New approach to anatomy challenges antiquated terms, adopts inclusive lens

Charys Martin one of four new teaching fellows ‘breaking barriers, forging connections’

During the past year, anatomy and cell biology professor Charys Martin has engaged in many discussions around equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization (EDI-D). She has also seen peers in the anatomy community struggle with the outdated use of gender binary terms and colonial labels.

Each instance provoked the same reaction.

“I kept asking myself, ‘What can I do in my world?’” she said.

Her answer came when Western’s Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) put out a call for its next cohort of teaching fellows to provide educational leadership and learning through innovative projects.

Martin successfully submitted a proposal to develop inclusive medical terminology and anatomical resources. Her project, Open Access Library of Inclusive Anatomical Science Learning Resources, will incorporate EDI-D principles, and is one of four faculty-specific initiatives selected as part of the 2022 CTL teaching fellows cohort.

Aisha Haque, CTL director, sees a consistent theme across this year’s projects.

“They’re all about breaking down barriers and forging connections,” she said. “When I think about the impact these projects will have on our students, it’s very powerful.  They’ll be connecting to their communities, be empowered with multiple career pathways and have the ability and courage to disrupt the cycles of inequity they see around them.

“I’m so inspired by the dedication and passion they bring to Western and the contributions they’re going to make within the changing landscape of higher education.”


Learn more about the four new teaching fellows and their exciting projects here.