The Physiologist
Anne C. Crecelius Anne C. Crecelius

Anne Crecelius Wins 2018 ADInstruments Macknight Early Career Innovative Educator Award

Anne C. Crecelius is the 2018 recipient of the eighth annual ADInstruments (ADI) Macknight Early Career Innovative Educator Award. Crecelius, a member of the APS Teaching of Physiology Section, is an assistant professor in the department of health and sport science at the University of Dayton in Ohio. We recently caught up with her to learn how her love of the outdoors, early sense of curiosity, and healthy dose of sibling rivalry led to the ADI Macknight Award. She also shared why she feels research and career development awards are so important.

Background and Early Life Interest in Science

Crecelius was the youngest of four children. "I was a curious kid who loved playing with educational toys, begged my mom to [let me] go to school, and would get frustrated when my older siblings knew more Trivial Pursuit answers than I did," Crecelius said.

"I spent my elementary years living in Grand Junction, CO, and loved exploring the natural environment, learning about dinosaurs and how the mountains formed, whether it [was] through Girl Scouts, a trip to the museum, or just reading on my own." A move from Colorado to Minnesota—which used a different science teaching curriculum—created gaps in Crecelius' early life-science education. Ironically, she didn't take the anatomy and physiology course offered in high school, focusing instead on physics and math.

Crecelius enrolled at the University of Dayton to study education. "But after a semester, [I] knew it wasn't for me," she said. She transferred to the health and sport science department, "figuring that learning about the body would be a practical pursuit, since we all have a body." As she progressed through college, she "grew more interested in the integrated nature of physiology and how we learned all of this information about our bodies."

Crecelius earned a bachelor of science in education in exercise science from the University of Dayton, followed by a master's degree and PhD in cardiovascular physiology from Colorado State University. Today, she teaches human physiology and research in health and sport science courses at the University of Dayton. Crecelius also teaches capstone research courses at the university's new GEMnasium—GEM stands for growth, education and mindset—an "innovative learning space, which allows faculty across departments to bring students together to find solutions to complex problems using applied creativity," she explained. For her work with the GEMnasium, Crecelius has been honored with the 2018 ADInstruments Macknight Early Career Innovative Educator Award (Macknight Award).

On Winning the 2018 ADI Macknight Early Career Innovative Educator Award

The Macknight Award is made possible by APS's strategic partner ADInstruments. It honors an APS member who demonstrates the greatest potential for incorporating innovative teaching techniques and effectively using technology resources to engage undergraduate students in physiology education.

The APS Education Committee, chaired by Jeffrey L. Osborn of the University of Kentucky, selected Crecelius from a competitive pool of applicants. She was chosen based on her CV and a brief summary of her teaching project, "Doing Physiology in the GEMnasium." Crecelius's project exemplifies innovative use of technology in physiology education and integration in the curriculum to best benefit students.

Crecelius is particularly proud of being recognized for the applied creativity aspect of her work. "Applied creativity as we define it is the intersection of transdisciplinary learning and humanity-centered design," she said. By incorporating physiology into the GEMnasium, students in a variety of majors, from physiology to engineering, may be able to help solve each other's research problems. "By utilizing the PowerLab in this classroom space, rather than in a traditional lab, we're hoping to open up the doors a bit to show students, faculty, and the community what 'research' is and can be," Crecelius said.

As part of her award, Crecelius receives a $1,500 honorarium and up to $2,000 travel reimbursement and complimentary registration to attend the APS annual meeting at Experimental Biology. The University of Dayton will also receive an institutional grant for the ADI PowerLab PTB4153 Human and Animal Physiology System, which includes PowerLab 15T and LabTutor Teaching Suite software.

On the Importance of Research and Career Development Awards

"I can't underestimate the importance of these types of award," Crecelius said. "Awards like these help provide the opportunity to attend conferences, learn and network with peers, and have a full experience. It helps individuals self-reflect on what is important to them, what they might want to do, and how they could do it.

"I think it is important for these awards to be supported because it helps get what physiology is out there to our students, institutions, peers, and the public. I think we should take opportunities to promote our discipline and our Society (as well as our strategic partners like ADI) when we can," Crecelius added.

Congratulations Anne, on winning this year's award! Learn more about the ADI Macknight Early Career Innovative Educator Award on the APS awards website (