Gordon in the News: last updated 09/26/2013

Gordon’s Kinesiology and Neuroscience Program Receive Human Brains, Hearts for Course Study

For Immediate Release
Sept. 23, 2013

Media Contact:
Jo Kadlecek 987.468.4752

Wenham, MA—It’s one thing to study about the human brain or heart in a textbook. But learning moves to a different level when students are able to study the real thing.  

So when Sean Clark, associate professor of kinesiology and director of Gordon’s Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness, asked the Anatomical Gift Program Committee at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA, for human tissues, he knew that classes and laboratory experiences would be enriched. Clark’s request was granted and the unique package was delivered this month to Gordon’s kinesiology department and neuroscience departments from the UMASS program. It included five brains, one brain stem with cerebellum; one spinal cord and two hearts, one whole, one with incisions to expose internal structures, all of which can be used in educational settings for up to seven years. UMass Medical School's Anatomical Gift Program maintains and distributes body donations to support the broad spectrum of educational and clinical research missions for life sciences students. 

“Our students were really excited and humbled at the possibility of learning through such hands on experiences when these gifts arrived,” Clark said. “They will bring our research and scholarship to a new place.”

Clark said students in several undergraduate courses, including Human Anatomy and Physiology, Physiological Psychology, Disorders of Voluntary Movement, Neurophysiological Basis for Movement, Clinical Exercise Physiology and Neuroscience Seminar, will be able to utilize the specimens. Securely stored in the human anatomy and physiology specimen cabinet of the neuroscience lab inside the Ken Olsen Science Center, the collection allows students to compare and examine the subtleties in anatomical variation.

“Because of this great gift, students are already realizing the details in anatomical representations in models or textbook figures are not always consistent with actual human tissues,” Clark said. “Their primary experience of handling human tissues has inspired and motivated them already, and further prepares those who pursue graduate study in the health professions or neurosciences.”


Gordon College is one of the nation's premier Christian colleges and located just north of Boston. We offer students extraordinary access to leading-edge opportunities for intellectual, professional, and leadership development to address the increasingly complex challenges of a global society. Gordon stands apart from other outstanding institutions in New England by combining an exceptional education with an informed Christian faith.