Internal Opportunities

Internal Research Opportunities

Students may also find information about CURAS undergraduate research grant opportunities here.

CURAS invites Creighton faculty members who would like to be featured on this internal opportunities page to submit their profile information.

Submit Profile Information Here

Learn more about our internal Creighton opportunities below. We also have an updated list of external opportunities available to students.



Theodore Burk

Other Departments/Programs: Environmental Science Program

Field of Expertise: Animal Behavior, Entomology, Conservation Biology

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 442

Description of Research: Our group studies butterfly populations in prairies, looking at factors such as management methods that impact them. We also study butterfly use of flowers as nectar sources, and the role of butterflies as pollinators of prairie plants.

Techniques/Methodologies: Our research is entirely field-based, using a variety of ecological sampling methods, including use of GPS to record movements of butterflies and locations of specific resources used by them.

Prerequisite Classes: Only General Biology is required, although additional organismal or population biology courses are helpful.

Preferred Contact: Initial contact is normally by email (, followed by a personal meeting in my office to discuss possibilities.

Other Comments: This is one of the longest ongoing population studies anywhere (21 years completed) and has gathered the largest data set ever on nectar plant use of butterflies. Students both help with continuing the ongoing surveys, and "carve out" a particular project of their own within the overall research program. Students often make presentations at local and national meetings, may become co-authors on publications, and often go on to doctoral graduate or health professional programs after graduation.

Dr. Ann Cavanaugh

Field of Expertise: Cell biology

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 445

Description of Research: The Cavanaugh lab is interested in how large protein structures change over time. We are interested both in how protein structures change during the lifecycle of a cell and how they change more broadly over evolutionary history. To study these questions we use the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which you will often encounter in your kitchen if you enjoy baking, and other closely related yeast species. Our research focuses on a large protein structure called the spindle pole body (or SPB for short), which is involved in separating DNA into the new cells during cell division. We use microscopy, genetics, and biochemistry to observe changes in this structure during different parts of the yeast life cycle, and to study similarities and difference in SPB proteins among different yeast species.

Techniques/Methodologies: Skills/techniques learned when conducting research: Molecular cloning: PCR, restriction enzyme digests, ligation, plasmid purification. Genetic manipulation in yeast: Transformations, nutrient selection, growth assays.

Microscopy: Preparing slides, basic light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy

Prerequisite Classes: None

Preferred Contact:

Carol Fassbinder-Orth

Field of Expertise: Virology, Immunology, Physiology

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 419

Description of Research: I study arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) in both honey bees and birds. I am interested in studying the dynamics of arboviral diseases from the molecular level to the population level.

Techniques/Methodologies: PCR, cell culture, cell toxicity assays, ELISA, digestive enzyme assays, immunoassays, animal behavior assays, RFID animal tracking techniques, whole-organismal level infection studies.

Prerequisite Classes: No pre-requisite classes are required. However, I give preference to students who plan to attend graduate school in a biologically-related discipline.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: Research is 99% failure and 1% success. I only want students in my lab that can embrace failure and have the independence and tenacity to keep going even when nothing works.

Jody Franke

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 403

Description of Research: We study an unusual bacterium called Gemmata obscuriglobus. This organism has several features that are either unique to this organism or generally not found in bacteria. For example, G. obscuriglobus has a highly invaginated inner membrane, the processes of transcription and translation are spatially separated, it synthesize sterols, and it has the ability to internalize full-folded proteins. It also lacks common bacterial cytoskeletal genes. We are trying to learn as much about these unusual features as possible as well as develop molecular/genetic techniques that are used in other organisms.

Techniques/Methodologies: We go where the research takes us. We do standard molecular biology (PCR, restriction digests, ligations, ...), protein expression/purification, growth and viability studies of different microorganisms, flow cytometry, microscopy and some standard chemistry separation techniques (e.g., thin layer chromatography).

Prerequisite Classes: General chemistry, general biology, and one upper level biology course in the cell/molecular areas.

Preferred Contact: E-mail (we can set up a face-to-face from there):

John Shea

Other Departments/Program: Environmental Science

Field of Expertise: Parasitology, Environmental parasitology

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 423

Description of Research: My research interests lie in two areas of Parasitology. First, I am interested in parasite-altered behavior of hosts. Parasites that require multiple hosts often employ strategies to increase the probability of transmission to their next host, including altering host behavior. I conduct lab experiments to study such questions using infected invertebrates. I also ask how chemicals such as fertilizers and heavy metals alter the normal behavior and growth of invertebrates. Second, I am interested in using parasites as indicators of ecosystem health. Some parasites such as trematodes have complicated life cycles involving multiple hosts. Thus, the presence of the parasite in an ecosystem suggests the presence of its hosts. Since larval trematodes are easily and quickly collected from their snail intermediate hosts this research holds promise for a cheap and accurate way to assess ecosystems. This research takes place in Pine Ridge, SD each summer and entails field work.

Techniques/Methodologies: Microscopy, field work, behavioral trials

Prerequisite Classes: Introduction to Biology, BIO 201-202

Preferred Contact:

Mackenzie Taylor

Field of Expertise: Plant biology, plant reproductive biology

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 424

Description of Research: I study reproductive development in flowering plants, focusing particularly on pollen development. My goal is to know more about the evolution of pollen development, the consequences of transitions in pollination biology and other aspects of reproductive ecology for plant reproduction, and the role that pollen function has played in the evolutionary success of flowering plants. My current projects involve characterizing pollen development and reproductive ecology in aquatic flowering plant lineages. I study pollen development and evolution, exploring how ecological transitions have affected plant reproduction.

Techniques/Methodologies: Field and greenhouse experiments, microscopy

Prerequisite Classes: BIO 201, BIO 205

Preferred Contact: Email me to arrange an appointment (

Mary Ann Vinton

Other Departments/Programs: Environmental Science

Field of Expertise: Ecosystem ecology, plant biology, soil science, grassland ecology, remote sensing

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 438

Description of Research: My research interests include: ecosystem ecology, role of plants in ecosystems, grassland ecology and biodiversity, nutrient cycling and decomposition, plant-soil interactions, ecology of invasive plant species, ecosystem services, use of satellite imagery in ecology and conservation, environmental science education and pedagogy, and the dynamics and resilience of social-ecological systems.

Techniques/Methodologies: Analysis of satellite imagery with computer software; ecosystem measurements of plants and soils; nutrient analyses of soils and plants; soil respiration and other measurements of carbon cycle; field work and habitat analyses involving plant identification and GPS measurements.

Prerequisite Classes: I'm mainly looking for students who are curious and interested in ecosystem ecology, which tends to involve big picture" questions about nature and human impact on the environment. Currently, I am looking for students who are comfortable working with image analyses of satellite data and manipulating large data sets. But, students who like working in the field and learning natural history in midwestern and Great Plains ecosystems are needed as well.

