Maryví González Solá found new and innovative ways to help her biology students understand the complexities of the human anatomy — producing short, fun lecture videos and study tips designed to help the students succeed.
“I always enjoy teaching anatomy, but sometimes my students wouldn’t understand immediately the concepts,” said González, an adjunct professor in the TWU Department of Biology. “So, I decided to start preparing the videos. My goal is to capture my students’ attention and generate retention of the material.”
The first couple of videos received positive feedback from her students, which made her want to do more for them, she said.
The videos can be seen on her YouTube channel.
González creates the videos at home in her living room, choosing topics based on the semester’s schedule and what she’s currently teaching.
“I use my Power Points to teach the basic content,” she said. “I use some visuals like anatomical models, or pictures, or 3D apps. Once I record the different clips, I put them together and edit them. It is a difficult process, but it is a lot of fun and I enjoy every minute.”
She is considering adding video interviews with professors, health professionals and others in order to provide students with an idea of what to expect when they graduate and begin their careers. She’s already recruited her husband, Martin Rosario (physical therapy, Dallas), for an interview and is looking for other volunteers.
González and her husband moved from their native Puerto Rico to Dallas in 2016 when he was hired at TWU.
“Unfortunately, Puerto Rico has a great university system, but very few job opportunities for highly prepared U.S. citizens,” González said. “After I completed my PhD, I had to teach anatomy at three different places to make a ‘full-time’ salary.” In 2017 she began teaching part time on TWU’s Denton campus and at West Coast University, but soon accepted a full-time position with the latter.
“Little did I know that a pandemic was going to hit the entire world three years later and leave millions of people unemployed, including me,” she said.
On top of the fear of COVID-19, González felt sad and frustrated.
“At one point, I thought that maybe I should quit teaching because I have had such bad luck in this area of my life,” she said. “So that summer, I did a soul search and remembered that I had other dreams, too.”
González immersed herself in writing a book, creating a blog, opening an online shop with her anatomical designs, and starting her anatomy YouTube videos.
“Then my husband suggested I should go back to TWU, since I had a great experience before,” she said. “That’s what I did. I got hired back in August 2020, while continuing to work for myself.”
Her online shop features her drawings of the human heart, lungs and more on T-shirts and coffee cups. The name of her shop has special meaning for her.
“When my husband and I decided to get married, he started referring to me as his ‘queen,’ and this beautiful gesture stuck with me,” González said. “For some reason, I just love it when he tells people this, so that’s how ‘Queen Mary Anatomy’ was born.”
By Karen Garcia
Marketing & Communication