I was playing the back nine at Torrey Pines when I got the call. “Sir, HAPS President O’Loughlin has injured her ankle and cannot participate in the World Summit 10K next week. You’ll have to step up.” Just then, HAPS One – a refurbished Huey helicopter – came through the clouds and landed on the tee box of hole #16. Before I knew it, I was being whisked away to Albuquerque, New Mexico to run in the same heat as Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.
Okay, enough with the Walter Mitty riff. Back to reality.
As the president-elect for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS), I’ve been writing weekly blog entries to share with you the “behind the scenes” work within the Board of Directors and the Steering Committee. I have several more entries to publish in the coming year, but I wanted to take today to share the global function of these groups in terms of HAPS.
HAPS is primarily a volunteer organization. Incepted in the late 1980s, it started as a bunch of college teachers wanting to share ideas about teaching anatomy and physiology. It grew into a larger body of educators that reached from coast to coast. In time, we realized the need for official assistance and hired both a management firm and an executive director. However, a lot of the work is still performed by volunteers.
The Board of Directors serves as the Executive branch of the HAPS leadership. They monitor the finances and policies of HAPS. They serve as the interface with other societies and with vendors. They help to make conferences – regional and annual – a reality. Keeping in contact with the membership, they find out what works at the conferences and what doesn’t (the Monday mixer has been a big hit, the laser tag competition on the Las Vegas strip…not so much).
The Steering Committee serves as the Legislative branch of the HAPS leadership. Each member of the SC is the chair of a separate committee. Each committee tackles an issue or policy important to HAPS. The Chairs come together in the SC to make sure that these projects work together and nothing is being left out. They bring up concerns from their committee members and take responses back to those same members.
Here’s where you come in. “Ask not what your Society can do for you…” No wait, feel free to ask what HAPS can do for you. The Board and the Steering Committee would love to hear from you. We’d love to find out what you are curious about or what you’d like to share or do.
Check out the HAPS Committees web page and see if there is a committee that sounds interesting to you. Contact the Chair in charge and learn what they’re doing and how you can participate.
Contact your Regional Director and find out what is going on in your area or share what is going on in your area. See if we’re hosting a regional conference in your area and start making plans.
Speaking of making plans, check out the next Annual Conference in Jacksonville, Florida in 2014. Next week, I’ll share some ideas of things to be thinking about while making plans to attend.
OMG, there are so many ways to be active within HAPS. There’s the list-serv, the Facebook page, the Twitter account, and so on.
We’re boldly going to new frontiers in education. Here’s your chance to step up and enjoy the amazing journey with us!
(I asked Javni Mody what it’s been like as a member of the HAPS leadership.)
In 1993 I was still a rookie professor teaching anatomy and physiology. I thought I should spread my wings a bit more and do some networking. One of my colleagues was a member of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) and she talked very fondly about the organization, so I thought maybe I would attend a HAPS annual meeting. She could not attend the 1995 meeting that year, so I was all alone when I reached St. Louis. Being a shy person, I thought that for next five days I would not be talking to anybody and would be eating meals in my hotel room all by myself!!!
What I had in store for me for next five days was a big pleasant surprise. I do not remember initiating a conversation; people kept coming up to me, introducing themselves and asking me if I would like to join them for a meal!!! That is when my addiction to HAPS began. I attended several HAPS annual conferences before realizing what was meant by the “HAPS Leadership”. I always thought that Monday morning business meetings during the conferences were for people who had to do some “business” with HAPS,while it meant “to sleep in” for me!!!
I was asked to chair the Regional Conference Committee a few years down the line after joining HAPS. After serving that committee for four years, I decided to serve HAPS as the Marketing Manager. Having no business experience, I was pretty apprehensive at first but it was a great experience for me. I got a chance to work as a bridge between HAPS and the vendors. At the pleading of my darling husband, I took a year off from HAPS leadership, but my addiction caught up with me and I decided to run for the office of Eastern Regional Director and the rest is the history!!!!!