Preferred Contact:

Amy Worthington

Field of Expertise: Life history trade-offs, sexual selection, mate choice preferences, immunology, reproduction, parasitism, invertebrate physiology

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 418

Description of Research: Reproducing consumes time and energy, can result in physical injuries, and drastically increases rates of parasitism, predation, and disease. Despite these costs, animals often risk mating at dangerously high rates and invest vast amounts of resources into the development of primary and secondary sexual traits, which can significantly reduce lifetime fitness. A central theme of my research is investigating how organisms mediate critical life history trade-offs between reproduction, growth, and survival. I am particularly interested in the environmental and physiological cues used by individuals to maximize reproductive fitness via selective investment in 1) offspring production, 2) immunocompetence, 3) primary and secondary sexual traits, and 4) somatic maintenance. I have experience working with a diverse array of invertebrate taxa (stalk- eyed flies, jumping spiders, dragonflies, crayfish, snails, and rhinoceros beetles) and I currently investigate the above concepts using field crickets.

Techniques/Methodologies: Behavioral analyses, dissection, GC/MS, experimental infection, immunoassays, sperm viability assays, microscopy, soxhlet fat extraction, morphometrics

Prerequisite Classes: At least be enrolled and doing well in General Biology

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: If you are interested in doing research with me, please include a statement of why you are interested in joining my lab and how my research program may help you succeed in your career endeavors. Also, I only accept students that want to be involved in research for long term projects (i.e. the longer you would like to do research in my lab, the more likely I am to take you on as a student, a minimum of one year is required).



Thomas Freeman

Department: Heider College of Business

Field of Expertise: Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Big Data & Emerging Technology

Office: Off campus

Description of Research: I am researching whether and how the government should be regulating the collection, holding, and monetization of consumer data. Should the GDPR serve as a starting point for a similar American system? Given the way data is collected, stored, and transferred by multinational corporations, does the solution have to be international to be effective?

Techniques/Methodologies: I am evaluating case studies about data breaches to determine how to make regulation more effective.

Prerequisite Classes: I am evaluating case studies about data breaches to determine how to make regulation more effective.

Preferred Contact:

Dr. Sarah Singletary Walker

Department: Management and Marketing

Field of Expertise: Diversity, Selection, Management

Office: Mike and Josie Harper Center 4029B

Description of Research: My current research projects examine issues related to diversity and discrimination in the workplace and focus primarily on three areas:

  1. Manifestations of discrimination.
  2. Individual and organizational consequences of discrimination.
  3. Strategies for remediating discrimination. Specifically, I am interested in the experiences of many individuals in workplace settings. My current research is aimed at establishing mechanisms to create a more equitable and civil workplace for individuals.

Techniques/Methodologies: I conduct laboratory studies, field studies, and also online studies that assess attitudes about a variety of individuals in employment contexts.

Prerequisite Classes: No pre-requisite but Introduction to Psychology and/or Organizational Behavior course would be helpful.

Preferred Contact:



Dr. Lynne Dieckman

Field of Expertise: Biochemistry (Protein and DNA Biochemistry)

Office: Rigge Science Building 309B

Description of Research: The major goals of research in the Dieckman lab are to gain a better understanding of how improper DNA replication, repair, and organization cause changes in gene expression and lead to genomic instability and disease. We aim to examine the structural and functional basis of protein complexes involved in DNA replication and the subsequent packaging of DNA into the nucleus (DNA replication-dependent nucleosome assembly). Specifically, we dissect the protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions involved in coupling DNA replication to nucleosome assembly. We use a broad range of modern biophysical and biochemical approaches to examine the structural organization of protein factors and how their activities are coordinated.

Techniques/Methodologies: - Mutagenesis and cloning - Protein expression and purification: Fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC)- Protein-protein and protein-DNA interaction assays: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs); electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs); pull-down assays; UV-Vis absorbance and fluorescence - Thermodynamics and kinetics: Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC); single molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy - Protein Structure: X-ray crystallography

Prerequisite Classes: No courses are required (I will take a freshman), so long as they are planning to take General Chemistry and General Biology courses in their freshman year.

Preferred Contact:

Dr. Erin Gross

Field of Expertise: Analytical Chemistry

Office: Rigge Science Building 207

Description of Research: Research in my lab involves the development of microscale analytical detection systems. These systems involve the combination of electrochemistry and microfluidics. Our methods have been used to detect a variety of analytes ranging from antibiotics and biogenic amines to nucleic acids.

Techniques/Methodologies: We use electrochemical and spectroscopic instrumentation, along with microfabrication methodologies and 3D printing.

Prerequisite Classes: General Chemistry and/or Advanced General Chemistry

Preferred Contact:

Dr. Martin Hulce

Field of Expertise: Organic Chemistry

Office: Rigge Science Building 226

Description of Research: My laboratory students and I investigate new synthetic methods in organic chemistry and the preparation of small, functionally rich organic molecules. Our work includes:

  • Development of new multibond-forming reactions.
  • Development of new allene-forming reactions, which make twisted molecules.
  • Synthesis of modified amino acids for solid phase peptide synthesis, which allow chemists to modify pain and blood pressure messaging molecules in the body.
  • Generation, use and detection of singlet oxygen, a powerful oxidizing agent.
  • In vitro and in situ diagnostic analysis of ascites by NMR and MRS.
  • Preparation of value-enhanced sunless tanning cosmeceuticals.

Techniques/Methodologies: Separation science (distillation, recrystallization, chromatography), spectrometric methods (nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy), synthetic methods.

Prerequisite Classes: Students in my lab typically start as sophomores or juniors, having taken at least one year of general chemistry. Usually, they have taken at least some organic chemistry as well.

Preferred Contact: or in person

Other Comments: I look for chemistry/biochemistry majors or going-to-be majors who are interested in chemistry and enjoy laboratory work–those who become sufficiently engaged with a project to take ownership of it. I prefer students spend a minimum of three semesters doing research with me. Students who are flexible but reliable, analytical and able to solve puzzles using deductive reasoning usually make the most progress in my lab. My mentoring style is laid back and student- rather than project-oriented.

Why research? I believe every student should at least have the opportunity to experience research as a way of learning: is this way to answer questions with no satisfactory current answers useful for lifelong learning? Are the tools of research--discovery, analysis, contextualization and communication of new information and insight--valuable to enhance learning, contribute to the profession, and add to knowledge of self, God and world?

What is scholarly research in chemistry? Broadly defined, research is...

  • An investigation or examination using the scientific method aimed at:
  1. The discovery and interpretation of data Basic research (e.g. Synthesis of Bohrium in 1981 & its chemical characterization in 2000).
  2. Practical application of new or revised theories & observations Applied research (e.g. Adding Ca(NO3)2 to NH3(l) renders it useless for making meth).
  3. Revision of accepted theories in light of new data or reinterpretation of existing data Integrative research (e.g. Creation of geocentric maps of Mars) Distributive research (e.g. A new edition of your favorite Organic Chemistry textbook).

What is the use of research?

  • It enhances teaching, contributes to the betterment of society, and discovers new knowledge.
  • It’s an open and relentless pursuit of truth.
  • It’s as an act of worship.
  • It’s fun!

