CIEL Grand Opening

Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning

CIEL (pronounced see-EL) is not just an acronym; it’s also the French word for sky or heaven, an apt reference to our vision.

CIEL supports all faculty and staff learning together about healthcare teaching practice, and developing as scholars together.

CIEL Leadership & Staff

Director: Celeste Villanueva, EdD, CRNA, FNAP, Assistant Academic Vice President
Associate-Director: Valerie Landau, MA


CIEL is located at 3300 Webster Street, Suite 308, Oakland, CA 94609, on Samuel Merritt University's Oakland campus.

Introductory Video

Ciel Community Practice

Community of Practice

With your colleagues discover new healthcare teaching and assessment practices for clinical and classroom settings.

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Ciel Workshops

Workshops, Conferences, Trainings & Courses

Improve your teaching and research, learn new skills, and complete trainings and American Heart Association certifications.

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Ciel Wellness


Build a culture of wellness at SMU:  Add wellness to your curriculum, and integrate wellness into your teaching and your own life.

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Ciel Scholars

Developing as Scholars

Create a research project, find research collaborators, get help with study design, and apply for funding.

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Ciel Diversity

Diversity & Inclusion

Enrich your teaching practice to prepare students to serve a diverse community.

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Ciel Tools

Services, Tools & Resources

Consult with an expert, and access articles, videos and tools for teaching and research, gathered from across the University.

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