HAPS Leadership (#17): Southern Regional Director

We’re checking in with Jason LaPres this week to learn what is so gosh-darn special about the HAPS Regional Conferences.  Jason is our Southern Regional Director, as well as an attendee and/or committee member at a few of our Regionals.

???????????????????????????????“The Regional Conferences are a little more intimate than the Annual Conference.  Usually just over a weekend, they are a little more low-key.  Most people are close enough to drive and a lot know each other before reaching the conference.  There are fewer vendors, only 1 or 2 update lectures, but most of the focus is usually on the workshops.”

Uh…gee, Jason, that sounds somewhat “less” than the Annual Conference.

“Heck, no, Tom.  It’s just different.  As I said, the Regional Conferences tend to be more intimate than the Annuals.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Annual Conferences.  The night and day energy at those is incredible.  Meeting so many new people and experiencing so many new things is absolutely breath-taking.  But, what makes the Regional Conferences a jewel is their focus.”

“See, each Regional Conference tends to develop a bit of a theme for itself.  We’ve had Regional Conferences that were built around cadaver dissection, around online courses, around high school educators, the list goes on.  The Annual Conference is a chance to explore a whole bunch of – SQUIRREL!

140212 (2) Up“Sorry, lost my train of thought.  Oh yeah, the Regional Conferences are a great way to really roll your sleeves up and immerse yourself into a tight group of educators who are just as passionate as you.  We have an Eastern Regional Conference in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 15 of this year.  I’ve spoken to a number of people are very excited to attend that one.”

Are there other Regional Conferences in the works?

“Yes, Murray Jensen is working on a Central Regional Conference for October of this year.  We’ve had proposals from a number of other HAPSters who want to host a Regional Conference in their neck of the woods.  Hosting a Regional Conference is a great way to see if your location could serve as a future site for an Annual Conference.  For more information on hosting a Regional Conference, feel free to contact Ellen Lathrop-Davis, Chair of the Conference Committee or check out their committee’s web page.

Thanks, Jason.  That gives me a lot to think about.  I’m going to check out the Regional Conference web page and think about attending.

Excitement at the Southern Regional in Texas this past year!
Excitement at the Southern Regional in Texas this past year!
Vendors, Workshops, and Seminars..oh my!
Vendors, Workshops, and Seminars..oh my!

HAPS Leadership (#13): Central Regional Director

140115 (1) Murray Jensen“Baltimore…somewhere in the 90s.  That was my first HAPS conference.  Since then, I’ve attended most of the annual conferences, served on a few committees, contributed articles to the HAPS-EDucator, and worked on the effort to archive past issues of the HAPS-ED on the APS Teaching Archive.”

I’m talking with Murray Jensen, Central Regional Director for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society.  He’s telling me about joining the HAPS Board of Directors.

“With the encouragement of John Waters, I put my name on the ballot for the HAPS Central Regional Director.  It’s been a logical step, as I expand my horizons and learn more about HAPS.  Still, the Talking Head’s lyric – ‘How did I get here?’ – comes to mind.”

140115 (2) Talking HeadsHow did your passion for teaching anatomy and physiology begin?

“I started my professional career as a high school science teacher.  I taught everything from 9th grade special education to anatomy and physiology.  Teaching in the chaos of a high school has put most of my future teaching endeavors into perspective.  Ever try to teach 30 spastic, hyperkinetic, vocal, and emotional 9th graders how to use a volumetric flask on a Friday afternoon during the last period of the day?  You can imagine.

 “I currently teach freshman-level anatomy and physiology at the University of Minnesota, but have kept my contact with high schools through a dual enrollment program at the U.  That has allowed me to keep in touch with high school teachers and educate them about the incredible opportunities through HAPS.”

What sort of opportunities?

“My biggest project for that is a HAPS Central Regional Conference that we’re planning for October, 2014.  We’re looking to have it at a nearby high school (Murray is currently in Minneapolis, Minnesota).  At this conference, I hope to attract both regular HAPS members as well as high school A&P teachers.  We’ll have the usual plenary sessions and workshops, but there will also be ample opportunity for high school and college educators to interact and – as we do so well at all of our conferences – share successes and headaches, brainstorm new ideas, and generally have a good time.  If you know of an educator, high school or college, who might be interested, please send them to the HAPS web page to learn more.” 

http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.html

HAPS Leadership (#10): Serving you the member

But I can't run in golf shoes!
But I can’t run in golf shoes!

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.

What an enthusiastic bunch!
What an enthusiastic bunch!

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.

Volunteerism is the key!
Volunteerism is key!

