Planning Committee

Felecia Moore Banks, PhD, MEd, OTR/L, FAOTA

Chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy, Associate Professor 
Division of Nursing
Howard University, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Dr. Banks is the chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy and an associate professor at Howard University. She presents with over 25 years of clinical and academic experience in Occupational Therapy. Dr. Banks is an expert in occupational therapy physical disabilities and is certified in Neurodevelopmental treatment techniques. She has extensive experience in the area of curriculum development, leadership, diversity, research, working with at-risk populations, and health disparities in primary and acute care settings.

Dr. Banks earned her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Howard University; her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Special Education from Howard University; and her doctorate in Adult Learning and Human Resource Development from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). She is also a graduate of the Allied Health Collation Leadership Certificate Program sponsored by the Association for the Schools of Allied Health Professions and is the recipient of many professional awards such as the Arthritis Foundation Distinguished Service Award; Most Outstanding Service from the National Society of Allied Health; Most Outstanding Chairperson Award, and Outstanding Leadership Award from the Division of Allied Health Sciences at Howard University. Dr. Banks is the former Chief Editor of the Journal of the National Society of Allied Heath, has received over $3 million dollars in HRSA funding, and is the recipient of the Roster of Fellows (FAOTA) from the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Dr. Chimene Castor, EdD, MS, RD, LDN

Assistant Professor 
Department of Nutritional Sciences
Howard University, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Dr. Chimene Castor is an assistant professor and clinical coordinator at Howard University in the Department of Nutritional Sciences program. Dr. Castor has a doctorate and master's degree in Health Education and Behavior studies from Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Howard University. Dr. Castor has more than 16 years of experience as a clinical dietitian as well as over 20 years of experience working and providing comprehensive care in developing nutritional intervention to address chronic disease prevention and management interventions National and International level. She is a STAR (Steps Toward Academic Readiness) Fellow with the Texas Center for Health Disparities. Dr. Castor has worked to provide nutritional education and coordinated peer education training in HIV/AIDS and STI in Haiti, Kenya, South African, Ghana, Jamaica, Tobago, St Lucia and Togo.  Dr. Castor is also the founder of Sowing Seeds, a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of children through education and nutritional health. She has also coordinated the annual Interprofessional Education and Practice Conference hosted by the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences.

Martine Elie, PhD, CCC-SLP

Clinic Director
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Howard University Speech and Hearing Clinic

Dr. Martine Elie is the clinic director at the Howard University Speech and Hearing Clinic.  With over 15 years of experience in clinical service provision and academia, she has presented nationally and internationally on topics such as bilingualism, interprofessional education, mentoring, assessment and treatment of CLD populations, Haitian Creole, international capacity building, and service learning.  Dr. Elie teaches classes on clinical service provision and sociolinguistics in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Howard University, as well as research seminars for students enrolled in the Annenberg Honors program.

Monica B. Francis, BS, PA-C

Associate Professor 
Department of Physician Assistant
Howard University, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Mrs. Francis is a native of the Washington, D.C. where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Bowie State University. She completed her physician assistant training at Howard University. Mrs. Francis has a love for dermatology and has practiced in that field for over 18 years. She also has a passion for teaching, shown by over nine years of service as a faculty member at Howard University’s Physician Assistant program. She has presented multiple times at the American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Medical Conference and at the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants' fall and spring conferences. She is also a founding member and secretary of the Maryland Association of Dermatology Physician Assistants. Mrs. Francis believes that whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.

Dwayne Lewis, BS, RTT

Clinical Instructor
Department of Radiation Therapy
Howard University, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

With more than 27 years of service as a clinical radiation therapist, Mr. Lewis brings a unique insight and expertise to his position as clinical instructor for the Radiation Therapy program at Howard University's College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences. In his position at Howard University, Mr. Lewis has completely converted his courses into an online, hybrid environment, thus eliminating the use of paper content.

For the past two years, Mr. Lewis  has served on various committees addressing health disparities, student affairs, and employment. Through CETLA, he has also provided valuable online review to professors and instructors who were learning to teach online via Blackboard. In these roles, Mr. Lewis has learned valuable lessons on how to improve his core competencies; delivering superb content and providing value to his students.

