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Krista Rompolski Granted American Academy of Anatomists Fellowship

June 15, 2016

In September, Krista Rompolski, PhD, assistant clinical professor in the Health Sciences Department, will begin a 2-year fellowship through the American Association of Anatomists (AAA).   The fellowship will allow Rompolski to receive formal training in cadaver dissection and dissection instruction.  The AAA program follows the standard medical student syllabus for gross anatomy.

Rompolski applied for the fellowship because she wanted to be more involved in Drexel’s gross anatomy lab.  “I knew I wanted to continue my education in some capacity, and I wanted whatever I studied next to be helpful to the department,” said Rompolski. She wants to follow in the footsteps of the senior faculty members who teach advanced anatomy and dissection courses.  “I had no cadaver training whatsoever prior to coming to Drexel, and I’d never even been in a cadaver lab until the day I interviewed.  I didn’t know what to expect, but from my first day in the lab, I’d never been so excited about anything I was doing. The first time I held a brain and a heart in my hands stand out in the top 10 moments of my entire life.  So I said to myself, how do I get formally trained in this?”

Throughout her fellowship, Rompolski will need to keep a portfolio of all of her dissections, how she’s meeting all of her objectives, and how and where she’s instructing the material.  She will be a teaching assistant (TA) in some of her mentor, Margery Lockard, PT, PhD’s classes, as well as other senior faculty teaching advanced anatomy courses.  Lockard is a clinical professor in both the Health Sciences and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department. Both Rompolski and Lockard will be required to send monthly update reports. 

After Rompolski has completed the first half of her training, she will be required to attend a week-long practical with the Anatomical Society at Oxford University in England where she will be asked to demonstrate her newly acquired dissection skills.  At the completion of the program, Rompolski will receive a certificate in cadaver dissection and dissection instruction.   

About this opportunity and the many others that teaching at Drexel has brought, Rompolski said, “I wake up every day and I can’t believe this is what I get to do.  It’s reaffirmation that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.  I’d like to thank Dr. Sinclair Smith for being completely supportive of this endeavor and Dr. Lockard for being my mentor.  Ultimately, thank you to the entire health science faculty for bringing me on four years ago and continuing to be a part of my ongoing education.”

By Maggie McCrea