About Us

What is the STAR Center?

The Simulation Teaching and Research Center is a facility where learners are exposed to a wide range of realistic experiences. Along with the help of Support Specialists, learners are able to explore the healthcare with a hands-on approach. The STAR Center, is open to students to come at their own leisure and practice independently or under the direction of Support Specialist, STAR coordinator, and faculty. The use of the STAR Center is not limited to only nursing students, it also welcomes other health care practices such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, anesthesia, social work and many more. We strive to promote an interdisciplinary approach to health care education.


STAR Center Staff


Henry Henao, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, CHSE

Director of Simulation Center / Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing


Mark Fonseca, BSN, RN

Coordinator of Simulation Center

Hello everyone, my name is Mark Fonseca and I am a Registered Nurse. I graduated from FIU in Spring of 2010 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a minor is Arts. I am currently pursuing my Master of Science in Nursing on the Adult Registered Nurse Practitioner track along with Education.

Post-graduation, I attained a position in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital, and currently I am the Coordinator at STAR Center at FIU. I work with the Undergraduate Nursing students, teaching and evaluating basic skills, managing the staff of support specialists, and facilitate student learning through clinical simulation. I am also currently participating in a research study being conducted by the NCSBN.

As an educator, I would like to convey my knowledge to future nursing students. I hope that I can inspire them to be excellent nurses as previous professors have inspired me.


Jesse Chiu, BSN, RN

IT Support Specialist

My name is Jesse Chiu and I served as a medic in the U. S. Army for four years. I have been deployed to Afghanistan for fifteen months during 2006-2008. I would like to become an ICU or ER nurse and eventually attend nursing anesthesia school. I enjoy working at the STAR center because I have the opportunity to interact with my peers and instructors.


Carlos De La Guera, BSN, RN

Moulage Specialist





Kristina Silverio, BSN, RN

Support Specialist

I am a BSN graduate of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. I decided to become a nurse because I deeply care about
the health of individuals; I enjoy the relationships that I make with people. In the future, I would love to work on either the OB or NICU floor. My ultimate goal would be attain my ARNP licensure. I love working at the STAR Center because every single day is different. Working here you truly become a jack-of-all-trades; the staff here at the STAR Center are willing to help
anyone at a moment’s notice. I am so incredibly proud to be part of the STAR Center at FIU!



Julio Acosta, BSN

Support Specialist

My name is Julio Acosta I am 22 years old. Prior to nursing school I declared my major to be biology pursuing my career in the medical field in hopes of specializing as an anesthesiologist. Throughout my first two years of college I met many doctors and nurses and I had the opportunity to see how each of them work and relate to their patients. This being said, I decided to change my major and pursue a career in nursing because I felt like I could contribute more to someone’s life as a nurse than as a doctor. Consequently, I still plan on pursuing a higher education as a nurse in the field of anesthesia in hopes of becoming a future CRNA. Following this further, I enjoy working for the star center because it has provided me with many opportunities to better myself as a student and as a nurse as well as providing the opportunity to work with nurses, advanced practitioners, and many other health fields.







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