Human anatomy professor encourages independence

May 14, 2015 Featured News Print Print
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Biology Professor Nathaniel Abraham said throughout the semester, about 50 percent of his BIO 2255 students have dropped the class, which is the normal rate.

Abraham said the students who remain are dedicated.

“They spend a lot of time after class,” he said.

“The students who really want to do well in the class will keep asking questions.”

Abraham said the students who ask questions tend to do better. He said it’s also helpful to pique their interest by asking them analytical questions and by using hand-drawn illustrations.

“I think it does something to you when your professor is putting a lot of work into it too,” he said.

Abraham said his anatomy drawings are a part of his effort to make the class more interesting. He also likes to keep things lighthearted.

“It’s fast rolling, and I make sure it’s not boring and we have lots of jokes,” he said. “It’s always with the view of furthering their knowledge about anatomy.

“Yes, it’s fun, but every time I’m joking, I’m also putting very deep questions into them and making them think, and taking them to the next step.”

Abraham said teaching assistants Kiamars Golmoradi and Paul Kernen, along with Biology Adjunct Professor Rosemary Harkins, have been a great help to the class.

“They are sort of the dream team.”

Golmoradi said he likes that Abraham inspires curiosity in the students, but doesn’t spoon feed them.

“He tries to make sure they understand the concepts, and he really emphasizes that,” he said.

“He teaches a lot of the scientific concepts and tries to tie it all back together, and it definitely does give a better picture of the body.”

Kernen said Abraham makes the students want to learn and look things up for themselves.

“He inspires [students] to think outside of the box.”

Harkins calls herself the special dissectionist — she comes in when needed to perform specific dissections.

Abraham said he teaches the material and the teaching assistants help students apply the knowledge in the lab.

He said though the students have many resources, it’s difficult because of the high standard for the course.

“You could take this class and go anywhere and be able to make this grade or better,” he said.

For more information, contact Abraham at nathaniel.abraham@occc.edu. For more information on BIO 2255, visit www.occc.edu/biology/courses.html.

To contact Bryce McElhaney,email editor@occc.edu

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