Dr. Juliane Soukup

Field of Expertise: Biochemistry

Office: Rigge Science Building 323

Description of Research: The Soukup laboratory has a general interest in the structure and function of non-coding RNAs, sequences in the genome that until recently were considered “junk”. Dr. Soukup works on a specific group of non-coding RNAs called riboswitches, found in virtually all bacteria. Riboswitches are RNA sequences that bind cellular metabolites, inducing a structural change that “switches” expression of essential metabolic genes off. By investigating exactly how bacterial riboswitches interact with metabolites, the Soukup lab hopes to design non-natural metabolites that bind and upset the normal functioning of metabolic pathways. Therefore, riboswitches provide a unique and distinct set of targets for development of new antibiotics to treat dangerous bacterial infections. Some of the specific undergraduate research projects in the Soukup lab are focused on:

  1. Structural characterization of the glmS riboswitch/ribozyme.
  2. Design and synthesis of non-natural metabolites to target the glmS riboswitch and possibly act as antibiotics.
  3. Discovery of new classes of riboswitches, one of which is a highly conserved RNA element in mammalian organisms that interacts with polyamines.
  4. Structural characterization of the mammalian polyamine riboswitch.
  5. Exploring the field of synthetic genetic switches with the hope of controlling mammalian gene expression via engineered insertion of riboswitches.
  6. Investigating whether mammalian gene expression can be controlled via allosteric ribozymes, namely, an in vitro selected Twister ribozyme.

Techniques/Methodologies: In order to produce RNA we use PCR, DNA/RNA purification by gel electrophoresis, and DNA/RNA quantitation by UV absorbance We use a number of techniques for RNA biochemical structural characterization:

  • In-line probing, equilibrium dialysis, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) We use these techniques for RNA biophysical structural characterization.
  • X-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) In order to investigate the ability of non-natural metabolites to inhibit bacterial growth we use.
  • Minimum inhibitory concentration assays & bacterial growth assays.

Prerequisite Classes: High school chemistry & biology

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: You can join my lab as early as your freshman year!

Dr. Eric Villa

Field of Expertise: Inorganic Chemistry

Office: Rigge Science Building 233

Description of Research: One of our primary interests is in the synthesis, characterization and reaction dynamics of polyoxometalate ions (POMs) in water, which includes the relationship between the solid-state and solution properties of POMs and isotopic-oxygen-exchange reactions of POMs in water. We are also interested in the synthesis and characterization of lanthanide materials. Here we explore periodic trends within lanthanide compounds and the structure-function relationships & utilization of solid-state properties of these materials.

Techniques/Methodologies: Inorganic Synthesis Techniques, Single Crystal X-ray Crystallography, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Mass Spectrometry, Potentiometric Titrations

Prerequisite Classes: General Chemistry I (CHM 203)

Preferred Contact:

Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Dr. Chad McBride

Field of expertise: Communication in Close Relationships (families, friendships, etc)

Office: Hitchcock Communication Arts Building 310

Description of Research: I am currently working on projects in two areas: work spouse relationships (a close friendship in the work place) and men's experiences with miscarriage. However, I am also interested in possible starting a new project focusing on contexts where people have to be friends with people they do not necessarily like or choose.

Techniques/Methodologies: I primarily use interpretive/qualitative methods (interviewing, open-ended surveys, etc).

Prerequisite Classes: I am open to any students are who are interested in exploring research, but it would help if you have had a research methods course (although this is not a requirement).

Preferred Contact:

Dr. Guy McHendry

Field of expertise: Rhetoric; Gender Studies; Surveillance; Cultural Studies

Office: Hitchcock Communication Arts Building 307F

Description of Research: My primary research area examines the ways we discuss, frame, and desire a wide away of surveillance and security practices. I frequently write about the Transportation Security Administration. I also research gender communication, environmental communication, and argumentation. 

Techniques/Methodologies: Rhetorical Criticism; Rhetorical Field Work

Prerequisite Classes: COM 174 or COM 200 or COM 359

Preferred Contact:

Computer Science, Design & Journalism

Computer Science, Design & Journalism

Dr. Samer Al-Khateeb

Field of Expertise: Social Computing, Social Media, Deviant Behaviors, Social Bots

Office: Hitchcock Communication Arts Building 203A

Description of Research: My research interests include the following topics: Deviant Behavioral Modeling; Deviant Cyber Flash Mobs (DCFMs); Cyber Propaganda Campaigns; Social Cyber Forensics; Social Computing; Data Mining In Social Media; Cyber Collective Actions; and Bots Behaviours, Evolution, and Detection.

Techniques/Methodologies: In my research, I tend to do both qualitative and quantitative research projects that aim to explain or better understand an event, a group, or social phenomenon using social media data and metadata collected using Social cyber forensics. I use various off-the-shelf tools, and my own code to collect, analyze and visualize the dataset collected. The research projects are based on various theories such as Graph theory, Collective Action theory.

Prerequisite Classes: CSC 590 - Special Topics: Social Media & Cyber Forensics Analytics

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: Are you familiar with Social Network Analysis? How about coding and analysis? Are you enthusiastic about learning new things that are applicable to real-world situations? If so, this research could be a great fit for you.

Dr. Catie Baker

Field of Expertise: Accessibility & Human Computer Interaction

Office: Hitchcock Communication Arts Building 203B

Description of Research: My research is primarily focused on providing access to technology for users with disabilities. I have two main focuses: 1) increasing the education of developers of the techniques needed to create accessible technologies and 2) understanding the barriers faced by people with visual impairments and creating tools to help mitigate these barriers.

Techniques/Methodologies: I use a mix of methods in my research from using qualitative methods to understand users of technology to creating systems and tools and evaluating them with both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Prerequisite Classes: CSC 221

Preferred Contact: or stop by office

Cultural & Social Studies

Cultural & Social Studies

Dr. Pierce Greenberg

Field of Expertise: Environmental Inequality, GIS, Research Methods

Office: Creighton Hall 439A

Description of Research: I have three different research projects that students could help out on: (1) analyzing the locations of historical industrial hazards in Omaha, (2) case studies of community perceptions of cryptocurrency mining and energy use in the U.S., and (3) analysis of survey data about coal mining and environmental harm in Appalachia.

Techniques/Methodologies: Content analysis, survey methods, archival research, GIS, statistics

Prerequisite Classes: Social science and/or historical research methods is useful. Basic statistics/GIS knowledge could be helpful, too. I am willing to work with beginning researchers, as well!

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I'm excited about the opportunity to work with students from any academic background! I'm also happy to discuss how I might be able to help with student research ideas and goals, too. 

Dr. Barbara Dilly

Field of Expertise: Rural sustainability, food studies, environmental sustainability, food justice

Office: Creighton Hall 439B

Description of Research: I do qualitative ethnographic research of communities and organizations working to promote sustainable and healthy food systems as well as sustainable communities.

Techniques/Methodologies: I do participant-observation field work which entails a wide range of qualitative research methods including interviewing and narrative stories.

Prerequisite Classes: ANT 316 Qualitative Research Methods

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I can work with students in Omaha or surrounding rural areas.

Dr. Alexander Roedlach

Field of Expertise: Medical Anthropology, Needs Assessment, Program Evaluation, Refugee and Migrant Health, Public Health, Global Health, Religion-Health

Office: Creighton Hall 441 A

Description of Research: My research is at the intersection of health, religion, and volunteerism. I am working with health care professionals who volunteer their services in faith communities in Omaha and attempt to assess the impact of their services. Further, I explore the health of refugee communities in Omaha. Finally, I research intercultural competence with various groups of professionals.