As the Marketing Manager, I had worked closely with the board, but I still did not have the full comprehension of what exactly goes on “behind the scenes” to run this big an organization mainly by volunteers. Getting involved with the HAPS leadership has been a wonderful experience for me. As board members we meet twice a year in person, but we have e-meetings every month, which conclude with a video conference on a Sunday night. This has interrupted several of my social plans, but seeing other board members on the video chat and discussing matters which are important to the organization makes up for it. In my opinion HAPS members are some of the kindest people I have known. One of my duties as the regional director is to send a Regional Director’s letter to the HAPS members in my region. So many members send me a note of gratitude for keeping them informed after reading that letter!!!
Being on the Board has given me an opportunity to give something back to the organization that I love so dearly!!!
The HAPS-EDucator is the official publication of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) and is published online four times per year. When I first started teaching in 1998, I found an insert card in a new textbook that introduced me to HAPS. I was at a rural college in eastern Colorado, fairly isolated from science teachers. I joined HAPS and started receiving the HAPS-EDucator every three months. It was an amazing window into a group of people with similar interests and amazing stories to tell. I didn’t get to attend my first HAPS conference until 2001, but those issues of the HAPS-ED hooked me early on.
The HAPS-EDucator aims to foster the advancement of anatomy and physiology education by facilitating the collaboration of HAPS members through the publication of a quarterly journal. Journal articles may include, but are not limited to, those which discuss innovating teaching techniques, original lesson plans or lab exercises, reviews of trending topics in anatomy and physiology, and summaries of newsworthy events. Jeanelle and Sarah – co-editors – work with dedicated contributors and editors to bring you incredible issues several times a year. Prior editors, such as Susan Baxley and Marsha Sousa, have set a high standard. Sarah and Jeanelle continue to keep that standard high and push new frontiers in the changing face of publishing.
We switched from a printed version to an online version a few years ago. Whereas I miss having that paper edition in my hands, I really like the color images and graphics that we can implement into the online version. Jeanelle and Sarah tried something new this year. They created a special Annual Conference Edition of the HAPS-ED to highlight some of the magic that occurred in Las Vegas during this past conference in 2013. I recognize the group in the right picture, but who is that in the middle shot?
Have you got a story to tell? An activity to share? An edu-snippet to present? Jeanelle and Sarah would love to hear from you.
HAPS has been all over North America. We’ve been hosting annual conferences since the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society were formed in 1987. Each conference has created something new and magical and this coming year in Jacksonville, Florida will be no exception.
What would you think of hosting an Annual HAPS conference in your area? It’s not as hard as you might think. We have an entire Conference Committee dedicated to mentor you if you decide to host an annual or a regional conference.
Ellen Lathrop-Davis is the chair of the Conference Committee and she has helped a number of HAPSters give unforgettable conferences. Her committee has created a number of guidelines to help you decide if your city and school are the right fit for 500-600 enthusiastic educators to share ideas for a week in late May. They have prep sheets, conference proposal forms, poster and workshop guidelines, and so much more.
Ellen’s not alone. We also have an Executive Director (Peter English) and ASG (our management firm) that can help with a lot of the logistics. If you propose your location to HAPS for a regional or annual conference, ASG can help determine the best deal for a local hotel, transportation and food vending, and a host of other details. Peter has been great at helping advertise our conferences to other educational societies, upgrading the website and smart-device app, and serving as a contact for the various individuals that you would need for a conference.
Some things to consider if your location is conducive include:
How accessible is your city via air traffic?
How close is your school to major hotels and attractions?
Do you have a quality baseball team in the area (this is important to a number of our members)?
Do you have colleagues that could help you form a strong committee to handle the various functions?
So, whad’ya say? Are you interested in learning if HAPS can come and visit? If an Annual Conference sounds too intimidating, you might consider a Regional Conference. Hosting a 1-day or 2-day conference for your local area is a great way to have the HAPS experience. You might decide that a full-size Annual Conference is or is not in the cards, but you can still have a great time. Ellen would love to hear from you and offer you some tips in considering the idea. Who knows, you might add a red dot to the map.