19- Get the Conference APP!

The HAPS App!  We can do THAT!
The HAPS App!  We can do THAT!

I’m super excited about the HAPS Annual Conference APP.  This little app, which can be run on your computer OR phone, is a fantastic tool to ensure you make the most of your Jacksonville adventure, which begins next weekend.  (It isn’t too late to decide to crash the HAPS party next weekend…online registration is available until May 26!)

The APP is a power-packed wonder of a tool to keep you organized and informed at the Annual Conference.  And even if you can’t attend next week (we’ll miss you), you can use the app to keep up with what’s happening at the conference.  So let me just tell you a few of the cool things I can do with my app:

  1. I can build a personalized schedule of conference events using the amazing app!  While this will certainly keep me organized and efficient, I am already finding the process to be particularly painful, especially as I attempt to figure out which workshops I plan to attend on Tuesday and Wednesday at Florida State College.  This process is painful because during most sessions, there are at least 5-12 workshops I really Really REALLY want to attend.  Last year I found it extremely challenging to narrow down the workshop options during each session to ONLY ONE. I am optimistic that the amazing APP will help me sleep in peace as I maximize my professional development potential.  (I wonder how many times I will revise my personal schedule on my app???)
  2. With the app, you can set alarms to remind you to get where you want to go.  This will be particularly helpful for the morning sessions, because I am NOT a morning person.
  3. We can TWEET!  There is a Twitter part of the app that lets us follow the Twitter-ific commentary from other HAPSters. Just tag your tweets #HAPS2014.
  4. Have a question?  The app can do that!  There are maps, exhibitor lists, sponsor information, and even a link to this fabulous blog.

So download the app and get ready for FUN TIMES AHEAD.  See you in Jacksonville!

See you there!
See you there!

16- HAPS Annual Conference

April is drawing to a close (whaaaat???) which means May is almost here and there are about 500 reasons why that is REALLY fantastic news.  First, it means that SUMMER IS NEAR (oh glory days)!  And second, it means that we’ll all be celebrating teaching and learning in Jacksonville in just a few short weeks.

Image
May 24-29

So sign up for the conference and meet us in Florida.  You still have 2 days to register for the conference at regular rates (late registration rates go into effect Thursday May 1). There is a conference app (thanks Wiley!) that includes the entire conference schedule as well as relevant maps and even exhibitor contact information.  The dynamic app updates instantly to keep you apprised of schedule changes and I noticed it even has a link to this blog on the front page!  (I better start thinking of some good posts to share from Jacksonville…) While I haven’t quite mastered the elusive art of Tweeting, I am hoping to become a Tweeter by the time I arrive in Florida so that even if you can’t make it to Jacksonville, you can follow our adventures using the hashtag #HAPS2014.

The HAPS Annual Conference is an amazing event and I think it is because HAPS is like a giant a family.  I was a first-timer last year in Vegas, though I’d been participating on the HAPS-listserv for about 2 years.  And it was such a kick to meet the people I’d been learning from on the listserv.

Make it happen—you won’t regret it a bit.

14- HAPS-I Courses

AES_Workshop WIKIsmall
It is always fun to see how OTHER people teach! This “Adventures in Engineering and Science” instructor looks interesting…

Professional development is a key component of maximizing your success as a teacher.  I feel lucky to be able to take advantage of many opportunities for professional development provided by HAPS, such as the Annual Conference and the email listserv, for example.  But HAPS offers other opportunities for professional development that perhaps you weren’t aware of.  For example, we all have access to graduate level courses through the HAPS Institute (aka HAPS-I).

There are three new HAPS-I courses beginning April 18.  The majority of each course takes place online, though all three courses have a face-to-face component that will happen at the Annual Conference in Jacksonville FL at the end of May.

  1. Current Topics in Anatomy and Physiology is being taught by Jason LaPres from Lone Star College in Houston TX.  The one unit course focuses on the specific research presented in the update seminars at the Annual Conference in FL.
  2. LaPres is also teaching a course called Teaching Respiratory Physiology I- Functional Anatomy and Ventilation. This two credit course requires participants to create lesson plans that facilitate the teaching of respiratory topics to undergrads.
  3. Dr. Bryan Schmeafsky, also from Lone Star College, will teach Physiology of Death and Senescence. This is another two credit course that explores the physiology of these two inevitable conditions.

Sign up to take one of these courses and maximize your learning at the annual conference.  What a great opportunity!

HAPS Leadership (#23): Secretary to the Board

She keeps us sweet!
She keeps us sweet!

An organization lives on its documentation.  You can sink or swim depending on how well you keep track of details.  When the details are there, they help you stay focused and moving forward.  When they’re absent, you meander directionless or backtrack with no idea that you’re retreading previous trails.

Carol Veil is the Secretary for the HAPS Board of Directors.  It’s Carol’s responsibility to keep track of the documentation during meetings and help us to keep our focus.  I had a chance to chat with Carol recently and find out what she thinks of her role and of HAPS.

1.      What’s the coolest part about being the secretary?

      The two coolest things about being secretary are how much I have learned about HAPS and how much better I have gotten to know the other HAPS members on the BOD. 

      There are so many details that must be handled to run an organization like HAPS.  Prior to being on the BOD, I was unaware of the many behind-the-scenes processes that are so necessary.  And as secretary taking the notes at meetings, I am focused on everything that is discussed.  Hands always on the keyboard – no daydreaming!

      It has also been cool getting  to know the other BOD members, some of whom I previously knew by name but had never talked to them more than a quick “hello” at a conference.  It’s fun to see both the “business” and the “casual” sides of everyone.   I must give a big shout-out to President Valerie O’Loughlin and Executive Director Peter English.  They are in constant communication with the BOD (not quite daily emails, but close) and are always working hard on behalf of the organization. 

