Biographies for Board of Directors Election


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Candidates for President

Mark Nielsen
John Legler Endowed Lecturer of Anatomy
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

HAPS member for 22 years

Attended 3 HAPS national or regional meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Conference Chair for HAPS National Conference Salt Lake City 2017
  • HAPS Anatomy Test Writing Committee
  • Presented a HAPS workshop at a National Conference every year for the past 16 years

I have benefited greatly over the years through my involvement with HAPS and have met so many wonderful colleagues. I would love to have the opportunity to give back and become more involved in helping HAPS continue its strong and important mission in undergraduate anatomy and physiology education and I am committed to work hard in this capacity. As an inherently shy individual, I want to help increase interaction among the HAPS membership. I want to establish a national newsletter where each state and its members are profiled each week, so we can learn more about one another and share the knowledge and depth of our membership. There are so many great individuals in our society, with a great diversity of backgrounds, who often remain on the periphery. I would love to see us get to know each other a little better, so we can better share this great strength and diversity.

Wendy Riggs
Associate Professor of Biology
College of the Redwoods
Eureka, CA

HAPS member for 7 years

Attended 3 HAPS national or regional meetings in the last 3 years.

HAPS Service

  • Communication Committee Chair (2014-present)
  • Nominating Committee (2016-17)
  • Presented workshops at 4 HAPS annual conferences and 1 regional conference
  • Presented at the first HAPS Synapse! Beyond the Flip (San Antonio, TX 2015)
  • Published an article for the HAPS Educator (Homeostasis Speed Dating, 2017 Special Edition)
  • Wrote weekly posts for the HAPS Blog from June 2013 - January 2015
  • Was a student in 2 HAPS-Institute Classes
    • Introduction to Education Research Methods - Valerie Dean O'Loughlin (Spring 2015)
    • Rational Human Anatomy & Physiology Course - Margaret Weck (Fall 2014)

My experience with HAPS mirrors that of many others. HAPS is the family that supports our learning as we drive ourselves to become more effective science educators. It is truly inspiring to witness the common threads of passion, commitment, and dedication that unite HAPSters around the world. HAPS is a society worth serving, which is why I am throwing my hat into the ring this year and running for President-Elect. I was first lured to HAPS by the email listserv (discussion), which is one of the most incredible, just-in-time sources of professional development that I've ever experienced. I was a bit star struck at first when I discovered that truly famous gurus in the field were answering the questions I was posting to the list...but I quickly realized how bright and creative and generous and authentic ALL HAPSters are. It didn't take long before I was fully committed to supporting the society, and less than a year after I attended my first annual conference (in Vegas, 2013), I was chair of the Communication Committee (the cool ComCom!). The ComCom is a rockin' group of energetic HAPSters who ensure that HAPS has (and maintains) a vibrant presence int he social media scene.
As a committee chair, I have also been an active member of the Steering Committee, which has monthly e-meetings, google hangouts, and two face-to-face meetings throughout the year. This has provided me with experiences that surely will be helpful if I am chosen by the membership to start down the President path.

Candidates for Treasurer

Leslie Day
Associate Clinical Professor
Anatomy Lab Coordinator
Northeastern University
Boston, MA

HAPS member for 17 years

Attended 3 HAPS national or regional meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Chair of Membership Committee: July 2016 - present
  • Eastern Regional Director: July 2014 - June 2016
  • Cadaver Committee Chair: July 2012 - June 2014
  • 2017 Recipient of ADInstruments Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award
  • 2017 Annual Conference workshop: "Technology for the Anatomy Class and Lab"
  • 2016 Annual Conference workshop: "Reaching the Millennial Student"
  • 2015 Annual Conference workshop: "I Want to Flip, Now What?"
  • HAPS Educator - wrote Effective Teaching and Learning: Overview of Research and Tools to Use to Reach the Millennial Student (August 2016)

HAPS has become the place for educators to share their passion for teaching and their desire to shape the lives of students interested in learning about the human body. Our society is a fabulous one, with great opportunities and resources for all of its members. But it needs to continue to have great leaders that are willing to volunteer their time to continue to better the society and keep the society fiscally sound. I have been committed to the society for several years and wish to continue that commitment in the role as treasurer. Although I am an educator first, I have 5 year's experience in leadership, with fiscal responsibilities, as Associate Department Chair and Acting Department Chair. I would be honored to be nominated as the treasurer. But if the society determines my opponent is more worthy of the position, I will be happy to stay service as chair of the membership committee. 


