The President’s Medal

The President’s medal is an award that recognizes a HAPS member who has provided exemplary service to HAPS. The recipient of the award is chosen by the current HAPS President and  is announced at the Annual General Membership Meeting.  Terry Thompson explains below why she chose Carol Veil as the 2017 President’s Medal recipient.

Carol Veil (l) receives the President’s Medal from President Terry Thompson (r)

I had the pleasure of presenting this year’s medal to Carol Veil in Salt Lake City.  Because the choice is kept secret, I first shared a “hint” with the audience in the form of a special chocolate Oscar-like statue.  I think most everyone in the room got the hint, except Carol.  In true humility, as she was dutifully taking minutes from the Annual Membership meeting, Carol looked up and thought, “Gee, there must be someone else here that likes chocolate as much as I do”.

Carol served on the Steering Committee as chair of the Curriculum & Instruction Committee from 2005 to 2009.  During that time she coordinated 35 faculty from 18 different states to develop the HAPS Anatomy & Physiology Learning Outcomes, which continues to be one of our organization’s most valuable members resources.  The Learning Outcomes are used by faculty to develop and assess their courses, by publishers to organize textbooks, and by the HAPS Testing Committee to write questions for the HAPS Exam. The coordination and organization of this major project is even more amazing when we think back to the limited technology that was available at that time for collaboration only by email attachments and multiple versions of documents.

In her 19 years as a HAPS member, Carol has given individual and team workshops at 20 annual conferences and at 5 regional conferences, often presenting some of both at the same conference.  Many of us have gleaned new teaching tips and strategies from the various workshops presented in partnership with Javni Mody, such as the popular Awesome Analogies or Mnifty Mnemonics, as well as learned so much about the physiology of chocoholics from a connoisseur.  She also served on conference planning committees for the 2009 Baltimore Annual conference and two regional conferences. Carol also involved her students in the pilot study for the A&P 1 only version of the HAPS Exam.

Most recently, Carol was elected to the Board of Directors as Secretary for two terms since 2013, serving with four HAPS presidents.  As a result, she played a role in the initial development and the mid-term review of the HAPS 2014 – 2019 Strategic Plan that provides the great vision and process to lead HAPS successfully into the future.  Carol was chosen for this award based on her work in these many roles as she ends her term as HAPS secretary and retires from Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) near Annapolis, MD.  She has already committed to continuing her involvement with HAPS with initial plans for a team workshop in Columbus OH and agreeing to serve as Chair-in-Training under Don Kelly as the next co-chair of the Foundation Oversight committee for Grants and Scholarships.

It was my honor to present Carol with this well-deserved recognition and we all look forward to her continued HAPS contributions as a retired emerita member.

Teaching Tips and Learning Outcomes

Since 2003 HAPS members have been sharing teaching tips with each other through HAPS publications. Over the years these teaching tips were archived primarily in whole-publication pdf files of the HAPS Educator. While it was always exciting to see the tips each time a new edition of HAPS Educator was publish, what could you do if you remembered reading about a tip 3-5 (or maybe even 10) years ago? Go rummage through all the pdfs?

A related problem has to do with using the HAPS Learning Outcomes. These represent a vast amount of work and are an incredible resource for HAPS members as well as the broader community (most publishers and many programs have adopted the HAPS Learning Outcomes), but adopting them for your course can be daunting at first.

So we got together this Summer and solved both problems!

Super-HAPSter Kathy Burleson

First, HAPS member Kathy Burleson went through all the back issues of HAPS Educator and uncovered over 220 teaching tips reaching all the way back to 2003. She turned each teaching tip (known over the years as an “edu-snippet”) into a separate document and assigned each to a specific HAPS Learning Outcome. In some cases a tip was assigned to two or three Learning Outcomes.

Then we took all that information and made a website out of it. All the Learning Outcomes are listed in abbreviated form and ones that have associated teaching tips are colored green. At the same time all the teaching tips are listed for each major category of Learning Outcome are grouped where they can easily be browsed.

We added search features that search within each document, so a search for “artery” for example, will pull that term from within each teaching tip that uses it. This should prove to be very handy.

And finally there are short summaries of each teaching tip listed as comments that make it easy to focus on what you need.

Come check out the new site! Just click on the image above.

2017 HAPS-Thieme Award for Excellence in Teaching

Each year Thieme supports great teaching by supporting one of the largest scholarships that HAPS awards.  This is always a very difficult award to give, because HAPS is full of amazing educators.  This year’s winner was also the 2017 Conference Chair and hosted the conference at the University of Utah.  We all congratulate Mark Nielsen on his amazing teaching.  You can read more about Mark below.

