Serve HAPS by Joining the Board of Directors

This post is from Kyla Ross, Chair of the Nominating Committee

As your current President-Elect, I have the honor of chairing the Nominating Committee, which is responsible for compiling the ballot for the 2021 HAPS Board of Directors (BOD). I am working alongside the members of my committee: Anthony Edwards, Kerry Hull, and Tom Lehman. The BOD is composed of nine officers: Past President, President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and four Regional Directors. Four officers are elected by the membership each spring, and terms begin July 1. All BOD members participate in monthly E-meetings, attend two leadership meetings (one in October and the other in conjunction with the Annual Conference in May), and attend the General Membership Meeting that takes place during the Annual Conference. 

I recognize that this has been a challenging year, and so many of us have been impacted personally and professionally. Whether you are just getting more involved with HAPS or have been a long-standing member of our Society,  I hope that you will consider serving in a leadership role on the HAPS BOD. Becoming part of the HAPS leadership team is a great way to give back to the organization and to enhance your personal and professional development. Whether you, or someone you know, would be interested in this opportunity, please let us know before February 26, 2021. 

This year, the four officers that we are electing are 1) President-Elect, 2) Secretary, 3) Central Regional Director, and 4) Southern Regional Director. 

1) President-Elect

President-Elect is the first office of a three-year term on the Board of Directors. The President-Elect serves as a voting member on the Board of Directors and, along with other Board members, establishes and manages the policies and affairs of the Society.  For the second year of the term this person becomes the HAPS President, and the third year becomes the Past President. This person’s term on the Board of Directors is completed at the end of the third year.  Additional duties of President-Elect include the following:  1) Works closely with the President and Treasurer to determine the content of the budget for the next fiscal year to be presented to the Board for approval.  2) Participates in monthly e-meetings with other Board members. 3)Attends Board of Director and Executive Committee meetings held in fall and in conjunction with the Annual Conference.  4) Attends the Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the Annual Conference.  5) Chairs the Nominating Committee.  6) Performs other duties as assigned by the President or the Board.

2) Secretary

The Secretary serves as a voting member on the Board of Directors for a two-year term.  Along with other Board members, the Secretary establishes and manages the policies and affairs of the Society. In addition, the Secretary’s duties include the following:  1) Takes and keeps minutes of Board of Directors meetings, the Annual General meeting, and other meetings as deemed appropriate by the President.  2) Participates in monthly e-meetings with other Board members. 3)  Attends Board of Director and Executive Committee meetings held in fall and in conjunction with the Annual Conference.  4) Attends the Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the Annual Conference.  5) Performs other duties as assigned by the President or the Board.

3 and 4) Central and Southern Regional Directors (see website for boundaries):

The Regional Director serves as a voting member on the Board of Directors for a two-year term. Along with other Board members, Regional Directors establish and manage the policies and affairs of the Society. A Regional Director serves as the representative of a HAPS Region. It is required that Regional Directors reside or work in the region they will represent at the time of their nomination. Regional Directors may complete their terms of office should they no longer reside or work in their region.  The Regional Directors ensure currency and continuity of policies and procedures as well as acting as liaisons between their constituencies and the Board of Directors.  Additional duties of a Regional Director include the following:  1) Promotes increased involvement of the region’s membership in the activities of the Society.  2) Communicates with his/her constituency via email at least once annually. 3) Participates in monthly e-meetings with other Board members.  4) Attends Board of Director and Executive Committee meetings held in fall and in conjunction with the Annual Conference.  5) Attends the Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the Annual Conference.  6) Attends Regional Conferences in their region for the purpose of welcoming attendees and promoting membership in HAPS.  If unable to attend a Regional Conference, the Regional Director will find a replacement. The regional conference registration fee shall be waived for Regional Directors.  7)  Performs other duties as assigned by the President or the Board.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in one of these positions, please consider submitting your nomination (self or from colleagues) via our online form prior to February 26, 2021. 

All discussions of potential candidates will remain confidential within the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will review all nominations and verify willingness to serve. A final slate of candidates will be recommended to the BOD for approval, with a maximum of two candidates for President-Elect and maximum of three candidates for each of the other offices. The final candidates will be asked to provide a biography and a position statement for the ballot. 

A&P Cyber Style Part 4: Asynchronously Out of Sync

This is finale of a multi-part series of posts from HAPSter Jordan Clark. Check out his introduction post and his thoughts on synchronous lectures and synchronous labs while you’re here!

Fast food. Sure, sure…I know. Your palate is too refined. But ooohhhh the convenience. Because you’re hungry. Because you’ve been ripping out kitchen drywall all day (long Christmas break…don’t ask). You don’t want to shower. You don’t want to wipe off the stove. You don’t want to pull out a classic southern supper dish passed down through generations. Nope. You just want to eat. Eat something that kinda resembles food. All you need is some wheels and a vague sense of direction.  Chances are it’s already made and sunbathing under heat lamps. Go get it and guess what? You don’t even have to eat it at that very moment!! Take your time, eat it when you are ready in your busy schedule.

