About the ATACS Center
The Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS Center) was designated by the TTU System Board of Regents in September 2009. Hoi Ho, M.D., served as director of the ATACS Center from 2008 to 2015. Currently, Sanja Kupesic, M.D., Ph.D., directs the ATACS Center. Assisting Dr. Kupesic are the director of the research division and three assistant directors, who each supervise five full-time staff members. The educational assistant director supervises the Medical Skills course coordinator and trains 50 standardized patients — real people trained to act out clinical scenarios. The technical assistant director supervises three specialists, and is responsible for the operation and technical support of the center. The administrative assistant director supervises a senior business assistant, and is responsible for budgeting, contracting, purchasing, and communications and marketing.
Sanja Kupesic Plavsic, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation
Associate Academic Dean for Faculty Development
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Kupesic Plavsic is considered an acclaimed expert in the fields of reproductive medicine and ultrasound. She holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees and a university professorship, and possesses clinical skills and experience in academia and scientific research. Before coming to the US, she headed the Division for Human Reproduction, Reproductive Endocrinology and Menopause at Sveti Duh Hospital, Medical School University of Zagreb, Croatia for a ten-year term.
She has been invited to speak at 282 major international meetings, congresses, symposia, and/or conferences and has successfully presented novel data at scientific gatherings. She has been acclaimed for her presentation skills and oral and written communication abilities. As a principal investigator, she has coordinated four long-term clinical projects.
Dr. Kupesic has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and authored or coauthored 412 textbook chapters. She has edited 21 books, four slide atlases, two videos, and four educational DVDs. Her publications have been cited over 4,500 times. Since 1992, she has served as the secretary of the Fetus as the Patient Society. Since 1997, she has served as a board member in the Croatian Medical Academy. In 2000, she was elected a member of the Scientific Committee of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine, and in 2001, a member of the board of the European Society for Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation. From 2004 to2006, she was the president of the Croatian Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, vice president of the Croatian Society for Reproductive Endocrinology, and vice president of the Mediterranean Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Since 2010, she has served as a member of the Education Committee of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine and an executive board member of Ian Donald Inter-University School of Medical Ultrasound. Since 2015, Dr. Kupesic has also served on the board of the International Academy for Human Reproduction.
In 1994, Dr. Kupesic was awarded the National Academy prize for the best scientific paper published in 1993; in 1996, the Zagreb award for science; in 1999, the European House Award for Science; and thereafter, the national award for the best scientific paper published in the year 2000. In 2005, she was honored with the international William Liley award for her contributions to the fields of gynecology, human reproduction, perinatal medicine, and ultrasound.
Currently, she serves in the roles of associate academic dean for faculty development, director of the Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS), and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM). She has received four excellence in teaching awards: the Dean’s Innovation in Medical Education Award (2009), the Professor of the Year Award (2011), the Excellence in Resident Teaching Award (2011), and the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2011).Her experience as a lecturer — at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels — as well as at scientific meetings and workshops has helped her to achieve the ability to effectively convey scientific matters to different audiences. Her current major research interests include faculty development, medical education, reproductive medicine, and the application of ultrasound in the fields of infertility, menopause, gynecologic oncology, and early pregnancy.
Zuber D. Mulla, Ph.D.
Director, Research Division, Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical
Assistant Academic Dean for Faculty Development
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Zuber D. Mulla, Ph.D., serves as professor of obstetrics and gynecology and assistant dean for faculty development at TTUHSC El Paso. Mulla earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of South Florida College of Public Health in Tampa. He has published over 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award from the El Paso Regional Campus of the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, and a recipient of the 2017 University of South Florida College of Public Health Outstanding Alumni Award. Mulla’s research interests clinical simulation, faculty development, and women’s health.
He joined TTUHSC El Paso in 2006.
Hoi Ho, M.D.
Director, TTUHSC El Paso Collaborative Educational Program
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Consultant for ATACS
Hoi Ho, M.D., is the former director of the Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) (2008 to 2015) and a former faculty member of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (1986 to 2015). Dr. is board-certified and licensed in the state of Texas, and has won numerous national and internal awards, including the Best Doctor in America Award from 2004 to 2015, as well as the Lifetime Teaching Award and TTUHSC El Paso’s President’s Outstanding Professor Award, amongst others. Dr. Ho’s work has been published in numerous scholarly and medical journals, and he has hosted various presentations in El Paso and across the world. In addition to clinical simulation, Dr. Ho’s clinical interests include general medicine, infectious diseases, hematology, and geriatric medicine. Dr. Ho has completed numerous courses in advanced teaching, institutional faculty mentoring, and faculty development to help further develop junior faculty members, residents, and community health care providers in the following areas: effective teaching and application off adult learning principles; effective integration of evidence-based medicine with medical education; effective approaches for performance assessment; effective oral presentation skills; and applications of mobile computing platforms in medical education, clinical practice, and research. Dr. Ho currently serves on the ATACS Center’s board.
Currently, Dr. Ho serves as the director of the Collaborative Educational Program (CEP), a five-year project sponsored by TTUHSC El Paso to support two medical schools in Vietnam: University of Medicine and Pharmacy - Ho Chi Minh city, and Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, also in Ho Chi Minh City. The program’s mission is to establish self-sustainable faculty development programs and standardized clinical simulation centers at the two universities.
Dr. Ho has been with TTUHSC El Paso since 1986.
Claudia V. Cortez serves as the education assistant to the director for the center for advanced teaching and assessment in clinical simulation at the TTUHSC El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. In this role she trains and oversees the standardized patient program and assists in training clinical faculty in utilizing state of the art medical simulators as part of the school’s medical curriculum.
Claudia holds a Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech University and earned a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in May of 2012. In addition to being a Texas Tech University System alumnus, she has also worked for the Texas Tech University System for over 10 years. She has worked as an accreditation coordinator for HealthNet.edu, where she was responsible for accrediting 16 medical continuing education programs in 38 states. Claudia has also functioned as the section manager for the Telemedicine division of the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health where she was responsible for coordinating medical care for over 300 incarcerates in the Texas State prison system and over 30 rural communities in west Texas with medical specialists at TTUHSC in Lubbock via high resolution video conference. While in Lubbock, Claudia also served as a board member in two nonprofit organizations that support the independent living movement and making Lubbock more accessible for people with disabilities.
J. Hector Aranda, B.S., CHSOS
I am a unit assistant director for the ATACS Center with twenty years of experience in information technology, seventeen of those years working at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. I graduated with honors and a 4.0 GPA in obtaining my Bachelor of Science in information technology from the University of Phoenix. I joined the ATACS center in February 2008 as a senior analyst where I now direct three staff members that serve as support for the center's technical unit.
I am a lifelong resident of El Paso, Texas working as a unit coordinator for the Center of Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) and was hired in January of this year. I have over ten years of experience in the audio visual field and have been working with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine since 2010. I am currently attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh working on obtaining my degree in graphic design, I expect to graduate this summer. Along with experience and knowledge in photography and videography, I keep up to date on the latest technology which helps enhance the learning experience at the ATACS Center.