louise Gussin, J.D., M.D.E.

Vice President for Administration and General Counsel, Chief of Staff

Louise Gussin brings to Maryland University of Integrative Health a mix of legal and academic experience. She began her service at MUIH in November 2008 as director of business services, was promoted to associate vice president for business and administration in August 2009, and was elected vice president for administration and general counsel in June 2010.

In addition to serving as general counsel, Ms. Gussin serves as corporate secretary, and oversees human enrichment, risk management, and health, compliance, and safety. 

Ms. Gussin has previously served as: assistant attorney general for the state of Maryland, representing the University System of Maryland and other public higher education institutions; academic director of the legal studies program at University of Maryland University College, serving as curriculum expert for the development of online legal studies courses; adjunct professor at University of Baltimore School of Law and at University of Maryland University College, where she taught several online courses; and attorney in private practice, representing clients in a variety of corporate, real estate, and litigation matters.

Ms. Gussin earned her juris doctorate degree from University of Baltimore School of Law. She also earned a Master of Distance Education and a certificate in Distance Education and Technology from University of Maryland University College. Ms. Gussin earned two undergraduate degrees from University of Maryland University College: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies.

410-888-9048 ext. 6618

Marc Levin

Marc Levin, M.B.A., M.A., CPA

Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Marc Levin joined Maryland University of Integrative Health in March 2008 as Associate Vice President for Financial Services, was promoted to Vice President for Business and Financial Services in September 2008, and to Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in September 2012.

Mr. Levin has more than 20 years of experience in accounting, finance, and operations for public and private healthcare companies. He is proud to use his talents not only to strengthen the financial foundation of MUIH, but also to expand the University's impact on the world. Responsibilities under Mr. Levin include finance and accounting, financial aid, information technology, campus and facilities, and bookstore and café.

Mr. Levin holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Maryland. Mr. Levin has earned a Master of Art in Transformational Leadership and Social Change from Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute). He is also a certified public accountant and the author of Eight Shifts for Wellness: Practical Transformative Steps to Enhance Health, Wellness, and Well-Being.

410-888-9048 ext. 6646


Christina Sax, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

Dr. Sax comes to MUIH from Shippensburg University where she served for nine years, most recently as Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Outreach and Innovation and, previously, Dean of Extended Studies. She spent 10 years at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) where her roles included Academic Director of Natural Sciences; Assistant Dean of Social, Behavioral, Natural, and Mathematical Sciences; and Interim Senior Associate Dean. She has more than 25 years of progressive experience as a researcher at the National Institutes for Health and as an academic faculty member and administrator.

Dr. Sax’s impressive background in academic teaching and leadership, in research, and in business development will serve MUIH and its community well. In addition, Dr. Sax has been very clear about her commitment to excellence in our academic programs, providing a positive student experience, ongoing faculty development and support, and our expanding research agenda.

Dr. Sax received her Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University and her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Rochester.

410-888-9048 ext. 6655

Cheryl Walker Shapero

Cheryl Walker Shapero M.L., MCC

Vice President for Institutional Development, Chief Values Officer, and Interim Program Director, Health & Wellness Coaching

Cheryl Walker Shapero is Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Chief Values Officer at Maryland University of Integrative Health. She previously served as Academic Director of Graduate Programs in Health Philosophy and Promotion and Program Manager for the University’s health coaching and wellness coaching graduate certificate programs. She also previously served as director of at Tai Sophia Institute’s (now MUIH) Transformative Leadership and Social Change (TLSC) program, was a faculty member in the TLSC program for 10 years, and served as Dean of Students from 2000-2005.

Ms. Shapero has been a senior consultant and executive coach with a leading international organization development firm, consulting and coaching in the areas of leadership effectiveness, communication skills, team building, conflict resolution, diversity, change management, and transitional strategies. She has a comprehensive understanding of organizational change and has been intimately involved with helping organizations through challenging transitions. Her work has involved organizational restructuring, change management, cultural renewal, downsizing, and strategic redirection. She also brings to her work at MUIH more than 30 years as a successful small business owner.

Ms. Shapero received a bachelor’s degree from Antioch University and has a Master of Leadership from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. She also holds a Master Certified Coach (MCC) certification from the International Coach Federation.

410-888-9048 ext. 6695



Chad Egresi, M.P.A.

Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management



Deneb Falabella, M.Ac.

Assistant Provost, Academic Assessment and Accreditation


Mary Ellen Hrutka, Ph.D.

Associate Provost, Digital Learning and Faculty Engagement

Dr. Mary Ellen Hrutka spent 15 years at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), including nine years as Vice Provost and Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies.  UMUC is the largest university in Maryland and the leading public online university in the world.  Dr. Hrutka led the university’s efforts to overhaul the undergraduate curriculum and build a robust inventory of academic majors, minors, and certificates worldwide in a system that served more than 29,000 students in both on campus and online programs. She managed a staff of more than 80 full-time employees and 1,500 faculty members, and participated in university governance and management at the cabinet level.  

In addition to her work at UMUC, Dr. Hrutka is recognized as an expert on quality assurance in education, the non-traditional learner and adult education, as well as the importance of support for non-public school students and faculty.  She was a founding member of MarylandOnline and Quality Matters and represented UMUC on many inter-institutional initiatives. She is an Adjunct Professor in The Graduate School at UMUC and teaches in the area of organizational development, leadership, and change, and previously taught leadership in The Undergraduate School as well as at other universities. Dr. Hrutka was the founding Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Catholic Schools Consortium.

