PAA Students Explore Professional Cadaver Lab

Portland Adventist Academy teacher Linda Johnson recently took her honors anatomy and physiology class to learn in a cadaver lab at Pacific University in Forest Grove.

Sheryl Sanders, who has taught at the professional program at Pacific University for 18 years and whose work has been highlighted in medical journals, helped the students explore the human body hands-on.

"It was exciting for me to see my students interacting with Sanders,” says Johnson. “They reviewed the skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and reproductive systems, and she peppered my students with questions. She mentioned more than once that she was impressed with their knowledge. In fact, Sanders said she was even having a hard time stumping them.”

It’s no wonder why. PAA’s honors anatomy and physiology students are learning college-level material and earning dual credit. For the students interested in a medical degree, this advances their studies in college.

“A and P is a very advanced class,” says Blair Roessel, PAA senior. “It requires a lot of time management and focus. You have to remove distractions from your life. But I’ve loved it. After taking the class, I know that I want to go into nursing.”

The visit to Pacific University is one of many opportunities. Every year, Johnson takes her students to visit medical experts in their environment. In the past, students have viewed a joint replacement surgery as well as heart and brain surgeries by top surgeons in their fields.

These opportunities have earned PAA respect and trust from professionals. "I am so proud of our PAA students and appreciated their professional demeanor," says Johnson. "As they were exploring the cadaver, they were inquisitive, respectful and appreciative. They represented PAA in a very positive light."

Johnson’s Christ-centered and character-driven approach in the classroom is seen through her excitement about teaching. "I have to share this quote," she says. "Albert Einstein said, 'I never teach my pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn.' Well, our visit with Sanders was one of those amazing opportunities.”

“We study the body for months and months,” explains Roessel. “Then to finally be able to touch the different parts of the body … .” She paused. “Oh wow! Those memories will be with me forever.”

“Students rise to the occasion time and time again,” says Johnson. “If you want to witness a thirst for knowledge, it’s in the classrooms at Portland Adventist Academy.”

Featured in: May 2016