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Innovative Educator

University of Dayton physiologist Anne Crecelius will bring new technology into the classroom through a national prize that recognizes innovative teachers.

Crecelius won the American Physiological Society’s 2018 ADInstruments Macknight Early Career Innovative Educator award, which is providing the latest equipment for her students to conduct physiology experiments.

The device allows undergraduates to measure a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, brain activity, reaction time and other data — giving them valuable hands-on experience before they enter the workforce.

“This is technology we use in our laboratories, including in my research on the cardiovascular system and how it is regulated,” Crecelius said. “Being able to bring it to a more traditional classroom setting is an important way to ensure our students are prepared for the future of healthcare.”

The award recognizes Crecelius as an educator with “the great potential for incorporating innovative teaching techniques and effectively utilizing technology resources” to engage undergraduates. It’s a well-deserved award, say her colleagues and students.

“Dr. Crecelius continually searches for innovative ways of improving her teaching to increase the critical thinking and problem-solving skills of her students,” said Corinne Daprano, chair of the department of health and sport science.

“Her course was challenging,” said junior Marie Harla, a dietetics major, “yet she took the initiative to make it interactive and have us actively learn in class with activities she created. Being a part of the learning process brought the concepts to life and it helped me make connections with the material and retain it better.”

Junior dietetics major Natalia Iannarino added: “Thanks to Dr. Crecelius, I have complete confidence in myself that I will be able to perform well in my future profession.”

Crecelius’ submission to the American Physiological Society focused on her work with the University of Dayton’s GEMnasium (Growth, Education, Mindset), an innovative learning space in Fitz Hall which allows faculty across departments to bring students together to find solutions to complex problems using applied creativity.

“An engineering student, for instance, can see a physiology student collecting data for an experiment and say, ‘I’m working on a sensor that could be useful to you,’” Crecelius said.

She said for a variety of reasons, lab work often occurs behind closed doors. "But
the GEMnasium allows us to open those doors not only for students but others to see the research process in a different way.”

Crecelius earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton in 2007 and returned to teach in 2013. Her award also includes an honorarium and travel support to the April 2018 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, where she will be recognized.


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