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Spencer Institute Faculty

Mark Teahan

Director of Education Programs

Mark Teahan brings 25 years of industry experience to the Spencer Institute, serving as its Director of Education Programs.  Mark began his journey with The Spencer Institute in 2007, attributing his success to completing his undergraduate course work at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City.  Mark launched a successful career in both the fitness and coaching industries while excelling in the field of instructional design, developing world-class coaching programs for online environments.  Initially serving as a live workshop instructor,  Mark joined The Spencer Institute full-time in 2009 after relocating back to his roots in the Southern California area.

Mark served in the role of Wellness Coach for several organizations in the mid-Atlantic region, as well as in California. His diverse client list includes Coca-Cola Enterprises, Baltimore Aircoil Company, Roadway Freight, Conway Freight, xPedx Paper, DOT Foods, DelMarVa Broadcasting, and The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers in Washington, DC. Mark was fortunate to gain access into the Corporate Wellness industry during its formative times and has contributed to the process of refining the corporate wellness training processes for Corporate Wellness Coaches.  Mark has successfully applied his coaching skills and expertise to help many employees in the workplace improve their health, using highly refined coaching techniques that inspire change and reduce risky behaviors while delivering results.

Mark holds multiple certifications in the industry, and is an instructor for NESTA and its Personal Fitness Trainer designation (PFT).  To date, Mark has certified over 1,000 Personal Fitness Trainers, with a direct influence in the fitness industry.  Mark can often be found traveling throughout the United States to present live workshop training.  He believes in the value of life quality by keeping people moving and healthy, regardless of circumstance or situation.

Scott Gaines, PhD

Director, Senior Vice President, and NESTA ECB Liaison, Scott Gaines, Ph.D.

Scott Gaines has over 25 years of experience in the fitness industry. He is the Senior Vice President of the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) as well as a professor of Anatomy & Physiology and Biology at Concordia University, Irvine. Scott oversees the development of NESTA’s continuing education programs for fitness professionals and is the author and contributor to many of them. He is a national speaker on fitness in areas such as biomechanics and cardiovascular program design. Scott’s education includes a Doctor of Philosophy from Curtin University, a Master’s Degree in Human Movement with an emphasis in Corrective Exercise from A. T. Still University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. He is also a 4th-degree black belt and Certified Master Instructor (Sa-Bom) in the traditional Korean art of Tang Soo Do.

Al Sargent

Director of Research and Development, Success Design International

Co-Founder of Hemispheric Integration, Leader Instructor for the Spencer Institute

As a neuro-psycho emotional researcher, Al began the development of HI in 1996 at the Institute for the Advanced Studies of Health World Health Course, studying how our language indicates our thinking which then influences physical and emotional healing. His project thesis focused on the structure of visualizing abilities and skills – this is where he discovered that instead of one mind’s eye – we actually have two!

This revolutionary awareness is documented in Al’s book, The Other Mind’s Eye: The Gateway to the Hidden Treasures of Your Mind. He explains the basic cognitive functions of the hemispheres of the brain as they relate to our ability to be proactive. Al continues to develop tools for accessing the information and integrating the perceptions in each hemisphere in order to resolve internal conflicts and achieve goals. After years of researching the structure of grief, Al has designed a blueprint for a ground-breaking step back to the natural process of grieving, which he details in his second book, Moving Through Grief with Grace and Dignity, the Way Nature Intended.

Al’s love for bringing more enjoyment and success into a person’s life has carried into SDI’s advanced format of training. His passion is guiding someone in discovering their true essence of being, to know that no matter what the circumstances, peace, confidence and congruency will prevail. Prior to entering the field of intellectual research and personal growth, Al was a golf professional and coach. Al and Marilyn were an integral part of the educational team that led Moorpark High School to win numerous CA State Academic Decathlon Championships and then on to winning the National Championship for five years. They coached the students in creating states of focus, confidence and determination, and prepared for them for Speech and Interview competitions.

Marilyn Sargent

Founder and Co-Owner of Success Design International, Leader Instructor for the Spencer Institute

Education – Experience

Marilyn is a teacher at heart – this is her gift and her passion.

Her educational experience and certifications are:

AA degree in Physical Education

Certification in Early Childhood Education

Director of a pre-school specializing in dance, music and the arts, as well as academic basics.