Anne Kaiser of Thieme and HAPS President Terry Thompson with Mark Nielsen (center)


Mark Nielsen is a professor of anatomical sciences at the University of Utah where he has taught a wide variety of anatomy courses for the past thirty years. His teaching expertise includes comparative vertebrate anatomy, embryology, neuroanatomy, human anatomy, histology, and the history of anatomy. He has taught anatomy to over 30,000 students, which include undergraduates, medical students, physician assistant students, and massage therapy students. In teaching this diverse population of students he has been recognized as one of the outstanding teachers at the University, where he has received every recognized teaching award from both students and colleagues, some of them multiple times. He has also received a number of national teaching awards. He teaches demanding courses that exact high expectations of his students, but he teaches them how to navigate the details of anatomy through an understanding of principles and patterns of developmental and comparative anatomy. He loves to see students eyes light up as they learn to consume large quantities of information with the elegant patterns he shares with them. He has trained approximately 1,500 teaching assistants through his anatomy teaching program, many who have gone on to become outstanding teachers. He is also the author of numerous nationally and internationally recognized anatomy textbooks and software programs.


Don’t forget that as part of their support for HAPS members, Thieme offers 30% off and free shipping on their products using the code HAPS30 at checkout

2017 Gail Jenkins Award for Teaching and Mentoring

With the support of Wiley, the Gail Jenkins Award recognizes an A&P instructor who inspires students and colleagues alike.  This year the winner was first-time conference attendee Richelle Monaghan.   You can read more about Richelle below.

Maria Guarascio from Wiley, Richelle Monaghan, and HAPS President Terry Thompson


Richelle Monaghan joined Wilfrid Laurier University as an Assistant Professor in 2012 as the Head of Science Programming for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) in Public Health, and was cross-appointed with the Department of Biology in 2014. Richelle completed her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Waterloo in 2011 by developing cell culture models to study intracellular fungal parasites. She is currently the elected Chair of Parasitism, Immunity and Environment (PIE) for the Canadian Society of Zoologists. Prior to graduate school, Richelle was in private practice for 15 years as a regulated health care provider with a clinical focus on pain management. In this role, she gained strategies to explain anatomical and physiological concepts to her patients in ways that were relevant to them, and has continued to use these techniques for her students over the years. Richelle is an avid canoeist and enjoys traveling with her family.

2017 Sam Drogo Award winners

Wes Colgan, Arianna Boulet, and Rachel House from ADInstruments with the award winners

In 2017 ADInstruments funded three Sam Drogo Awards, supporting excellence in the classroom.  As usual, the ADInstruments team came out in force to support HAPS and this amazing group of instructors who have distinguished themselves with their use of technology in the classroom.


DayLESLIE DAY earned her B.S. in Exercise Physiology from UMass Lowell, an M.S. in Applied Anatomy & Physiology from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Biology from Northeastern University. She currently works as an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences at Northeastern University with her main teaching role in upper level Gross Anatomy and Neuroanatomy courses, but still loves teaching her introductory anatomy course. She has received five teaching awards at the university, including the coveted University Excellence in Teaching Award. She is also a digital author for the Hole’s Anatomy & Physiology and  Hole’s Essentials of Anatomy &  Physiology textbooks. Her current research focuses on the effectiveness of different teaching pedagogies, including the flipped-classroom and various technology. She brings her love for anatomy and quest for trying new technology into the classroom to make for a dynamic evidence-based teaching style that is friendly to all students.

HurtBarbekka (Barb) Hurtt received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado, where I first gained experience teaching undergraduates. Since then, I’ve worked both in and out of academia, largely focused on technology integration and implementation into undergraduate natural sciences content. I am currently an Assistant Professor-Teaching in the University of Denver Biological Sciences department, although I’ve also taught at the medical school and graduate health professions levels as well. Throughout my career I’ve utilized numerous different technologies in my courses and labs, with the aim of integrating constructive and meaningful resources to improve the educational process for students and faculty alike. My current technology undertaking focuses on student-directed 3D simulation in the human anatomy labs as one component of a multi-modality lab education experience. We use the Visible Body Human Anatomy Atlas in the zSpace 3D system on a weekly basis, in addition to dissection and modeling in the labs. Students drive the 3D simulations during the learning experience, and additionally use them to “peer-teach” the other students in their lab sections. The purpose of implementing the 3D system is multi-faceted, but overall has received positive reviews from students. An IRB approved educational research study is underway to evaluate the impact of this technology on student learning, retention, and educational engagement.

LiuHe Liu is an assistant professor at Gannon University. He teaches Animal Physiology and lab, introductory Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Research Methods in Biology courses in the Biology Department. His research is on the molecular basis of learning and memory, and physiological effects of environmental contaminants.