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.
Buckle up!
Buckle up!

We’re boldly going to new frontiers in education.  Here’s your chance to step up and enjoy the amazing journey with us!

HAPS Leadership (#9): Eastern Regional Director

(I asked Javni Mody what it’s been like as a member of the HAPS leadership.)

1218 (1) shyIn 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!!!

Keeping in touch with you!
Keeping in touch with you!

Being on the Board has given me an opportunity to give something back to the organization that I love so dearly!!!

Javni Mody

HAPS Eastern Regional Director

HAPS Leadership (#5): Western Regional Director

Checking phone messages. “Hi Anne, this is Caryl Tickner from HAPS. I’d like to talk with you about running for a position on the Board…”  Hmmm, Really?

Anne Geller, our W.R.D.
Anne Geller, our W.R.D.

I sort of fell into teaching as a second career around 18 years ago now (can it really be that long?). My colleague at the time introduced me to HAPS, and I attended my first annual conference in Portland, Oregon in 1996. Like many of you, I was immediately hooked. What a great way to learn how to teach from so many experts, and better yet, to make lifelong friends who were as passionate about the human body as I was (and also great fun to hang out with). I was a dedicated HAPSter, but running for Western Regional Director on the Board of Directors? Why would they even ask me? What could I possibly have to contribute?

According to our P&P, (which I learned stood for Policies and Procedures, our guideline manual), a Regional Director’s duties include:

  • Serving as a voting member on the Board of Directors for a two-year term, and along with other Board members, establishing and managing the policies and affairs of the Society.
  • Serving as the representative of a HAPS Region, acting as a liaison between his/her constituency and the Board of Directors.
  • Promoting increased involvement of the region’s membership in the activities of the Society.
  • Communicating with his/her constituency via email at least once annually.
  • Serving as a member of the Membership Committee and the Regional Conference Committee to promote local and regional conferences in his/her respective regions with the goal of soliciting one such conference per two-year term.
  • Attending Board of Director meetings held in mid-year and in conjunction with the Annual Conference, the Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the Annual Conference and any Regional Conferences in their region for the purpose of welcoming attendees and promoting membership in HAPS.

I am now in my last year as the Western Regional Director, having been re-elected to a second (and final) term. Getting involved with the leadership of HAPS has been a wonderful experience. There’s much that goes on “behind the scenes” to keep it running smoothly that I would have never known about, had I not been on the Board. And considering that we only have two paid positions (Executive Director and Business Services), this organization of 1700 members is, and always will be, run by a dedicated, ever-changing group of volunteers. I’ve had the opportunity to meet even more talented, creative A&P instructors as a representative at conferences, and been able to promote HAPS to potential new members. Being on the Board has given me an opportunity to give something back to this fabulous organization that embraced me and mentored me as a new faculty member 18 years ago, and whose members continue to inspire me to become a better A&P instructor.

Dive in and experience the thrill!
Dive in and experience the thrill!

So if you ever get “the call”, I hope that you will consider saying yes; because what I’ve learned over these past three and 1/2 years is that we all have something to contribute, and I can honestly say that I’ve gotten more from this experience than I ever thought I would.

HAPS Leadership (#4): Treasurer

Let's go for a ride!
It’s been an amazing ride!

Take it from the Money Honey, keeping track of HAPS’ finances is a complicated yet very rewarding experience.  Elizabeth Becker has been the Treasurer for HAPS since 2008 and is still finding excitement in each year.  Having said that, Elizabeth has decided to step down as Treasurer at the end of this term, but not before she gets to tell you about her experience within the HAPS Board of Directors.

Elizabeth has been an active member of HAPS for a number of years.  She has previously served on the Safety Committee and as the Central Regional Director (2002-2006).  Those experiences allowed Elizabeth to see HAPS from a broader perspective.  She got to see the “behind the scenes” activities that allow the organization to survive and thrive.  We’ve been busy these past two years, revamping the HAPS website.  Elizabeth has been able to see the work that all of the Board has put into it, especially Dee Silverthorn and Peter English.  She’s been able to see the organization grow with the hiring of ASG as our management firm and Peter English as our Executive Director.  She’s been able to see the creation and management of a number of regional and annual conferences.

What didn’t you expect when you were elected Treasurer?

The technological changes that we’ve gone through.  The Board has used technology to run our monthly meetings, progressing through teleconferences, online forums, Skype, and now Google Docs.  Technology has made her job as treasurer easier as well.  When she started, all conference registrations were mailed in and all checks crossed her desk.  Now, we have online registration and most checks can be cleared through ASG (she still oversees any payments to ASG itself and approves any payments above a certain monetary level).

