Brandee Gillham

The silver lining of all the canceled in-person meetings, conferences, and classes could be finding one teacher that inspires you despite all the challenges 2020 has wrought.

For anatomy instructors, that teacher might be Brandee Gillham.

Earlier this year, the Colorado mother of four spent scores of lonely, late-night sessions in her basement, during which she served as a presenter, director, and production assistant to many hours of filming. The results are available in the new On Demand Professional Development Musculoskeletal & Body Systems.

Months ago, Gillham would not have envisioned her Anatomy in Clay tutelage to happen during the midnight hours while presenting to an audience of none. But then life has a way of tweaking our paths.

As a Colorado State University student, she was on a pre-medical school path when her plans were “derailed in a fabulous way by a really good-looking cowboy,” she recalled in a recent Anatomy in Clay® Learning System podcast. The cowboy, fellow CSU student, Roy Gillham, would soon become her husband. The couple is now raising four young sons on the family ranch near Peetz, Colorado.

From CSU, Gillham graduated and then pursued a Masters in Biomedical Science with an emphasis in anatomy. She fell in love with the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System and calls it the “coolest resource ever.”

The Musculoskeletal & Body Systems nine-hour professional development course covers some impressive territory, including skeletal, muscular, digestive, and five other systems of the body. (The lymphatic system is Gillham’s favorite.) Students have access to the program for 60 days and it comes with everything you might need: special clay, a model, workbook, and one-on-one instruction.

The 45-page workbook is “my love note to students,” said Gillham. It includes quality information to help each instructor. The page listing the benefits of using the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System, for instance, is not just a self-promotional spiel. It’s a helpful tool for those seeking funding or grant support. Other sections are devoted to building the systems, of course. Gillham recommends focusing on what most interests you. Would you like to build muscles around an area of common injury? Take 15 minutes to build the heart? Have at it!

Some other recommendations from Gillham, specific to this new course:

· Don’t set up anything before watching the tutorials. Gillham’s videos help you through the set-up

· Print out the manual

· Set a schedule for yourself (Especially important for parents at home with kids who are also learning online, she said.)

· Do the recommended activities

Another 2020 silver lining may be that the pandemic has made us all more aware of our bodily functions. Gillham, for one, thinks everyone should have a good understanding of the human body. That passion was spurred by CSU professor Mark Frasier, a highly regarded member of the Biomedical Sciences department who retired in 2014 after 33 years of teaching. He told his classes, “’You get to walk around with this human body for your entire life, what do you know about it?’”

Gillham remembered. “That sparked this journey of really discovering the human body. And the more you learn, the more you want to learn. It’s beautiful … We’ve known forever that knowledge is power. One of the things we need to know more about is the human body,” she said.

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