Faculty Research

James Ault is collaborating with Dr. Stephanie Wernig in analyzing variables that predict academic success for undergraduates at Creighton.  He is also working with faculty and administrators in the School of Dentistry to analyze variables that predict satisfaction with professional practice patterns of alumni. He is also in the seventh year of a project to evaluate the relative reliability of surveys of student opinion about faculty effectiveness in classroom settings.  

Roger Bergman is working on a sequel to his recently published book. The sequel is entitled Catholic Social Formation: Conscience, Virtue, Spirit. One chapter, "Toward a Sociology of Conscience:The Example of Franz Jägerstätter and the Legacy of Gordon Zahn" is complete. Three more chapters are underway during Summer 2013.  Catholic Social Learning: Educating the Faith That Does Justice" (Fordham University Press)was published in 2011, and is based on his experience as a reflective practitioner of justice education in various faith-related settings, his awareness of the need for reflection on Catholic social pedagogy, and his own work as the founding director of the Justice & Peace Studies Program at Creighton and his commitment to justice in Jesuit higher education. 

Barbara Dilly currently is analyzing popular culture images of young womn in American agriculture for the book she is writing entitled The American Family Farmer's Daughter: The Transformation of an American Icon in American Agriculture. She also applies her research and personal experience as an active participant in the transfomation of American agriculture toward more sustainable communty practices in the America Midwest.  These interests inform another on-going research interest in rural health, which she studies in comparative contexts across the globe.

Kristin Fitzgerald is in the final phase of her dissertation research among Lakota Christians in Rapid City, South Dakota.  Her work recognizes that many urban Native Americans today participate in a number of typically Western institutions, such as their local churches, while also maintaining their claims to tribal heritage(s).  Further, while missionaries historically attempted to cariously replace or reform traditioinal customs and beliefs with those of Christiantity, many denominations now celebrate multiculturalism, which as offered indigenous groups both opportunities and challenges in the Church.  Fitzgerald's work proposes that Lakota congregants and clergy from two urban Lakota churces (Catholic and Episcopalian) in Rapid City, South Dakota, are trying out and standardizing new models of 'traditionally Lakota' practices and beliefs during rituals, activities, conversations, and life histories.

Laura Heinemann explores her central interests in medical anthropology, kin relationships,and informal, home-based caregiving in the context of high-tech biomedical health care in the United States.  Dr. Heinemann's background also includes hospital-based social work; in this capacity she worked primarily with adult inpatients and their families on a physical medicine and rehabilitation unit.  It was here that she first became inspired to conduct ethnographic fieldwork which bridges clinical settings and private home spaces in the U.S. Midwest.  She currently is preparing a manuscript with a working title, Transplanting Kinsip, Transformng Care: Daily Life on the Transplant Journey, in which she examines everyday life and kin relationships among organ transplant patients and caregivers thorughout he transplant process.  Dr. Heinemann also collaborates wih colleagues and students at Creighton, along wth local community partners on the Florence Clinic Project. Together, this interdisciplinary research team is using qualitative methods to identify the health-related needs and concerns of Omaha community members who have a migration and refugee background. Next summer, D. Heinemann will initiate new ethnographic research examining patients' (and caregivers') self-managment of end-stage renal disease and dialysis in the context of daily life and under changing U.S. health policy.

Dawn Irlbeck published a co-authored article in Fall 2012 "A Risk-based Model of Public Perceptions of Crime and Disoder" in Criminal Justice Studies, a well-respected and widely read journal in the fields of criminology and criminal justice. Dr. Irlbeck is collaborating with Dr. Murray on several projects. They are part of an evaluation team for a Federal Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Grant, assessing recidivism and community effects of high risk probationes returning to high risk areas. In addition, they continue to facilitate a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime which will enable a Nebraska State Victim's Assistance Academy, launching in August 2013. Finally, Drs. Irlbeck and Murray are working with a variety of agencies to evaluate strengths and gaps in the Douglas County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

Rebecca Murray, along with former students Laurel Gegner and Justin Pelton, recently published "Policies, Procedures and the Police: An Assessent of Wrongful Conviction Risk in Nebraska" in Marvin Zalman and Julia Carrano (eds.) Making Justice: Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform (New York: Routledge). She currently is updating manuscripts with other students, including the effect of community empowerment on crime and disorder, and the effect of liquor serving establishments on crime. Also, her book Using Statistics in Criminal Justice, is set to be published with Aspen Publishing in Spring 2014. In addition, Dr. Murray is collaborating with Dr. Irlbeck on several projects.

Alexander Roedlach, SVD, is involved in interdisciplinary research exploring how access to integrated medical services for HIV/AIDS and TB in Zimbabwe is influenced by cultural perceptions f both diseases. Further, he collaborates with others studying the health neds of a growing refugee population in the American Midwest. He currently is preparing a long-term study on the impact of faith community nursing on the health of clients receiving services provided by this specialty nursing.

Renzo Rosales, SJ, received his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Florida, Gainesville as well as his MBA and Studies of Theology from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in El Salvador.  He has done academic studies and research across Latin America. Most recently, Dr. Rosales has been doing preliminary research on traditional medicine in Colombia, as well as exploring options for academic and fieldwork collaborations with Jesuit academic institutions and social ministry agencies in Lima, and Cusco, Peru, and in San Juan, Puerot Rico. Aside from Latin America Studies, Dr. Rosales also is interested in Economic and Environmental Anthropology, Social Movements, and Ethinicity and Migration.