Professional Development

The Bone Song is Wrong


This is a song many children learn in their elementary ed gym class. You probably learned it at one point in your education too, am I right?  But sorry to break it to all you intellectuals out there, but you’ve been taught wrong. Very wrong. 

For the last year, I have volunteered around 32 hours in the Anatomy Lab. I am a Teaching Assistant for the Anatomy Cadaver Lab here at Central Michigan University. A lot of my friends ask why I volunteer my time to go teach freshman anatomy every Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 am to 10:45 am. And here’s the answer….

  1. It’s helped to expand my knowledge of the human body immensely as well as keep the info fresh in my brain. This is important for many reasons. In June, I will start applying to Physical Therapy graduate programs. Knowing the structure and function of the body and being able to recall that info without much thought it important for success as a Physical Therapist. Thus, keeping my anatomy knowledge fresh as well as expanding on it is benefitting my future.
  2. I think it’s freaking awesome to be able to see an actual heart, brain, lungs, etc. Then again that is what makes me the person I am.
  3. Connections and friendships. I worked with two outstanding Graduate Assistants that have provided me with so much knowledge and advice. I’ve also been able to  work closely with Professor Salt who has helped me in so many ways on my way  to reach my Grad School goals. Also, making friends with similar interests and are enrolled in some of the same classes is always nice too.
  4. I like to help others learn. Anatomy is an important class for anyone going into the health field. Understanding the structure and function of the human body is key. It is something that must be understood for success in almost any career in the health and/or medical field. Being able to help students achieve this understanding is something I enjoy. 

In fact, today I interviewed to become an official Anatomy Lab Teaching Assistant rather than a volunteer one. 


Alpha Leadership


As part of our Leader Advancement Scholar protocol, we are required to participate in Alpha Leadership. Alpha is a 6 week long free leadership development program available to any and all CMU students. It is directed and vacillated by trained student volunteers.

During Alpha, students participate in activities that cover team building, problem solving as well as simulation activities that open up your eyes to everyday problems. The two main simulation activities put light on the both treatment of students with cognitive and physical disabilities through having students participate in an activity ran by the David Garcia Project and a group activity relating to acceptance of people who are different than you. I really loved participating in these two specific activities. They were greatly beneficial to me and really opened my eyes.

When I signed up for Alpha, I really only did it because it was required. However, after the first two sessions, I found that I was starting to look forward to 6pm every Thursday which is when Alpha was. Alpha ended up being extremely more fun and beneficial to me than I had originally anticipated. I would greatly recommend it to anyone. It was great meeting students who were not directly involved with the Leadership Institute but held leadership positions all over campus as well as who shared a love for leadership.


Following Alpha Leadership, I will take the benefits I gained from the two simulation activities and apply them to every day life. I won’t be quick to judge when people are different than I. I will listen to their perspectives, offer to help and not be quick to judge. I plan on continue to participate in more program such as Alpha in order to help develop my leadership skills.

Leadership Curriculum: First semester

As part of the Leadership Advancement Scholar curriculum, our first semester at college we must take Introduction to Debate and Psychology 100. Both of these classes are taken with the LAS cohort. There were both positives and negatives to taking the class as a cohort. Overall, I found that taking the classes as a cohort was beneficial even if it did present its difficulties.

Taking classes together was fun. Being in the same classes as the whole cohort is helpful when you have questions regarding an assignment. It is also helpful because you have 39 other people that are willing to help you study for an upcoming test. However, having classes with the cohort may be difficult because it means that you have class with your friends. This sometimes makes paying attention difficult.

I really enjoyed our Debate class. Coming into Introduction to Debate, I was not expecting to participate in philosophical and abstractly challenging discussions. I thought that all we would be doing was debating; however, I was wrong. This class ended up being significantly more thought provoking than I had originally anticipated. I also found this class useful because it helped me to become more interested in debate. I always thought that debate was simple and straightforward. How I understand the complexities of debate and find it interesting because I actually know how the process works.

I feel that knowledge of debate will benefit me for a multitude of reasons. Going through the process of debating, or even listening to a debate, helps me to further my knowledge about specific topics and issues. Becoming more educated about the issues in the world may help me to be more open minded. In my opinion, being open minded to new thoughts and perspectives and being willing to listen and learn about both sides of an issue is an important characteristic to have as a leader.

In addition to Debate, we also were required to take Psychology 100 as part of the Leadership Advancement Scholar curriculum. This class taught me a lot about what creates a leader. I learned that a leader is not only shaped through biological aspects, but also through what is learn from others as they grow up.  Being aware of what helps to shape a great leader and what will inhibit someone’s ability to be a great leader will help me to better myself as a leader.

Although these classes were not specifically leadership classes or classes that tended to my intended major, they were still very beneficial. They not only fulfilled University Requirements but also were very informational. Overall, Psychology taught me how a leader is shaped which will allow me to help other become leaders while Debate taught me effective communication skills.