Meet the Candidates for Board of Directors

Term: 2024-2027  |  Open Positions: 2  |  Candidates: 4

Rebecca Lufler, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Medical Education, Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM)

Candidate Statement: The AAA Board of Directors is comprised of a diverse group of leaders, each bringing their own experiences to help move the Association forward. Since joining as a student member over 15 years ago, and through my various volunteer roles, I have developed an institutional knowledge of the Association and dedication to rigorous educational programming.  I have the leadership skills and expertise to support and advance all three mission areas of the AAA: research, education, and professional development.

 Anatomy research, education, and the faculty workforce have gone through major transformations over the past several years. These changes required strong leadership at the height of the pandemic, and leaders must continue to be innovative and flexible to support members, learners, faculty, and staff through the enduring changes. As Co-Director of the TUSM Scholarly Project Program, I have gained tremendous insight into student research across the university and see an opportunity to foster involvement of health professions students in our Association.  An inclusive, interdisciplinary approach to student member recruitment will not only strengthen our student membership, but also introduce faculty mentors and researchers not previously aware of the breadth of disciplines served by AAA. This diverse recruiting approach will promote cutting edge and innovative research. Communication is key in creating new memberships, collaborations across disciplines, and informing the public about our Association. As an anatomy course director, I have successfully led the transformation of courses and curricula as we continue to adjust to the needs of students and programs. The growth mindset, emotional intelligence, and thoughtful communication skills I developed through AAA have been invaluable to leading change. I will bring these skills to the Board of Directors to promote our Association, advocate for our membership, and foster growth. Co-developing and co-leading the Developing and Elevating Leaders with Tools for Advancement (DELTA) program, tailored to AAA Strategic Plan, was particularly exciting as our team was able to create leadership training through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Creating more opportunities to support career advancement is paramount for making our Association standout and broaden its impact. 

 My vision for AAA is to utilize our core values, particularly community and inclusion, to create a home for a diverse group of professionals that will inspire collaborations in all areas of anatomy. Expanding interest in our Association through professional development program opportunities and interprofessional research networking and collaboration is crucial to increasing visibility. I would be honored for the opportunity to utilize my skills and work with leaders of AAA on the Board of Directors to advance our Association.

Ph.D. Institution: Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 2010

Earlier Positions: Associate Professor (2017-2018), Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, University of Delaware; Senior Lecturer (2015-2017) and Lecturer (2010-2015), Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, TUSM; Part-time Lecturer (2008), Northeastern University

Teaching: [Current] Clinical Anatomy (Medical, Dental, PA, and Master of Biomedical Sciences students); Clinical Anatomy Prosection (4th year medical students); Mini Medical School Pipeline Program Anatomy (high school students); [Past] Anatomy and Physiology (undergraduate students); Advanced Human Anatomy (graduate students); Advanced Regional Anatomy (Physical Therapy students); Functional Human Anatomy (undergraduate students)

AAA Committee/Roles: CFAS representative (2020-2023); Educational Affairs Committee (2012-2018, Chair 2015-2018 with Liaison roles to the Program and Professional Development Committees); Student/Post-Doctoral Member, Board of Directors (2010-2012).

Other Professional Activities: Co-Leader, Developing and Elevating Leaders with Tools for Advancement (DELTA); Co-Director, TUSM Scholarly Project Program; Co-Leader, Department of Medical Education Faculty Development Workshop and Seminar Series; Chair, TUSM Student Ethics and Promotions Committee; Academic Partner (Advisor), TUSM Master of Biomedical Sciences Program; TUSM Admissions Committee

Awards: TUSM Excellence in Teaching Award (2023); Physician Assistant Program Didactic Faculty of the Year Award (2023); Outstanding TUSM Lecturer (2019-2023); Outstanding TUSM Small Group and Lab Instructor (2022, 2023); Milton o. M30 and Natalie V. Zucker Clinical Teaching Award for Innovation in Medical Education (2022); AAA Innovations Award, DELTA (2021); Editors’ Choice Award, Teaching and Learning in Medicine (2021); TUSM Instructional Technology Exploration Program Award (2017); Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Dean’s Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching (2016)

Research Interest: Clinical education research, specifically evaluation of teaching approaches and innovations, and curriculum; Faculty development research, specifically trends in parental leave benefits.

Other Professional Memberships Currently Maintained: American Association of Clinical Anatomists

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