Meet the Candidates for Board of Directors

Term: 2023-2026  |  Open Positions: 4  |  Candidates: 8

Allison Nesbitt

Candidate Statement:  As a biological anthropologist who studies the evolution of the human head, human anatomy has been central to my training and career. My first EB experience prompted me to participate in the forward progress of AAA. My AAA service has focused on advocating for equity and inclusion, increasing the diversity of members, and promoting the work of historically excluded scientists and educators. The opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors would be a continuation of my active commitment to improving the academic environment for all and supporting the association.

My vision for AAA extends from my personal experiences and service within the association. I understand the professional barriers that the lack of inclusion, exposure, and opportunity pose to people at all levels of academia. Through AAA, I have had wonderful networking and professional development opportunities, but I am conscious of the financial, social, and time limits that can stall members. I envision an association that continues supporting members through measurable actions including grants, outreach initiatives, and professional development opportunities like the Anatomy Scholars Program, and welcomes more members by continuing to eliminate barriers to participation. I imagine new ways to welcome and engage diverse members who are at various career stages and faculty with little or no university support for professional development. I see a future AAA that also emphasizes the discovery of the history of the association and past members. I was privileged to co-write a draft of the AAA “Statement of Responsibility for its History of Racism” that was adopted by the Board. I would like to be part of supporting the proposed education, research, outreach, and professional development initiatives that focus on the future of the association in the context of the past. 

As a member of the Board of Directors, I will bring my inquisitive approach, knowledge, experience, responsibility, and active participation. I seek and deliver honest and open communication and value information and opinions from colleagues. In addition, I teach in large enrollment courses which require me to coordinate with others, be flexible, find creative solutions to issues, and to be organized. I also facilitate small case-based learning for medical students where I primarily listen and moderate student discussion with probing questions and foster an inclusive environment where all students are encouraged to ask and respond to questions. Through the AAA, I have learned from and collaborated with other members. I have seen that individuals with a diversity of experiences and perspectives produce rich discussion, compromise, and impactful outcomes. As a Director, I hope to help lead and participate in the sustained growth of AAA while remaining true to the mission and values of the organization. 

Current Position/Institution: Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, University of Missouri

Ph.D. Institution: Ph.D. in Anthropology, Stony Brook University, 2017

Earlier Positions: Teaching Assistant, Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University (2010-2017); Adjunct Instructor, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant, Department of Applied Forensic Sciences, Mercyhurst University (2008-2010) 

Teaching: [current] Structure and Function of the Human Body (Clinical Gross Anatomy for medical students); Gross Human Anatomy (The Health Professionals) (physical therapy students), Patient-based learning facilitator for cardiovascular, respiratory, blood disorder, and nutritional disease cases (medical students); Patient-based learning facilitator for neurophysiology and neuroanatomy cases (medical students); Mentor and Co-facilitator for fourth-year medical students; MedPrep III Anatomy Primer (medical students)

AAA Committee/Roles: Anatomy Scholars Program (ASP) Development Group (2022 - present); Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (2020 – 2022); AAA 2023 Stand-Alone Meeting Working Group (2022); Statement of Responsibility Task Force (2022); Structural Racism Task Force (2021 – 2022); Anatomy Scholars Program Working Group (2020-2022) 

Other Professional Activities: [current] Board of Reviewers, The Anatomical Record; Vice-President, Black in Anatomy, Inc.;  University of Missouri: Executive Board, Intercollegiate Athletics Committee; Department Representative, School of Medicine Faculty Affairs Council; Faculty Advisor, Gift of Body Commemoration Committee; Faculty Advocate, MedPrep III Diversity & Inclusion Primer; Faculty Participant, Inclusivity Symposia; Volunteer Instructor, The CALEB Science Club.  

Awards: David and Kathy Morton Outstanding Faculty Educator Award, University of Missouri School of Medicine (2020); Curriculum Board Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award for Outstanding Pre-Clerkship Faculty Educator, University of Missouri School of Medicine (2020)

Research Interest: My research explores the growth and evolutionary changes in the human cranium and dentition over time, anatomy knowledge retention, and the impact of anatomy outreach and pre-matriculation programs for health professions students. 
Other Professional Memberships Currently Maintained: American Association of Biological Anthropologists