HAPS Leadership (#22): Safety Committee

140319 (1) Safety firstSafety First!  As educators, we want our students to learn and grow within a safe environment.  The HAPS Safety Committee takes this charge very seriously and has created a plethora of resources to aid you in providing the best environment for your students.  Karen McMahon is the interim Chair of the Committee, having helped create many of the resources of this group.

Spotlight on Safety has a series of features on safety basics (equipment, practices) that every lab which teaches A&P should have.

Karen McMahon, Chair
Karen McMahon, Chair

There are also articles on Gloves and Protective Eyewear, as well as information about the revised standard about safe exposure to such chemicals as benzene.

The HAPS Safety Guidelines cover all aspects of lab safety from the safe storage of chemicals to protective wear to safety contracts.  This is an invaluable resource for those concerned about the safety of our students in the laboratory.  Safety Cases studies are a fantastic resource in the members’ only section of the website.

HAPS has opened the Safety Survey for you to share your thoughts and concerns.  The Safety Committee created the survey – first – to remind members that lab safety should be foremost in all of our preparations for lab.  Secondly, it allows our committee to find out what type of lab accidents are most common in the A&P lab and see if the incidence and type of lab injuries can be correlated/prevented with certain practices.  The Safety Survey in on the HAPS website and will be open through April 1st.

A safe student is a better student!
A safe student is a better student!

The Safety Committee will publish the results of this survey in a poster at the Jacksonville Annual Meeting.  Come chat with us about lab safety.

HAPS Leadership (#21): Executive Committee

DESERT SHIELDHAPS One – the refurbished Huey helicopter – touched down in La Grange, Georgia at HAPS International headquarters.  President Valerie O’Loughlin was greeted by the security detail and taken into the secured compound.

“Ma’am, the presidents for ASM (American Society for Microbiology) and APS (American Physiology Society) are already here.  We’re still waiting for AAA (American Association of Anatomists) – oh, wait, I just got word that their submarine docked at the underground grotto entrance.  We should meet them in the West Boardroom.”

Let me show you something great!
Let me show you something great!

President O’Loughlin nodded and continued on her way towards the secure elevator that would take her to the fortified meeting room.  Today’s summit would determine the future of biological education for the next decade.  It was vital that HAPS led the way.

She punched in a security code known only to other Executive Committee members and entered the elevator.  As the elevator descended, she reflected on that elite group.  The HAPS Executive Committee is comprised of the president, the president-elect, the past president, the secretary, and the treasurer.  It is their solemn vow to uphold the standards of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society and protect it from threats, both foreign and domestic.

Wow, she needed some caffeine.  Val was typing up notes for Tom Lehman’s weekly blog on the HAPS leadership and she seriously let her mind wander on that topic.  Oh well, shaking the cobwebs and refocusing on the questions.

Question #1: What is the difference between the Board and the Executive Committee?

140312 (3) Mini MeI see the Executive Committee as the “Mini Board.”  Despite the advances of technology, there are some decisions that need to be made very quickly, and we can’t wait on the schedules of all very busy Board members to reply to emails.  In addition, there are some decisions that don’t require the input of all Board members, but rather, a smaller component of the Board will suffice.  For those types of decisions, the Executive Committee is invaluable.

That said, there have been relatively few items that have been discussed in the Executive Committee instead of the entire Board.  And the Board typically is informed of these discussions after the fact, so it isn’t as if the Executive Committee is doing something that the Board is not aware of. Rather, it provides a way to streamline some actions so our service to HAPS members is not interrupted.

Question #2: Describe your President’s Initiative for this year.

The President’s Initiative is a way for the president to provide a long-term impact to HAPS well after the President’s term has ended.  My initiative focuses on expanding anatomy and physiology educational research in HAPS.  In a nutshell, my initiative is designed to:

1) inform HAPS membership about methodical ways of assessing teaching and learning effectiveness,

2) introduce members to the scholarship of teaching and learning,

3) showcase exemplary educational research efforts of our members, and

4) ultimately have HAPS serve as an example for producing rigorous A&P educational research projects.

The ultimate goal is to make HAPS members more knowledgeable about A&P educational research by providing them with the tools and knowledge needed to design, implement, and publish A&P educational research studies.

In addition to developing online ‘how-to’ podcasts for developing an educational research project, I am in charge of selecting speakers for our HAPS 2015 meeting, which will have a focus on educational research and scholarship of teaching and learning.

Question #3:  In your Fantasy Dodgeball League, which three President Emeriti would make your championship team?

Ooooh… good one.

  • 140312 (4) DodgeballBill Perrotti definitely would be on my team, because he can be quite sinister in getting individuals to volunteer for HAPS related activities and inspiring them to run for office (note to HAPS members – if you see Bill Perrotti come up to you and talk about volunteering – RUN!)
  • Kevin Patton of course – anyone who has worked with lions is fierce in his own right.
  • And Don Kelly – because the role of a past president is to make his current president’s dodgeball team look good.