Describe a benefit of being HAPS Treasurer.

The view.  It’s been amazing to see the complexity and organization of HAPS.  It’s been incredible to see the financial structure and understand how to help keep it healthy.  The Las Vegas conference taught us a lot of about hidden costs in a conference, which has helped us to (hopefully) prevent future surprises.  Incidentally, Jacksonville is shaping up so well and will be an amazing treat come this next May.

What advice do you have for the next Treasurer of HAPS?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Between Peter and ASG, you have resources to help you understand the financial picture of HAPS.  You get to be the expert on the HAPS budget for the Board, so you can help others understand what is necessary to keep us afloat.  You have to be able to see the organization as a whole, but also willing to sweat the details.  You have to be willing to ask “Why are we paying for this?” when presented with a bill.  It’s a good way to understand how well HAPS can work and what we can do for it.

Rub my belly now!
Rub my belly now!

Elizabeth would tell you more, but Thai is covering her keyboard and making it clear that it’s time for a tummy-scratching.  Thanks, Elizabeth.

HAPS Leadership (#1): The president-elect

Meet the HAPS Board of Directors
Meet the HAPS Board of Directors

Our president, Valerie O’Loughlin, blogged recently about our mid-year meeting in Jacksonville.  She explained how the Board of Directors (BOD) and the Steering Committee (SC) meet for an extended weekend to get a lot of work done.  It was a very productive time, allowing us to clearly work through the budget for this year, see the status of work on the 2014 Annual Conference in Jacksonville, begin our next round of Strategic Planning meetings, and anticipate any other business that might crop up in the coming months.  We got a lot done, but we also enjoyed each other’s company and renewed bonds of friendship and camaraderie that reinforces why we took on these leadership roles.  As the president-elect, I observed Valerie lead the meetings and offered input when I could.  Until this year, I had been the Chair of the Steering Committee for a number of years, so I was quite familiar with the workings of the mid-year meeting.  However, I have to admit it was strange to now be part of the “Executive Branch” after several years in the “Legislative Branch“.

One of the topics that was discussed during the mid-year meeting was this Blog.  There has been a lot of enthusiasm for this blog and we wish to keep making it as useful as possible.  One original purpose of the blog was to give everyone a peek into the workings of the HAPS leadership.  We realized that we had lost some of that direction.  So, here I am.

As president-elect, one of my tasks will be to offer you a view of the leaders of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society.  I’ll be posting each Wednesday on a different position within the BOD or SC, offering you some insight into their work as well as their personality.  I’ll be interviewing the various HAPS leaders, letting them offer you their take on their position, what they have put into it, and what they have gained from it.  Willing to put my money where my mouth is, I volunteered to be the topic of the first entry in this blog series.

At the 2013 Annual HAPS Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, I was elected as the president-elect for HAPS.  That translates into a 3-year commitment.  During this current academic year, I am the president-elect.  My main job is to learn how to be the president.  I attend the monthly e-meetings, keep up on the email chatter, and field occasional phone calls within the BOD and SC.  I participate in discussions led by our president while anticipating how I will lead the Society in the coming year.  During the 2014-2015 year, I will be the President, taking the helm of this incredible organization.  I will set the agendas for the BOD meetings, interact with other educational societies, and develop President’s Initiatives for my tenure (I’ll let President Valerie tell you more about that idea in her blog entry).  My year as president will culminate with presiding over the 2015 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  During the 2015-2016, I will serve as Past President, updating the Policy & Procedures manual while offering advice and institutional memory to the new President of HAPS.  That’s sums up my three years in a nutshell.

BallotThere is one other major duty that I have as president-elect.  I serve as the Chairman of the Nominating Committee.  I gather a committee of individuals to create a slate of candidates for next year’s elections.  The four positions on the BOD that will be up for election are President, Treasurer, Western Regional Director, and Eastern Regional Director.  We’ll contact individuals, asking if they would be interested in running for these various positions.  After we’ve cajoled and bribed enough people to fill the slate, we’ll put together a ballot on the website.  It will be open for your vote during the spring, with the winners of the various races announced before the next Annual Conference.

Cheers!
Cheers!

It is so exciting to be part of the HAPS leadership.  I could go on and on, but I know when it’s time to stop and take a breath.  If you have any questions about the HAPS leadership, feel free to email me at TLehman@HAPSConnect.org.  Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for the next entry in this blog.  Next week, I’ll tell you about two gentlemen who are doing incredible things with test questions.