SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Evangel University students are getting a rare opportunity. They’re working with cadavers as part of their studies in applied sciences.

The university bought the cadavers to create a hands-on learning environment.

Pre med students at Evangel tell KOLR10 News they feel experience matters, but more importantly, hands-on experience is paramount and the lessons learned in this lab go far beyond anatomy.

“That’s a huge advantage to not only enhance my technical skills, but also to get the feel of what a body is,” explains Cade Wilke, a senior Biology major.

Wilke says the cadaver-based anatomy course is enhancing his education as he plans to go to med school.
“It’s such a more concrete part of the lab instead of just looking at a book and trying to decipher what the body looks like.”

The students do more than look.  They make incisions, they feel the surgery instruments in their hands and examine vital organs. 

Senior Brittney Miller says it doesn’t get more real than this. “You look at textbooks and they have labeled structures and then you look at the body of a human and it’s completely different.”

Dr. Michael Tenneson is the Chair of  the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at Evangel University.  He says his students exams are already producing benefits.
“The lab exams scores have improved pretty dramaticaly just because of the focus and the seriousness.” says Dr. Tenneson.

And the lessons go beyond the mechanics of anatomy.  “It’s the real time 3D view of a real body of who was a real person. It makes it real and it’s grounded in reality.”

Evangel is one of a handful of undergrad schools of it’s size to provide this tool to its students. “It’s very unusual for a small liberal arts college to have access to this kind of material cause we don’t have the medical school, physician assistant or physical therapy program,” says Dr. Tenneson.

And he says it provides a whole new scope of learning. “It adds a new dimension to learning  that reinforces the knowledge in a deeper way.”

It’s a lesson his students are taking to heart.  “I just realized how much I respect the fact that people want to donate to increasing the minds of students,” says Wilke.

Dr. Tenneson says other majors on campus including athletic training and art will also use this cadaver lab.