HAPS Diversity & Inclusion Survey

In the fall of 2018, HAPS approved a new task force; the Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG). This was a significant step for HAPS as a professional society. In a January 2019 blog post, Kathy Burleson, the DIG chair, explained its purpose, which is “to develop best practices, resources, and professional development for inclusive education in anatomy and physiology.” Attendees of the 2019 HAPS annual conference in Portland may recall numerous workshops, speakers, and posters promoting diversity and inclusion inside and outside of our classrooms.

 Since the mission of HAPS is to promote excellence in the teaching of A&P, we as educators must continue to strive to understand the unique identities, perspectives, and experiences of our students if we are to overcome barriers to learning. However, to move forward with that mission in a united way, HAPS needs to address any barriers to inclusion within our own member base, and understand the unique needs of our members. To accomplish this goal, the DIG created the HAPS Diversity & Inclusion Membership survey. The purpose of the survey is to gather membership data that will tell us who we are as an organization and identify needs regarding diversity and inclusion.

 The expected outcomes of the survey include the development of teaching resources, professional presentations and social events at HAPS meetings, potential funding opportunities, and the development of a 5-year plan for HAPS around diversity and inclusion.

Please consider taking the Diversity & Inclusion Survey–HAPS members should check their inboxes to find the link. Participation is entirely voluntary. The IRB-approved survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete, and those who finish the survey are eligible to win one of six $50 Amazon gift cards. Questions concerning the IRB for this survey should be directed to Theo Smith, smittheo@iu.edu. If you have any other questions about this survey or would like to get involved with DIG, please contact Kathy Burleson, kburleson@hapsconnect.org.

Cleaning Anatomical Models with Denture Tablets

TeethThe weeks leading up to the start of a new semester are busy ones filled with ordering supplies, scheduling teaching assistants, and cleaning the lab. After scheduling custodial services for the big jobs and performing the little jobs, I never seem to have time to clean the models (most of which are 30+ years old!). A couple of models were so covered in grime, grease, adhesives from practicals past, ink, etc., that it was easier to put them back on the shelf and ‘deal with it later.’ In January 2018, however, I found myself with a bit of time and was finally going to clean one of our dental models that I couldn’t, in good conscience, discard without at least trying to clean it. My original plan was to use dish soap and an old toothbrush to clean it. I gave up after 30 minutes as I wasn’t making a dent in the grime. I considered other options, but the model was too big for our ultrasonic cleaner and I didn’t want to put it through a cycle in a dishwasher for fear that the force of water jets and heat would warp the model or remove paint.

SkullsAs I considered my next step, I recalled my recent dental work — two root canals, a bone graft, failed implants, and a temporary bridge. In an example of chance favoring the prepared mind, I thought: ‘I’m holding a model of teeth. It is made of plastic, a little metal, and a bit of paint — just like the bridge I soak every night. Would denture cleaning tablets work? It’s unlikely that I would damage the model by soaking it overnight and worth a try.’

After a 30-second rinse and brushing the morning after the soak, the model was like new. The difference was so striking I felt I had performed a magic trick. I immediately set out to clean another model to convince myself that this was repeatable. I use a basic methodology of 1 denture-cleaning tablet per 250ml of water (approximate) and an overnight soak. Models are rinsed the next day and gently scrubbed with a soft sponge. Paint that is not heat-set can be rubbed off if you scrub too vigorously. An old toothbrush can be helpful for hard-to-reach places.

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Why does it work?

Denture cleaning tablets are primarily composed of sodium bicarbonate (i.e., baking soda — a mild alkali which functions as a degreaser), an oxidizer, and a scent (typically mint). I have been testing the use of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide as soaking and cleaning agents with similar results and have been considering OxiCleanTM (composed of sodium percarbonate (i.e., sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide), soda ash, and detergents) as a cleanser. Costs for denture cleaning tablets, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, and OxiCleanTM are minimal and can ‘pay for themselves’ by extending the working life of your models. Limitations are the size of soaking containers and rinsing facilities.

