LAC Staff

  • Smith, Mary Kay, PhD, MSN, RN, CHSE, FSSH

    MK.jpgSmith, Mary Kay, PhD, MSN, RN, CHSE, FSSH 


    Dr. Smith currently serves as the Director of the Learning and Assessment Center (LAC) and Assistant Professor. She holds a doctorate in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education Administration.  Dr. Smith is the current Chair of Accreditation for the International Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), Accreditation Reviewer, Team Leader and member of the SSH Directors’ Committee and IPE Committee.  She is also the Quality Assurance Chair for the American Heart Association Great Lakes Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee, member of the Association for Standardized Patient Educators, SimGhost and Sigma Theta Tau International. 
    She has integrated multiple simulation methodologies into healthcare professional learning for 27 years including immersive clinical simulations, computer-assisted instruction, virtual reality, augmented reality and hybrid models. She has disseminated simulation knowledge at statewide, national and international workshops and conferences.
    Dr. Smith has been active in higher adult and lifelong education for many years as an educator.  Her clinical expertise includes 19 years in the Emergency Department, 3 years in ICU/CCU, 10 years in Clinical Education in combination with charge, supervision and management responsibilities in hospital settings
  • Patterson, Kimberly, MSN, RN, CHSE

    Kim_p.jpgPatterson, Kimberly, MSN, RN, CHSE
    Simulation Operations Manager

    Mrs. Patterson serves as the Simulation Manager for the Learning and Assessment Center. She is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.  She is responsible for coordinating and developing curriculum for LAC events and teaching healthcare in addition to facilitating educational activities off-site for various healthcare professionals and institutions. She has worked at the center since 2010. She has also served as a clinical faculty member in the MSU College of Nursing and Coordinator of the Granger Simulation Lab. She completed her Master’s degree in Nursing Education and baccalaureate degree in Nursing from MSU. She is an AHA Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Life Support instructor and TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer. Her formal simulation and debriefing training was completed through the Center for Medical Simulation.  Her clinical expertise includes 6 years in Medical-Surgical and Women’s Health.

  • Wirtz, Barb, BSN, BA, RN, CHSE

    WirtzBarb2015_2.jpgWirtz, Barb, BSN, BA, RN, CHSE
    Healthcare Simulation Educator

    Ms. Wirtz serves as a Simulation Educator at the MSU Learning and Assessment Center (LAC). She is responsible for the development, planning, and implementation of simulation events in the center including standardized patient encounters, immersive clinical simulation, off-site in situ simulation, and American Heart Association (AHA) training courses. She has worked at the LAC since 2008 as a healthcare professional and AHA instructor. Barb has been a nurse for 29 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Nursing and the College of Arts and Letters. She has clinical experience in critical care, community nursing, practice management, and camp nursing.

  • Garnaat, Sarah, RN

    GarnaatSarah2016.jpgGarnaat, Sarah, RN
    Standardized Patient Program Coordinator

    Mrs. Garnaat serves as a Standardized Patient Program Coordinator for the Learning and Assessment Center (LAC). She is responsible for recruitment, hiring, orientation, scheduling, ongoing development training, and quality assurance for the LAC standardized patient program. She has worked for the center since 2013 as a healthcare professional and American Heart Association (AHA) instructor. Mrs. Garnaat received her Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Kellogg Community College. Previously she worked as a Medical Assistant Instructor and has extensive experience in primary care. She has 3 years of acute care experience including Medical-Surgical and Perioperative nursing where she worked as a Perioperative Services Team Leader.  

  • Dotson, Kathryn, BSN, RN

    Katie Dotson pic 2018Dotson, Kathryn, BSN, RN

    Simulation Event and AHA Training Center Coordinator

    Ms. Dotson serves as a Simulation Event and AHA Training Center Coordinator for the MSU Learning and Assessment Center (LAC). She is responsible for the coordination and implementation of simulation events in the center. In addition, Katie provides oversight of the American Heart Association (AHA) training courses in her capacity of Training Center Coordinator. She completed her BSN from Michigan State University and joined the Learning and Assessment Center in 2018. She has been a nurse for 11 years with multiple clinical experiences including Medical-Surgical, OB/GYN, Urgent Care, Public Health, and Pediatrics.

  • Zoumbaris, Lauren, M.A.Ed.

    Lauren Zoumbaris pic 2018Zoumbaris, Lauren, M.A.Ed.

    Simulation Technology Manager

    Ms. Zoumbaris serves as the Simulation Technology Manager in the Learning and Assessment Center. Lauren’s primary responsibility in the center relates to acquisition, support, coordination and oversight of all IT needs and educational technologies for the MSU LAC Simulation Program. Lauren has been a secondary teacher for 8 years and has 5 years of experience in K-12 educational technology. She is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Education and Social Science and completed her Master of Arts degree in Educational Technology from the University of Michigan. 

  • Zwolensky, Donald

    Zwolensky, DonaldZwolensky, Donald
    Simulation Technology Specialist

    Mr. Zwolensky serves as the Simulations Operation Technologist at the MSU Learning and Assessment Center (LAC). He currently provides expertise related to simulation software integration and implementation, continuous customer support (e.g. students, faculty, staff) in addition to systems administration, hardware / software and network support. He began working at the LAC in 2018 bringing extensive knowledge in the field of IT and work station support

  • Gonzalez, Nicole

    Nicole GonzalezGonzalez, Nicole

    Simulation Technician

    Ms. Gonzalez serves as the Simulation Technician at the Learning and Assessment Center.  Nicole provides expertise with regard to simulation needs including high fidelity simulators, partial task trainers, and clinical procedure set-up. Prior to working at the LAC, she gained over 15 years of experience as an Emergency Department Technician  at a large fast-paced urban hospital.  Ms. Gonzalez also facilitates Basic Life Support courses as an American Heart Association BLS Instructor. 

  • Cherry, Michael

    Michael CherryCherry, Michael

    Simulation Event Assistant

    Mr. Cherry serves as a Simulation Event Assistant. He is responsible for assisting and fully implementing simulation events, including set up, check in, moulage injuries for training purposes, time sheets, clean up, inventory and stocking in all areas of the Center. He began working at the Center as a Standardized Patient in 2016. He has 5 years of working K-12 education and 21 years of experience in the Connecticut Judicial Department. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State University.

  • Papazian, Ani

    Ani PapazianPapazian, Ani

    Simulation Office Assistant

    Ms. Papazian serves as the Simulation Office Assistant at the Learning and Assessment Center. She is responsible for providing administrative, programmatic and organizational support for the LAC and American Heart Association (AHA) Training Center. Ani has worked for Michigan State University for 3 years and began as a Standardized Patient in the LAC in 2017 and Office Assistant in 2018. She graduated from Michigan State University in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.