Techniques/Methodologies: I am primarily a qualitative researcher who collects data through participant-observation, interviews, focus groups and other qualitative methods. I also use quantitative methods to complement and support findings from qualitative research. For instance, I develop surveys, administer them and analyze the resulting data using some statistical methods.

Prerequisite Classes: Ideally, students should have taken at least one of the following courses before working with me on a research project: ANT 301 - Social and Cultural Theory, ANT 316 - Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences, ANT 491 - Applied Research.

Preferred Contact: Email to setting up a face-to-face meeting (

Other Comments: In my experience preparing a research proposal needs time and any draft will have to go through various revisions. Thus, students need to commit a significant amount of time to work with me on designing a project, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting the findings. Ideally, the findings should be presented at a conference.



Dr. Charles Timothy (Tim) Dickel

Field of Expertise: Counseling and Educational Psychology

Office: Eugene C. Eppley Building 4411

Description of Research: I am engaged in two areas of research at the present time. First, I am looking at the impact of school suspensions and expulsions on those who are suspended and expelled, and in the process, I want to build a model of schools that tend to suspend and expel and those that do not tend to suspend and expel. Along with suspensions and expulsions, school variables include demographics, perceptual data from staff, students, and parents, and student achievement data. Second, I am looking at mental health resources in rural counties of Nebraska, particularly related to resources for those who are victims of domestic violence.

Techniques/Methodologies: For the study of suspensions and expulsions, I am using archival data from a large urban school district from 2011 through 2017, and I am using SPSS to manipulate and analyze those data. For the study of mental health resources, I am using Nebraska's Uniform Crime Report and embedded informants in the rural counties.

Prerequisite Classes: I would require that a student have completed an Understanding Social Science course and would prefer that the student have completed the Doing Social Science course.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I am on sabbatical from May 2018 through May 2019 but am willing to work with students during that time and beyond.



Lydia R. Cooper

Field of expertise: American literature, Native American literature

Office: Creighton Hall 134F

Description of Research: I research contemporary American and Native American literature. I look at how narrative works from psychological, linguistic, and cultural perspectives, examining connections such as trauma and narrative, empathy and narrative, gender and narrative, and national identity/sovereignty and narrative.

Techniques/Methodologies: Linguistic analysis, psychological analysis, cultural analysis, queer studies, postcolonial studies, and gender studies. Basically, reading, writing, and thinking.

Prerequisite Classes: A student who has taken ENG 200 is automatically eligible; any other student, if interested, can contact me for a meeting and we will determine preparedness in person.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: If you are interested in connections between physical and mental health and creative writing, research with me might be for you! If you want to understand how creative works can convey truth or act as political persuasion or raise awareness and activism for current crises (environmental, political, racial, etc.), doing research with me might be for you! If you enjoy writing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and want to know how to craft it better, research with me might be for you! If you want to become an expert on the works of a particular author alive today who inspires you, research with me might be for you!

Keywords: Literature, mental health, creative writing, linguistic analysis, postcolonial theory, queer studies, gender studies, cultural studies, psychological analysis

Dr. Surbhi Malik

Field of Expertise: Multiethnic Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Bollywood Films

Office: Creighton Hall, Room 135 F

Description of Research: My research focuses on representations of place and space in multiethnic literature and Bollywood films. How do portrayals of space and place--home, suburbia, city, region-- help us understand the relation between race and nation?

Techniques/Methodologies: Literary methods such as close readings and analysis of metaphors, spatial theory, critical race theory, Postcolonial and feminist methods.

Prerequisite Classes: ENG 150

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I especially welcome students who are interested in interdisciplinary research. My approach is to help students understand the research process and guide them from the initial steps of developing a research question to the final steps of publication. Along the way, the students not only learn research and writing in the humanities but also develop skills such as time management and setting goals, which have with broad applicability across academic and professional worlds.

Matthew L. Reznicek

Field of Expertise: Nineteenth-Century British and Irish Women's Writing and Writing about the City

Office: Creighton Hall 135B

Description of Research: I am working on two book-length projects: the first explores the relationship between Irish women's writing and European opera, arguing that both novels written by Irish women and various operatic traditions complicate national conceptions of community by creating alternative modes of belonging. This draws on socio-political research in the history of nationalism, as well as feminist critiques of nationalism. My second book-length project is an analysis of income-inequality in the nineteenth-century novel. While the novel is often helpful in capturing moments of economic crisis like the crash in the cotton industry in the wake of the U.S. Civil War in Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, I argue that the novel struggles to represent the everyday crisis of poverty. In order to excavate this experience of inequality and to understand the ways the novel registers poverty, I am arguing we need a new mode of reading nineteenth-century fiction that highlights its relationship to structures that produce inequality like laws, financial institutions, and Empire.

Techniques/Methodologies: Because so much of my work focuses on women writers and questions related to gender, I work mainly in the realm of feminist scholarship; however, I also believe that gendered experiences are deeply informed and shaped by an individual's relationship to the socio-economic conditions of the period. This means I draw on the Marxist tradition of scholarship as well. But, as with most scholarship, I am interdisciplinary, working with political texts like Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, philosophical texts like Immanuel Kant's Toward Perpetual Peace, and even religious texts like Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, as well as a broad European literary framework.

Prerequisite Classes: Ideally, students will have taken, or will be enrolled in, a 200-level English course, but I am open to any student wanting to work in these areas.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I believe that student research is one of the most valuable things we can foster; as a result, I try to encourage students with whom I have conducted research to present their findings at regional and national conferences. This exposes them to a greater network of scholars who will help develop and refine the students' work.

Bob Whipple

Field of Expertise: Technology and literacy

Office: crhl 134E

Description of Research: Investigation of how technologies affect the way humans communicate.

Techniques/Methodologies: Research in journals; experimentation with various applications

Prerequisite Classes: None required

Preferred Contact:

Greg Zacharias

Field of Expertise: 19th-c US literature and culture, scholarly editing

Office: Creighton Hall 129A

Description of Research: 19th-c US literature and culture, scholarly editing, Henry James studies

Techniques/Methodologies: Archival research, digital tools, documentary editing

Prerequisite Classes: 200-level ENG courses

Preferred Contact:

Fine & Performing Arts

Fine & Performing Arts

Dr. Amanda Wilton

Field of Expertise: Music, Strings, Music History

Office: Lied Education Center for the Arts 212C

Description of Research: Music performance (solo, chamber, orchestral) as a violist, String methods and pedagogy, Music History research presented as Lecture-Recitals and for publication in music journals. I research specific composers and musicians, specifically English composers and musicians: York Bowen, Lionel Tertis, Spanish music and composers, Women in music: Rebecca Clarke, Armenian contemporary classical music: Tigran Mansurian.

Techniques/Methodologies: Presentation of research in the form of performance, lecture-recital, or written form

Prerequisite Classes: Presentation of research in the form of performance, lecture-recital, or written form

Preferred Contact:



Andrew Hogan

Field of Expertise: History of Science, Medicine, and Disability

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center 225

Description of Research: I am examining evolving understandings and narratives of developmental disabilities among clinical professionals from the 1950s to the present. In particular, I focus on the history of clinical psychology, genetic counseling, and pediatrics.

