Human Anatomy Lab Provides Unique Learning Experience

Exercise Science 229 — Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology — provides undergraduate students with basic scientific information and an understanding of human motion within the areas of anatomy and neuromuscular physiology.

Thanks to a collaborative effort between two University of Scranton professors, EXCS 229 students are getting a graduate-level experience in the Human Anatomy Laboratory. Gary Mattingly, Ph.D., a professor in Scranton’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, opened what is known as the “cadaver lab” to the students of Georgios Stylianides, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Exercise Science and Sports Department and the course instructor.

“Cadaver labs are not easily accessible, especially to undergraduate students, for many reasons,” said Dr. Stylianides. “Dr. Mattingly deserves a lot of credit for this interdisciplinary collaboration. He has not only opened his lab to my students, but also dedicated his time to help in the lab. The students truly treasure this hands-on opportunity.”

Dr. Mattingly is equally complimentary of Dr. Stylianides and his students.

“This experience enables sophomores to see that what they are studying in books is real — giving them an entirely different perspective on human anatomy and physiology. They discovered first-hand an artificial knee, coronary stents and what nerves really look like. I was impressed by their enthusiasm and maturity,” said Dr. Mattingly, who also expressed appreciation for the people who donate their bodies for educational purposes.

From the perspective of the undergraduates in the class, the experience was a real eye opener.

“I’m more of a visual learner. I need to get involved in order to fully comprehend the material and by going to the cadaver lab I was able to do that,” said sophomore Bridgette Sakar of New York, N.Y.

“I have a tremendously greater understanding of the musculoskeletal system and the human body in general. For instance, our textbook pretty much separates every muscle, tendon and ligament as a separate entity. Dr. Stylianides and Dr. Mattingly showed that is not always the case,” said sophomore David Hopp of Jarrettsville, Md.

“Being able to touch and move the muscles and see their function in action brings an entirely new light to our studies,” said junior Patrick N. Wende of Bear Creek Township.

Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies, read the students’ research papers and was impressed by their level of knowledge.

“Dr. Mattingly and Dr. Stylianides brought these students beyond rote knowledge to the development of higher learning skills,” said Dean Pellegrino. “What a beautiful example of professors from two departments working together for the benefit of our students. In my experiences, I have not encountered undergraduate students learning in this environment and receiving the experiences of a graduate education.”