Candidates for Eastern Regional Director
Melissa Carroll 
Assistant Professor
DeSales University
Center Valley, PA

HAPS member for 10 years

Attended 2 HAPS national and 1 regional meeting in
the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Served on the HAPS Cadaver-Use Committee (2009-2016)
  • Chaired the HAPS Cadaver-Use Committee (2013-2016)
  • Served on the HAPS Steering Committee (2013-2016)
  • Presented 1 poster at HAPS Annual Conference:
    • "Spatial Intelligence and Cadaveric Dissection" San Antonio, TX, May 2015
  • Presented 2 workshops at HAPS Annual Conference:
    • "Pelvic Anatomy - I have to teach what?" Salt Lake City, UT, May 2017
    • "Competitive Collaborations in the Classroom - Formative Assessment Techniques" Las Vegas, NV, May 2013.
  • Taught 1 HAPS-Institute Class:
    • "Cadaver Anatomy and Embryology of the Abdominal and Thoracic Cavities" April 2013 - August 2013)

I joined HAPS in 2008 and instantly fell in love! It was great to find a professional society full of "teaching" scientists that enjoyed what they did, were willing to share advice or cautionary tales, and who also knew how to let off some steam. Serving on the Steering Committee, as chair of the Cadaver-Use Committee, was a great way to get involved and feel connected to the heart of HAPS. At the risk of using a corny anatomy analogy, as the veins return blood, I would like to return to a position of service in the heart of HAPS!

HAPS has provide me mentors that have, through casual conversations or the continuing education workshops, encouraged me to volunteer and get involved in several opportunities for professional growth. For these reasons, I feel compelled to give back to the HAPS community for all that HAPS has given to me. When asked if I would be interested in the nomination was both honored, for the consideration, and willing to serve the Board of Directors as a representative of the Eastern Region. I would be interested in learning more about my regional colleagues and to find opportunities for us to extend the HAPS connections, like a beautiful and complicated arterial anastomosis! (These anatomy jokes have to stop!)

Aaron Fried
Assistant Professor
Mohawk Valley Community College
Utica, NY

HAPS member for 8 years

Attended all HAPS national meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • 2016 - Current: Member of Cadaver Use Committee
    • Coordinating a history of human body donation workshop/blog track for the 2018 HAPS Conference in Columbus, OH
  • 2014 Winner of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society Sam Drogo Technology in the Classroom Award
  • Fried, A.P., Crocker, S., Kelly, D. (2017). Guided active learning and the muscular system. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Salt Lake City, UT, May 2017).
  • Fried, A.P. (2016). Conscience in crisis: the Nazi academics. (workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Atlanta, GA, May 2016).
  • Fried, A.P., Colgan, W. (2016). ECG: Using LabTutor to develop and implement an inquiry-based ECG experiment. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Atlanta, GA, May 2016).
  • Fried, A.P. (2015). Conscience in crisis: the Nazi academics. (workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in San Antonio, TX, May 2015).
  • Fried, A.P., Colgan, W. (2015). Developing an electromyography experiment into more inquiry-based activity. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in San Antonio, TX, May 2015).
  • Fried, A.P., Kelly, D. (2015). Using electromyography to demonstrate skeletal muscle physiology. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in San Antonio, TX, May 2015).
  • Fried, A.P. (2014). Conscience in crisis: the Nazi academics. (workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Jacksonville, FL, May 2014).
  • Fried, A.P., Colgan, W. (2014). ECG: Using LabTutor to develop and implement an inquiry-based ECG experiment. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Jacksonville, FL, May 2014).
  • Fried, A.P., Colgan, W. (2013). Developing the vending machine nutrition experiment to develop an inquiry-based activity. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Las Vegas, NV, May 2013).
  • Bush, E., Fried, A.P., Perrotti, W. (2013). Vending machine nutrition. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Las Vegas, NV, May 2013).
  • Fried, A.P., Colgan, W. (2012). Developing an electromyography experiment into a more inquiry-based activity. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Tulsa, OK, May 2012).
  • Bush, E., Fried, A.P., Perrotti, W. (2012). Using electromyography to demonstrate skeletal muscle physiology. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Tulsa, OK, May 2012).
  • Perrotti, W., Fried, A.P., Waters, J. (2011). Using electromyography to demonstrate skeletal muscle physiology. (Workshop presented at the HAPS Convention in Victoria, BC, May 2011)

I have been teaching anatomy and/or physiology for the past 18 years at the college level including teaching pre-health professionals at SUNY Cortland and SUNY Upstate Medical University. I studied neuroanatomy at SUNY Upstate Medical University before earning science teaching and instructional design degrees at Syracuse University. For years I wondered how to best apply my youthful enthusiasm to teaching anatomy. In 2010, I arrived at Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) and was introduced to people who were already involved in enthusiastic teaching of anatomy and physiology.