Techniques/Methodologies: Examination of archival materials, grey literature (professional newsletters) published primary sources (scientific and medical textbooks and journal articles), and interviews with clinical professionals.

Prerequisite Classes: HIS 273, and Global Perspectives: History of Science and Medicine

Preferred Contact: Via email ( or in-person in my office

Other Comments: My research students have included history majors and science majors, as well as pre-medicine and pre-health professional students. Many of my student researchers also do the Science and Medicine in Society minor, which I direct.

Britta McEwen

Field of Expertise: Modern Europe, Gender, Sexuality

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center 226.

Description of Research: Right now I am finishing up an article on shame and sympathy in Vienna, 1880-1930, surrounding the issue of single mothers and their illegitimate children. It employs techniques from the History of Emotions to argue that shame was transferred from the bodies of individual women who had sex outside of marriage to the state and city systems designed to hide them and their children (charity hospitals and foundling houses, which had high mortality rates.).

Techniques/Methodologies: History of Emotions, Gender theory, ideas from the History of Sexuality; Prerequisite Classes: Global Perspectives in History

Preferred Contact:

Adam Sundberg

Other Departments/Programs: Environmental Science, Sustainability

Field of Expertise: Environmental history, digital history

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center 220

Description of Research: Historical ecological reconstruction of Nebraska Sandhills

Techniques/Methodologies: Historical archival methods, geographic information system

Prerequisite Classes: None required. GIS training, basic ecology coursework, archival experience valued

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: This is a long-term project. You would work with myself as well as faculty in environmental science.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies

Dr. Candace Bloomquist

Field of Expertise: Interdisciplinary Leadership and Health Promotion

Office: Rev. Carl M. Reinert, SJ, Alumni Memorial Library 210

Description of Research: My research interests include trust in higher education, health equity, quality improvement, health promoting schools, and teaching and learning in higher education. My desire is to expand my research to recognize the cultural components that are present in our interconnected world which will help me continue to learn about my community. Specifically, I have two projects underway looking at what it means to experience a culture of trust in education and in sport. I am also interested in exploring examples of quality improvement that utilize dyad leadership models in healthcare organizations.

Techniques/Methodologies: Currently, I am using qualitative methods (phenomenology, case studies), but am also open to using quantitative methods as needed.

Prerequisite Classes: I would encourage the students to complete at least one research design/research methods course.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I have hosted 4 CURAS students over the last two summers. I have enjoyed working with each one to help them fulfill their scholarly goals. Whether it is presenting at a regional conference, drafting a paper for submission to a peer reviewed journal, or just getting experience with research I look forward to hearing from students interested in learning about these exciting research areas. Key words: Interdisciplinary Studies, Leadership, Health,qualitative, education, cultural, case studies.

Dr. James R. Martin Jr.

Office: Rev. Carl M. Reinert, SJ, Alumni Memorial Library 211

Description of Research: I am interested in the influence of individual level identities (such as gender, education, socioeconomic background, religion, and ethnicity) on the political outcomes associated with government cabinets (in other words, the influence of these characteristics on the collaborative efforts of teams of people working together towards various goals).

Techniques/Methodologies: I tend to use a variety of econometric models to quantitatively analyze these topics. I tend to use time-series, survival models, and count models frequently.

Prerequisite Classes: A basic research design course, and a basic stats class, would be most useful.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: Although my field of expertise involves political science, don't assume that I'm just interested in governments or American politics. Politics occurs in any setting where groups of people come together to work towards some goal. Thus, the sorts of questions I tend to ask to have broad implications and are applicable to a number of settings.

Dr. Kate L. Nolt

Field of Expertise: Public Health, Community Health, Healthcare Management; Global Health

Office: Center for Health Policy and Ethics, 2nd Floor; and Remote

Description of Research: Topics of interest include: Fidelity & adaptation to both clinical guidelines, practice management, and community programming; addiction prevention and intervention; behavior modification for health & wellness including living with chronic disease; cultural diversity in healthcare; global health.

Techniques/Methodologies: Mixed methods - both qualitative (phenomenological and observational) as well as quantitative.

Prerequisite Classes: Basic Research Methods and some health and psychology, if possible.

Preferred Contact: or mobile: 610-656-1918

Other Comments: You know the answer is NO; unless you ask. Please feel free to reach out.



Dr. Randy Crist

Field of Expertise: Quantum Information Theory and Matrix Analysis

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 543

Description of Research: Examine techniques and ideas of quantum mechanics applied to information theory (limits of data processing and transmission, encryption). 

Techniques/Methodologies: Matrix theory and analysis

Prerequisite Classes: MTH 350 and MTH 310

Preferred Contact: Either in person or email

Dr. Margaret Doig

Field of Expertise: Topology; I also have problems available in graph theory/combinatorics and their applications, including mathematical chemistry and computer science.

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 544

Description of Research: I specialize in low-dimensional topology, particularly Heegaard Floer theory and it applications to surgery theory and knot theory. Much of my work relies on finding methods to calculate HF in special cases to search for patterns, and I have problems available for students in either working through these calculations or implementing them efficiently by computer. I am also interested in problems from other fields with a strong graph theory or combinatorial feel, such as studying the Randic index in mathematical chemistry.

Techniques/Methodologies: Standard mathematical proofs (no specialized knowledge required to start) OR C++

Prerequisite Classes: Either MTH 310 or CSC 221/222

Preferred Contact:

Dr. Rebecca Gasper

Field of Expertise: Applied Mathematics, Mathematical Biology

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 534

Description of Research: Applied mathematics is similar to theoretical biology in scope but with more differential equations and fewer giant computer models. In the last 5 years I've been involved in projects in auditory neurology (with applications to cochlear implants), population dynamics (with applications to parasites in Pine Ridge), autonomic responses to blood withdrawal (matching experimental data), epidemiology (African sleeping sickness and STIs in college populations), and symmetries of molecules. One ongoing project involves how obesity affects cardiac action potentials. 

Techniques/Methodologies: Physiologists and doctors collect data on phenomena, but I model the underlying dynamics using differential equations. In particular, I have a "dry lab" which means reading, programming, and theoretical calculations. In the past, I have also involved students who want to make professional-looking diagrams of our work.

Prerequisite Classes: Strongly recommended: MTH 350

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I have supervised math students at all levels and invite interested biology, chemistry, biophysics students to join as well. There are many paid opportunities in math now and later, no matter your intended occupation.

Dr. Nathan Pennington

Field of Expertise: Partial Differential Equations

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 535

Description of Research: Very broadly, my research focus is on proving the existence of unique solutions to partial differential equations with complicated initial data. The equations I specifically work with are derived from the Navier-Stokes equation, which has its origins in fluid mechanics.

Prerequisite Classes: Calculus II

Preferred Contact:

Dr. Aimee Schwab-McCoy

Field of Expertise: Statistics and Data Science

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building 545

Description of Research: My research is focused on pedagogical development of statistics and data science courses. I also do a significant amount of statistical consulting around the university, as well as model testing and development for non-normal data.

