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 (#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.