Biographies for Board of Directors Election
To vote please follow the link located at the
bottom of the email you received 



Candidates for President-Elect

Kyla Ross
Assistant Vice Provost for Advocacy and Conflict Resolution
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA

HAPS Member for: 8 years

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

HAPS Service:

  • Chaired HAPS Steering Committee (2016-present)
  • Co-chaired Annual Conference (2016, Atlanta)
  • Chaired Membership Committee (2015-2016)
  • Submited 3 articles (1 published; 2 in press) for the HAPS Educator
  • Presented workshops and/or posters at 4 HAPS annual conferences and 1 regional conference
  • Participated in 2 HAPS-I Courses

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 four 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!


Cindy Wingert
Instructor of Anatomy
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH


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
    • Poster Presentation for the Cadaver Use Committee - Highlighting our Mentor/Mentee Initiative
    • 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 Class
    • Human Embryology/Cadaver Dissection (Spring 2013)

HAPS is a vibrant community of colleagues and friends that feels like family. For me, it has been "a soft place to land". In the early years of my professional career, I struggled to find where I fit in the landscape of professional societies and academic rank. When I found HAPS, it felt like coming home. I was welcomed with collaborative enthusiasm and supportive collegiality. It is THAT kind of positive energy that makes HAPS so unique. It is THAT kind of supportive community that I wold seek to maintain and further cultivate as the President of HAPS. Our society thrives when we support and spur one another on through listserv communication, roundtable discussions, and mentoring opportunities. Those are the experiences and connections that keep us buoyed up. It is not a single leader of HAPS that makes HAPS great! We all make HAPS great!

When I think about my role as a President of HAPS, I immediately visualize a professor that is searching to identify a vibrant community of like-minded individuals that openly collaborate and share ideas. To meet that need, as the chair of the Cadaver Use Committee, my committee has pioneered the first HAPS mentoring initiative as a way to support continuing education and peer to peer collaboration. As President, I would foster the development of similar initiatives. As a society and as professionals, we are more durable and more capable of blazing new trails when we share our collective needs and work together to meet those needs. In doing so, 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. 


Candidates for Treasurer


Leslie Day
Instructional Associate Professor
Texas A&M University - EnMed Program
Houston, TX


HAPS Member for: 15 years

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

HAPS Service:

  • Treasurer: July 2018-present
  • Chair of Membership Committee: July 2016 - June 2018
  • 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 (Aug 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 collegial one, with great opportunities and resources for all of its members. Therefore, it needs to continue to have conscientious leaders that are willing to volunteer their time to help the society grow while keeping 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 years’ experience in leadership, with fiscal responsibilities, as Associate Department Chair and Acting Department Chair. For the past 2 years, I have served as the HAPS Treasurer and have been able to make an impact within the organization by ensuring the board considers the financial implications of every decision. I would be honored to be nominated to continue in this role as treasurer.


Shari Litch Gray
Associate Professor of Biology
Regis College
Weston, MA


HAPS Member for: 6 years

Attended 2 HAPS national or regional meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service:

  • HAPS poster presentation Ottawa, Ontario (submitted) May 2020
  • HAPS poster presentation Portland, OR 2019; Poster Award Winner
  • HAPS poster presentation Salt Lake City, UT 2017
  • HAPS Curriculum & Instruction Committee 2014-2017
  • HAPS scholarship to complete HAPS Educational Research Methods course 2015
  • HAPS workshop presentation San Antonio, TX 2015
  • HAPS Educator publication 2015
  • HAPS poster presentation Jacksonville, FL 2014
  • HAPS session presentation Springfield, MA 2014
  • HAPS Lab Outcomes Task Force 2013-2014

Hello, I’m Shari Litch Gray, a biology faculty member at Regis College originally trained in reproductive physiology and for the last 24 years, an instructor of Human Anatomy & Physiology. Prior to my academic career, I was the laboratory director in a human IVF program performing procedures with embryos and managing the staff, protocols, regulations and budget for a busy clinic.  To support my faculty role, I joined HAPS to connect professionally and found colleagues I admire and respect in addition to friendships I greatly value.  I believe I have the skills to join the HAPS Board of Directors as evidenced through my curriculum development, managerial experience and budgeting skills acquired to successfully sustain and grow an active undergraduate faculty and student population as chair of my department.  I see HAPS as instrumental to new as well as seasoned instructors.  Throughout the academic year and during the regional & annual conferences, members of HAPS gain new professional insights to improve the delivery of Anatomy & Physiology curriculum.   My involvement in HAPS has included presenting posters and workshops on A&P educational research, publishing in HAPS Educator and serving on the Curriculum & Instruction Committee.  Now I would like to increase my commitment to HAPS by serving in the role of Treasurer.  I have been so impressed with the willingness of the HAPS community to share and help its members that I want to give back and offer service in the position of Treasurer should I be elected to this position.  Thank you for this opportunity.