And once you declare chow time, chow down. Inside the grease-blotted bag is something that….ehh…sorta resembles food. Something chemically bonded and partially digestible.

Doesn’t really look like the pictures. At all. Whoever slopped this together is not getting a Hollywood handshake. But you eat it because it’s there. And, come midnight, you’ll probably regret it.

Compilation of images by author. Figure 1 is from AZ_RN and Figure 2 taken by SteFou!, both via flickr

Where am I going with this? I’m hitting an all-time high score on the snark-o-meter, but this is how I view asynchronous online courses. Self-paced online course. The drive-thru fast food of academia. Lectures and assignments prepackaged and sitting under a heat lamp. Pick it up when you want. Finish it when you want. It kinda resembles learning. Looks nothing like the pictures. And, come midnight, you’ll probably regret it.

And like fast food, it’s an easy sell. Heck, I hit the drive thru and picked up a delicious, fried bag-o-knowledge.  Recently it was from a menu of online workshops. It was a great experience. But not for the upgrade in my tree of pedagogical skills. But because I experienced, what many students experience, when enrolled in self-paced online courses (and I’m comfortable speaking for many students). After about 2 weeks of the workshop, I was no longer focused on learning. I was only focused on completion. And like the buzz I hear from so many students, I settled in with this regretful thought bubble:

No matter how flashy the video production or interactive the activities, I’m tuning it out. Putting everything off until the due date. Just complete the dumb thing.

In a couple of weeks, I’m teaching some asynchronous online courses with enrollment of over 260. How am I going to keep my students from disconnecting? What happens between posting and collecting materials? How do I shift the objective of completion back to learning?

Well, I picked up a few tricks. Nothing earth shattering, but easily overlooked as convenience is too tempting with this format.  As with all these ramblings, I cannot recommend or discuss any programs I’m using (Just check your inbox. It’s full of solicitations).

These info nuggets stem from the Spring 20 Emergency Transition. I did them to save my sanity. I used them sparingly during that time, but I will supersize them for this semester.

  • Dress Rehearsal: There are no mandatory scheduled meetings for these courses. Thus, when I recorded my lecture, I sent out an invite to attend. Doesn’t matter what time or day. I could be recording a lecture at 9pm on Saturday. I’d invite all students to attend. It’s like watching a live dress rehearsal. They got to hear me screw up, swear, restart the recordings, swear some more
  • Study Sessions. I held live study sessions periodically. And not just for exams, but after a couple of heavy lectures (good ole neurophysiology). Kept it short and focused.
  • Posts: I used a discussion board. Posted some trivia about A&P. Made sure I commented on any responses. I made goofy 10 min videos from my nerdcave discussing fun facts about physiology and human health (and showing off my Atari memorabilia).

What did this accomplish? I didn’t leave them out in the cold. I held open the lines of communication. Will this work in the Spring? I think so. That’s a massive line of cars pulling up to the drive-thru window (Remember….over 260 kids). I don’t expect all to participate, but at least they’ll know I’m alive. The worst thing I (or anyone teaching this format) can do is dump everything on a Sunday and check back in at the end of the week. Come semester end, maybe I won’t get that Hollywood handshake, but I will win the technical!


clark-headshot-1Jordan Clark is the course coordinator and head instructor for anatomy and physiology and applied microbiology at Sam Houston State University. He earned a BS in psychology at Florida State University and a Ph.D in neurobiology at University of Kentucky, where he conducted research in spinal cord and brain injury. He served four years in the US Army. Currently, his primary research interest is developing engaging and active teaching strategies for large capacity courses. Free time? Consuming synth wave pop culture, daydreaming of being a master woodworker, and always seeking great geeky adventures with his awesome wife and and two kids.

Upcoming deadline: HAPS Awards

This post is from Chasity O’Malley, Chair of the Awards and Scholarships Committee

Hey there HAPSters!!! I hope you are doing well, heading back into the new term refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way this year. As you’re planning out your January, I would like to call your attention to an important date: Monday January 11th. This is the date that the awards applications are due for the 2021 Annual Conference which is virtual this year. There are several award options (briefly described below- make sure to visit the weblinks for complete details on who is eligible and what is required). I’m sure you’ll find you can fit into one of them and I highly encourage you to apply! Please keep in mind that you need to be HAPS members in good standing at the time of application and at the time of the HAPS Annual Conference (like all the cool kids are!).