Teaching credential with the Royal of Dance, London, England with an emphasis in anatomy, education and performance.

Established the Ballet Studio by the Sea in Malibu, CA in 1978

Formed The Malibu Ballet Society – a community non-profit organization

Certified Practitioner – 1986, Master Practitioner – 1988 and Trainer -1990 in the field of neuro-linguistics and communication skills.

BA in Psychology from Antioch University

Founded Success Design International

Subject Expert at Wexford University – MA and PsyD in Sport Psychology

1996 was a major life turning point when she and Al Sargent met at the Institute for the Advanced Studies of Health World Training. With neuro-linguistics as their communication foundation, Al’s discovery of the Other Mind’s Eye, and their extensive research in the structure of how the brain processes information, together they have developed the field of Cognitive-Emotional Re-Alignment with Hemispheric Integration. She and Al have traveled extensively in the US and internationally teaching workshops, seminars and presenting at conferences.

With her clear, precise teaching style and gentle compassion, Marilyn’s mission is to support others in being the best they can be and to make a positive difference in the world. Her specialties include:

Relieving anxiety disorders, phobic reactions, and PTSD.

Conflict prevention and resolution and stress management.

Assisting adults and children with learning difficulties such as ADD/ADHD, how to build strategies and skills to overcome social and emotional. challenges.

Business clients request her expertise in leadership and management tools, negotiation skills, improving presentations and productive meetings.

As an expert in educational development, Marilyn maintains a full time consulting and coaching practice for individuals, couples, organizations, and corporate clients, both in person or via SKYPE.

Kristen Willeumier, PhD

Is a neuroscientist with knowledge on how the brain is affected by health, nutrition and the impact of concussions. Dr. Willeumier served as the Director of Research for the Amen Clinics from 2009-2016 to help advance the research mission of exploring how brain SPECT imaging can transform clinical practice. She has authored or co-authored 44 scientific manuscripts in peer reviewed journals.  Areas of published research include traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, autism, biomarkers of suicide, obesity, gender differences in brain function, clinical outcomes, and brain rehabilitation. Together with Dr. Amen and colleagues, she led a clinical research trial investigating the long-term effects of repetitive subconcussive impacts in NFL football players.  Subsequent work focused on therapeutic approaches to rehabilitate brain function in athletes. Dr.Willeumier is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Tate Technology, LLCTM a sports safety technology think-tank licensing firm that has developed innovative technology from helmets to protective gear, which is applicable to athletes, military and police.

Dr. Willeumier conducted her graduate research in the laboratory of Neurophysiology under the direction of Felix Schweitzer at the University of California, Los Angeles and the laboratory of Neurogenetics under the direction of Stefan Pulst at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center using live cell imaging to investigate mechanisms of synaptic signaling in Parkinson’s disease. She received MS degrees in physiological science and neurobiology and a PhD degree in neurobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she continued her work in the field of neurodegenerative disease. She was the recipient of the prestigious NIH fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and has presented her work at national and international scientific meetings including the Society for Neuroscience, Gordon Conference and the World Brain Mapping Conference.

Topher Morrison

Topher Morrison is the Managing Director of Key Person of Influence – USA.  He is featured in the award-winning documentaries “The Compass” and “Riches,” and his first book Stop Chasing Perfection & Settle for Excellence has been hailed as The self-help book for people are sick of self-help books.  His newest book, Collaboration Economy, has become the go-to book for businesses preparing for the new collaboration age.  Most recently, he was accepted onto the University of Tampa’s Board of Fellows, and serves on the board for Lutz Learning – a private school located in Tampa, FL that specializes in early childhood development education.
His extensive speaking schedule, spanning over the past 25 years, has taken him throughout the US, UK, Australia, and Singapore and has earned him a global reputation as an expert in mass-communications and influence.  Topher has spoken for top execs with American Express, Microsoft & Google, just to name a few.
In contrast to most professional speakers, Topher’s shockingly honest, sometimes irreverent, and always down-to-earth approach is surprisingly infectious. His personality and straightforward manner are perfect for the business person who is tired of fleeting success in “self-help sinkholes.” He is not afraid to tell it like it is and shatters the myth of achieving overnight success. Instead, Topher speaks to the person who could care less about motivational ‘magic wands’ and is more focused on getting tangible, proven strategies to become a key person of influence in their company, network, or industry.children in need.