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Student Veterans Association: Faculty & Staff Advisors

Faculty Advisors

Dr. Esha Harris
Faculty Advisor

Dr. Iesiah “Esha” Harris has proudly served the United States Air Force for 26 years.  A driven and energetic individual passionate about enhancing the lives of nursing professionals and improving health outcomes for the rapidly growing aging population, she possesses contagious positive energy and a high level of enthusiasm which is an inspiration to many! She most values her ability to overcome challenges in austere environments, focus on team outcomes, and participation in philanthropic endeavors.  Within her 26 year tenure in the US Air Force, Dr. Harris has: 

Rendered care to over 18K patients, with direct oversight of clinical operations for 28.5K patients and managed a $4.5M budget.  She has clinical and leadership expertise in medical-surgical, emergency department, peri-operative, surgical and outpatient nursing.   Additionally, Dr. Harris has launched several morale programs, conducted virtual dementia tours, developed geriatric sensitivity training, and established an EBP counsel training senior nurse executives.   She has also performed a myriad of duties: nurse educator (post BSN students), Board of Directors, CFC, IRB member, research, curriculum design, and instructor. 

Been described as:  superb clinician, icon of professionalism and leadership, sought after educator, geriatric guru, customer service savant, excellent orator, hard-working, superlative role model, visionary, determined, goal-directed, superb mentor, amazing officer, shrewd planner, soars above peers, and a powerhouse nurse. 

Received numerous distinctions: earning an early promotion, winning a myriad of organizational awards (e.g. airman of the quarter, field grade officer of the quarter, company grade officer of the year) and distinguished recognition in the training milieu (leadership and T.E.A.M awards).

Dr. Harris currently serves as contributing faculty with Walden University’s school of nursing.  She is also a business and healthcare consultant supporting the world’s largest Electronic Health Record (EHR) modernization $14B initiative to enhance interoperability of between VA,  DoD and community facilities. 

In a nutshell, Dr. Harris is the consummate professional and nurse leader with a passion to help others!

Dr. Jim Savard
Faculty Advisor

Dr. Savard is a retired Navy Captain who served as the Commanding Officer of VS-71, an anti-submarine squadron, and a retired Eastern Air Lines commercial pilot and airline captain where he served as a Captain on the Boeing 727 aircraft, was Assistant Fleet Manager for the Airbus –300 aircraft and was a Check Airman and instructor on the B-727 and A-300 aircraft.  Jim has over 18,000 accident and incident free flight hours and has accomplished over 400 day and night aircraft carrier landings on various U.S. Navy and British ships.  Dr. Savard was awarded the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Group Achievement Award in 1998 from then NASA Administrator, Daniel Goldin, for “significantly impacting the safety and efficiency of airport surface operation in all-weather conditions through the development, integration, and demonstration of key navigation and situation awareness technologies.”

Dr. Savard has served as the Senior Research Professor for the School of Business and Technical Management at Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Dr. Savard currently serves as a DBA Methodologist for the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Program at Walden University.  Jim also served on the DBA Petitions Committee and was a member of the Walden University Institutional Review Board (IRB). Dr. Savard has over 25-years’ experience with three Fortune 500 companies, 18 in management and leadership capacities, and was President and Chief Executive Officer for AvEx International, Corporation, a subcontractor to Federal Express Home Delivery.  Jim also has served as the Center Faculty Chairman for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Dr. Savard is a 1965 graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and Leadership.  Jim has also been awarded a Master of Science in Management from Regis University with cognates in Organizational Development, Management, and Leadership; a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with cognates in Management and Aeronautical Science; and he has acquired Advanced Certification in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Denver University.  Dr. Savard earned his PhD in Business Administration from Northcentral University in 2007 with specializations in Management and Aeronautical Science.

Dr. Reggie Taylor
Faculty Advisor

Dr. Taylor retired from the United States Air Force after completing 24 years of honorable service. Since retirement, he has worked as a curriculum developer for the Alabama two-year community college system and has taught adult education at the University of Auburn (Montgomery campus). He also worked as the research coordinator for the Navy Medical Research Unit, Republic of Turkey, and as a research psychologist for the United States Army Research Laboratory at Ft. Sam Houston, TX.  He started with Walden in 2007 in the School of Psychology as a contributing faculty and transitioned to the Doctor of Business Administration program in 2013 as a program coordinator. Dr. Taylor joined the Office of Research and Doctoral Services (ORDS) in 2019. In his role in ORDS, Reggie provides methodology and statistics support and one-on-one statistics and SPSS tutoring support. He is also responsible for expanding these tutoring and methods advising services to address broader student research support needs at the doctoral capstone stage. He enjoys teaching statistics and research methodology and serving on doctoral study committees. Dr. Taylor especially enjoys the experience of face-to-face interaction with students at the academic residencies and intensives.  Reggie is an avid New York Giants football fan and enjoys live jazz!


Staff Advisor

Mrs. Ann Thao
Staff Administrator

Ann Thao, Sr. Military Services Specialist, has been with Walden University since 2006. She served as the Supervisor of Walden’s student records imaging project and transitioned into the Military Services role shortly thereafter. Ann is commited to serving the military community as her father served in the military. She also enjoys the outdoors and crafting. Ann manages student calls, overpayments, the Military Services website, and reporting requirements for VA.