  • The Sam Drogo Technology In The Classroom Award
    • Applicants should use technology in the classroom and be able to elaborate on how
    • Award is $1500 to attend the Annual meeting of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society.  One award is available, sponsored by ADInstruments.
  • Gail Jenkins Teaching And Mentoring Award
    • Applicants should focus on active learning in the classroom and elaborate on how
    • Award is a cash award of $1,000. Annual HAPS Conference registration fee is waived. One award is available, sponsored by Wiley.
  • John Martin Second Timer Award
    • Applicants are HAPS members attending their second HAPS Annual Conference
    • Award is a cash award of $500 to help fund attendance at HAPS Annual Conference. One award is available.
  • The HAPS Conference Award
    • Nearly anyone who a is HAPS member can apply
    • Award is for the registration fee for the 2021 Annual Conference, multiple awards are available.

I hope this gentle nudge reminds you to get those applications in!

A&P Cyber Style Part 3: The Sounds of Synchronicity…in the Lab

This is part 3 in a multi-part series of posts from HAPSter Jordan Clark. Check out his introduction post and his thoughts on synchronous lectures while you’re here!

Admittedly I was surprised with my own positive reflections for synchronous online lectures. An audience, a community, and the freedom to text at will. But…..there is that one thing. The other component of the course. The labs!!

Compared to the online lectures, planning for synchronous online labs is like planning a hack into ENCOM’s mainframe, without being detected by the MCP, to find code fragments of games you developed like Space Paranoids…(you guessed it..Tron reference). But labs come with the bundle, so I planned and schemed and guess what??

I think it kinda, sorta, weirdly, worked. Now I cannot recommend any A&P programs and will not disclose programs I used. I can, however, lay down some snappy tips that should apply to many online lab strategies. Remember, this is for synchronous online formats. Ready?? I used a little-known pedagogical strategy called 80s-kid-in-the-mall approach.

Figure 1: Young Dr. Clark Exploring the Mall

Basically, as a kid, my parents would take me to the mall, provide me with a set of instructions, set a timer and set me free to explore. Once my time expired, I’d rejoin my parents for a debriefing (and receipt audit for those Hair Band cassette purchases). That’s essentially what I did in the labs.

  • Family Arrival at the Mall: We all showed up on the webcam for lab. Welcomed everyone. Reviewed any assignments from last week’s lab. Gave an introduction to the current week’s online lab activity. Did some pre-lab activities. Doing a virtual cardiophys lab? How about a pre-lab debate? Set the tone and have them argue the effects of energy drinks on heart function. Got them interested and got them talking.
  • Parent-free Mall Exploration: Let them loose to complete the online exercises, whether it’s a simulated experiment or virtual cadaver dissection. They could work in groups, they could even log off and go solo, but I, you, lab TA, stayed logged in just in case there are questions. Gave them a timeline…let’s say 45 minutes (to include food breaks).
  • Rendezvous with the Parents: Once time has expired, I brought them back. This part was critical. Everyone rejoined into the live virtual sphere. Reviewed the activities.
    • Did some anatomy post lab stuff such as…
      • Anatomy ID gameshow with student teams (they can circle stuff on your slides)
      • Demonstrate movements and application of said anatomy, like exercises that work certain muscles
      • Clinical studies on injuries…use x-rays, MRI’s, etc. Applied the anatomy!
    • Did some physiology post lab stuff such as…
      • Discussed the experimental design. Controls, variables, hypothesis, etc.Reviewed the data. Answered questions just using graphs
      • Did some mini case studies

In other words, wrapped it all up!

As a champion of traditional classrooms, I really find this online style effective. However, I know we brought this up in the last blog entry (you did read that one…right?). These synchronous online courses may be a rare offering. If I come across as a bit defensive, well…there is a lot of scrutiny (to be polite) in the current academic climate of online courses. But, it can and does work. When does it not work? We’ll discuss that in the next blog. Until then, I’ll be at the food court enjoying some Sbarro before heading off to Camelot Music to spend my allowance.

“Say, would someone mind checking the ratings? I seem to have any audience of two,” Max Headroom


clark-headshot-1Jordan Clark is the course coordinator and head instructor for anatomy and physiology and applied microbiology at Sam Houston State University. He earned a BS in psychology at Florida State University and a Ph.D in neurobiology at University of Kentucky, where he conducted research in spinal cord and brain injury. He served four years in the US Army. Currently, his primary research interest is developing engaging and active teaching strategies for large capacity courses. Free time? Consuming synth wave pop culture, daydreaming of being a master woodworker, and always seeking great geeky adventures with his awesome wife and and two kids.

A&P Cyber Style Part 2: The Sounds of Synchronicity

This is part 2 in a multi-part series of posts from HAPSter Jordan Clark. You can find the introduction post here

By the time you’ll read this, the Fall 2020 semester reviews are limping in. And it is ugly. My first bit of advice: Maybe don’t read them. Consider giving yourself a mental and spiritual cleanse over the winter break. 

