Academics

About Us

Judith Healey Walsh, the CCER Director, is a community health clinical nurse specialist with 30 years of urban-based, community focused nursing experience in direct care, program development and student education in home health, hospice, health promotion, health education and school settings. She is an expert in competency based education and has extensive experience teaching and providing career counseling for diverse, urban and non-traditional students at both the secondary and post-secondary level. As a high school teacher and director of the CCER she has developed and presented many workshops on study skills and test taking strategies, time management, interviewing skills and career development. Recently she coordinated the design, construction, equipping and programming of the 4 million dollar clinical center, which provides an inviting, realistic, technologically sophisticated learning environment that fosters active, experiential learning and promotes the development of safe, well prepared clinicians. Under her guidance, simulation cases have been integrated throughout the curriculum and over 65 faculty and graduate students have received training in simulation and debriefing strategies. She has served as the simulation specialist on several training grants. Judith has developed many innovative student support services including: “Plan for Success” an assessment and intervention program for students on probation that has had a 90% success and retention rate and the Peer Academic and Clinical Coaching Team (PACCT), a volunteer corp. of upper-level, undergraduate students who have significantly added tutoring resources and contributed to student success while maintaining and enhancing their knowledge and skills. She has presented her work at local, regional and national conferences and has received awards for excellence, innovation and leadership in nursing education.

Soma Dutt, the CCER Assistant Director is a UMass Boston alumna. She is responsible for duties relating to CCER operation, academic support, instruction, and faculty collaboration. Soma is also responsible for the Center's financial issues and procurement as well as day to day management of the CCER including coordination of all lab sections, the competency testing program, the academic and tutorial services, open lab, equipment training, and maintenance issues. She schedules all assignments, manages all technical aspects of simulation and establishes processes that ensure efficient functioning of the CCER.

Jennifer Mardin Small is a 2000 graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Nursing and a 2008 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston with an M.S. as an acute and critical care Clinical Nurse Specialist.  Jennifer was a 2008 recipient of the Beacon Leadership Award and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Service Award.  She joined the Center for Clinical Education and Research as a graduate teaching assistant in 2006.  It was through the interactions with CNHS students that she realized her love for teaching nursing through hands-on methods like simulation.  Jennifer joined the staff of the CCER after receiving her degree and has helped to expand the number and types of services offered to CNHS students.  She has helped to train numerous faculty and staff on the use of simulation as an educational method and has worked to offer simulation experiences in nearly all clinical courses.  Jennifer has also taken a leadership role in revising the clinical tutoring program targeted at helping at-risk students succeed in clinical courses.  “I became a CNS because I wanted to improve nursing practice and as a simulation and clinical education coordinator I get to do that at the educational level rather than the practice level.  I get to help shape what kind of nurse they become.  Through simulation I’m able to teach them how to deal with real life patient situations.  There is nothing more satisfying and rewarding than seeing a student critically think through a real life-death patient scenario and handle it with ease,” she says.

Karen Stockbridge is a 1991 graduate of the BSN program from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Since that time, most of Karen’s nursing career has been in Emergency nursing in both major academic institutions as well as in community hospitals. She is currently enrolled in the Graduate Nursing program at UMASS in the Clinical Nurse Specialist track with hopes to graduate in 2011. Karen joined the Clinical Center for Education and Research (CCER) team in October 2009 as a Simulation and Clinical Education Coordinator. “Having been involved in simulation in the CCER as clinical faculty, I was instantly interested in this hands on method of educating nursing students. Allowing students the opportunity to develop not only basic nursing skills but more importantly their ability to critically think in a simulated situation without harm to a patient is phenomenal.” Karen resides in Mass with her husband and five children.