Biology faculty members awarded grant to conduct anatomy education for high schoolers in West Virginia

Dr. Habiba Chirchir (pictured), an associate professor of biological sciences in Marshall University’s College of Science, has been awarded a grant by the American Association for Anatomists. The $50,000 grant will support the development and implementation of an anatomy training program for high schoolers in West Virginia.

Dr Suzanne Strait, professor of biological sciences at Marshall, will also participate in the training program.

The training will be impactful to West Virginia students and their teachers, including minorities and those living in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Through training teachers in hands-on, problem-based learning and dissection methods, the implementation of the anatomy training program will prepare learners for collegiate anatomical studies and health care fields.

Chirchir earned her Ph.D. in human paleobiology from George Washington University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian, where she was named the Smithsonian Secretary’s Distinguished Research Awardee for 2014. Here at Marshall, Chirchir is a 2019 recipient of the Junior Faculty Distinguished Artists and Scholars Award.

She teaches human anatomy, human biology and principles of organic evolution in the biological sciences department and also holds a joint appointment as a research associate at the Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Strait earned a Ph.D. in anatomical sciences from Stony Brook University in New York, and her bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology from Hampshire College. She was a 2019-2020 recipient of Marshall’s Distinguished Artists and Scholars Award, as a senior recipient for science and technology.

Learn more about Marshall’s biological sciences programs at www.marshall.edu/biology.