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Healthcare Simulation Center Partners, Faculty and Staff

The Healthcare Simulation Center partners, faculty and staff are dedicated to the continuous improvement of healthcare and the transformation of healthcare education through research, lifelong learning and clinical and academic excellence.


Director of the Healthcare Simulation Center/Assistant Professor

Alyssa Zweifel, Ph.D., RN, CHSE is the healthcare simulation center director and assistant professor at South Dakota State University, College of Nursing. She has been teaching in undergraduate nursing programs since 2015, with involvement in hospital-based simulations from 2010-2015. Zweifel is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) and completed her master's and doctoral dissertations in healthcare simulation research. She has extensive experience designing and implementing experiences in both nursing education and interprofessional groups, aligning them with the Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice™. Currently Zweifel serves as the chair for an INACSL special interest group: virtual simulation.

Simulation Site Coordinators


Annette Ray, M.S.N., RN, CNE, CHSE began her simulation experience during her time at the University of South Dakota (USD). While at USD, Ray was Instrumental in the development and implementation of their simulation program. Ray has brought her skills and expertise to the SDSU College of Nursing and has been involved in the creation and review of simulations, using the Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice™, Ray has been a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) since 2020.

Rapid City/ Aberdeen Site Coordinator

Megan Watson, M.S.N., RN has been an active member of the SDSU College of Nursing Healthcare Simulation Center faculty simulation team at the Rapid City campus since the start of her teaching career. Watson has participated in a number of simulations and has become a dedicated simulation faculty member. In addition to participating in simulations Watson has also assisted in the updating and editing of new and existing simulations.

Sioux Falls

Takara Schomberg, M.S.N., RN, CNE, CHSE was involved in the writing of simulations at Augustana University and George Williams College of Aurora University prior to joining the team at SDSU. Schomberg has completed the Laerdal training for operation of SimView, SimMom, Sim NewB, SimMan and SimJunior and the University of Washington simulation modules. Schomberg is an integral part of the SDSU team and has been highly involved in the development of new simulation scenarios.

Brandi Pravecek, DNP, RN, CNP, FNP-BEC has simulation experience with telehealth: CareSpan within SDSU’s undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. She also has simulation experience in the campus lab and organizes our graduate student performance evaluations with live standardized patient models. She has utilized our virtual simulation: Shadow Health in several graduate nursing courses. Pravecek serves as our graduate simulation expert and has used the OtoSim and OpthoSim equipment in teaching lab in the graduate physical assessment course.

Simulation Technicians

Jackie Kirby has been involved with simulation at South Dakota State University as the Learning Lab Coordinator since 2007. She has been involved in almost every aspect of simulation, including design of the spaces and planning/purchase of equipment, supplies and furnishings; maintaining inventory of supplies and equipment; assuring that all lab and simulation labs are set up and ready for student learning; assisting faculty with operation and troubleshooting of simulation manikins and equipment, and use of the electronic medical record system; recruiting individuals to serve as standardized patients; stepping in assist with running/debriefing simulations; preparing and facilitating the lab and simulation environments for tours, and hands on activities for prospective students, nurse camp students and other visitors; assisting with annual Simulation sessions with nurses from Brookings Health System; interacting daily with the Simulation Technician and faculty from multiple courses to facilitate optimal learning situations for students. Jackie has completed a week long Certification in Simulation Course at Drexel University and continues to attend relevant training in order to support effective delivery of nursing informatics and simulation. She has also been a member of the Simulations and Informatics Committee for several years. Part of the work of the committee includes review and revision of simulations used in the nursing curriculum.

Dianne Smith started her simulation experience in 2014. She ran a sim lab for a small private college and assisted in design and set up of a new sim center. Dianne has been instrumental with initiating new supply processes at SDSU and bringing innovation to the Healthcare Simulation Center. She has been the first SDSU staff to obtain the Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS) Certification.

Kate Jansen brings three years of relevant experience from the medical device field as a research and development technician. Additionally, she has a strong health sciences background as a 2017 graduate of the College of Pharmacy at SDSU. Kate is committed to providing an excellent student experience by supporting the simulation and learning lab faculty at the Rapid City site. Kate is currently serving as a volunteer content reviewer for an international simulation conference.

Certified Healthcare Simulation Educators and Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialists

  • Brittany Brennen, Ph.D., RN, CHSE
  • Annette Ray, M.S.N., CNE, CHSE
  • Takara Schomberg, M.S.N., RN, CNE, CHSE
  • Dianne Smith, RN, B.S.N., CHSOS
  • Alyssa Zweifel, Ph.D., M.S., RN, CHSE
  • Cori Heier, Ph.D., RN, CNE, CHSE
  • Megan Watson, M.S., RN, CHSE
  • Kate Jensen, B.S., CHSOS