Biographies for Board of Directors Election


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Candidates for President-Elect

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

HAPS member for: 8 years

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

HAPS Service

  • Presented workshops every year for the last 5 years at the national conference, and presented at the Central Regional Conference (October 2014)
  • Served on the HAPS Nominating Committee (216-2017)
  • Chaired the HAPS Communications Committee (2014-2018)
  • Written a contribution for the HAPS Educator (Homeostasis Speed Dating, 2017 Special Edition)
  • Currently serving on the Board of Directors as Secretary (since July 2018)
  • Wrote weekly posts for the HAPS Blog from June 2013 - January 2015
  • Presented at the first HAPS Synapse! (San Antonio, TX 2015) "Beyond the Flip"
  • 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)

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 advise every new A&P instructor I meet to join HAPS. The value of HAPS membership to my professional development has been second to none for enriching both the content of my courses and my pedagogical dexterity. My experiences with HAPS mirrors that of many others. HAPS is the family that supports our learning as we drive ourselves to become more effective educators. I am honored to have been serving in the HAPS leadership since February 2014, when I assumed the role of Communication Committee Chair (a position I held for 4 years). In this position, I coordinated a large and active crew of volunteers who helped HAPS establish a dynamic presence online, via various social media venues including Facebook, Twitter, the HAPS blog, LinkedIn, and even Instagram.

I have continued my participation in HAPS leadership and am currently serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors. My secretarial responsibilities include helping to prepare agenda and taking notes at monthly meetings, while also contributing to the leadership decisions for the society. After this year as Secretary, it is clear to me that I am ready to assume the responsibilities of the Presidency. If elected as your next HAPS President, I look forward to continuing my service to this society that has contributed so much to my professional and (personal) life. I appreciate your vote.

Kyla Ross
Director of Graduate Training/Sr. Academic Professional
Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University
Atlanta, GA

HAPS member for: 7 years

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

HAPS Service

  • Presented a poster or workshop at a national or regional meeting
  • Served on the planning committee for a national meeting
  • Served on the Membership and Steering Committee
  • Chaired the HAPS 2016 Annual Conference Committee (Atlanta), Membership Committee, and currently serving as Chair of the Steering Committee.
  • Written a contribution for the HAPS Educator
  • Serving as ex officio member of the board as Steering Committee Chair

Like many others, I joined HAPS to be a "better" educator. What I found was a collaborative network of leading authors, researchers, and educators, and I was instantly hooked! Soon, I found myself in leadership positions, first as HAPS Membership Committee Chair and then Annual Conference Chair (Atlanta). Currently, I serve as Steering Committee Chair (i.e., Chair of the Chairs), where I work with Committee Chairs to set goals and prioritize tasks for their respective teams. My leadership positions have allowed me to work closely with three HAPS Presidents, each with unique perspectives and initiatives, and serve as the liaison between Committee Chairs and our Board.

Serving in these positions taught me how to build and strategically lead teams, reflect and respond to feedback, and set and achieve collective goals. These experiences, both as a member and leader of our society, have motivated me to run for President-Elect of HAPS. If elected, I will work with fellow HAPSters on three key initiatives:

  • Inclusive Excellence: Promote diversity and inclusion efforts in our society and classroom to create enriching experiences for our members.
  • Professional Development: Expand professional development programs that will allow our society to grow while advancing our members personally and professionally.
  • Promotion and Outreach: Communicate the impact that our society has on its members, their student, and their respective institutions to grow our membership and prepare future leaders.

Through these three initiatives, we can widen the reach of our society. Together, we can advance HAPS!

Candidates for Secretary

Melinda (Mindi) Palmer Fried
Assistant Professor of Biology
Southern Vermont College
Bennington, VT

HAPS member for: 3 years

Attended 1 HAPS national or regional meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Peer reviewer for an article in the HAPS Educator
  • Was a student in one HAPS Institute Course (Cardiac Function, Fall 2018)

My HAPS membership has been extremely rewarding already, most especially while attending the HAPS national meeting last year. I would like to help out and be involved with HAPS as more than just a member. I realize that I'm relatively new to the group, and I understand there may be folks that are considered more qualified to be on the ballot. Even so, I'd like to offer my energy and my skills. I have been a part of many groups and I have served as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer in many other roles within those organizations. I recognize the work and commitment involved with being secretary, and I am willing to do what is required to help HAPS keep running smoothly.

Jacqueline Van Hoomissen
Associate Dean of Natural Sciences and Math, Professor of Biology
University of Portland
Portland, OR

HAPS member for: I don't know 

Attended 1 HAPS national or regional meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Presented a poster or workshop at a national or regional meeting
  • Served on the planning committee for a national meeting
  • Served on the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce
  • Written a contribution for the HAPS Educator
  • Currently serving on the Steering Committee as the 2019 Annual Conference Chair

I have enjoyed my time getting to know the HAPS members and the leadership team during the past few years as I have helped plan the 2019 Annual Conference in Portland, OR. I have been particularly impressed with the friendly and helpful individuals who are working hard every day to create an organization that is meaningful and valuable to all members. I am interested in running for secretary because I would like to continue serving the HAPS organization because I believe the work that is accomplished by the group is important for furthering excellence in anatomy and physiology education. As secretary, I also hope I can put the skills I've learned as a past department chair of six years, and now associate dean, to use to the organizational leadership and members across the globe.

