Our department administrative assistant is Joleen Richwine. Joleen joined the department in the fall of 1996 after spending nine years in the Alumni Relations Office at Creighton University. Working with the students is a welcome change of pace for her. Spending years working with alumni on reunions and alumni club events was exciting, but working with the students and faculty has given her a new perspective on the University and University life.
Joleen comes from an Iowa farming background and has a twin sister, Coleen (yes, there are TWO of them!). Joleen and her husband, Robert, have two sons. The oldest is a graduate of Creighton, and their younger son attended Creighton but is finishing his degree elsewhere. Her husband, is also an alum of Creighton University.
You can find Joleen at the home Creighton University men's basketball games and many of the men's soccer games. Her favorite sports are soccer (all kinds), college basketball and college wrestling. You will also find her cheering on any team Mark is playing for and taking pictures.
Joleen has served several terms on church councils. She has also been very active in numerous committees and organizations within her church. She is a former Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School teacher.
Several years ago, she completed a four year term with the Lewis Central Booster Club Board of Directors, where she served as the board secretary. During her term she rewrote the Booster Club's bylaws and operating procedures.
In prior years she was involved in the Omaha/Council Bluffs interdenominational "Celebration of Life" choir which has performances twice a year throughout the metro area and served on their Constitution and Bylaw review committee. Joleen is a parent facilitator/grief counselor for the SHARE group (for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and new baby death) in the metro area. She also served as secretary for the Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs.
Joleen is active at Creighton University having served or currently serving on numerous committees. She served two terms on the Staff Advisory Council including two years as the Chair of the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), two terms as secretary; and one year each as vice-chair; and social events chairperson. While on the SAC, she was instrumental in developing the "Rookie of the Year" award and implementing many positive procedures. She was active in the Creighton Habitat House and the Committee to Stop Intimate Violence.
Prior volunteer assignments at Creighton were Creighton University Habitat House, Kiewit Physical Fitness Advisory Committee; Target 100 Committee, and she was elected in August, 2003 to serve as Chair of the Grievance Committee at Creighton University where she served a three year term as Chair as well as numerous other committees for the University. Currently, she serves on the "Holiday Spirit" committee. Past committee involvement includes, the Josyln Art Museum membership drive campaign, All University Dispute Resolution Task Force Committee, and she served as the staff representative on the College of Arts and Sciences IAP (Identity and Academic Planning Committee). Joleen is a past member of the Creighton University "Campus Quilters," and participated in the Salvation Army "Dress a Doll/Bear Contest" yearly at Creighton when it was active.
Joleen was active in the Cardoner program (a grant through the Lilly Foundation on the exploration of vocation). She was a member of the first class of VInstitutes members, as well as a member of the VCoaches program. She was active in the on-going Cardoner all University "Calling All Readers" program and served not only a group discussant leader, but served on the committee to choose the books to be read. In 2008, she found time to organize a small book club circle which meets monthly on campus. Called AWOL (At Work Over Lunch) the group reads a variety of books and has lively discussions.
In February, 2003 Joleen was honored to be awarded the "St. Ignatius Award" during Founders Week. In 1998, Joleen was presented the staff person "Teaching for Tomorrow Award" from Omicron Delta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu. In October of 2003, Joleen was one of the recipients awarded the "Light of Wellness" award from WELCOM, the Wellness Council of the Midlands. The award honors healthy lifestyles and employees in local businesses who, as a result of participating in their company's wellness program, have made a change in their lifestyle resulting in positive outcomes.
The Creighton University Crochet and Knit Group was organized in January, 2000 by Joleen. The group makes handmade knitted and crocheted items for people in need. Hats, gloves, mittens, scarves for children and adults; lap robes for hospice and nursing home patients; slippers for the Domestic Abuse Shelter; baby items for the VNA (Visiting Nurses Association), Catholic Charities, MOHM's Place, homeless shelters, area elementary schools, "Fuzzy Fingers" Project (SW Iowa), Foster Care Agencies, Veteran's Homes, Lutheran Social Services and Jennie Edmundson Hospital are just a few examples of the many organizations supported by the group. In 2001, the Creighton Crochet/Knit group was pleased to be nominated as Outstanding Volunteer Group of the Midlands from the United Way of the Midlands. If you are interested in learning to crochet or knit and helping in our charity work, please contact Joleen at 280-2836 or contact Joleen by e-mail.
Since January, 2000 the Crochet and Knit Group has donated over 2,000 items to people in need in the metro area. The group is always on the lookout for knitting needles and crochet hooks to be used for in teaching new learners and also donated yarn for their volunteer projects. Joleen is also the mentor for the student Crochet and Knit group on campus. If you have yarn, crochet hooks or knitting needles you would like to donate, please contact Joleen at 402-280-2836.
The Spillane Reading Room in the Political Science and International Relations Department has taken on new life under her influence, with scheduled events from the yearly "Soup Day" in January; "Nacho Day," lunches at the "Sons of Italy," "Basketball game outings" and "goodies" the week before finals and much more. Students, faculty and staff have attended movies together, scheduled pizza parties for the night of the State of the Union Address, hosted a "brown bag" luncheon series as well as a professor chili cook-off for the Presidential election night party. The department invites you to participate in these scheduled events. If you have any suggestions for future events, please stop by the office, (Creighton Hall formerly Administration Building, Room 430A), e-mail Joleen or call her at (280-2836).