Techniques/Methodologies: R/RStudio

Prerequisite Classes: MTH 360/361 and some programming experience

Preferred Contact: or in person



Travis Bourret

Department: Medical Microbiology and Immunology.

Field of Expertise: Host-pathogen interactions and vector-borne diseases.

Office: Criss I, Rm 521.

Description of Research: My laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms used by bacterial pathogens to survive, evade, and adapt to the innate immune defenses of mammalian hosts and tick vectors.

Techniques/Methodologies: Mouse models of infection, PCR, reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), RNAi, gene knockouts, protein purification, enzyme kinetics, circular dichroism, basic microbiology (bacterial growth kinetics, plating, etc.).

Prerequisite Classes: None.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: My laboratory is happy to have students at all levels join our team.

Dr. Kathleen McKillip

Department: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics.

Field of Expertise: Palliative Medicine.

Office: CUMC Bergan Mercy, Med Ed building Suite 301.

Description of Research: I am interested in how various members of the medical community approach the tasks of clinical decision making for and with patients with complex palliative care needs (ie, those with suffering in multiple life domains, those with surrogacy or communication issues, and those facing life limiting or life-threatening illnesses). I examine decision making using frameworks from several fields including medical cognition, learning theory, and medical informatics. Communication studies, anthropology, and applied clinical bioethics also inform my work.

Techniques/Methodologies: Mixed methods.

Prerequisite Classes: None.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: The student researcher should be able to present a preliminary proposal for his or her question (with timeline), and have adequate content knowledge and research skills relevant to the chosen area of study. S/he should also identify a venue for showcasing work. I am happy to offer mentorship in collaboration with other advisors.

Dr. Melinda Burnett

Department: Neurology.

Field of Expertise: Movement Disorders.

Office: Immanuel Medical Center 5300.

Description of Research: Currently I do not have any IRB-approved or funded research. However, students interested in movement disorders should feel free to check in with me periodically, as I am working on getting a few studies up and running over the next year (2019).

Techniques/Methodologies: Clinical research only.

Prerequisite Classes: Writing skills and mathematics (understanding of basic statistics) a plus.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: Don't contact me before May 2019. Would be happy to help with academic writing (neuro case reports, etc.) as well.

Dr. Gopal P. Jadhav

Department: Clinical and Translational Sciences.

Field of Expertise: Drug Discovery of Cardiovascular disease, Antibacterial and Highly neglected diseases.

Office: CRISS II -LAB 326B.

Description of Research: PROJECT-1 design and development of novel inhibitors of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells–1 (TREM-1), towards the management of life-threatening sepsis. This interdisciplinary research warranted use of computer aided drug design approach to develop and synthesis of small drug like molecules. Recent treatment employs small peptides molecules (LR-17 and LR-12), that have very short half-life and possibly multiple targets. Molecular docking and HTS assay techniques will be employed to identify from a library of 80000 diverse chemical molecules. These hits will be tested for TREM-1 inhibition activity to identify new chemical lead(s). Lead(s) will be recruited for extensive chemical modifications (SAR- development) in order to optimize potency, toxicity and druggability. Project 2 MvfR, a quorum sensing transcriptional regulator involved in the regulation of virulence functions is found critical for acute, persistent and relapsing infections. Thus, it is a high-interest novel drug target for treatment of P. aeruginosa infections. Tomoe Kitao, et al., (mBio, 2018 Volume 9 Issue 7, 1-13) have demonstrated the role of multiple virulence factor regulator (MvfR), synonymously known as PqsR, in the formation of AT/P cells and the regulation of other virulence functions in P. aeruginosa. MvfR controls its own activity by upregulating the expression of genes in the pqsABCDE and phnAB operons, which encode enzymes that catalyze the biosynthesis of several distinct low-molecular-weight compounds, e.g. hydroxyquinolones (HAQs) and the non-HAQ molecule 2-aminoacetophenone (2-AA). Here we presumed that Molecular docking-based ligand design would enable us to develop novel compounds with better potency and importantly better pharmacokinetics. These are ligandbased analogues designed and synthesized based Re-docking pattern of MvfR crystal structure (PDB: 4JVD) with its ligand M64. All designed compounds were docked into MvfR binding pocket.


  1. Medicinal chemistry approach to design and develop new drug molecules.
  2. Chemical Analysis using NMR, IR, HPLC, LCMS.
  3. Biological interpretation using existing bioassays and or development of new invitro cell-based bioassays for new molecules (use of Histological techniques, immunofluorescence, IHC, etc.).
  4. Development of animal models (mice or rats) for newly developed drug molecules.

Prerequisite Classes: Lab safety requirements to be completed. Orientation of Chemistry will be an added advantage albeit not essential.

Preferred Contact:, Lab ext 1821.

Other Comments: This is the right opportunity for students to get an exposure of how drug discovery approach is employed to translate bioactive chemical molecules in to preclinical level.

Dr. Timothy Simeone

Department: Pharmacology.

Field of Expertise: Epilepsy.

Office: Criss III, Rm 551.

Description of Research: Our laboratory investigates mechanisms of epilepsy and pharmacological/dietary therapies.

Techniques/Methodologies: Immunohistochemistry, western blots, cell culture, in vivo and invitro electrophysiology.

Prerequisite Classes: Bio201,202,205 and 206 and Chm203 and 204.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: We welcome inquisitive, self-motivated students interested in neuroscience and pharmacology.



Dr. Anne Schoening

Field of Expertise: Obstetric nursing; teaching and learning

Office: Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Health Sciences Complex II Room 228

Description of Research: Currently working with an undergraduate student on Nitrous Oxide use in labor and birth satisfaction.

Techniques/Methodologies: We are designing a study that uses an instrument (survey) to measure overall satisfaction with the birth experience.

Prerequisite Classes: Research Methods

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: We are currently working on the proposal for this study--would love to have some assistance with data collection and analysis.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Dr. Vanessa Jewell

Field of Expertise: Type 1 Diabetes

Office: Dr. Harry H. and Maude Boyne Building 154A

Description of Research: Interested in creating and examining the effectiveness of interventions for families who have a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, to improve participation in meaningful activities and quality of life for the entire family.

Techniques/Methodologies: Use of both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Prerequisite Classes: Psychology

Preferred Contact:



Dr. Kevin Graham

Field of Expertise: Social & Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Race, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center Room 115

Description of Research: I am currently studying the metaphysics of race and ways of improving student learning in introductory courses in ethics and symbolic logic.

Techniques/Methodologies: In the philosophy of race, I use the methods of close reading and analysis. In the scholarship of teaching and learning, I use quasi-experimental methods to obtain quantitative data.

Prerequisite Classes: Philosophical Ideas and one additional PHL course

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: If you are interested in doing research with me, please contact me as early in your undergraduate career as possible. I have mentored research students in their second, third, and fourth years of undergraduate study.

Dr. Jeffrey Hause

Other Departments/Programs: Classics, Director of Honors Program

Field of Expertise: History of Ethics, Medieval Philosophy, Philosophy and Literature

Office: Hitchcock Communication Arts Building 303

Description of Research: I work generally in history of ethics from late antiquity onward.