Candidates for Central Regional Director

Hisham Elbatarny
St. Lawrence College and Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario

HAPS member for 5 years

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

HAPS Service

  • Presented a poster or workshop at a national or regional meeting
  • Served on a planning committee for a Regional Meeting (August 2019)
  • Served on the Curriculum & Instruction and HAPS Educator Committee
  • Written a contribution and helped edit the HAPS Educator
  • Will be hosting the 2019 Central Regional Meeting in Kingston, ON (August 10, 2019)

Since I joined the HAPS in 2014, I sensed the very friendly environment and received a very warm welcome from the leadership and all members of the society. I realized through my interactions that everyone is working really hard to serve the mission of this society, which is to promote excellence in the teaching on anatomy and physiology and achieve the set goals. Working with such a wonderful group of distinguished educators and scientists is an honor and given this great opportunity to serve as Central Region Director means a lot to me. It is an honor to be nominated for this position and I look forward to interacting with my colleagues and adding something useful to our society through this position.

Melissa Quinn
Assistant Professor - Clinical
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH

HAPS member for: 6 years

Attended all HAPS national meetings and one regional
meeting in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Presented a poster or workshop at a national or regional meeting
  • Served on the planning committee for the 2018 Annual Conference (Columbus)
  • Served on the Testing Committee (before it became a taskforce) and on the Conference Committee
  • Co-Chair of the 2018 National Conference Committee
  • Written a contribution for the HAPS Educator
  • I was a member of the Anatomy-Only Testing Taskforce to help create the Anatomy Only HAPS exam, along with the Anatomy-Only Learning Outcomes

I am interested in serving in this position because of how much HAPS and the membership have given me and what I can give back to the organization and its members. When I joined the organization as a graduate student, I was thoroughly impressed by the collaborative, fostering environment of HAPS and how accepting everyone was to each other. Seeing how everyone, including the leadership, was so welcoming and dedicated to the goals of the organization made me want to get more involved and be a part of this group. I'll never forget my very first Welcome Reception where my Regional Director talked to me and welcomed me to HAPS. The warm-demeanor and excitement of the Regional Director (and rest of the membership) instilled in me a fire to get involved. Since my first meeting, I have been able to be a member of the Testing Committee (now the Testing Taskforce), a member of the Anatomy-Only Exam Testing Taskforce, and Co-Chair the 2018 National Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Each of these positions has added to my growth as a professional educator. Every year since I joined HAPS, I have met more and more members and relished each opportunity to talk about their work and learn from them. I look forward to seeing everyone each year at the National and Regional Meetings. A very important topic that is near and dear to my heart is mentoring and fostering the next generation of anatomy and physiology educators. I believe taking the time to talk to them and help them grow and succeed is important for our professional and personal prosperity. I plan to bring this enthusiasm and excitement into the role of Regional Director to continue to expand our HAPS network. I look forward to helping to prepare others by exposing them to the great people in the organization. 

Cindy Wingert
Assistant Professor of Biology
Cedarville University
Cedarville, OH

HAPS member for: 6 years

Attended 3 HAPS national meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service

  • Presented a poster or workshop at a national or regional meeting
    • Update Speaker: "Women in Anatomy and Physiology" (Discussion Panel)
    • Workshop Presenter: "Using the HAPSI Lab: Human Anatomy and Physiology Interactive Lab as a Model to Meet the Requests for External Use of the Cadaver Lab."
  • Served on the planning committee for the 2018 Annual Conference (Columbus)
  • Served on the Cadaver Use Committee and Curriculum & Instruction Committee
  • Currently serving as Chair of the Cadaver Use Committee (since 2016)
  • Was a student in 1 HAPS-Institute Classes
    • Human Embryology/Cadaver Dissection (Spring 2013)

HAPS is a soft place to land. When I was a professor struggling to look for where I fit in amongst the landscape of professional societies and academic rank, HAPS felt like coming home. I was welcomed with collaborative enthusiasm and supportive collegiality. The HAPS leadership reminded me that I mattered and that I could indeed contribute to the vision of the organization in tangible and meaningful ways. I was immediately given the opportunity to serve on the Cadaver Use Committee, where I helped curate a database of anatomical gift programs in the nation and write an article about the process of a cadaver lab renovation. In the spring of 2016, I was appointed Cadaver Use Committee Chair. Because I have been so well mentored and shaped by my colleagues in HAPS, I want to be the central regional director so that i might give back to my fellow colleagues and to HAPS the same way in which they have given to me.