Currently, Mr. Lewis is attending graduate school at Stevenson University majoring in Business Technology. With a master’s degree in Business Technology, he looks forward to giving his customers the best E-learning experience possible.

Dr. Caron Strong, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CDE 

Chairperson of the Graduate Nursing Program, Assistant Professor 
Division of Nursing
Howard University, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Dr. Caron Strong is the chairperson and an assistant professor of the Graduate Nursing program at Howard University's College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences. In addition, Dr. Strong is a family nurse practitioner with practice experience in family practice and primary care. Prior to advanced practice, Dr. Strong worked as a pediatric nurse for 13 years, acquiring a nursing diploma in Jamaica and continuing nursing education at Howard University for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Dr. Strong's doctoral degree was acquired at the University of Portland, in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Strong has also conducted and published research on depression in the primary care setting.

Linda Thompson, PhD, MS 

Assistant Professor 
Department of Nutritional Sciences
Howard University, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Linda Thompson is an assistant professor at Howard University in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.  She received both her Master of Science and Ph.D in Nutritional Sciences from Howard University and is a Licensed Nutritionist.  For over ten years, Dr. Thompson directed the Mayor’s Commission on Food, Nutrition and Health for the District of Columbia. She has over 20 years of experience in nutritional health programs, policy planning, and program implementation for urban minority populations. Her research interests are chronic disease prevention and health disparities.

Tracy R. Whitaker, DSW

Associate Dean, Associate Professor
Academic and Student Advancement
Howard University, School of Social Work

Dr. Tracy Whitaker is an associate professor and the associate dean for Academic and Student Advancement at the Howard University School of Social Work.   Prior to joining the faculty of Howard University, Dr. Whitaker directed the Center for Workforce Studies and Social Work Practice at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for over a decade. Dr. Whitaker recently co-authored an article on poverty as a component of the social determinants of health that is included in the monograph, Poverty:  Research and Reflections from the Black Perspective, published by the Howard University School of Social Work and the E. Franklin Frazier Center for Social Work Research. Dr. Whitaker received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Social Work, and a Doctor of Social Work from Howard University.

La'Marcus T. Wingate,  Pharm.D, PhD

Assistant Professor 
Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy Sciences
Howard University, College of Pharmacy

Dr. Wingate is an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy Sciences. He received his Pharm.D and PhD in Health Outcomes and Policy Research from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Dr. Wingate is a co-investigator for the Howard University National Workforce Diversity Program, a program designed to develop and implement strategies to increase the number of underrepresented minorities entering into the science, technology, and engineering-related fields.

Dr. Wingate's research interests are in patient reported health outcomes and economic evaluations of public health programs, with an emphasis on those that focus on infectious disease.  More specifically, Dr. Wingate has focused on programs centered on the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis in populations immigrating to the United States. He also has interests in increasing the utilization of vaccines such as the Herpes Zoster Vaccine within the minority community. 

Rev. Veronica A. Clarke-Tasker, PhD, RN, MS, MBA, MPH, M. Div.

Professor - Division of Nursing
Howard University College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences

Reverend Veronica A. Clarke-Tasker, Ph.D., RN, MS, MBA, MPH, M. Div. is a Professor at Howard University College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, Division of Nursing,  Vice  Chair of Howard University Faculty Senate and an ordained reverend in the African Methodist Episcopal church. As a health care professional, Rev. Dr. Clarke-Tasker is committed to her career in ministry which is teaching, research and service. As a registered nurse and an oncology clinical nurse specialist her research interests are in cancer prevention and early detection with minority populations and HIV/AIDS. She currently serves as the Coordinator for education and student engagement in the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) Community Engagement and Research (CER) core and is a member of the GHUCCTS Advisory Committee. She has spent the past 38 years devoting her career to reducing health disparities by collaborating with minority populations and their communities to promote healthy lifestyles and to conduct research on cancer prevention and early detection and on HIV/AIDS.