HAPS Leadership (#19): Presidents Emeriti

The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) is over a quarter-century young and still growing.  Each year has given us new adventures and new challenges.  It has been the presidents that have lead us through those times, helping HAPS to grow, survive, and prosper.

140226 (1) Emeriti

The Presidents Emeriti Advisory Board is the collection of this venerable group.  These individuals help to maintain the institutional memory of the Society (“Oh my god, we already tried that!”).  The Emeriti are a great bunch to talk with at the Annual ConferencesHenry Ruschin can tell you about evacuating the hotel in Toronto in the middle of the night.  Ric Martini can regale you with stories of dealing with SACS and accreditation.  John Waters can explain how that led to the creation of the HAPS-Institute.  Don Kelly and Dee Silverthorn can tell you about the challenges of keeping up with online technologies.

140226 (2) Emeriti

First-Timers for each annual conference get a special treat.  We offer a special First-Timers Breakfast (Sunday morning), where first-time attendees get to have a sumptuous breakfast with the Emeriti, learning about how incredible the coming week is going to be.  Don’t believe all of the stories that Bill Perrotti and Kevin Petti will tell you, but enjoy the experience nonetheless.

140226 (3) Emeriti

As I get closer and closer to becoming the current President of HAPS (holy crap, that’s just 125 days away!), I’m happy to know that I’ve got a great advisory board of knowledgeable and enjoyable people to rely on.  Joe Griswold is the master of strategic plans.  Sandy Lewis, Gary Johnson, and Mike Glasgow can expound upon the growing pains of HAPS from a little club to a sizeable educational society.

140226 (4) Emeriti

Not all of the Emeriti are able to attend each annual conference, but we generally have a very strong presence each time.  Check out the President’s Suite and you’ll invariably find a few holding court.  Margaret Weck will show off her tie-dye shirt and Kevin Patton will tell you about the historic bottomless bucket-o-crab legs!  Be careful making eye-contact with Henry Ruschin; you may find yourself volunteering to host a future HAPS conference.  But, hey, with such a great group of people to hang around with, would that be such a bad thing?

140226 (5) Emeriti

HAPS Leadership (#18): Marketing Committee

140219 (1) Elizabeth Hodgson 2013“Hi, you’re on the air with Elizabeth Hodgson, chair of the HAPS Marketing Committee!”

I laugh and explain that I’m calling to find out the latest and greatest about the HAPS Brand and what we’re doing to expand our image.  I ask what tasks currently face the Marketing Committee on a weekly basis.

“Well, that’s an interesting and surprising complex question.  We post on our Twitter account about items and events that promote HAPS as a society.  We post items such as conference deadlines, HAPS-I information, scholarship details, and Blog updates.  We also promote individual members making headlines, such as President Valerie O’Loughlin giving the keynote address at an international conference!”

The return of a classic?
The return of a classic?

Do you have plans for HAPS brand merchandise to sell on the HAPS website?  Many people are clamoring for the Lumbar Mugs to come back.

“Ha, yeah right.  Kevin Petti is finally over his night terrors about finally getting rid of all of those.  I suppose we could try Cervical Shot glasses…hmm.  Actually, we are addressing that issue and looking at our options.  Determining an inventory and storage location are two details that we need to iron out.”

Are the rumors true about our hostile takeover of Nestle Purina?

140219 (4) Chocolate“Yes, we plan to take over the chocolate branch, but will leave the dog food production untouched.  Chocolate is WAY more important.”

Where were you on the morning of January 15th, when a silver blur saved 27 commuters trapped on the elevated train?

“Wait, I WAS that silver blur!  Did you miss the tweet?”

Are there any questions that I missed?

Print“For the answer to that and other thought-provoking questions, check out the HAPS twitter account.  Until then, aloha!”

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 (#16): HAPS-Institute

140205 (2) HAPS-i-LOGOAre you looking for graduate credit in the field of Anatomy & Physiology?  Are you looking to share your expertise on a specific A&P-related topic with peers who are as passionate as you about the subject matter?  If the answer to either question is “yes”, then the HAPS-Institute is the place for you.

140205 (1) Peter EnglishHi, I’m Peter English.  As the Executive Director of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society, I serve as the Director of the HAPS-Institute.  I oversee the curriculum that we develop, the schedule of courses that we offer, and the enrollment of great individuals such as yourself.

At HAPS-I, we have maximized salary and minimized tuition to make this the best possible service to the HAPS community.  With all of the issues surrounding accreditation, it is becoming increasingly important that faculty have graduate credit in A&P, and our credit is earned through Alverno College in Milwaukee.  HAPS-I is one way in which HAPS is helping members meet the evolving needs in the changing landscape of higher education.

Every HAPS member has his or her specialty, and HAPS-I is taking advantage of this.  In most cases, HAPS-I courses center around an educator teaching the class of his or her dream: a specific, incredibly rich understanding of a topic being taught by an expert with an amazing depth of knowledge.  Courses can be completely online or can be a mix of online and in-person instruction.  Many of the in-person components are tied to Regional Conferences or the Annual Conference.  For 2014, we are offering four courses.  Looking ahead, we will have our first traveling course with participants studying A&P in Italy this summer.

