Human Body Donation Committee

The Human Body Donation Committee of the AAA seeks to advance the mission of the association by promoting ethical whole body donation for education and research. The Committee advocates for body donor best interests; develops and contributes to best practices; informs policymakers on regulatory efforts; interfaces with the media on topics related to the public interest; and supports legal and ethical program operations and activities for educators, researchers, body donors, and our greater community.           


  • Increase awareness of and respect for issues important to human body donors and the body donation process
  • Advocate for (or against) legislation and regulations that impact human body donors and donor program institutions, in the best interest of the donors
  • Promote best practices and develop guidelines that support education and research while protecting the best interests of human body donors and their families before, during and after donation
  • Advocate for diversity and inclusion in body donor populations
  • Maintain resources and act as an interface for information on body donation and education in body donation research


  • Be an active member of AAA in good standing who is willing to participate in committee responsibilities.
  • Prior experience with body donation programs and/or mortuary science, preferred.
  • Familiarity with laws and regulations associated with human body donation, preferred. 



NameCompanyThru Date
Joy BaltaPoint Loma Nazarene University12/31/2024


NameCompanyThru Date
Christopher FerrignoRush University12/31/2023
Laura FraserUniversity of Alabama - Birmingham12/31/2025
Laura JohnsonUniversity of Texas Health - San Antonio12/31/2025
Travis McCumberUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center12/31/2025
Callum RossUniversity of Chicago12/31/2024
Kat SandersHull York Medical School12/31/2025
Brandi SchmittUniversity of California12/31/2025
Heather SmithMidwestern University12/31/2023
Jian YangUniversity of Hong Kong12/31/2025


The Committee shall meet quarterly or more often as needed as the business of the Association may require. One of those meetings is in person during the Annual Meeting


The Committee Chair makes an annual report to the Board at the spring meeting, an interim report at the fall meeting, and at any other time as requested.


  • 11 members including 1 chair
  • Committee members serve 3-year terms and the chair serves a 2-year term.

Application Process

  • Applications for committee members are solicited annually through a Call for Volunteers.
  • Nominee applications are reviewed and scored by the committee chair- and members; scores, prior experience with body donation, demographics, needs of the committee, and comments from the reviews are taken into consideration when choosing new members.
  • New committee nominees are chosen, and then sent forward for review and selection by the Nominating Committee; who then forwards the recommendations to the full board.
  • The new committee nominees are approved by the full Board of Directors.
  • After Board approval, notifications are sent out to the new committee members. Feedback on the process is given if requested by applicant who are not selected.