Since July 2014, Dr. Hrutka has served Maryland University of Integrative Health as an online consultant and worked with faculty and staff to support the growth and quality of online courses.  In November 2014, she was appointed by the Provost to serve as the Acting Academic Director, Nutrition Programs.

In recognition of her service to UMUC, Dr. Hrutka was named as the first Dean Emerita of UMUC. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees at St. John’s College High School and is a current member of the Boards of Elizabeth Seton High School and the San Miguel School.  She serves on the Maryland Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council.

Dr. Hrutka received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Miami, M.A. in Counseling and College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, College Park, B.A. in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State College and A.A. in Liberal Arts from Westchester Community College, and she is a graduate of Leadership Maryland. 


Jeff Millison

Jeff Millison, M.Ac., Dipl.Ac.(NCCAOM)

Academic Director, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Jeff Millison is the Director of the Master of Acupuncture program at Maryland University of Integrative Health. A faculty member of MUIH (formerly Tai Sophia Institute )since 1992, he currently serves as a clinical supervisor and teaches multiple courses. Mr. Millison served on the board of the Maryland Acupuncture Society from 1992 to 1996 and is certified as a Diplomate in Acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

He has been in clinical practice since 1991 and is the co-founder and co-director of the RiverHill Wellness Center (Ellicott City, MD), a multidisciplinary and integrative center for health and healing.

Mr. Millison is a 1991 graduate of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute (now MUIH). He also earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland in 1985, and in 1988 completed course work towards a master’s degree in holistic psychology from Boulder College. In 1996 he completed a two-year program in Chinese herbal medicine.

410-888-9048 ext. 6638

James Snow

James Snow, M.A., RH(AHG)

Assistant Provost for Academic Research and Academic Director, Integrative Health Sciences

James Snow is the Assistant Provost for Academic Research and Academic Director of the Integrative Health Sciences Department at Maryland University of Integrative Health. He has more than 25 years of experience merging modern scientific perspectives with traditional explanatory models of healing.

Mr. Snow has worked as a clinician and educator in the field of Western herbal medicine and served as director of MUIH’s (then Tai Sophia Institute) herbal medicine program. He has conducted and published research on the cognitive effects of rosemary and the development of a questionnaire to measure wellness. Mr. Snow is a contributing author to the Gastrointestinal Nutrition Desk Reference, sits on the editorial committee for the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild, and serves as a reviewer for the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

Mr. Snow’s current research projects include investigation of attitudes and use of evidence-informed practice among Western herbal practitioners; the role of context effects in the effectiveness of Western herbal medicine; and exploring the construct of healing presence. At MUIH, his work also focuses on enhancing research literacy and capacity among complementary and integrative health faculty.

Mr. Snow holds a Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership and Social Change from MUIH, and completed the herbal residency program at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. He is also a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild.

410-888-9048 ext. 6675



Susan Testa, M.S.

Associate Vice President, Clinical Services

 Michael Tims  

Michael Tims, Ph.D.

Academic Director, Herbal Programs

Michael Tims is Academic Director of Herbal Programs at Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute). He has taught at the University of Maryland and Montgomery College, and has had broad experience in the herbal supplement industry as a managing partner of Cash Grocer Natural Foods, as a clinical herbalist, and as an academic researcher focused on the chemical ecology of endangered medicinal plant species.

Dr. Tims also collaborated with federal regulators to provide medicinal plant toxicity assessments. He co-developed HerbMed, a web-based herbal database providing access to scientific data on the use and safety of herbal medicine, and he completed an NIH/NIST postdoctoral fellowship developing Botanical Standard Reference Materials.

As the founder of Radix Medicina, a science education and writing business, Dr. Tims provided experimental design support for analytical methods development and field experiments for the herbal products industry, and developed online biology textbooks. He also created a science education blog, Bardo’s Calculus, and a blogging collective for writers and artists at the Hyattstown Millstone.

Dr. Tims received his BA in English/Writing from George Mason University and his Ph.D. in the Chemical Ecology of Medicinal Plants from the University of Maryland, College Park.

410-888-9048 ext. 6668

 Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner, Ph.D.

Academic Director, Nutrition and Integrative Health

Kathy Warner brings to her position a rich background in higher education leadership, research, and administration as well as comprehensive experience in online learning, program design, curriculum delivery and teaching. Her academic and research areas of focus have been in the sciences. 

Prior to joining MUIH, Dr. Warner was the associate dean of academic affairs in the undergraduate school of University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She previously served UMUC as the assistant dean of the social, behavioral, natural, and mathematical sciences unit, in which she oversaw experiential learning, the director of natural science and environmental management programs, and the assistant director of science. During her tenure at UMUC, she played a lead role in a university-wide assessment of science literacy and in new course and program designs.

Dr. Warner served as the principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant for Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement, a program that seeks to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education for college students. Her grant focused on constructing a Virtual Chesapeake Bay Watershed Science Center. Dr. Warner also served as the co-investigator for a Next Generation Learning Challenges grant with the Open University of the United Kingdom and Anne Arundel Community College and coordinated a Carnegie Corporation grant on adaptive learning. 

Dr. Warner was also a research fellow at the Uniformed Services University and an adjunct faculty member at College of Southern Maryland, Marymount University, and Montgomery College.

Dr. Warner holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Kentucky and a B.S. from Washington College.

410-888-9048 ext. 6683