We all knew it was coming. The low-pitch student (and faculty) grumblings from September that devolved into whimpers and cries of surrender. For many first-time online teachers, sucked into the master control program (Tron reference. Nerd alert), there may be great temptation to swear off this cyber format forever. See Fig.1. Is that your laptop?

Figure 1: Me 1/ Laptop 0 from steviep187 on flickr

Wait!  Check this out. There I was. Venturing into this strange webcam world. I knew just enough from the Spring 20 EMERGENCY TRANSITION that “certain” online formats are greasy fast food, dumpster blazes (more on that in upcoming installments). But this…this synchronous stuff. Rarely advertised. Some say it’s urban myth stuff, but it does exist. And…it actually, kinda, weirdly works. 

Synchronous online learning: Teaching an online course with scheduled live meeting times. There’s more to it, but that’s enough for this blog.

My synchronous A&P class (25ish students) met mornings from 8am till 930am. I had no idea what to expect, but within a few class meetings I found a rhythm and quickly established a quirky community: My floating webcam-head (ball cap, unkempt quarantine beard) teaching to geometrically organized panels of cartoon avatars, filtered selfies, and anonymous blank nothings.

Figure 2: Author’s own work with contributions from Tarak Zadark ..Just a Pop.. (Vampyre Warrior) and Ape Lad (Hell Kitty Twitter Avatar) on flickr

But there we were…

And for all the online software and interactive programs peddled through (borderline harassing) emails, the best tool was talking. Yes, talking. Here’s how I think I pulled it off…presented as a few tips for the reader:

 ●     I quickly recognized the students’ preferred method of communication. They loved the text-chat option. So, I engaged each and every text. Called them by their names. Laughed. Let them know I appreciated the absurdity of the situation. Let them know I was alive. If I went longer than 10 minutes without a student text, I knew I lost them. I often got the “slow the #$%@ down” text. So, yeah, I had to slow things down. Surprisingly, no one really wanted to use the microphone to actually speak. Kids these days!

 ●     Most webinar (arrrggghhh that term) software allows for small break-out sessions. I used it. I let the students talk to each other and not just me. I’d poke my head into some of their break-out sessions. Chatted with the small groups. Did it early in the semester. Started connecting everyone immediately and creating that wonderfully weird community.

 ●     I had to keep them busy. Chat messages only goes so far. The trick: I used the virtual whiteboard and let them draw on my PowerPoints. Yeah this slowed down the lecture and I had to jettison some material…but so what. They, not surprisingly, really liked drawing on things. ALERT:  Some of those drawings started dangerously morphing into…err… some inappropriate anatomical structures…kids these days.

Notice some common themes here? One being the pace. I had to slow down. That 200-page chapter on the cardiovascular system (slightly exaggerating)? I couldn’t cannon-blast it in a single breath. I broke it down. I used student sharing options and reviewed their notes during the lecture. I held Q&A sessions during lecture.

Of course, there is much more detail that is better suited for an elaborate keynote speaker presentation. But this is a blog so I’m laying down the basics. And though these tips may be a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget the students on the other side of your laptop. Plunging deep into your web lecture, totally oblivious of time and space. You must adjust your style. Strategies used in a lecture hall may not work when teaching from your dining room table (I really need better lighting in my house). Remember, life is a little wonkier on the webcam. Glitches, drops, crashes, Window updates (let’s not go there).

Unfortunately, as I have discovered, the synchronous format may not be an option at your institution. I’ll address that in upcoming installments. If it is….go for it! I actually loved my surreal virtual family. It’s almost 2021. This is the here-and-now of commo. Dare I say we bonded? I’d like to think we formed some kind of bizarro kinship. They opened up in ways not experienced in a lecture hall. Did I have to remind them to keep the text comments clean? Often…but, you know…kids these days. 

*I’ll talk synchronous labs in the next installment.  


clark-headshot-1Jordan Clark is the course coordinator and head instructor for anatomy and physiology and applied microbiology at Sam Houston State University. He earned a BS in psychology at Florida State University and a Ph.D in neurobiology at University of Kentucky, where he conducted research in spinal cord and brain injury. He served four years in the US Army. Currently, his primary research interest is developing engaging and active teaching strategies for large capacity courses. Free time? Consuming synth wave pop culture, daydreaming of being a master woodworker, and always seeking great geeky adventures with his awesome wife and and two kids.

A&P Cyber Style Part 1: My Experiences in the New Virtual Norm of Remote Teaching

Growing up in the 1980’s, I was constantly reminded that one day “it’s all gonna be computers and robots.”  What did they mean by “it?” Did “it” mean entertainment, jobs, transportation, teaching? Surely not teaching. 

