About Us


Director, CSA

(925) 413-1929

Dr. KT Waxman is a nurse leader with over 30 years of experience in healthcare and corporate settings. She is a tenure-earning Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions. She is also the Director of their Healthcare Simulation Graduate Certificate Program. An internationally known speaker and author, Waxman is past president of the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) and is past Treasurer of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). She served as Co-chair of the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) in 2012 and is currently serving on the certification committee.Dr. Waxman’s work has been published extensively and can be found in journals such as: Simulation in Healthcare, Clinical Simulation for Nursing, Journal of Nursing Education, Nurse Leader, Creative Nursing, and MedSim. She is a chapter author for 3 simulation textbooks and the author of 3 books:  “A Practical Guide to Finance and Budgeting: Skills for Nurse Managers”, by HCPro, now in its second edition, “Financial and Business Management for the Doctor of Nursing Practice”, by Springer and “Healthcare Simulation Program Builder” by HcPro. Waxman received her DNP from the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis on health systems leadership and a concentration in clinical simulation. She holds national certifications as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and as a Nurse Executive (CENP), and a Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE).  She is a fellow in both the Society of Simulation in Healthcare and the American Academy of Nursing.

Marjorie A. Miller, MA, RN, CHSE

Lead Faculty, CSA

Marjorie A. Miller, MA, RN,CHSE is a masters prepared nurse educator with over 25 years of teaching experience in academic and clinical settings. Marjorie was a pioneering faculty member integrating high fidelity simulation throughout the nursing curriculum at Cabrillo College. Marjorie has recently joined the faculty of University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions as a simulation consultant, focusing on Pre-licensure programs and the Masters of Science in Simulation Education program launching in 2014. She is the co-creator of the GRASP Model for critical thinking and clinical decision making. Marjorie is currently lead faculty and curriculum specialist for the California Simulation Alliance delivering faculty development courses in simulation for regional, national and international clients. Marjorie is actively involved in the Society for Simulation in Health Care, National League for Nursing and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation in Nursing She is a published author in simulation education and has been a keynote speaker, podium presenter and workshop leader at international, national, statewide and regional conferences.

Samantha Hanlon, MA, PPS

Marketing Assistant


Tianda McKoy

Program Assistant

California Simulation Alliance
(213) 804-2184

Northern California Faculty

Becky Damazo, MS, RN, CHSE-A

CSA Faculty


Cynthia M. Shum, DNP(c), Med, RN, CHSE-A

Cynthia M. Shum, DNP(c), Med, RN, CHSE-A, is the Nurse Educator: Simulationist at the VA hospital in Palo Alto, California for the past 4.5 years. In this position she is responsible for the operations of the center, facilitation of simulation activities throughout the hospital and development of new uses for simulation activities.

Cynthia is currently in her last semester of the DNP at USF studying Faculty Development for Healthcare Simulation under the supervision of Dr. KT Waxman. She obtained her undergraduate degree in 1987 from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on Measurement and Evaluation and specifically research methodologies in 1991.

Ms. Shum is an adjunct faculty at USF within the Masters of Science in Healthcare Simulation program. Cynthia presents at numerous simulation conferences.

Outside of work, Cynthia is married and the mother of three young men.

Susan Prion EdD, MEd, MSN, BS, BSN, RN, CNE

CSA Faculty

Susan Prion EdD, MEd, MSN, BS, BSN, RN, CNE is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Health Professions at University of San Francisco.  Dr. Prion served as the Director of Institutional Assessment for the university for almost 8 years. She is actively engaged in research about simulation including safety and harm prevention training, leadership development, team communication behaviors, and identifying critical clinical events for scenario development. She works primarily with undergraduate nursing students. She is a two-time recipient of the INACSL Debra Spunt Research Minigrant, a USF Jesuit Foundation award to fund an exploration of standardized patient training for acting students, and a USF Faculty Grant for a study to describe student behaviors in a clinical setting compared with a simulation. She is working towards a series of leadership development simulations in partnership with the Army Reserve Office Training (ROTC) and Army Nurse Corps. She is the author of the NLN Simulation Innovation Research Center (SIRC) course on “Evaluating Simulations” and numerous research articles focused on simulation. With Dr. Katie Adamson Haerling, she co-authors a monthly column titled “Making Sense of Methods and Measurement” in the INACSL journal Clinical Simulation in Nursing.

Southern California Faculty

Barbara Doyer, BSN, MS, RN, PHN, CHSE

CSA Faculty

NursingSimulationCenter Coordinator

At this time, I am in my 7th year at Cal State University Fullerton. I am full time faculty and the Nursing Simulation Center Coordinator for the School of Nursing. I have received my BSN at the University of San Francisco and my Masters in Science in Healthcare Administration from the University of La Verne, (distance education). My initial simulation training began at The Center for Medical Simulation. Then I continued with Simulation Training at the California Simulation Alliance, CSA, and am on board as faculty to train educators in simulation. I have completed the Simulation Apprenticeship in 2011 and am certified as a Simulation Educator, (CHSE), in 2012. Also, I have served as the initial Co-Chair of the Southern California Simulation Collaborative.

Deborah Bennett, PhD, MN, RN

CSA Faculty

Deborah Bennett has been a nurse educator for over twenty years and a nurse clinician for thirty years. She is a generalist with specialties in pediatrics and primary care. As a nurse educator she has taught in associate degree nursing programs and is currently employed at California State University San Marcos where she teaches pediatrics and is the Nursing Simulation Director. Five years ago she completed the Train the Trainer Simulation courses and apprenticeship offered by California Institute for Nursing & Healthcare (CINHC). At present she co-chairs the San Diego Simulation Collaborative. Deborah will be completing her PhD dissertation Spring 2015 and the area of research is developing an instrument to evaluate undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students’ on pediatric medication administration competencies through simulation.