CaveatsFootBones

  • Perform a small-model test case before working with larger models or several models at once.
  • I do not recommend using this technique on models made of plaster.
  • Examine models for any puncture holes (for screws, hooks, etc.) and position models during soaking to avoid waterlogging.

 

 

 


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Carol Britson is an Instructional Associate in the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi where she teaches Vertebrate Histology, Human Anatomy, and Introductory Physiology for science majors and Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II for allied health students. In 2018 she received the University of Mississippi Excellence in Teaching award from the PLATO (Personalized Learning & Adaptive Teaching Opportunities) Program supported by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The 2019 Annual Conference App is here!

The 2019 HAPS Annual conference app is ready for download and ready for you!

DOWNLOAD FOR iOS                      DOWNLOAD FOR ANDROID

Full schedule, easy to access. All official events are listed in the app, and all you have to do is click on the star next to an event to add it to your personal schedule.

All workshop presenters are listed, so you can find workshops by presenter or by knowing when to look. Poster first presenters are listed as well, with poster abstracts in the presenter’s bio.

Want to participate in the social stream in the app? All you have to do is register within the app and start posting! Look in the exhibits hall in the first two days to see all social posts projected on the giant social wall!

Looking for members of the HAPS leadership? They would love to hear your suggestions and will be wearing bullseye buttons to make them easy to spot. But if you’d like to get a look at them before (or after) meeting them, all their names and photos are in the app.

HAPS conference participants come from all over the world to attend this conference, and we’ve got an interactive map of all participants in the app. As you zoom in you’ll see more and more detail down to the city level.

Interested in beginning your path towards HAPS leadership? The best start is by joining a committee. Use the app to let committee chairs know about your interest and they will contact you in June.

Need more information? The app has GPS-enabled maps to show you where you are and highlights the venues we’ll be using during the conference. There is also the “Lots more info” section with, you guessed it, lots more info.

Download the app today and get started planning your personal HAPS Annual Conference schedule!

DOWNLOAD FOR iOS                      DOWNLOAD FOR ANDROID

Community College Anatomy and Physiology Education Research Program

Community College Anatomy and Physiology Education Research (CAPER) Program: Promoting Change in Classroom Pedagogy to Benefit Students

Active learning is not a new concept within HAPS. Annual conference poster and workshop sessions are chock-full of ideas on how to incorporate more student-centered techniques and personal storiesof faculty experiences with various methods. Nearly all of us likely have active learning terms in our lexicon and the majority of HAPS members would agree we should use such techniques (if not, please see the meta-study by Freeman et al. [1]). Yet an awareness of active learning and its benefit by itself does not necessarily drive change in our classroom practice.  The more change is required, especially when that change is associated with significant effort, possibly even a seismic shift from our past teaching routines, the less likely we are to rush out and try it. And if an instructor is really motivated to find out what most benefits their specific population of students, the thought of developing an actual pedagogical study can seem utterly overwhelming. This is where peer-mentoring and a set timeline can really help. The Community College Anatomy and Physiology Education Research (CAPER) Program is designed to provide the needed support for participating community college instructors.

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CAPER is an NSF-funded project, with Murray Jensen (University of MN) as Principal Investigator. CAPER is aimed at supporting community college faculty who are interested in identifying how evidence-based instructional practices (EBIPs) impact the community college student population, a population that has been under-studied in the active learning literature. The current cohort of six participants kicked off the project by participating in the HAPS-I Educational Research course in fall 2018. Their culminating project for the course was an educational research proposal they are implementing this spring. A group of additional active HAPSters also participated as mentors in the HAPS-I course, providing feedback on project proposals and helping as needed.  Kerry Hull, for example, is heading up an interdisciplinary group at Bishop’s University in Ontario, Canada that provides expertise in experimental design, data analysis, and manuscript preparation.