Original photo by Jordan Clark

As a child, I embraced all things computers and robots. I dreamed of being derezzed and transported into a virtual world, racing light cycles on the grid. Oh yeah, there was even this thing called videoconferencing. Every deep space vessel came fully equipped with such communication instruments.

Remember “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan?” When Khan pops up after 15 years and surprises Kirk…..with a videoconference call? Classic!

Turns out, Khan and Kirk were forecasting the evolution of classrooms. So those around the early-80’s me were right, it has become all computers and robots and the “it” is teaching. Online. Virtual environments. Videoconferencing (Ok…maybe not the robots, yet).

I actually entertained the idea of creating a virtual A&P course about 5 years ago. I could see it kinda, maybe being successful for the ultra-dedicated. The eager and ambitious. This “plan” was largely relegated to thought bubbles floating above my head. Nothing ever came to fruition as the general consensus was “meh”. To be honest, I never really took a consensus. I think I asked a colleague his opinion in the parking lot. Case closed.

And then last spring…well, you know. Over the span of a few days in March, I was ambushed by emails and phone calls from veteran publishers, software wizards, and scrappy overnight start-ups. All were dazzling me with sales pitches on how to online this and virtual that. I actually listened to a couple of them.

Remember those fluffy thought bubbles from 5 years ago? They violently burst into fragments on my office floor. Half-baked ideas that needed serving ASAP because: Emergency Spring Semester Transition.

And there I was. Transported from my cozy, flesh-and-blood classroom into a virtual vacuum. Yep. I was derezzed. But, hey! Just like Kirk, I was videoconferencing…with my dog barking, daughter stair-stomping, wi-fi dropping, neighbor’s roof replacing.

And just like that the spring semester abruptly ended in a complete haze.

What the #@$! just happened?

Redemption came in the name of the summer semester. A full-on dress rehearsal for the inevitable Fall Overhaul. I went whole-hog online right from my dining room (the only room in my house with actual lighting).

Starting in June and into the foreseeable future, my syllabus would embrace first ballot hall-of-fame cringe terms such as:

  • F2F
  • Webinar (ugh, this one especially)
  • Hybrid
  • Zooming
  • Asynchronous (never even heard this term before)

At the time of writing this, I’ve earned my stripes teaching synchronous and asynchronous online A&P and am slated to teach 240 online students for the Spring 21.  Over the next few installments, I’m going to share my experiences and offer some unfiltered advice. From quirky virtual gatherings with students, their pets, and questionable wall art to smoldering dumpster fires of abandoned learning systems, this is my adventure in the A&P cyber zone.


clark-headshot

Jordan Clark is the course coordinator and head instructor for anatomy and physiology and applied microbiology at Sam Houston State University. He earned a BS in psychology at Florida State University and a Ph.D in neurobiology at University of Kentucky, where he conducted research in spinal cord and brain injury. He served four years in the US Army. Currently, his primary research interest is developing engaging and active teaching strategies for large capacity courses. Free time? Consuming synth wave pop culture, daydreaming of being a master woodworker, and always seeking great geeky adventures with his awesome wife and and two kids. 

Arts, Anatomy, Leonardo and Queen

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen – Leonardo da Vinci.

This post is the conclusion of my overseas journey during the summer of 2019 with a team of anatomists and physiologists, professors, and medical professionals. I went to get a taste of London, Paris, and Amsterdam from an anatomical artist’s perspective rather than as a tourist. If you missed my first post with details about the Apothecary Museum and Gordon Museum of Pathology at King’s College, start here!

Before we traveled, the part of the itinerary which attracted me most was the visit to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Leonardo da Vinci’s original art, part of the Royal Collection, was on display there to mark the 500 year anniversary of his death. Most people know Leonardo as one of the greatest artists of all time; as an anatomist I know him as a great scientist and designer whose creations from 500 years back will still awe a scientist of the modern era.

Though Leonardo’s drawing of Vitruvian Man in the Renaissance Era was well-known for his concept of symmetry in humans and nature, most of Leonardo’s anatomical sketches remain unnoticed and unappreciated. Frustrated, Leonardo never published those masterpieces of anatomy-oriented art. 

Entrance to Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, London
Introduction to the exhibition at the Gallery Hall
Introduction to the exhibition at the Gallery Hall 

His original art was acquired by the Queen of England and was displayed for the public, and I think we are fortunate to get the opportunity to see the original drawings of Leonardo. Two hundred of his original pictures were on display which included the bulk of his anatomical sketches which I was waiting eagerly to see. It was indeed a great idea by Dr. Petti to design his study abroad course around the time of the exhibition.  It was amazing to see how Leonardo’s curious mind unveiled minute anatomical details. 

Leonardo’s passion led him to perfectly portray the intricate complexities of human anatomy. All the red walls with these paintings and sketches attracted our group members like magnets and the same thought came over and over, that this will be truly a lifetime memory to cherish forever. There were sketches of horses, a human skeleton, a human heart, and the list could go on and on.

