The College of Public Health proudly introduces three newly credentialed Certified Healthcare Simulation Educators (CHSE) Sindhu Mallala, Debra Derner, and Virginia Cronin.  

“The CHSE credential sets the industry standard for simulation training and our VR Sim Lab now has four certified educators working directly with students to turn information into experience,” says Bethany Cieslowski, Chief Innovation Officer for Immersive Technologies for the College of Public Health, who also holds CHSE certification. “This certification demonstrates expertise and excellence in high-quality simulation and learning practices that sets apart the education delivered here at the College of Public Health.” 

Cieslowski, who joined the College in 2021 as the Simulation Coordinator in the School of Nursing, was recently named the Chief Innovation Officer for Immersive Technologies for the College. Cieslowski envisions that the College will play an integral role in expanding Mason’s VR capabilities on all its campuses, including having a robust presence at Fuse at Mason Square. The first milestone in achieving that goal is deepening the College’s bench of simulation-certified faculty. 

CHSE certification signifies the unique skillsets facilitators possess to accelerate student learning using simulation-based education such as VR. Bethany Cieslowski, Sindhu Mallala, Debra Derner, and Virginia Cronin, all CHSE certified, are leading initiatives to expand access to virtual reality (VR) across all Mason campuses.   

Cronin, an adjunct faculty member for the School of Nursing and an instructor in the Simulation Center, and Derner, who is the clinical assistant and facilitator in VR and Simulation, also received their CHSE certifications this past summer. Mallala serves as the Simulation and Data Integration Specialist and earned CHSE certification this past August.  

“Gaining the CHSE certification has been quite meaningful. It pushed me to dig deeper into the world of educational strategies and best practices in simulation learning and opened doors to connect and collaborate with fellow simulation educators. Ultimately, CHSE has empowered me to contribute more effectively to the field of healthcare simulation education,” said Mallala.  

Students across the College experience VR as a way to enrich the public health curriculum. For example, nursing students can practice various bedside scenarios while Health Administration and Policy students train in the intersections of public health and information technology

“Virtual reality can be shared with all departments to foster collaboration among various disciplines and to learn from each other” said Derner. 

“This was evident in recent events within the College of Public Health where faculty from departments of Social Work and Nutrition joined the nursing simulation team to create VR experiences for their students,” said Cronin  

“Mason consistently embraces technological advancements in education, providing a solid foundation exploration of innovative ideas and approaches aimed at making learning more engaging and informative for our students,” Mallala said.  


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