In addition to the studies being conducted by each instructor, all instructors are working with the research team to investigate the impact of EBIPs on reducing student stress and increasing their feelings of academic self-efficacy. If you are attending the meeting in Portland, be sure to check out the CAPER posters, or attend our workshop, to learn more specific details about the project.

Principal Investigators: Murray Jenson, Kerry Hull (BU sub-contract)
Mentors: Ron Gerrits, Betsy Ott, Kyla Ross
Research Support: Heather Lawford, Suzanne Hood
Graduate Students: Laura Seithers, Rob Palmer

[1]   S. Freeman et al., “Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., vol. 111, no. 23, pp. 8410–8415, Jun. 2014.


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Submitted by Ron Gerrits on behalf of the CAPER group. Ron Gerrits is a Professor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering where he teaches health-science courses, mainly physiology. His professional interests are science and engineering education. Currently he is one of the mentors on the CAPER project, which includes several HAPSters interested in improving physiology education (which seems to be a group trait of HAPS!).

First HAPS Silent Auction!

You’re invited to participate in the first ever HAPS Silent Auction in Portland, Oregon!

For those of you who are attending the 2019 HAPS Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon this May, we hope that you consider bringing a little something to donate to the HAPS Silent Auction. The HAPS Fundraising Committee is trying something new out this year and we hope you’ll join in on the fun!  The items can be something from your hometown or home institution.  Anything small and interesting (sorry, but HAPS does not have the ability to receive or send shipped items, so the item must be small enough to travel with you to the meeting and home to the winner from the meeting). Examples include a copy of a book authored, handcrafted jewelry or other accessories, school sports items (like mugs, t-shirts, etc.), and gift certificates.

The Silent Auction will take place in the exhibit hall during the first day of the Update Seminars (Thursday, May 23 from 7:30 am to 6:15 pm). Attendees will have until 6:15 pm on Thursday to bid on their favorite items! At the end of the bidding period, the individual with the highest bid will receive the item (in exchange for the monetary bid).

Please bring your donated items to the registration desk at the Oregon Convention Center on Wednesday, May 22 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. Convention Center on Wednesday, May 22 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm.

All attendees can participate in the auction, irrespective of whether they donated an item or not. However, the more items donated, the more interesting and fun the auction will be!

If altruism wasn’t enough, here’s the bonus!  If you donate an item or bid on an item in an amount that is more than the retail value, you will receive a tax donation receipt!

If you have any questions, please contact the HAPS Main Office at 1-800-448-4277 or info@hapsconnect.org.

How the Grinch Taught Dissection

I hated pep-rallies in high school and I have always struggled with having a sense of team spirit. In fact, at Christmas time I find that I tend to have more in common with the Grinch than Old Saint Nick, so the fact that I find myself excited enough to write a blog about something is not only out of the ordinary, it’s stranger than green eggs and ham!

As one can imagine, I have surprised myself over the last four years at how I have become such an advocate (dare I say cheerleader) for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society with both university administration and my fellow anatomy colleagues. It has been exciting to interact with the diverse population of individuals who teach A&P. Our educational backgrounds vary just as much as our personalities and teaching styles. In contrast to other professional organizations that I participate in, I have found that HAPS creates a uniquely inclusive environment in which professionals from a range of institutions and at all stages of their career can share their ideas and learn from conference speakers, workshops, and online forums. Furthermore, like the Grinch, I find my heart growing three sizes when I think of how our leadership team is constantly looking for new ways to work with the different HAPS committees in order to find how we can help one another become better scientists and educators.