We stopped at one corner, where we saw a framed piece, but there was nothing on that piece of paper (see below). A mystery no doubt! That paper which apparently looked like everything was washed out to the naked eye under normal light showed amazing details when exposed to high-energy fluorescent rays and we came to know about an amazing technique. 

Adoration of Magi - Picture framed on left apparently invisible in normal light; on right - Sketches revealed with Fluorescent technology.
Adoration of Magi – Picture framed on left apparently invisible in normal light
On right – Sketches revealed with fluorescent technology

That framed blank picture was from the Adoration of Magi series by Leonardo. He used a pen with a stylus made of copper and over the period the metallic copper chemically changed to copper salt with exposure to air showing no marks. When exposed to high-energy fluorescent rays, energy rays were absorbed by the paper and revealed the sketches with amazing details once drawn by Leonardo, and the mystery was solved too!

For thousands of years, humans showed advancement in designing sophisticated tools which is a reflection of higher brain function. Recent use of imaging techniques like MRI not only mark advancements as one of the most important diagnostic tools in different medical fields, but certain imaging techniques are now helping us to unveil the past. One such modern use of contrivance is C14 and potassium 40 dating for fossils and rocks to determine their age. Carbon dating has been known for years, but when it comes to the handwritings or sketches as mentioned above, luminescence technique using UV rays provides some hidden facts.

More information about the display and other technology used to create and decode Leonardo’s art can be found here

Every corridor, every room of the gallery displayed an extravaganza of artistic expression and anatomical excitement and I left wondering how advanced a person could be for his time to create all those beautiful artworks which paved the foundation of the knowledge of human anatomy almost 500 years back.

Leonard’s anatomical sketches
Leonardo’s anatomical sketches

Author bio: Dr. Soma Mukhopadhyay did her Masters in Zoology and her Ph.D. in Nuclear Medicine in Calcutta, India, and subsequently did postdoctoral research in Cellular Physiology at the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati. She is a Lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences, Augusta University, and has also taught at Pennsylvania State University, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, University of South Carolina. Her areas of research are cardiovascular physiology and molecular evolution as it relates to human anatomy & physiology. Her passions are music, art, and photography.

Community College Anatomy Physiology Education Research (CAPER) 2.0: Looking for Participants

This post is from the CAPER Team, including Chasity O’Malley, Murray Jensen, Kerry Hull, Ron Gerrits, Kyla Ross, Suzanne Hood, and Betsy Ott. 

A Few Questions and Answers

Community College educators are busy people, especially in the new normal that we are currently living in and making the best of with COVID-19.  One aspect that rings true just as much now as in the recent past is that there rarely is time or opportunity for meaningful professional development.  That’s where the Community College Anatomy Physiology Education Research (CAPER 2.0) project comes into play. The goal of the CAPER 2.0 project is to help educators become involved in a small community of dedicated educators who wish to explore different ways to run a classroom in more engaging ways.  If funded, and that’s a big “if,” participants will have the opportunity to explore evidence based instructional practices including clickers, small group learning, guided inquiry, and more.  We had a good response to our first blog announcing and describing this project, and below we are answering a few frequently asked questions that have arisen from those interested folks.  If you are interested in signing-up, fill out this form or contact Chasity O’Malley or Murray Jensen.  