The HAPS Goodbye

Smiles, hugs, beer, science
Exhaustion, excitation
HAPSters say goodbye.
-The deadline poet

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
-Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet [Act II, Scene 2]

A message from the HAPS Western Regional Director, John Jackson.
A message from the HAPS Western Regional Director, John Jackson.

It’s in the books.  It’s finito. It’s all done.  The 31st Annual HAPS conference over. If this conference was a carnival, it would be shutting down the rides, closing the booths, and pulling up the tent-stakes. Next stop: Columbus, Ohio in 2018.

We’re bleary and weary on this last morning, and saddened already from having said (and having still to say) so many goodbyes. It’s not easy – now or ever.  But we will meet again – and I’m already looking forward to next year. Having had the pleasure of teaching with the 2018 Conference Coordinators Melissa Quinn and Jennifer Burgoon this past year, I know they have some amazing things in store for us in Columbus. Saying goodbye to them is really more about anticipating the upcoming conference, and all that’s in store there.

As you know, every HAPS meeting is really two meetings in one. This doubles the number of goodbyes. The update seminars at the conference location headquarters re-introduce us to our dear friends among the exhibitors –those vendors and publishers, big and small– whose support and presence make the HAPS Annual Conference possible. The vendors are with us for two days, and then we have to say the first set of goodbyes. Then during and after our educational workshops, more HAPSters come and slip away quietly, until those who stick it out until the very end have this strange mixture of separation anxiety and survivor’s guilt at being on the last bus back to the hotel.

Perrotti and Jackson, Salt Lake City 2017
Perrotti and Jackson, Salt Lake City 2017

Bill Perrotti is among those who gets hit hard by the goodbyes. It’s as though he’s a camp counselor who can’t let his charges go at the end of the week. When it’s time to say goodbye, Bill seems to forget the excitement and energy he has shown at each and every first timer’s breakfast since 2002 (the Paleozoic era of HAPS conferences). He embodies the welcoming spirit of HAPS. He is quick to remind everyone of the enduring friendships and academic collaborations in his life due to his involvement in HAPS. Perhaps he forgets all of that good stuff when it’s time to say goodbye (perhaps it’s his age). But it’s always hard to say goodbye to Bill.

A quick shout-out to Sally Jo Detloff, who reminded me in the elevator that “we’re only an email away.”  She’s right, of course.

So let’s commit ourselves to maintaining contact, to the sharing of ideas and insights, and to acknowledging the sources of our inspirations and frustrations with our fellow HAPSters in the weeks and months ahead. More than anyone can or has adequately described – this close collegiality and sharing is truly what makes the HAPS Conference so very special as a face-to-face experience. Nonetheless – the bonds of friendship and scholarship (otherwise known as “science geekdom”) that work so powerfully in person can be sustained by reaching out through a call or an email to say:

“Hey, I tried that thing in class today and thought of you when a student finally got it. Thanks for the help.”  

By recognizing others, reaching out, and thanking our colleagues, we can avoid the goodbyes that make HAPS Conferences so bittersweet…to the point that we’re not really saying goodbye at all. Instead, we’re keeping the warm “hello” that begins each HAPS meeting moving and working through our academic lives until our next meeting.

Happy trails –until we meet again!

2018- We'll see you in Columbus!
2018- We’ll see you in Columbus!

What HAPS Means to Me

Becca Ludwig is an experienced HAPS blogger and brought us a series of five posts in March 2015 from the A&P student perspective.  Now we get to hear from her again, this time as successful graduate!  

A message from Becca!
A message from Occupational Therapist, Becca Ludwig.

I joined HAPS because my close mentor and A&P instructor encouraged me to attend the annual conference in Jacksonville Florida in 2014.  I was eager to jump at the chance.  Through many conversations with this particular professor, she saw that I had a desire to one day follow in her footsteps and teach A&P.  She was the first person who told me that I could teach.  It was not until then that I thought of being a professor as a career choice.

When I first attended the annual conference in 2014, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a strong network to support every member, including me. I was only a grad student at the time and just diving into my love for A&P and teaching. I did not think that there was much that I could offer.  

13003342163_bda5ee5094_bIt was at this conference that I really started to seriously consider the possibility of becoming a professor. Everywhere I turned, I met or found new resources that could help me reach my goal.  There were amazing speakers, insightful and supportive colleagues, and interesting poster presentations. After the conference, I joined the Communication Committee and have enjoyed reading and writing blogs, finding the Friday funny for Facebook, reading into the histology challenge, and keeping up with the latest HAPS news.  I was integrated into the HAPS community and welcomed with open arms.

This unique network has connected me to so many people and opportunities and I am grateful to be taking advantage of this support. I can come to the annual conference and listen to perspectives and learn about potential routes to reach my ultimate goal of teaching.   It does not matter if someone is a first year professor or a veteran…everyone is open to learning new things and sharing their experiences.  This is what makes HAPS great!