2.   What’s the biggest challenge? 

     140326 (2) F grade For me, the biggest challenge of being secretary has been learning the appropriate level of detail to include in the minutes that are publically posted for all to read.  Personally, I tend to be very “anal” (I can use that term in an A&P blog, right?) about details. The first draft of minutes that I sent to the President for review included everything that happened at the BOD Google hangout meeting short of who coughed when!   That draft came back to me like an F-student research paper, covered with 140326 (3) A gradestrike-outs and comments.   It took me until the third BOD meeting to become the A-student, with minimal edits to my minutes and a big “thank you” of approval.  The take-home message for me – there is a big difference between personal notes for myself and public minutes for an organization!  

3.  Whose name do you have the hardest time spelling?

The name I have the hardest time spelling correctly is Shannon, Shanon, Shanan (Molnar – our Business Manager from ASG).  I have to remember … only one “n” in the middle and “a-n” at the end!  I got it now! 

4.  What was your impression of the mid-year meeting in JAX?

The mid-year meeting in Jacksonville was a delightful experience. It was the first time for me to meet with the entire BOD in person (as opposed to conference calls and Google hangouts).   In addition, the BOD had one afternoon meeting with the Steering Committee.  It was so nice to interact face-to-face with everyone, rather than electronically.  We got a lot of business accomplished in two long days of meetings. 

Cheers!
Cheers!

In addition, I was pleasantly surprised how beautiful Jacksonville is – I had no idea!  The St. John’s River runs right through the downtown, with numerous bridges crossing over as well as water taxis.  It’s a great location for the 2014 HAPS conference – hotel nicely situated, lovely for an evening walk, a ride on the river, and some good food (such as the tasty chocolate truffle torte at River City Brewing Company!).

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 (#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!

HAP Leadership (#11): The First-Timer

140101 (1) 2013 HAPS Jacksonville logo

I am so excited!  I just got approval from my college to attend the Annual HAPS Conference this coming May in Jacksonville, Florida.

Wow, this will be my first time to a HAPS conference.  I had been a lurker on the list-serv for four years and finally built up enough courage to reply to some of the queries and post a question of my own.  Wow, the response was incredible.  The sharing of ideas, experiences, and perspectives was amazing.  After a year, I decided that I needed to meet some of these people in person.

On the HAPS website, I read about the upcoming annual conference in Jacksonville.  I decided to submit a proposal for a workshop and took that proposal to my division dean.  She just came back with approval for me to go to the conference, with partial support for expenses.  I’m applying for one of the HAPS scholarships; keep your fingers crossed!

140101 (2) Riverfront Hyatt

Now, I’ve got to figure out everything that I’ll need for the conference.  I’m already seeing some people post on the list-serv, looking for roommates.  That’ll be a good way to save money and a great way to meet someone new.  The conference will start on a Saturday evening with a welcome mixer at the Riverfront Hyatt.  Someone named Tom Lehman is organizing a t-shirt swap; I need to check with our Marketing Department and get a shirt to swap.

Checking out the chamber of commerce website, I see that there’s a great boardwalk in front of the hotel.  I’ll make sure to pack my running shoes for some morning jogs.  The Sunday itinerary starts with the First-Timer’s breakfast.  Cool!  I’ll get to meet several other newbies like me and enjoy breakfast with previous presidents of HAPS.  The rest of the day will be attending Update Seminars and checking out the Exhibitor’s Hall.  Wow, I hear that several of the authors of the textbooks and lab manuals that I use will be there.  How cool is that?!

The Steering Committee is organizing a Scavenger Hunt.  I’ll need to review through the pictures of the Chairs on the APP so I can get my scavenger hunt card filled out.  All of the completers go into a drawing for a free conference registration to the next year’s conference in San Antonio.  Whoa!  I’m excited to meet other First-Timers and work together to find everyone.  It looks like we’re on our own for lunch; that’ll be a great time to get to know other HAPS members – I mean, HAPSters!  I’m a HAPSter!

Monday will start with the HAPS Foundation 5K Run.  That’ll be a great way to start the morning, with plenty of time to still make the Business meeting and be part of the legislative process.  More seminars and vendors; lots to keep me busy!

140101 (3) Florida State College

Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll have workshops at Florida State College.  I’m excited to give my workshop and see what others think.  I’m also amazed at the description of some of the other workshops that I can attend.  Wow, here’s a neat one on histology that I can really use.  Here’s one on flipping the classroom; been curious to learn more about that idea. Oh wow, here’s one on cadaver labs.  Oh man, there is so much to choose from!

I just found out that a Jazz Festival will be going on that first weekend on the Riverfront.  Oh, seriously too cool!  I know where I’ll be in the evenings.  I bet a lot of other HAPSters will be there, too.  Awesome!

140101 (4) Jazz Festival

The Atlantic Beach is twenty-five minutes from the hotel.  A friend told me to check out the Ragtime Tavern for really good coconut shrimp.  Hmm…have to find some time to get out there and check it out.

140101 (5) DisneyApparently, there’s an optional Disney package that I can check out.  Unfortunately, I won’t have time for that, but I do want to check out the other Thursday trips offered the day after the conference.

Holy crap, there’s just too much to do!  I am so excited; I can’t believe that I have to wait five months for the conference.  Oh well, that’s okay.  I’m curious to check out the list-serv after Winter break and see if anyone has advice on things to do or see while in JAX.  I wonder if anyone in HAPS likes baseball or microbreweries.  I cannot wait to find out!