  1. When does CAPER begin?
    • Tentative start is for Fall of 2021 if the grant is funded.  The project proposal is due in December, 2020, and we hope to receive word (funded or not funded) from NSF by June or July of 2021. 
    • We aim to have 12 participants in the first cohort (one cohort per year), depending on availability, schedules, and workloads of the interested faculty. Opportunities for those who are unavailable for this first round will have opportunities to join in the 2nd -4th rounds (years) of the projects.  There are a lot of opportunities to work with us, so hopefully one of the cohorts will fit into your schedule. 
  2. What would the time commitment be for the CAPER program?
    • When educators are involved in this program, they can still be teaching full time and do the work for this project.  They will be busy, but everyone in the first CAPER project has found the workload to be manageable.  
    • We are proposing that instructors are involved for two years in this project.
      1. The first year will involve the HAPS-I courses and research design for the project. 
      2. Year two will be implementation of the research project to collect data and to publish the results.
  3. What’s involved with the HAPS-I courses?
    • Typically, we meet online and then we hope to meet in person for a day or two at a HAPS Regional conference in the Fall.   The grant would cover tuition and expenses for the conference. 
    • Class is anticipated to meet 1 time per week, in the evening, for about 2 hours for 2-3 months. Participants will be expected to attend the lectures, do the pre-readings and assignments, and participate in discussions during class. 
    • Participants from CAPER 1.0 found the workload manageable for the course, but does indeed require time and effort to complete.
    • There will be two 1-credit classes that will both be completed in one semester.  The first class is titled Teaching Practices for Anatomy and Physiology and will cover basic learning theories, such as constructivism, and examine how those theories fit into different teaching strategies, such as cooperative group work, guided inquiry learning, and other Evidenced Based Instructional Methods (EBIPs).  The second class is titled Introduction to Educational Research Methods and will examine how education researchers collect and interpret data, and also learn how to design a classroom research project. The final project of the second class will be a research proposal, to examine the effectiveness of an EBIP of your choosing, that you will then implement the following semesters.
  4. How are research topics chosen? Are the projects individual or group projects?
    • Participants get to pick their own topic for their classroom research project.  Some instructors might do “clickers” and others might do “guided inquiry.”  A wide range of options exist.  We will provide help in the decision-making process, and with the research design, but we want instructors to pick their own topics.  What instructional practice do you wish to explore?
    • There will be two products completed by each participant. First, a poster that will be presented at an annual HAPS Conference.  Posters will be completed on an individual basis, but you will have help from mentors and education research experts.  Second will be a research paper documenting your results that will be submitted to The HAPS Educator, or other peer reviewed journal.  The papers might be individual, or might involve a small group of participants who have similar research projects.  Keep in mind that mentors will help with writing, research design, statistics, and other parts of the publication process.
  5. What does the grant provide for participants? 
    In addition to extensive support from the CAPER grant personnel, the grant will provide the following:
    • Tuition and supplies for the two, 1-credit, HAPS-I courses.
    • Stipends to cover food, registration, accommodation, and travel to attend three conferences over the 2 year period: a Fall HAPS regional conference in year 1, the SABER West conference in January of Year 1, and the HAPS National Conference in Year 2. Participants will have to pay these expenses up front and will receive the stipend after the conference.
    • An additional small stipend for completing the program.
  6. What is needed from me at this time?
    • Your interest is all we need at this time. As we get closer to submission, we will ask for a letter of support from you and a school administrator.  (Administrative support is vital for success in this project).
    • Finding out the name of the IRB contact at your institution would be very helpful at this time as well. We will have quite a bit of work to do with your school’s IRB administrative committee, but we will be providing considerable help with that process.
  7. Is this opportunity open to K-12 instructors? 
    At this time, we are focusing only on two-year community, or technical, college Anatomy and Physiology instructors.
  8. Is this opportunity open to adjuncts?
    Yes, adjunct instructors are welcome to become involved. This could be a wonderful opportunity for adjuncts looking to attain full time employment to be able to demonstrate their commitment to improving their teaching craft and the experience for the students. This would look GREAT on a CV for employment.  However, adjuncts must have administrative support from a college. 
  9. I still have questions that weren’t covered here. Who do I contact?
    • Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Chasity or Murray. Contact information: Chasity O’Malley (chasityomalley@gmail.com) or Murray Jensen (msjensen@umn.edu )
    • If you haven’t filled out the form to share your interest with us, please fill it out and put your questions in the box that asks for questions. 

As questions emerge about the project and new information become available, a live Q&A document can be found here.

Links:

CAPER 2.0 Interest form (Sign up here)

CAPER 2.0 Initial Blog Posting

CAPER 1.0 Description

Anatomy and Physiology Education Research Project – Call for Participants!

This post is from the CAPER Team, including Chasity O’Malley, Murray Jensen, Kerry Hull, Ron Gerrits, Kyla Ross, Suzanne Hood, and Betsy Ott. 

Have you thought about making changes in your classroom, but lacked the time and resources to do it?  If so, keep reading, because we have an opportunity for you. 

 What’s this about?

We are in the final year of the NSF-funded Community College Anatomy and Physiology Education Research (CAPER) program, in which we worked with twelve community college instructors to expand their knowledge base about teaching and learning and conduct a simple education research project.  We are now planning for CAPER 2.0, and hope to give the opportunity to at least 30 new participants. 

 Who can participate?

A&P instructors who want to improve their classroom teaching skills, especially those teaching at community and technical colleges with large numbers of underserved student populations.  We are also recruiting instructors at four-year colleges, especially those with links to nearby community colleges. Experience in education research is not required. 

What would I do?

Over a 2-year period, participants will engage in the following activities: 

  • Complete two 1-credit HAPS Institute hybrid courses covering best practices in Anatomy and Physiology education and the fundamentals of education research.
  • Conduct a small research project in their own classrooms and present their results at a HAPS annual conference and in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Participate in a multi-institutional research project investigating the impact of different teaching practices in different student populations

 What are the benefits?

