Skip to main content
AU Trojan

Joni McCullar Criswell

Associate Professor of Biology
Academic Background
Doctor of Philosophy; The Ohio State University; Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
Master of Science; The Ohio State University; Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
Phone Number:
(864) 760-1163
Joni McCullar Criswell

Joni’s husband, Chris, is the children’s pastor at Praise Cathedral Church of God in Greer, S.C. Joni actively serves with him in this ministry. Joni attended a Christian university as an undergraduate student and found it to be an amazing experience.

“It greatly impacted my professional career choice and life. As I pursued my Ph.D., I realized that I wanted to be a part of an institution that would allow me to work with students on a more personal level and provide some of the same opportunities that were given to me as an undergraduate (i.e. research projects, one-on-one interaction with the faculty, mission trips, etc.).”

She believes it is vital to have classes that incorporate faith in the curriculum. “If we are to develop great men and women of science, then it is our duty to prepare them with a strong academic background that integrates faith so that they can connect the science they study with the faith that they live, ultimately helping them be faithful disciples of Jesus in an ever-changing world.”

What classes do you teach at Anderson

Animal Physiology, Human Anatomy and Physiology 1/2

What year did you start teaching at AU


Why teach at AU?

I love the energy and enthusiasm of everyone on campus, from the president to the first-semester freshman. It is amazing to work at a place where everyone is interested in how we can best equip the young adults we teach to reach educational goals while providing them ways to help further their spiritual formation in Christ.


Bicycling, hiking, reading, collecting bumper stickers from my travels, all things fashion

Notable achievements outside of discipline

Exhorter’s Ministerial License from the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.)

People might be interested to know I...

Am a collaborator in the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Panamanian Golden Frogs Conservation Team.

How would you describe your classes to someone who has never attended one?

All my classes try to focus on not only learning the material, but applying it. Although the content can be difficult at times, I always try to use real-life situations and current topics to help make connections for the students. I’m constantly trying to find new ways to integrate iPads into my lectures and labs.


Lindquist, Erik D.; Sapoznick, Scott A.; Rodriguez, Edgardo J. Griffith; Johantgen, Peter B.; and Criswell, Joni M. 2007. Determination of nocturnal vertical position in a rain forest frog (Atelopus: Bufonidae), using fluorescent pigment. Journal of Herpetology 6: 37-44.