Techniques/Methodologies: Besides close reading and analysis, I depend on reading knowledge of multiple languages.

Prerequisite Classes: Students should have upper-level courses in either philosophy or an ancient language.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: Research in medieval philosophy is the most fun a person can legally have.

Dr. Jacob Rump

Field of Expertise: Theory of Meaning/ Philosophy of Language Epistemology (theory of knowledge), Enactive Philosophy of Mind/ Philosophy of Embodiment, 20th Century European, Philosophy (especially Phenomenology and Existentialism), Philosophy of History, Philosophy and Literature

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center Room 113

Description of Research: In the twentieth century, the linguistic turn in both European and Anglo-American traditions emphasized the pervasive role that language plays in structuring our experience. However, recent work across both traditions has increasingly questioned the exhaustiveness of this structuring, arguing that there are ways in which our experience is also meaningful in embodied, affective, or practical registers beyond the influence of language. I argue that current challenges to the linguistic turn thus demand a rethinking of meaning itself beyond the paradigm case of language. My research undertakes this task through engagement with contemporary work at the intersections of epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, in conversation with historical work in these areas, especially that of Edmund Husserl and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Beginning from the alternative and oft-neglected theory of meaning developed in the phenomenological tradition, I propose a theory of sense-making and significance with two main goals:

  1. To provide an account of the epistemic and aesthetic role of meaning in experience not exhaustively mediated by linguistic vehicles such as propositions and concepts.
  2. To serve as a “bridge” notion actively connecting work in European and Anglo-American traditions beyond simply noting commonalities or historical parallels.

Techniques/Methodologies: Writing, reading, discussion, and translation (from French and German) of philosophical texts; philosophical analysis of works of art, socio-cultural phenomena, and the phenomena of lived experience (phenomenology).

Prerequisite Classes: I do not have a "research group." Students should have completed Philosophical Ideas and Philosophical Ethics (or equivalent in the Honors Program), plus some work in upper-level philosophy courses.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I am happy to discuss working with students with adequate disciplinary background on individual or group philosophical research that intersects with my core research areas. Feel free to get in touch if you are interested!

Dr. William Stephens

Other Departments/Programs: Environmental Studies, Classics

Field of Expertise: Classical Greek philosophy, Hellenistic Philosophy, Stoicism and Modern Culture, Environmental Ethics, Ethics and Animals, Food Ethics

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center Room 209.

Description of Research: I work mostly on Stoicism (ancient and contemporary), environmental ethics, and ethics and everyday life.

Techniques/Methodologies:I emphasize conceptual analysis, close reading of texts with some knowledge of the original languages they are written in, and argument reconstruction and analysis.

Prerequisite Classes: Students should have upper-level courses in either philosophy, or ancient Greek or Latin, or German.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: Research in ancient Greek or Roman philosophy is the most fun anyone can have in any possible world.

Dr. Amy Wendling

Field of Expertise: Social and Political Philosophy; Philosophy of Law

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center Room 106

Description of Research: Teaching Ethics to Imprisoned Youth

Techniques/Methodologies: Qualitative data

Prerequisite Classes: PHL 270; PHL 390 or PHL 426

Preferred Contact:



Dr. Andrew Baruth

Other Departments/Programs: Energy Technology

Field of Expertise: Material Science, Nanomaterials, Surface Science

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building G77.

Description of Research: We work primarily in 3 domains:

  1. Directed Self-Assembly of Block Polymers. We are developing methods to tune the nanoscale phase separation of block polymers for the purpose of developing nanoscale patterns with use in electronics, ultrafiltration and magnetic recording.
  2. Earth-Abundant Optical and Electronic Materials. We are developing methods to fabricate thin films from earth abundant constituents. Recently, we have synthesized transparent conductors, photovoltaics (solar cells) and magnetic devices.
  3. Dental Materials. We are investigating the role of surface topography at the nanoscale on adhesion in dental materials. We primarily look on cellular attachment and are developing research methods to improve dental materials research with nanoscale precision.

Techniques/Methodologies: Atomic Force Microscopy, Physical Vapor Deposition, UV-Vis Spectroscopy, ex-situ sulfidation, X-ray Diffraction, Solvent Vapor Annealing, Van der Pauw Resistivity in a 6.2K Cryostat with 1.2 Tesla magnet, Shear Bond and Fatigue Strength, Electron Microscopy, and Optical Profilometry

Prerequisite Classes: None

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: I typically ask for a commitment of, at least, 10 hours/week, including a 1-hour weekly meeting. I am typically willing to fund student researchers on specific projects or provide research credits (typically not both).

Dr. Andrew Ekpenyong

Field of Expertise: Medical Physics, Biomedical Physics, Physics of Cancer

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building G71

Description of Research: Almost all the vital signs are biophysical properties: blood pressure, pulse rate, body temperature, etc. We develop and use novel biophysical tools to discover new biomarkers that provide diagnostic information and new therapeutic options. We address the physician’s wish list in order to improve disease diagnosis, patient monitoring, drug development and testing, etc. While these efforts seek to improve biomedicine using principles and tools of physics, we also aim at advancing the physics of complex systems such as living matter. In particular, we seek to understand how biological cells function as mechanical units, with material properties.


  1. Microfluidic Microcirculation Mimetic to assess cell mechanics.
  2. NASA-developed Rotary Cell Culture System to simulate microgravity.
  3. Phase contrast microscopy.
  4. Quantum Dots-based Fluorescence Spectroscopy to assess ROS.
  5. Matlab for curve fitting and data modeling.
  6. Comsol Multiphysics for simulations and modeling.
  7. Cell culture: various cell types such as neurons (HCN2), brain cancer (T98G Glioblastoma), myeloid leukemia (HL60), erythroid cells (K562), skin cancer (B16F10), etc.
  8. Electric cell impedance sensing (ECIS) for quantifying cell attachment/migration.
  9. ImageJ and Matlab-based morphometry.
  10. Cell Irradiator (Faxitron CellRad) for radiotherapeutic experiments.
  11. Chemotherapeutic interventions.

Prerequisite Classes: None. There are projects even for freshmen. You will be trained on the techniques/methods.

Preferred Contact:, or come to my Office or Lab.

Dr. Patricia Soto

Field of Expertise: Molecular biophysics

Office: Rigge Science Building G28

Description of Research: Our quest is to establish a molecular-level mechanism that explains amyloid proteins misfolding and pathological seeding. We focus on fatal amyloid diseases, such as prion diseases, Alzheimer's disease, and immunoglobulin light chain (AL) amyloidosis. The outcome of our research will aid in the identification of early diagnostic markers and the design of targeted therapeutic tools against amyloid diseases.

Techniques/Methodologies: Structural bioinformatics including molecular dynamics simulations, normal mode analysis, continuum electrostatics, residue interaction networks

Prerequisite Classes: At least one of the following: Gen bio 1, gen chem 1, gen phys 1

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments:

  1. Strengthen technical communication skills.
  2. Train the rising STEM workforce to thrive in interdisciplinarity and cultural competences.
  3. Nurture creativity together with cognitive, affective, and behavioral engagement.