Candidates for Eastern Regional Director


Mindi Fried
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Quinnipiac University
Hamden, CT

HAPS Member for: 4 years

Attended 2 HAPS national or regional meetings in the last 3 years

HAPS Service:

  • Peer reviewer for the HAPS Educator (2018-present)
  • Was a student in one HAPS Institute Course (Cardiac Function, Fall 2018)
  • Presented workshop at national meeting 2019 (Zombies and the CNS)
  • Approved workshop for the 2020 National Meeting (Five Hearts on a Whiteboard - the Cardiac Cycle)

I have been teaching A&P since 2008 but became aware of and a member of HAPS as a student in the MS HAPSI degree program at NYCC in 2016. Since joining, I have been an active member, especially as a peer reviewer for the HAPS educator. I have found my membership to be extremely rewarding, especially the National Conferences in the spring that I now look forward to every year. I would like to increase my involvement in HAPS to be a more active participant in the governing and running of the organization. I have served in many leadership roles in other groups, and I feel I have the energy and the skills to serve as regional director.

I like to interact with people, and I look forward to acting as a liaison between the Eastern Region's constituency and promoting involvement in HAPS by regional membership. I appreciate the colleagues that I have met and the connections that I have made through HAPS, and I look forward to making more of them. i hope to use my energy and enthusiasm to help the membership of HAPS in the Eastern Region be more connected with the national organization. I would like members to know that they have a person that they can connect with that understands the region. I live in MA, have worked in VT and NY, and currently work in CT, so I have traveled around New England extensively. I look forward to the opportunity to interact with more members from the Eastern Region, from both the USA and Canada.


Anya Goldina
Associate Professor of Biology
Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown, PA

HAPS Member for: 4 years

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

HAPS Service:

  • Serve as a reviewer for HAPS Educator (since 2005)
  • Co-presented a workshop at HAPS in 2017 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Written 2 manuscripts for HAPS Educator
  • Presented 2 posters at HAPS in 2017 (Salt Lake City, UT) and in 2018 (Columbus, OH)

I joined HAPS as a new faculty, teaching A&P for the first time. From the beginning I was blown away by the kindness, generosity, helpfulness, and enthusiasm of all the HAPS members I met. Being part of the HAPS community makes me a better teacher and student of this expansive field. I would love to be able to offer the support and encouragement that I have continuously received from all the HAPS officers. I would like to generate more opportunities for members that cannot make it to the annual meetings to connect and share their experiences. I was fortunate to receive mentoring from many HAPS members and would like to be able to extend that opportunity to others. For faculty in small institutions where they are the only A&P faculty, developing mentoring relationships might be a great way to share knowledge, get inspired, and develop exciting collaborations. Collaborations that allow individuals to observe more seasoned A&P professors in action and share teaching strategies throughout the year might be a welcome opportunity to broaden our knowledge and add a few more tools to our teaching toolboxes. Importantly, as the Eastern regional Director. i would like to assess the needs and wants of our region and work hard to meet those needs. 


Nanette Tomicek
Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA


HAPS Member for: 7 years

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

HAPS Service:

  • 2019-current: Member of Physiology Only Learning Objectives - expert panel
  • 2018-current: Promoter of HAPS Exams
  • 2017-current: Member of Conference Committee
  • 2016-2019: Annual Meeting Attendee and Workshop Presenter (The Biology of Sex: Myths and Facts)
  • 2015-2017: Member of HAPS Testing Committee & early developer of HAPS Anatomy only learning objectives
  • 2015: Annual Meeting Attendee and Workshop Presenter (Estrogen and Estrogen Receptors in the Aging Female Heart: What Happened to Hormone Replacement Therapy?)
  • 2014: Annual Meeting Attendee and Workshop Presenter (Estrogen and Estrogen Receptors in the Aging Female Heart: Is There Any Hope for Hormone Replacement Therapy?)
  • 2013: Annual Meeting Attendee and Workshop Presenter (Good Things Do Come From Fat: Adiponectin Reduces Cardiac Damage Following Ischemic Injury)

I am greatly honored to be nominated as a candidate for HAPS Eastern Region Director. I look forward to serving an organization that I can truly say I love. I know I am not alone in saying that the members of HAPS are “my people” and I get a genuine thrill each year when I head to the annual meeting and get to interact with a large portion of the membership. I feel like I know many of you professionally and personally, either through face-to-face interaction, or your freely volunteered wisdom on the HAPS email list serve. I thank you for all you have offered me in the way of mentoring and and would love an opportunity to give more back. For those of you who don’t know my story, I entered a Physiology Ph.D. program in 2006 at The Pennsylvania State University had my first experience teaching A&P as a graduate student. Over the years I grew to appreciate teaching and committed my career path towards A&P education. Thanks to really great mentoring from fellow HAPSters I was coaxed into attending my first HAPS meeting in 2013 in fabulous Las Vegas and I can honestly say I was hooked from there. The sense of community within our group is truly a phenomenon I’ve never seen or felt elsewhere. Over the course of the past decade I’ve plugged into HAPS in small ways, presenting, serving on committees, and interacting with conference events. More recently I’ve worked closely with the HAPS Anatomy-only exam on the testing and curriculum committee. Now I currently sit on the expert panel for writing Physiology-only learning objectives. I am jumping at the chance to give more back to HAPS, an organization that has given me so much sanity, educational wisdom, and valued friendships. I would be thrilled to serve as you Eastern Region Director. My plan is to continue the great work my predecessors on the Board of Directors have accomplished and keep our beloved organization growing and thriving. Please consider voting for me, Nanette J. Tomicek, your fellow Anatomy and Physiology nerd.