MVCC takes HAPS very seriously. I was encouraged by my colleagues during my first year at MVCC to take an active role in a workshop presentation. Through my participation with HAPS, I was introduced to the most collegial, accepting, challenging, and relevant academic society I have ever experienced.

The first HAPS national meeting I attended was 2011 in Victoria, BC. I worked with my MVCC colleagues to present a workshop on one of our custom physiology capture labs. I was terrified about how the presentation could have gone but I could not have been more wrong. Bill Perrotti and Don Kelly exposed me to HAPS and the vibrant community of professionals who have helped to motivate me, teach me new techniques, and continue my growth as a professor and as a professional. My experience with HAPS has made me an enthusiastic member and supporter.

It is truly an honor to be nominated to serve as the Eastern Regional Director. My goal as regional director would be to work with the membership of the Eastern Region to promote the benefits of HAPS and to help spread the enthusiasm that I have discovered. I have always had a sense of service and I would welcome the opportunity to give back to such a distinguished organization.

Elizabeth Hodgson
Instructor of Biology
York College of Pennsylvania
York, PA

HAPS member for 16 years

Attended 3 HAPS national meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Served on Board of Directors as the Eastern Regional Director (2016 - 2018)
  • Served on HAPS Steering Committee as Committee Chair (2010 - 2014)
  • Member of Animal Use Committee (2015)
  • Chair Communication Committee (2013 - 2014)
  • Co-Chair Membership Committee (2011 - 2013)
  • Chair Membership Committee (2010 - 2011)
  • Member of Membership Committee (2006 - 2009)
  • Member of Web Committee (2005 - 2006)

     It is with great pleasure that I accept the nomination for Eastern Regional Director. I have been serving in this position for a year and a half. During this first term, I've had the good fortune to work with four of our HAPS Presidents (between President Elect, President, and Past President), and three other fantastic Regional Directors. We have accomplished much in this first term, and I hope to be able to continue serving you into this next term.

I have been coming to HAPS annual conferences since testing the waters in Philadelphia many years ago (was it really 2003?). In the following years, I got to know and become friends with many of the members of HAPS. I joined the Membership Committee in 2006 so that I could become more involved and have been involved in some capacity ever since.

One of the best things about HAPS is the camaraderie shown, not only to old friends, but to the newest of members as well. This fosters an excellent environment to learn new information, exchange ideas, as well as ask questions, regardless of how simple they may be. I constantly am learning because of the help and information afforded by this organization and would like to continue to give back as the Eastern Regional Director. Serving as the Coordinator of the Radiography program and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Program at York College and serving on the Steering Committee for HAPS has prepared me well for the position of Regional Director. The Coordinator positions require the ability to work with administration, to view the bigger picture of how the programs interrelate within the college as a whole, as well as to work with a variety of personalities (students, parents, adjuncts, clinical coordinators, etc). The Steering Committee requires similar abilities plus to be able to bring forward ideas that can improve the functionality of HAPS as a professional society.

As a Regional Director, it is important to be open to the new members of HAPS, welcoming them to their first Annual Conference as well as to continue to foster the positive relationships with the seasoned members. I believe I can continue to do this to serve this position well. I look forward to seeing everyone in Columbus!

 Candidates for Western Regional Director

Raj Narnaware
Assistant Professor
MacEwan University
Edmonton, AB

HAPS member for 7 years

Attended 3 HAPS national meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service
  • Put my name forward for the cadaver and animal use committee at HAPS annual meeting at Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Presented a poster at Atlanta, GA Annual Conference.
  • Submitted an abstract for the HAPS annual conference in Columbus, OH.
  • Hope to host a Western Regional in Spring 2019 at MacEwan University.
  • Will be submitting an article for the HAPS Educator later this year.

The Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) serves a key platform for anatomist and physiologists across North America and worldwide, providing them an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. During the past seven years as a member of this organization, I have met and made so many great friends and colleagues with whom I continue to interact and share my passion of teaching and promoting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). I am excited to be a part of this organization that allows me to network with other like-minded professionals and it would be a real honor to take on the role of Western Regional Director. If I am successful, I wish to represent and support the western region of HAPS by increasing membership, supporting undergraduate research in human anatomy and physiology, and promoting SoTL from my constituency. The effect teaching faculty, the mentor, and administrator I am today is a reflection of the amazing experience I have gained by joining the HAPS and I want to be able to share and promote this opportunity and experience with others in my region. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Elizabeth Pennefather-O'Brien
Medicine Hat College
Medicine Hat, AB

HAPS member for 13 years

Attended 3 HAPS annual meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Served on the HAPS Membership Committee since joining HAPS in 2005
  • Chaired and Co-chaired the Membership Committee between 2010 and 2015
  • Served on HAPS Safety Committee between 2006 and 2010
  • Presented posters and workshops at annual meetings.
  • Was a student in two HAPS-Institute classes: Advanced Renal Physiology (2007) and Molecular and Cellular Basis of Human Disease (2010)

It is an honor to be nominated for the position as HAPS Western Regional Director. From the moment I became a member of HAPS in Fall 2005, I knew that this group of educators and scholars was unique. Never have I encountered individuals so freely giving of their time, knowledge, and energy. I have had the extreme good fortune to attend every annual conference since 2006. Every year I am amazed at how much there is to learn.

Personally, when I encounter an organization that I believe in whole-heartily, I feel it is important to serve that organization in whatever capacity I can. As stated, I have been involved in HAPS committees since I became a member. Sometimes I found I could devote more time, sometimes less, but I have always felt it was important for me to be involved. The role of the Western Regional Director, will allow me to bring dedication, commitment, and experience with strategic planning to HAPS.

Jacqueline Van Hoomissen
Professor of Biology
University of Portland
Portland, OR

HAPS member since 2008

Attended 0 HAPS national or regional meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Presented a workshop at a HAPS annual conference in 2009 in Baltimore, MD titled "ACT Up: Activities for a moderately-sized lecture class."
  • Published, Van Hoomissen, J.D. (2009). ACT UP! Activities Completed Today to Assess Understanding and Application. HAPS Educator, Spring Edition.
  • Faculty lead for the May 2019 HAPS Annual Conference Planning Committee at The University of Portland in Portland, Oregon. Activities include: Writing and submitting the successful proposal to the HAPS Board to host the 2019 Annual Conference on our campus, hosting HAPS representatives on campus in summer of 2017, collaborating with HAPS on 2019 logo design, identifying local speakers for update seminar lectures, reviewing and selecting abstracts for the conference, coordinating logistics between the University of Portland and HAPS before and during the conference.

I am running for the Western Regional Director position because I am motivated to serve an organization that brings together a community of practice that is excited about excellence in anatomy and physiology education. My education background, commitment to evidence-based pedagogy, and documented leadership would allow me to effectively serve the Western Region. As a Professor of Biology at the University of Portland for the past 16 years, I have had a wide range of teaching experiences in human biology education ranging from traditional lecture and lab courses, to human anatomy in Europe study-abroad experiences for students. I am fully immersed in best practices in higher education and have participated in many local and national teaching conference, workshops, and continuing education experiences focused on evidence-based pedagogy, diversity and inclusion, and curricular alignment with the Vision & Change movement in biology education. I have served the national community as a consultant for textbook publishers who provide curricula for our classrooms, as a member of conference planning groups, and as an external reviewer for national grants (National Science Foundation). Recently, I was chosen as the Oregon Academy of Sciences 2018 Outstanding Educator in Higher Education. All of these experiences have confirmed my passion for teaching and collaboration within communities of teaching practice. I believe I have the necessary leadership experience to support the work of HAPS in the Western Region. I was the Department Chair of Biology at the University of Portland from 2011-2017; a department of 18 faculty and 750 undergraduate Biology and Nursing majors. I was involved in every aspect of a department's function from budget stewardship to faculty development. In 2014, I was chosen as a leadership fellow by Project Kaleidoscope/American Association of Colleges and Universities, and I used the knowledge gained in the program to organize faculty development opportunities on specific educational topics, such as inclusion and diversity. As Western Regional Director, I wold work diligently and creatively and use all the skills I have gained through my teaching and leadership experiences to increase awareness of, and participation in, HAPS activities while simultaneously exploring how HAPS can support our colleagues in the Western Region.