When I think about my role as a regional director, I visualize a professor that is searching to identify a vibrant community of like-minded individuals that openly collaborate and share ideas but lost as to how to go about connecting with that community. I want to be the liaison and bridge that reaches out and connects those individuals to other faculty and mentors within our society. My perspective is that everyone belongs. I believe that as professionals, we are stronger when we share our collective need and work together to meet that need. In so doing, we develop a deepened sense of community that empowers everyone to reach their highest aspirations as A&P educators. Long-term, this type of atmosphere within the society will yield sustainability as we strategically plan how to advance the mission and reach of HAPS.

I am both honored and humbled by the nomination to serve as the Central Regional Director, and I am looking forward to the possibility of helping the society in this new role. 

 Candidates for Southern Regional Director

Carol Britson
Instructional Associate Professor of Biology
University of Mississippi
University, MS

HAPS member for: 10+ years

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

HAPS Service
  • Presented a poster or workshop at a national or regional meeting
  • Served on the HAPS Educator Committee
  • Written a contribution for the HAPS Educator
  • Was a student in 1 HAPS Institution Course - Introduction to Educational Research Methods (2015)
  • Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on Word Banks and Disability Accommodations (2013)

Beyond membership, my real involvement in HAPS began with a comment from a student, 'I think I need help learning how to use this information rather than just reading about it.' From there I went in search of Teaching Tips and came across a description for a HAPS-I course on educational research. I used that experience to enrich two projects involving undergraduate thesis students, and we later presented the results at HAPS meetings and published in the HAPS Educator. One conversation brought me to the individuals of HAPS, and it is this community that I use regularly for course improvement, professional development, problem-solving, and as a creative outlet. In the spirit of 'paying it forward' I would like to serve HAPS as your Southern Regional Director and help spark similar professional journeys in new colleagues. 


Tejendra Gill
Instructional Professor and Director of Laboratory Instruction
University of Houston
Houston, TX

HAPS member for: 7 years

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

HAPS Service
  • Presented a poster or workshop at a national or regional meeting
  • Served on the Animal Use Committee

My association with HAPS began in 2012 when I first attended the 26th Annual Conference held in Tulsa, OK. It was the most rewarding experience I have had as a HAPSter. Meeting and interacting with faculty from across the nation and also those from overseas, was like an eye opener. There was so much to learn at that conference and the ones held in subsequent years. HAPS has since changed my perspective on teaching of Human Anatomy & Physiology lectures and the labs, and adoption of modern pedagogies have led to constructive student engagement with positive outcome. Interactions with well recognized authors and established publishers prompted me to adopt new lecture text and laboratory manual, which has proved extremely beneficial to our undergraduates. As the Southern Region Director, my endeavor would be to bring the faculty together at the regional conference to share their expertise and help plan strategies to make teaching of Human Anatomy & Physiology more effective and offer excellent learning opportunities for our students in this ever changing academic field. I will also channel my efforts towards increasing student involvement in HAPS activities focusing on not just the academic area but also development of leadership. There is tremendous potential for improvements and our students are hungry for the change given the rich learning resources and the tools, which are now accessible to anyone interested in honing their skills, and as faculty, it is our moral obligation to guide them in the right direction!

Eric Sun
Associate Dean and Professor of Biology
Middle Georgia State University
Macon, GA

HAPS member for: 17 years

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

HAPS Service

  • Presented a poster or workshop at a national or regional meeting
  • Served on the planning committee for a regional meeting and national meeting
  • Served on the Curriculum & Instruction Committee, Testing Committee, and Steering Committee. 
  • Served as Chair of the Testing Committee
  • Helped with the development of HAPS online exam, HAPS Exam Task Force, HAPS Bylaws Revision Task Force, and HAPS A&P Learning Outcomes Task Force

My association with HAPS began with my attendance at the 2002 annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ. I found a society dedicated to promoting the discipline, and committed to supporting individuals in the field. I was impressed with the high level of collegiality of its members and knew that this was a society that I wanted to be involved in. That decision I made over 17 years ago has taken me on an incredibly journey which has enhanced my effectiveness as an A&P instructor, built and fostered strong professional and personal relationships, provided pathways to contribute to the discipline, and opportunities to help grow a society I believe in. Since that first conference, I have attended over 16 annual and regional conferences, gave presentations and chaired or co-chaired committees. My most significant contribution to the Society was my work as chair and co-chair of the Testing Committee which culminated in the development of a new online HAPS standardized exam. While I am honored to have been awarded the President's Medal for Exemplary Service in 2014 for that work, I have in turn, benefited greatly from my involvement with the society. As a current member of the HAPS A&P Learning Outcome Task Force, I am actively involved in the revision of our A&P student learning outcomes and participated in their January 2019 meeting in Austin, TX.

I am again honored to have been nominated for the Southern Regional Director position and see it as another opportunity to serve the Society. As one of the Board members, the Southern Regional Director plays an important role in helping with decisions that set the direction of the society and serves as the liaison for HAPS members in the Southern region. I'm excited at the prospect of being in a leadership position to help HAPS continue its growth particularly in the South, and will be a strong advocate for our Southern regional members.