Candidates for Western Regional Director


Janet Casagrand
Senior Instructor
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO

HAPS Member for: 9 years

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

HAPS Service:

  • Currently serving on the HAPS Physiology Learning Outcomes Expert Panel to develop the HAPS Physiology Learning Outcomes
  • Presented 3 posters and 6 workshops at annual conferences on a variety of topics including Bloom's taxonomy, screencasting, and case studies
  • Served as a reviewer for the HAPS Educator since 2013
  • Written contributions for the HAPS Educator (Controlling Gamma Neuron Sensitivity, 2 HAPS conference reviews - Qualitative Research Methods & Anatomy Education - Getting to the Meaning with Data; Education at the crossroads - teaching as if learning mattered)
  • Served as a member of the HAPS Curriculum & Instruction Committee and Testing Committee (2012-2014)

I have been a member of HAPS since 2012 when I attended my first annual conference in Tulsa. I immediately fell in love with HAPS and its members. I found a friendly and supportive community of educators who share the common goal of wanting to improve teaching and learning of anatomy and physiology. This was such a different experience than I had had at other scientific conferences or even with many colleagues at my home institution. The meetings are fun, educational, and great for professional development. What more could you ask? Every year I look forward to attending the HAPS conference and come back rejuvenated in spirit and with new ideas to try out in the classroom (sometimes too many!). It is such a pleasure to be surrounded by educators who are so enthusiastic about what they do, creative in how they do it, and supportive of those around them.

At that first HAPS conference, I felt such a draw to this community that I wanted to become involved and help support it. I joined two committees: the HAPS Curriculum and Instruction Committee and the Testing Committee on which I served for two years. The following year I became involved with the HAPS Educator and have served as a reviewer, and an occasional contributor, ever since. Currently, I am also on the HAPS Physiology Learning Outcomes Expert Panel. It is a pleasure to work with such dedicated and enthusiastic colleagues. I am honored to be nominated for Western Region Director and look forward to the opportunity to further serve the HAPS community in this role.


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


HAPS Member for: 14 years

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

HAPS Service:

  • Served on the HAPS Board of Directors from July 2018 to present
  • 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 honour to be nominated once again for the position as HAPS Western Regional Director.  It has been a privilege to serve this organization that has been so important to my growth as an educator and leader. I have had the extreme good fortune to attend every annual conference since 2006 and am always amazed at how much there is to learn. The individuals that make up HAPs are so generous with their time, knowledge, and energy. This sentiment has only been reinforced in the past two years sitting on the Board of Directors.  The knowledge and energy these volunteers bring to the table every day is inspiring. These individuals work tirelessly to maintain the function and integrity of HAPS.  I have learned so much from my colleagues on the Board of Directors and the Steering Committee these past two years and have the utmost respect for any individual who allows their name to stand for a position in the Board or serves as a committee chair. I hope for the opportunity to continue to bring my dedication, commitment, and experience to the role as Western Regional Director.


Janet Steele
Professor of Biology
University of Nebraska Kearney
Kearney, NE


HAPS Member for: 24 years

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

HAPS Service:

  • Published articles in HAPS Educator 2018 and 2019
  • Volunteered to coordinate case studies 2016
  • Presented poster at HAPS national meeting in Atlanta 2016
  • Administered HAPS comprehensive exam numerous times since 1996 (overall class average ~ 70th percentile)

I feel it is time for me to give back to the society after reaping the benefits of membership for so many years.  While I have not been able to attend regional and annual meetings regularly, I have read the journal and used many of the resources available on the society’s website.  My doctoral degree from Miami University focused on autonomic control of cardiovascular responses to novel stress, and I completed my post-doctoral work in renal physiology at what is now the University of Toledo Health Sciences Campus.  I have taught a large two-semester sophomore-level course for students interested in a wide variety of health science careers since 1993 and am very aware of the changes in how students use and access learning materials.  I have held many leadership positions at UNK (Chair of IACUC, Director of IRB, Program Director of Online MS in Biology, Program Director of Online MS ED in Science/Math Education, Chair of Biology Department, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and Acting Chair of Physics & Astronomy) and I have the skill set to be an effective Regional Director.  One of my goals is to help other HAPSters learn new ways to present information to a rapidly-changing demographic of students, and my experience directing two online graduate programs should be of benefit as more institutions look to online delivery of courses to meet the needs of students.