Heidi Traxler, MSN, RN-CHSE

CSA Faculty

Regional Director of Clinical Simulation

Heidi Traxler, MSN, RN-CHSE is the Regional Director of Clinical Simulation at Providence St Joseph Health System Southern California. She coordinates and manages the Simulation Programs, including Transition into Practice Simulation, Nursing Simulation, Specialty-Specific Simulation, Interprofessional Simulation and NODA (No One Dies Alone) Simulation. Her simulation faculty training (orientation) includes courses taught by the California Simulation Alliance, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE), and Harvard’s Center for Medical Simulation (CMS). She has also attended conferences put on by INACSL, SSIH, and ASPE. Heidi has been a podium presenter at several simulation conferences internationally, statewide and regionally. She is a member of the CSA (California Simulation Alliance), SCSA (Southern California Simulation Alliance), INASCL, and SSIH (Society of Simulation in Healthcare). She has been an abstract reviewer for the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) yearly since 2013.  Heidi is an instructor for Health Impact CSA simulation courses.


Karen Macauley, PhD, DNP, FNP-BC, GNP-BC

CSA Faculty

Karen Macauley, Associate Professor, teaches in the graduate and doctoral programs at the University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science. She received her RN from Southwestern Community College (1980), BS from San Diego State University (1988), and MSN/FNP (1995), DNP (2010) and PhD (2013) from the University of San Diego. Her nursing background includes 34 years of clinical experience including Pediatrics, Med/Surg, Wound Care, Emergency Department, Employee Health, Nursing Education, Quality/Risk Management, and Nursing Administration. As a Board Certified Family and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, she has worked over the last 20 years in numerous clinical sites including Employee Health, Family Practice, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Internal Medicine. She currently practices at Hillcrest Internal Medicine where she also precepts FNP students.

Dr. Macauley serves as the Director of Innovative Learning overseeing the Simulation program and incorporates innovative teaching methods. She developed the standardized patient /simulation program since inception. She trains faculty, conducts simulation research, facilitates Interprofessional learning opportunities, and presents internationally on the use of Standardized Patients in Interprofessional and nursing education.

Mary Ann Shinnick, PhD, ACNP-BC, CCNS

CSA Faculty

Mary Ann Shinnick is an Assistant Professor In-Residence and Director of Simulation at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing. Her research and publications revolve around the use of simulation in nursing education with ongoing research in the use of eye tracking technology for simulation performance assessment and teaching. Mary Ann teaches Critical Care Nursing and continues to work per diem as a Nurse Practitioner in a heart failure clinic.

Melissa Punnoose, MSN, RN-BC, CHSE, CHSOS

CSA Faculty

Melissa Punnoose is the Regional Clinical Simulation Educator for Providence St Joseph Health System Southern California. In her role she designs and facilitates simulation for interprofessional teams, new grad and seasoned RNs, community volunteers, and ancillary staff. She also facilitates simulation for nursing students at Los Angeles Harbor College, where she serves as an adjunct faculty member. Her simulation faculty training includes courses taught by the California Simulation Alliance, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE), and Harvard’s Center for Medical Simulation (CMS). She is a member of CSA, ASPE, SSIH and INACSL. Melissa has presented at local, national, and international conferences on her work in the field of simulation. She serves as an abstract reviewer for IMSH and a faculty member for Health Impact CSA simulation faculty development courses.

Central Valley Faculty

Leslie Catron, M.A.ED, BSN, RN, FAHCEP, CHSE

CSA Faculty

Leslie is the Clinical Education Specialist, Simulation Coordinator at Valley Children’s Healthcare.  As a nurse of 43 years, she began her career at Valley Children’s in the NICU which has taken her through multiple roles. She obtained her BSN in 2007 and M.A.ED in 2009 followed by Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator in 2012. She was Faculty Simulation Coordinator at West Hills College from 2008-2014, developing a fully integrated simulation curricula containing 25% allotted clinical time in a 12-hour Campus Clinical Simulation Day. In 2009, she co-founded the Central Valley Simulation Collaborative. She authored a chapter in Simulation Scenarios for Nursing Educators:  Making it Real, Second Edition, a “Book of the Year 2013” by the American Journal of Nursing.  She serves on the Clinical Simulation in Nursing Editorial Board and a manuscript reviewer. Today she is developing the first interdisciplinary simulation program at Children’s, one of the first in the San Joaquin Valley. Leslie has contributed to simulation with local, national and international presentations and posters on quantitative research and work in simulation both academically and service. She is a wife of 44 years, mom to three children and grandmother to eight amazing grandchildren!

Marie Gilbert, DNP, MA, RN, CHSE

CSA Faculty

Marie Gilbert, DNP, RN, CHSE is a nationally certified healthcare simulation educator.  In her professional work, she is the Director of Clinical Practice and Professional Development a Saint Agnes Medical Center, Fresno, CA. Prior to this Marie was the Simulation Coordinator at California State University, Fresno. As co-founder and co-lead of the Central Valley Simulation Collaborative, Marie serves as a resource for regional academic and healthcare organizations. Marie is a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) and is the current Vice Chair for the Nursing Section. Her professional interests include the use of simulation and interprofessional education to promote collaborative practice.  Marie also has a strong interest in research. Together with co-investigators Susan Prion, EdD, RN, CNE, and Katie Adamsons PhD, Marie was awarded the 2016 INACLS Debra Spunt Research Grant to conduct the study “Assessing the reliability of the Team Behavior Assessment Tool for Entry Level Nurses (TBAT-ELN) and the congruence between a quantitative and qualitative assessment scale”. Marie can be reached at marie.gilbert@samc.com