  • Involvement in a supportive community of engaged instructors 
  • Mentorship from experienced researchers, as needed, to complete all stages of the research project (experimental design and implementation, statistics and qualitative analysis, poster construction, and article writing)
  • Funding to attend at least three conferences:
    • Year 1 (September-November):  the in-person portion of the teaching and learning course will be combined with a HAPS Regional meeting
    • Year 1 (January): the in-person portion of the education research course will be combined with a SABER West meeting in Sunny California
    • Year 2 (May): participants will present their poster at a HAPS Annual Meeting
  • Funding for the two HAPS-I courses
  • A modest financial reward for completing all the components of the CAPER 2.0 project. 
  • Potentially, the provision of funds for teaching buy-outs (i.e., course load reductions)
  • Opportunities to support the teaching and research goals of future participants by acting as a mentor (which would involve additional funded travel)

 

How do I join in on this amazing experience?

A survey for interested individuals can be completed here

If you are interested in learning more, contact Chasity O’Malley (chasityomalley@gmail.com) or Murray Jensen (msjensen@umn.edu).   

For more information on the first CAPER research project, see these references:

 

Arts, Anatomy and Medicine Part 1

“My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

         My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

         One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:

‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,

         But being too happy in thine happiness, —

        That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees

                        In some melodious plot

         Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

                Singest of summer in full-throated ease. ”

Decades back, as a part of my school curriculum in India, I was introduced to this poem, “Ode to a Nightingale,” written by the famous British poet John Keats. Although I couldn’t have predicted it at the time, I would eventually get to learn about Keats on a hot summer day in London, almost 200 years after his death. Besides this “reunion” with Keats, the summer of 2019 brought me many exciting experiences.  It was truly like a fantasy world for people passionate about anatomy.               

Travel always plays an important role for enlightenment and cultural exchange. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” Over the years, I passed through London Heathrow Airport several times, but never had the chance to visit the city of London. Then, all of a sudden, I got a unique opportunity to visit London and two other great cities of Europe as a participant in an Art and Anatomy program led by the great anatomy professor Kevin Petti.  This was not just a tourist visit; this was a Leonardo-inspired journey. Though on my way I was humming “London Bridge is falling down,” I was the one falling down with excitement during my visit to London — along with twenty-two other anatomists and physiologists, professors and medical professionals.                                                                                                                        

Soma 1 Tower bridge
A view of Tower Bridge

Our journey was full of surprises. Our first visit was to the Apothecary Museum, where I discovered for the first time that John Keats was an Apothecary by training from Guy’s College at King’s College, as well as a poet by passion.  The word apothecary means “store house” according to its Greek and Latin roots, but it has come to mean “pharmacist,” a profession that has led to the general medical practitioners of today.

Soma 2 apothecary museum
Apothecary Museum at London

King’s College is a prestigious institution in London which is the home of 22 Nobel Laureates, but I approached it with mixed feelings. After all, Rosalind Franklin’s Photo 51 was taken at King’s College, then taken by others without her knowledge. But when we entered the Gordon Museum of Pathology at King’s College, my ambivalence vanished, and I was able to appreciate one of the world’s largest museums of pathology, which houses 8000 pathological specimens from the last few hundred years. In addition to these specimens, the Gordon Museum also houses Joseph Towne’s 19th-century anatomical wax models, which include unimaginable and incredible details of structures like blood vessels and muscles.

Som a 3 art and anatomy group
Art and Anatomy 2019 Group at Gordon Museum of Pathology with Dr Kevin Petti. Taking pictures of specimens are not allowed in the museum.
(Photo credit: Museum staff)

Before we were about to depart, Dr. Edwards, the Curator of the Gordon Museum of pathology, took us to meet Mr. Alan Billis, the 21st century mummy. This is another experimental success and milestone in modern science to understand the process of mummification that had been discovered centuries ago. Following the wish of Taxi Driver Mr Billis, who died of lung cancer, his body was the first mummified after almost 5000 years in the same way as the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs. It was an incredible feeling to realize again how advanced ancient civilizations were like Egyptians in their knowledge of chemistry to perform the process of mummification thousands of years back to preserve the bodies.

Soma 4 museum small group
From left Dr. Kevin Petti, Dr. Roberta Ballestriero, Dr. William (Bill) Edwards and Me. (Photo credit: Laura Bianconcini)

If you want to know more about Art, Anatomy and London, stay tuned for my next blog post.

(Note: Pictures in this blog are taken by by the author unless otherwise mentioned.)  


Dr. Soma Mukhopadhyay did her Masters in Zoology and her Ph.D. in Nuclear Medicine in Calcutta, India, and subsequently did postdoctoral research in Cellular Physiology at the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati. She is a Lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences, Augusta University, and has also taught at Pennsylvania State University, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, University of South Carolina. Her areas of research are cardiovascular physiology and molecular evolution as it relates to human anatomy & physiology. Her passions are music, art, and photography.