A public health student uses interactive learning to master anatomy

“My grandpa was really, really healthy. He would bike ten miles a day. Then he started saying he didn’t feel that well, but his doctors told him that it was a side effect of getting old. Six months later, he was trying to get out of his armchair and he broke both of his arms. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with prostate cancer, which had metastasized to his bones.”

“While he was in the hospital, my grandpa picked up a preventable infection. I think it was because of poor cleaning policies. That was one reason that I became interested in a public health degree, because there are aspects of public health where you can learn how to do hospital management and how to create a patient friendly environment,” said Haley Schavemaker, a sophomore at the University of Florida (UF).

Haley Schavemaker 300x300Haley’s volunteer work has also influenced her goals. She is a Marathon Relations team captain for the Dance Marathon at the University of Florida. Last year, the organization raised over $2.4 million for Shand’s Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida. One of her responsibilities is to travel to high schools around the state and encourage students to hold minimarathon fundraisers.

“Seeing patients and their families speak at the minimarathon events is what really drove me to focus on children and to consider becoming a child life specialist,” she explained. Child life specialists help children and their families cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, or disability. “I really love the idea of making what some people feel is a traumatizing situation or an unpleasant childhood experience a lot more stress-free and positive,” she added.

After earning her public health degree, Haley plans to gain some work experience before attending graduate school. “I would really like to go into the Peace Corps for two years and then come back to the United States and apply to graduate school,” she said. “Ideally I would like to get my master’s in public health, and I would also like to get a master’s in family, youth, and community sciences.”

To achieve her goals, Haley had to take several required courses at UF, including chemistry and anatomy.

Her chemistry professor assigned homework in MasteringChemistryTM, an online tool that promotes interactive learning. While reading the eText, Haley used the highlighting feature to identify important facts and formulas. To study for tests, she made flashcards for the information that she had highlighted. And when she was doing homework problems, she relied on the interactive worked example and hints features to help her apply the concepts she had learned.

I am not a big chemistry person, so using MasteringChemistry made a course that I was apprehensive about stress-free.


For anatomy, Haley used the interactive learning features of MasteringA&PTM to study for her labs. “We had to memorize all the bones and organs,” Haley explained. “There’s a tab in MasteringA&P where you can look at an interactive diagram of the body. You can highlight and save the name of what you are looking at and remove layers [of skin and muscle] so it is easier to view. When I was studying, I would hook my computer to a TV in the basement library so that I could view the diagrams on a big screen, and then my friends and I would quiz each other. That’s the best feature of the program, and it really helped me a lot.”

Not only has Haley’s experience with Pearson’s MasteringTM products helped her do well in both her courses, but it has also helped her in her job as a Campus Ambassador for Pearson. Haley provides postadoption support to students and faculty, readily demonstrating how the interactive learning features of the programs have helped her master course content.