Human Anatomical Sciences Graduate Students


Sawsan Alzukaimi

Sawsan is a first-semester graduate student in the HAS program. She graduated from medical school in Syria in 2001, came to the USA in 2008, and worked as a surgical assistant for a few years. She loves to teach, and because she had experience teaching anatomy to medical students in Syria, she came to NIU full of enthusiasm to finish her Master's degree. She plans to teach anatomy and start a Ph.D. degree here at NIU.

Ishita Bhuptani

Ishita is a first-semester graduate student in the HAS program. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in molecular, cellular and organismal biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Once she completes the HAS program, she plans to continue on to PA school. She is eager to apply the knowledge that she receives during this timeline and put it on to future use.

Christina Cline

Christina is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Biological Science department at NIU. She is a 2017 graduate of the HAS program with her M.S. and obtained her B.A in biology from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1997. Christina previously worked as a high school science teacher focusing on biology and anatomy courses for 14 years before returning to graduate school. She spent the last three years working as the lab coordinator for BIOS 357 where she enjoyed the challenges of teaching large amounts of anatomical information to allied health majors, managing the anatomy models collection, and mentoring new teaching assistants while steadily working on her dissertation. Her research is focused on understanding the value that pre-health care students have for learning communication skills and developing curricula that supports the teaching of such skills in anatomy and physiology courses. She recently accepted a more lecture-focused instructor position at NIU and is excited to continue to develop her skills in teaching across the HAS curriculum.

Kara Coffman-Rea

Kara Coffman-Rea graduated from NIU with a Bachelor of Science in 2007 and a master's in Human Anatomical Sciences in 2016. After graduating in 2016, she taught Anatomy and Physiology to allied health students until returning to NIU in 2019 to pursue her Ph.D. in biological sciences. Kara's Ph.D. research focuses on detecting microplastic particles throughout the human body. While completing her research, Kara continues to share her passion for anatomical sciences as an anatomy instructor at NIU.

Matthew Fardoux

Matthew is a graduate assistant in the NIU HAS program. He originally graduated with the highest honors from the College of DuPage, obtaining an associate of science and certificate of fluency in American Sign Language. In 2021, Matthew graduated magna cum laude from NIU with a Bachelor of Science in health sciences. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in biology, with an emphasis in human anatomical sciences. Since 2018, Matthew has been assisting students in anatomy, physiology, biology, and health science courses. After graduating, Matthew aspires to become a community college professor for human anatomy and physiology and health science courses.

Brenda Anak Ganeng

Brenda is a master's in biology student with a focus in Human Anatomical Sciences who is currently conducting biology education research. Specifically, her thesis explores representations of sexual pleasure in undergraduate anatomy and physiology courses. She is currently applying for Ph.D. programs in anatomy education and aims to empower medical students to learn anatomy from an integrated perspective in her home country of Malaysia.

Donna M. Karge-Galik

Donna is a first-semester graduate student in the Human Anatomical Sciences program. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology/secondary education with a chemistry minor from Saint Xavier University Chicago, Il. She looks forward to starting her graduate school journey here and learning all that she can in order to become a well-rounded anatomy and physiology teacher.

Lisa Licari

Lisa is a second-year student in the Human Anatomical Sciences program. Her passions in life include teaching, learning, and enjoying all of what life has to offer. Through her study of science in college at Benedictine University and her opportunities being a TA in several laboratory courses, she fell in love with teaching and went on to get a master's in education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lisa works full-time as a high school Human Anatomy and Physiology and Biology teacher at West Chicago High School. She has also coached girls swimming, a sport she has competed in since she was young. Whenever she can, she enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking, trying new activities, and spending time with her fiancé, family, and friends. Lisa is very excited about having gotten the opportunity to complete this program while still working full-time as a teacher. Her knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the human body has increased greatly, and she wants to thank her professors for providing her with the tools necessary to be a better, more knowledgeable teacher, one that is able to integrate many of the concepts she has learned into her high school curriculum. When Lisa completes the program, she would like to teach at a higher education level, and possibly also get a Ph.D. She also plans on pursuing a graduate degree in educational leadership and possibly becoming a principal one day. She is eager to expand her knowledge in this field of study and is very passionate about the marvelous, extraordinary machine that is our human body!

Mattilyn Moon-Eaton

Mattilyn graduated from NIU with a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in chemistry. Her passion is to learn about the human body and to pursue this, she is now getting her Master of Science in biology with an emphasis in Human Anatomical Sciences. She plans to one day get her Ph.D. and help students by teaching at a university in the future.

Sakina Shabbir

Sakina is a second-semester graduate student in the HAS program. She graduated from NIU with a Bachelor of Science in biology with a chemistry and computer science minor. She enjoys teaching and is very much looking forward to completing her master's degree and learning all that she can to become a well-rounded A&P teacher.