Future groundbreaking of our western campus.
Future groundbreaking of our western campus.

In order to attract the best instructors, we pay an above average $2,500 per course based on an enrollment of 6 students (enrollment above this number pays more and pro-rates compensation for fewer students so that low-enrollment courses can still run).  All HAPS-I courses have end-of-course surveys to ensure that we continue to hire only the best instructors.

Be one of the proud, one of the elite!
Be one of the proud, one of the elite!

For the students, tuition is just $550 per credit hour for HAPS members ($750 per credit hour for non-HAPS members), which is less than one-third the cost of some other graduate credit programs.  Most HAPS-I courses are 2-credits, but between now and this summer, we’ll be offering 1-credit, 2-credit, and 3-credit courses to meet everyone’s demands.

The HAPS Foundation has recognized the importance of this sort of continuing education and offers HAPS-I scholarships four times per year.  The scholarships cover the cost of 1-credit of instruction and the next due date for applications is February 15.

So, what do you say?  Ready to be part of something incredible?    The HAPS-Institute is ready for you!

HAPS Leadership (#15): Communication Committee

“Recruiting someone to tweet for us seems to cause them to dissolve into thin air!”

140129 (1) Pat BowneI’m laughing as Pat Bowne is explaining some of the ups and downs of the Communication Committee.  When she’s not rubbing elbows with royalty, Pat is helping HAPS reach out through various social media sites.

“I started tweeting to advertise my novels.  That started to mesh with my passion for A&P and I started tweeting for HAPS.  At the time, I was one of two Regional Directors (the other being Jason LaPres) who was tweeting routinely.  The Board decided that we should have a focused approach to social media.”

That decision created the Communication Committee.  Working with the Membership Committee and Marketing Committee as a Super-Committee, the various chairs have negotiated various responsibilities and themes.  From their tele-retreat, they decided that the Communication Committee would use our Twitter account to advertise upcoming research, medicine, and teaching, and our Facebook account to advertise about HAPS-specific events.  Add to that David Evan’s weekly email of HAPS Links, and we’re getting word out fairly consistently.

“One of the challenges is recruiting new committee members to help with the postings.  As I said, when we recruit someone and get them access to our twitter account, they seem to spontaneously combust…I hope there’s not a connection.”  I can see her smile even through the phone line on that one.

Pat is tweeting twice per day and re-tweeting her weekly posts on Saturday.  If you’re curious to follow our social media footprint, go to the HAPS website.  In the top right corner are links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  Each will take you into a whole new world.

140129 (6) Social Media

“If you have a passion for any of these sites and a passion for Anatomy and Physiology, I think we’ve got a great arena for you.  And don’t worry; we’ll make sure that you don’t disappear into the ether!”

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?”

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 (#12): Membership Committee

140108 (2) CrowdThe Human Anatomy & Physiology Society runs on its membership.  The members are the driving force that makes HAPS the great organization that we all enjoy.  Keeping track of this vital group is the responsibility of the aptly-named Membership Committee.  Leading this group is committee Chair, Elizabeth Pennefather-O’Brien.  I had the opportunity to connect with Elizabeth over the break and wanted to share with you what I learned.

What attracted you to the Membership Committee?

I’ve been a member since I joined HAPS.  Involvement in this committee really aided in my integration into the HAPS community.  Interactions with the chairs and members helped me really connect to HAPSters at my first annual conference.

Describe some of the functions of the Membership Committee.

We keep an eye on the demographics of the Society to learn who you are, what you want from us, and what you can share with us.  We’ve offered surveys in the past that have helped us to improve Society benefits for its members.  We develop incentive programs to increase membership, such as differential dues for members.  We maintain a Jobs Wanted site on our website to help you find your next dream job.

Tell me about “the Maps”.

140108 (3) US mapThat is one of my favorite parts of the annual Conference (Shameless Plug = 2014 Jacksonville registration is now open!).  We create a North America map and a World map for each conference, allowing attendees to pin where they are coming from.  I enjoy spending time by the map to see the array of places that people come from…as well as take note of where we missed this year.  Did you know that we had 46 of 50 US states, 5 of 10 Canadian provinces, and representatives from Australia, Denmark, Egypt, Grenada, India, New Zealand, and Nigeria?  It is absolutely wonderful to have people from so many places gather to engage in educational conversations about Anatomy & Physiology.

Tell me about the energy of the Membership Committee.

140108 (4) Intl mapIt’s a great group.  We’ve gone through some changes over the past few years.  With the hiring of an Executive Director and the formation of a Marketing Committee, our focus and duties have shifted a little.  However, we’re finding our niche and are really excited about some new projects on the horizon.

Such as…

We’re developing our next survey and would love assistance in making sure that we gather the right demographic information.  We’re looking to promote continued membership (got ideas for retaining our members?) as well as increase our international membership140108 (1) Elizabeth Pennefather-O'Brien 2013We’re also working on ways to keep lines of communication strong throughout the year.  If you have questions or ideas, we’d love to hear from you.  Drop me an email at eobrien@hapsconnect.org.  Have a good one, ay!