With the intention to assist with this initiative, the HAPS Cadaver Use Committee has recognized a problem faced by a significant population of HAPS members. We have found that many of our members have very little or sometimes no cadaver dissection experience. In response to the perceived need and interest amongst the HAPS membership, the Cadaver Use Committee is developing a human cadaver dissection mentorship program. Specifically, we are soliciting member interest and need for this program. Additionally, we are looking to identify individuals that can serve as mentors. The role of the mentor will be better defined as we continue to collect information from HAPS members through virtual town-hall meetings and a survey to determine interest by location, limiting factors, cost, and the type of mentorship relationship that will provide the most value added for participants. Long-term, we would like this dissection mentorship program to fulfill the pillars of a faculty’s academic career. Our goal is to develop a mentorship program that will not only enrich the quality of teaching, but also bolster faculty promotion, tenure, and service.

With all that being said, I would like to say I am grateful for HAPS and proud of this initiative. I am excited to share my lab and my dissection experience with my colleagues. I may not be ready to hold hands and sing “Welcome Christmas” with all the Who’s in Whoville, but I can’t wait to hear from others in my region and the greater HAPS community and learn what they think about our new program and how they might like to participate. Please pay special attention to any upcoming emails regarding the human dissection mentorship program.  We would love to hear from you at any of our upcoming town hall meetings or surveys!


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Kelsey Stevens is the Anatomy Lab Manager and an Instructor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Her specialties include Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Embryology.  She has been a member of the HAPS Cadaver Use Committee since 2016.

 

When Drama in the Lab is a GOOD Thing

This past semester, I had the fortunate experience to have an extra A&P lab session relative to previous semesters. I decided to take a page from my Microbiology courses and find a movie on an A&P topic to show for the last day of lab and (of course) have food. In Microbiology, I have shown the movie Contagion because it allows us to have a discussion on epidemiology and how outbreaks happen. I was looking for a similar movie in the realm of human A&P, so of course I turned to my HAPS friends for suggestions via the HAPS list-serv! Suggestions I received were: Gifted Hands, Extraordinary Measures, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Double Helix, Hawking (chosen for its coverage of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Fantastic Voyage, Osmosis Jones, and Miss Evers’ Boys.

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I finally decided to go with Something the Lord Made, a 2004 film which discusses groundbreaking work on the Tetralogy of Fallot, more commonly referred to as Blue Baby Syndrome (and also known as cyanotic heart disease). It focuses on Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas, whose surgical techniques helped to pioneer modern heart surgery. They first work to recreate the Blue Baby Syndrome in dogs, then learn to alleviate the problem by creating a new duct that shunts much of the subclavian artery’s blood to the pulmonary artery, increasing the oxygenation of this blood. The movie goes into depth on circulation and helps students connect classroom content to real-life applications.

As the (true) story takes place in the 1930s and 1940s, it also allows students to see how things were during the Great Depression and during times of widespread segregation. Since Vivien Thomas is African American, Johns Hopkins University only allows him to be hired as a janitor, and Thomas must enter through a separate entrance. The movie goes on to show how Thomas, through persistence and hard work, rises above the poverty and racism to become a teacher of other surgeons. Although Thomas is never able to go to college, his work with Blalock allows him to become supervisor of surgical laboratories. Later, Johns Hopkins names him an instructor of surgery and bestows on him an honorary doctorate. Thomas’s portrait now hangs in the lobby of the Alfred Blalock Clinical Sciences Building across from that of Alfred Blalock himself.

The students enjoyed the movie, although it took them a while to get pulled into the story. They were shocked by how open the surgical rooms used to be, with a gallery in the room for other doctors to watch. We also discussed the movie’s portrayal of animal research, ethical obligations for physicians, and A&P concepts. Unfortunately, we only had about five minutes for this discussion, since the movie itself took 90 minutes of the two-hour lab period, and I also had to pass out and discuss tests. If I have another “movie day” in the future, I’ll make sure that we don’t have to do anything else that day, so that we can delve more deeply into the movie.


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Julia Schmitz is an Associate Professor of Biology in the Natural Sciences Department at Piedmont College as well as director of their Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). She teaches courses in microbiology, medical microbiology, general biology, and anatomy and physiology. She is a member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, The American Physiological Society, The American Society for Microbiology, and the Association of Biology Laboratory Educators.