Students get hands-on experience with high-tech anatomy table

Brock University students will soon have access to the most technologically advanced visualization system for anatomy education thanks to the efforts of Kinesiology student James John Hall.

Hall envisioned Brock as the first comprehensive university in Canada to have an Anatomage Table for undergraduate anatomy classes and worked for more than two years to raise awareness and the funds needed to be able to give his fellow classmates the table.

“While other universities have the tables for their medical schools, the overall goal was to raise funds for a piece of technology that could set Brock ahead in terms of high-quality anatomy and experiential education,” said Hall, who will graduate Monday as part of Brock’s Spring Convocation.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Brock University Students’ Union and matching funds from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, the learning environment for students will be enhanced starting this September.

More than 500 Applied Health Sciences undergraduate students in first and second year will benefit from the technology valued at more than $100,000.

“Our acquisition of sophisticated state-of-the-art anatomy teaching equipment was made possible thanks to the leadership and initiative of James John Hall, the hard work of the Kinesiology Students’ Association and the generosity of the Brock University Students’ Union,” said Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Dean Peter Tiidus at a reception held to recognize the donors on Monday, June 3.

“The new Anatomage Table will enhance the practical education of Kinesiology and Health Sciences students for years to come. This type of gift to the Faculty by undergraduate students is unprecedented and sets a standard that I hope future students and alumni will try to emulate,” he said.

The table features human micro and macroscopic 3D anatomy systems which enable students to interact with anatomy in a functional way.

“The breadth of learning from microscopic to whole body will allow students to see the organ, muscle and bone on the table, while at the same time seeing the tissues’ cellular structures. This is another tool we will use to give students the best experience possible,” said Department of Health Sciences Assistant Professor Rebecca MacPherson, who teaches anatomy.

She emphasized the new technology will enhance the current student experience.

“The opportunity for students to work in the cadaver lab, work with this table and compare what they are seeing with the newly purchased anatomy models provides a full range of learning resources that are unique to Brock’s undergraduate program,” MacPherson said.

In addition to the other funds used to purchase the table, additional funding was provided by a Teaching and Learning Innovation grant from the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation and Brock’s Experiential Education, which allowed the Faculty to upgrade the unit to one that can be positioned vertically for large audience presentations.

“This makes it much more versatile and functional for our instructor and students needs,” Tiidus said.

Reflecting on Monday’s reception and the fundraising efforts over the past two years, Hall recognized that support came from all facets of the Brock community.

“Being back in the Walker Complex Anatomy lab gave me a chance to appreciate the positive contribution we as undergraduate students were able to make to Brock,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it without the generous support of the entire community here. I’m grateful we have been able to grow together in this positive and impactful way.”

From left, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Dean Peter Tiidus; Kinesiology Professor Brian Roy; Brock University Students Union Vice-President Heidi Stricko; Brock University Students Union Vice-President Finance and Administration Asad Jalib; Brock University Students Union President Bilal Khan; Kinesiology Students’ Association President James John Hall; Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Graduate Student Robert Kumar (BScKin ’17) and Faculty of Math and Sciences graduate student Michael Tolentino (BSC ’18) pose with the new Anatomage Table as part of a donor recognition reception on Monday, June 3 to acknowledge the undergraduate students contributions.

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