MEd in Learning Design and Technology

Kris Hara

“As a healthcare provider, continuing education is an important part of how we provide care.”


Pūpūkea, Koʻolauloa District, Oʻahu


Learning Design and Technology

Related Degrees

  • MEd, Learning Design & Technology

Where do you work?
I am the Operations Director and Chief Simulation Specialist at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) SimTiki Simulation Center.

How were you selected for the JABSOM 2020 Operation Specialist of the Year Award?
The nomination originated from my peers, and the final selection was made by the Simulation Operations and Technology Section nominations workgroup of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. In January 2021, I received notice that I was selected to receive the award, which honors a member of the Operation Specialist community who functions beyond the scope of their position, demonstrates superior initiative and creativity, actively promotes the profession, and has a record of advanced training. In March 2021, I also received notice that I am a part of the first cadre of 25 individuals from four countries (Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and the United States) to be awarded an advanced certification for Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist® or CHSOS-A.

Simulation operations specialists are a group of individuals from diverse backgrounds, often medical, but also audio-visual, information technology who are flexible and conversant in planning and implementing the infrastructure, people, and processes required for successful simulation in medical education programs. This field offers unique opportunities to support healthcare students, providers, and educators in teaching, learning, and patient safety initiatives. The field continues to evolve, and I’m extremely humbled to be part of a group of professionals who often arrive first, leave last, and continually research and seek diverse and best methods to enhance the goals of simulation-based education in hospitals, academia, pre-hospital, military, and community healthcare.

How did you become interested in the field of education? The LTEC Program?
Several years ago, I was talking to a friend at JABSOM about grad programs that might interest my daughter who just graduated with her BFA in graphic design. She mentioned a friend who had the same background and had completed the LTEC program. Since I knew my daughter had always enjoyed teaching and supporting others in learning/teaching environments, I did some research and sent her information. Not long after, I completed my Bachelor’s in Respiratory Therapy and was looking for a flexible grad program in adult education. LTEC was a natural choice! I graduated in spring 2020, one year after my daughter.

How has the COE program impacted or benefited your career path?
As a healthcare provider, continuing education is an important part of how we provide care. Science continues to advance, and I was fortunate to have an active role in providing education for staff and patients. When I joined JABSOM’s SimTiki Simulation Center in 2006, I became enamored with educational theory and design used in medical education. The LTEC program was a perfect fit allowing flexible online and in-person classes and focusing on adult teaching and learning. It has given me a depth and width of exposure to the principles of adult learning I needed to understand, contribute to, and engage with in my daily work life.

What are your future visions and goals?
Our vision of creating sustainable and advancing educational programs in medical education through simulation hinges on several factors, including faculty availability and enabling them to use ingenuity, creativity, and educationally sound practices to engage others. We see ourselves as part of a local and worldwide simulation community and work diligently to create and engage medical educators in regularly occurring face-to-face and online meetings and courses. As for personal vision and goals, it would include running an ultra-marathon and exercising my creative muscles by painting and doing mixed media daily.

Anything else you would like to include?
I’m so grateful for my LTEC professors and peers who contributed to and enabled my learning and failing forward! And I’m grateful for the continued communication and opportunities the COE offers to graduates and staff of the UH system. It’s a wonderful ʻohana!

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