HAPS Leadership (#25): 2014 Annual Conference preparations

HAPS 2014 is in 24 days! The Annual Conference for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society starts in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, May 24th. If you haven’t yet, start making plans. It’s a great week, full of incredible events and people. Let’s listen in on two new HAPS members planning for their first conference.

140430 (1) MinionP. Langerhans: Frank, I’m excited to attend my first HAPS conference this next month. I’ve lurked on the list-serv for a few years and read the HAPS-EDucator, but otherwise I haven’t been too involved. However, I’ve always wanted to visit Florida, so I decided to sign up for the Jacksonville conference. I’ve never been to the area, so tell me what it’ll be like.

F. Netter: Paul, The Jacksonville area is gorgeous. We’ll be staying at the Hyatt Regency, which is right on the Riverfront. There’ll be a lot of neat places to see within walking distance. Best of all, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival will be just a few blocks away. Live music to sample throughout the weekend. The Marketplace is next door, with lots of great restaurants. There’s a water taxi that can easily take you to restaurants and parks across the river.

140430 (2) MinionP. Langerhans: Well, I’m glad that I found you as a roommate. I don’t know any other HAPS members, so I was worried about finding a roommate. However, the HAPS website has a Roommate Finder forum as well as a Guide for First-timers. Man, that was really helpful in figuring out what to expect. I just read that the HAPS Foundation has organized a 5K Fun Run for Monday morning. We’ll be running along the Riverwalk and over the Main Street bridge. It’ll be an early morning – race starts at 7:00 a.m. – but that gives us time to make the Business meeting.

F. Netter: I’ve been reading the Sneak Peeks at the Update Seminar speakers. There’s a great diversity of topics, so I’m curious to see how they go. I’ve also signed up for one of the HAPS-I courses, so that’ll be another great way to meet HAPSters and explore the conference.

140430 (3) Minion

P. Langerhans: Which course did you sign up for? I was curious, but was too late. I need to learn more about those courses.

140430 (4) MinionF. Netter: All HAPS-I courses are graduate credit level courses and can be applied towards a Master’s or Ph.D. program. They’re run through Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can find the list of courses on the website. New courses are announced on Facebook and Twitter. They even have financial aid available. They accept applications four times a year and the awarded scholarships may be used anytime up to 12 months after receipt, so you might as well apply now.

P. Langerhans: Good idea. I’ll check it out and apply. I’m curious to check out the Saturday reception. President-elect Tom Lehman has mentioned the Shirt Swap for that night. Bring a shirt from your institution and be prepared to swap it for someone else’s shirt. I guess he’s into tie-dye something fierce and will be bringing several tie-dyed shirts to swap. Sunday morning, we’ve got the First-timers breakfast with the Presidents Emeriti, where we get to learn about the “ins and outs” of HAPS and realize how much we can get out of a conference and the Society as a whole.

140430 (5) MinionF. Netter: You mentioned that you’re presenting a workshop. The workshops will be at Florida State College – South Campus. I’ve checked their website; it looks like an incredible campus. I can’t wait to see the labs. I’ve checked the workshop schedule and realize that I’m going to have a hard time choosing which to go to. There are so many cool ones!

P. Langerhans: I know. I was scared to present, but I’ve talked with other workshop presenters and they say it’s a great experience. The attendees are excited to learn and share. Several people said they came away with pages of new ideas to take home and try. That sounds amazing to me. I’ve even downloaded the HAPS 2014 Annual Conference app to keep track of the workshops and seminars that I want to attend. Say, are you taking the Thursday trip to St. Augustine?

140430 (6) MinionF. Netter: You bet. That place sounds incredible. The restaurants look amazing!  I was able to squeeze it into my travel itinerary, so I’m excited to see what the day trip is like. Man, I can’t wait for the conference and join the ranks of HAPS minions!

How about you?

140430 (7) Minion

 

HAPS Leadership (#14): Animal Use Committee

Last year, during the annual HAPS conference in Las Vegas, I was checking out the exhibit hall between seminar presentations.  It was the second full day of the conference – Monday – and you could feel an amazing electricity in the crowd.  I spotted Nick Despo, chair of the Animal Use Committee, sitting off the side.  He was out of breath, but laughing, as we made eye contact.  I came up and asked what was so funny.

Talk to Nick about the great posters that his group have presented at recent conferences.
Talk to Nick about the great posters that his group have presented at recent conferences.

“It’s always such a hoot to see the First-Timers get into the Scavenger Hunt.  I just spent the last few minutes, helping a group of First-Timers run Eric Sun to ground.  We cornered him over by the coffee stand and pinned him down for autographs.  I saw a couple of Regional Directors on the other side of the room and sent the First-Timers after them.  I’m just catching my breath before the next big onslaught of people with cards to sign.”

 The Scavenger Hunt is a tradition that we – the HAPS Steering Committee – developed in 2007 and have enjoyed every year since.  First-Timers get a card listing almost all of the HAPS Committees and their Chairs.  The goal is to get all of the Chairs to sign your card, as well as two fellow First-Timers and your Regional Director.  Once you turn your card into the Steering Committee, it goes into a drawing for the chance to win free conference registration to next year’s annual conference.

“The Scavenger Hunt is such a great idea!  It’s wonderful to see First-Timers collaborate in finding Chairs.  People who might otherwise have trouble meeting people now have a common goal with a hundred others.  Pretty soon, they’re chatting, working together to bring down a Chair, agreeing on a place for lunch, and becoming an integral part of the HAPS family.  Wow!”

Quick, there goes a chair!  You take the left and I'll catch him on the right!
Quick, there goes a chair! You take the left and I’ll catch him on the right!

 Just then, several First Timers see the infamous bulls-eye button on Nick – designating him as a signer – and they rush to him with their cards.  He happily starts telling them about his committee, grabbing cards and telling me to help find the other Chairs who haven’t signed yet.  I grab a few First-Timers and head off after Pat Bowne – Communications Committee – as I hear Nick laughing.

“Welcome to HAPS!  Tell me, what do you know about proper animal use in the lab?”