A nonprofit arm of Concordia University ultimately aimed at generating revenue to fund grants and scholarships for students has a CUAA-based start-up within its portfolio that’s gaining traction.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the spring 2023 edition of Hearts Together, a magazine publication of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. 

The Center for Simulation and Innovation (CSI) exists to improve the way people learn through the creation and implementation of immersive simulation technologies and practices. It’s an effort of Cindy Fenske, DNP, RN, assistant vice president of academics at CUAA, and Chris Raasch, who formerly served as head of CUAA’s IT services.

The team offers training and consulting services. Earlier this year, CSI hosted its first workshop which drew more than two dozen attendees. They’ve also thrown their hat into the rapidly growing field of augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) product development. Fenske and Raasch are set to launch their first VR program, which will be available for remote use by anyone in the world. All that it requires, beyond the license, is a VR headset or smart device.

To create the program, the team tapped CUAA Athletic Training Education Program Director Tim Neal to design a concussion assessment training program. The program offers about a dozen scenarios meant to assess an individual’s ability to implement the appropriate medical response after a player is injured on the field. Neal, who previously served as head athletic trainer for Syracuse University, is a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

Fenske brings years of expertise in higher education, specifically in the area of simulation, while Raasch lends insight to the tech components of the operation.

“We’re taking what we know about education and best practices and bringing that into our efforts,” Fenske said. “We know that simulation technology improves learning. It’s really a way to better prepare people for the ever-changing marketplace.”

Learn more

The Center for Simulation & Innovation creates custom immersive learning or training experiences that change behavior and improve performance. Their repertoire includes in-person, video recorded and virtual experiences using a variety of simulation tools, including augmented and virtual reality.

The spring 2023 Hearts Together magazine hit mailboxes in April. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email Jennifer.Hackmann@cuaa.edu.