Anderson University’s 2022 SCICU Excellence In Teaching award winner is Dr. Joni M. Criswell, associate professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Criswell earned a master’s degree and doctorate in evolution, ecology, and organismal biology, both from The Ohio State University. Dr. Criswell joined the Anderson University faculty in 2013.
Dr. Criswell teaches courses in introductory biology, human anatomy and physiology, comparative vertebrate anatomy and development, animal physiology, animal behavior, and tropical ecology. She has a passion for trying innovative teaching strategies that focus on developing critical thinking skills and project-based learning. Beyond the classroom, Dr. Criswell serves Anderson University as a cofaculty advisor for the Anderson Science Association (a science-based student organization) and is the key advisor for all pre-vet students. She has been named a Digital Learning Innovator by the Anderson University Center for Innovation and Digital Learning. Dr. Criswell chairs the Animal Usage and Welfare committee in addition to serving on other committees.
Dr. Criswell’s publications feature Determination of Nocturnal Vertical Position in a Rain Forest Frog (Atelopus: Bufonidae), Using Fluorescent Pigment (Journal of Herpetology). She is a collaborator in the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Panamanian Golden Frogs Conservation Team.
When asked why she enjoys teaching at Anderson University, Dr. Criswell explains: “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.”