Dr. Cindy Gordon
Dr. Cynthia (Cindy) L. Gordon is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Oklahoma. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, she took a circuitous route to Oklahoma, earning her undergraduate degree at Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!), serving two years in the Peace Corps as a high school teacher in the Kingdom of Tonga, and then earning her master’s degree in Kentucky. After earning her doctorate in 2003 she took over the Human Anatomy program. Though she earned her stripes in paleontology research, she currently only teaches courses in human anatomy and senior seminar. During her time at OU she has built the human anatomy program into one of the largest and most successful undergraduate human anatomy programs in the state.
Cindy is passionate about undergraduate student education and the importance of offering guidance and mentoring throughout a student’s undergraduate college experience. Through the use of innovative teaching, technology and materials in her anatomy courses, Cindy provides accessibility to learning for students from all walks of life and skill levels. She offers online, detailed tutorials for various anatomy course topics as well as online tutorials of many dissections in lab. Cindy extensively uses 3D technology to provide tutorial 3D bone images for online study and 3D prints bone replicas for study outside of the lab complex.
Her commitment to students and undergraduate education has earned her many honors and awards:
- Regent’s Award for Superior Teaching (2020)
- James and JoAnn Holden Faculty award (2015)
- Educators Leadership Academy/Outstanding Professor’s Academy mentor (2013-15)
- National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences (2013-14)
- Good Teaching Award (2007)
- Student Scholar Athletes “Most Inspiring Faculty” Award (2005-06)
- James M. Thompson Excellence in Teaching Award (2000-01)
She remains committed to her students even after they finish her course, offering students invaluable opportunities in the human anatomy labs as undergraduate teaching assistants (TA). When students graduate and take a ‘gap year’ Cindy offers the opportunity to continue their lab training as instructors in lab. This ensures they stay fresh with the anatomy information, as well as learn valuable, transferable skills for their future health care careers, enhancing and refining their skills in professional interpersonal relations and anatomical instruction.
Currently, Cindy is working on sharing her and her anatomy team’s tips and tools of the trade in human anatomy education. “Tips, Tricks and Anatomy Lab Hacks” is a collection of tips and ‘life hacks’ for lab dissection in anatomy, introducing alternatives to high-priced medical dissection tools as well as ‘do-it-yourself’ materials, and is valuable for any program, but is especially geared toward programs that may be smaller and/or not adequately funded. Working with her colleague, Jess Eberle, Cindy is continuing to explore ways to incorporate 3D technology in anatomy education. Although designed for her courses, her 3D bone scans are applicable in other courses as well (some courses in the anthropology department use the scans). Additionally, Cindy and Jess have a popular Anatomy ‘Bod’cast podcast that explores current events in anatomy related topics. Activities used in her flipped format, active learning Introduction to Human Anatomy course are available for free to anyone who wishes to incorporate all or part of an active learning course in their curriculum.
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