2014 President’s Medal was presented by President Valerie O'Loughlin to. . .

Curtis DeFriez and Eric Sun


Eric Sun (right) and Curtis DeFriez (center) receive their President’s Medals and certificates of appreciation from President Valerie O’Loughlin (left) at the HAPS Annual Membership meeting.

I had the distinct pleasure of awarding the HAPS President’s Medal to two very deserving individuals, Curtis DeFriez and Eric Sun, at the HAPS Annual Business meeting in Jacksonville, FL.  The President’s Medal is an annual award that recognizes a HAPS member or members who provided exemplary service to the organization.  Curtis and Eric are very deserving of this honor.

Eric Sun, Ph.D. has been a HAPS member since 2002, while Curtis DeFriez, MD, MSc joined HAPS in 2007.  Both men served on the HAPS Testing Committee in 2007 and began co-chairing the committee in 2009.  At this time, the HAPS exam was in paper format only and had several limitations due to exam question quality, lack of any significant psychometric analysis of the exam, and potential security of exam content.  Eric and Curtis worked together with the goal of developing a new, rigorous, reliable and secure online exam.   Using the A&P learning modules and learning outcomes created by the HAPS Curriculum and Instruction Committee, the Testing committee developed questions that mapped to these outcomes and modules.  While the exam question development was ongoing, Curtis and Eric held a pilot study (using the old paper exam questions) with Chi Tester (an online assessment tool developed at Weber State University).   The successful pilot study led to HAPS signing a contract with Chi Tester (for the distribution, administration and grading of our online exam) in 2010. 

The question development process and building of the test bank for the HAPS online exam took several years.  This process required Eric, Curtis and Executive Director Peter English to travel on two separate occasions and meet face-to-face for several days to refine questions and ultimately build two equivalent versions of the online exam.  These ‘marathon sessions’ of exam building were in addition to the regular travel and commitments required of all HAPS Steering Committee members.  Thanks to their hard work, two equivalent versions of the online exam were developed and a second pilot study was performed using these exams.  Curtis and Eric are working with psychometricians from Indiana University to evaluate the data from the pilot study and assess the exam’s reliability and validity. The HAPS Online exam is secure, maps to our learning outcomes, consists of well-designed questions, and has been offered to our membership since Fall 2013. This fall, Eric and Curtis will lead yet another marathon meeting to develop additional rigorous, reliable questions for the test bank. 

Curtis DeFriez and Eric Sun have gone ‘above and beyond’ for our organization.  Due to their tireless efforts, HAPS has an online test and testing system that is exemplary.  Many thanks go to Curtis and Eric for all that they have done for HAPS!

Valerie O’Loughlin