The research experience of the students is framed within the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm, in line with the student-centered mission at Creighton University.

Political Science

Political Science

Dr. Scott Hendrickson

Field of Expertise: Law and Courts.

Office: Eugene C. Eppley Building 321.

Description of Research: My research focus on American politics, with an emphasis on law and courts. I am particularly interested in the ways in which institutions structure and constrain the behavior of judges and other legal actors. My current research involves projects on state judicial elections and state judicial behavior. I have previously done research on the formal and informal rules governing the processes by which the U.S. Supreme Court selects its case docket.

Techniques/Methodologies: My research utilizes large-N, statistical analysis such as OLS, logit/probit, and other multivariate regression techniques. To conduct analyses I use STATA statistical software.

Prerequisite Classes: PLS 121 and (PLS 215 or PLS 320).

Preferred Contact: Ideally, I prefer to work with students I have previously had in class. However, interested students can also contact me via email:

Dr. Erika Moreno

Other Departments/Programs: International Relations

Field of Expertise: Comparative politics; Latin American politics

Office: Eugene C. Eppley Building 322

Description of Research: My primary research focus is democracy and its institutions, generally speaking. Among the topics that I have explored are: the stability of regimes (democracy and autocracy), political transitions, the role of regime characteristics on economic outcomes, party systems and representation, inter-branch conflict, and democratic accountability. My research interests are guided by a desire to understand how democracies function across the world, what makes democracies stronger (or weaker) over time, and the link between democratic institutions (including parties and branches of government) and citizens. Fundamentally this line of research asks us to consider how the rules of the democratic game can structure outcomes, including those that contribute to the quality and longevity of democratic regimes. My work has appeared in a variety of venues including book manuscripts, peer-reviewed research articles, reviews, and book chapters. My work has appeared in peer reviewed journals, including Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, the Bulletin of Latin American Research and Legislative Studies Quarterly. I have also contributed to chapters in edited book manuscripts published by Notre Dame press, Oxford University Press, and Pennsylvania State Press on topics that include the Colombian peace process, government institutions and accountability, and the Colombian political system. Finally, I have two book manuscripts forthcoming: one on Cuba-US relations, the other on the impact of the Ombudsman office on human rights in Latin America.

Techniques/Methodologies: Quantitative (large n time series; pooled time series; even history; linear and non-linear models; surveys); Qualitative (elite interviews)

Prerequisite Classes: Ideally students should have completed PLS 215 and PLS 310 (or equivalent) to have the necessary tools to engage in the research process.

Preferred Contact: Via email ( or in person.

Dr. Rick Witmer

Field of Expertise: American Politics, Indigenous Politics, Public Policy

Office: Eugene C. Eppley Building 323

Description of Research: My research focuses on the intersection of race and ethnicity, specifically American Indians, and American Politics and Policy. I am also interested in US-Cuba relations with a focus on property rights.

Techniques/Methodologies: quantitative methods, empirical and theoretical public policy and politics

Prerequisite Classes: PLS 121

Preferred Contact: in person or via email at

Other Comments: I am engaged with a number of projects in American government and American Indian politics and policy that could include students at any level. Contact me to get started!

Psychological Science

Psychological Science

Dr. Matthew Huss

Field of Expertise: Forensic psychology

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building Room 317

Description of Research: Forensic psychology

Techniques/Methodologies: Examination of criminal offenders and their institution records

Prerequisite Classes: None

Preferred Contact: or in person.

School of Pharmacy

School of Pharmacy

Dr. Anthony Kincaid

Department: Pharmacy Sciences

Field of Expertise: Prion disease pathogenesis

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building Room 111

Description of Research: Our lab has two primary areas of research: 1. the entry and spread of infectious proteins (prions) in the nervous system and, 2. the normal turnover of the nasal mucosa.

Techniques/Methodologies: We use basic histologic techniques: tissue sectioning and staining, immunohistochemistry, light microscopy and image analysis.

Prerequisite Classes: We use basic histologic techniques: tissue sectioning and staining, immunohistochemistry, light microscopy and image analysis.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: The work we do involves working with your hands, so reasonable fine motor skills are an asset.

Dr. Justin A. Tolman

Department: Pharmacy Sciences

Field of Expertise: Pulmonary drug delivery and pharmacokinetics.

Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building Room 115

Description of Research: Inhalation of antibiotics to treat tuberculosis and other lung infections

Techniques/Methodologies: Chromatography, spray drying, particle size analysis, powder characterization, rheology

Prerequisite Classes: Organic chemistry

Preferred Contact:, phone (402-280-2915) or in-person.



Julia Feder

Field of Expertise: Contemporary Christian Thought, Trauma and Violence, Science and Religion

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center 129

Description of Research: I have two research projects: first, a constructive theological account of healing from sexual violence; and second, a theological examination of the significance of symbolic thought in human evolutionary history.

Techniques/Methodologies: Textual analyses, reading articles and books

Prerequisite Classes: THL 110

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: Whatever your interests in theology, I'm open to helping you find a project that is engaging!

Dr. Leonard Greenspoon

Other Departments/Programs: Classical & Near Eastern Studies

Field of Expertise: Translations of the Bible and biblical commentaries

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center 207

Description of Research: I do research on biblical translations from the earliest (into Greek and Aramaic) through the most recent versions (especially in English). I look at how translators approached their text and the multiple contexts--historical, theological, culture, e.g.--in which they worked.

Techniques/Methodologies: Close reading of texts using electronic and hard copy of relevant material

Prerequisite Classes: There are no pre-requisites for working on a research project with me. Some knowledge of classical or ancient near eastern history is useful as are familiarity with the Bible and working knowledge of at least foreign language, ancient or modern.

Preferred Contact:

H. Ashley Hall

Field of Expertise: Reformation and Early Modern Period; Ecumenism

Office: Dowling Hall Humanities Center 140

Description of Research: Currently, I am examining the role of authority in theological debates of the 16th through the 18th centuries. That, is: when theologians argued, what authorities are they citing? Old stereotypes (viz., that Catholics appeal to tradition while Protestants appeal only to Scripture) are not only misleading, they are patently false. All sides appeal to Scripture, the early church, natural law, tradition, the liturgy, and philosophical schools. My work wants to get at a more nuanced articulation of how and when certain authorities are used. A greater appreciation of this nuanced history of theological debate can only enrich our current theological conversations across denominational lines.

Techniques/Methodologies: Careful examination of primary sources

Prerequisite Classes: Ideally, some working knowledge of Latin and/or German is helpful but not necessary. A broad grasp of the Christian tradition is also helpful. However, the only real prerequisites are a healthy curiosity, a patience for the research and deliberation process, and reliability.

Preferred Contact: or 402-280-2295.

Thomas Kelly

Other Departments/Programs: Academic Service-Learning.

Field of Expertise: Contemporary theology/Latin America.

Office: Creighton Hall 109.

Description of Research: Faith communities and social issues in Latin America.

Techniques/Methodologies: Qualitative and quantitative, observation.

Prerequisite Classes: 3 theology courses.

Preferred Contact:

Other Comments: Must be self-driven, preferably Spanish speakers.

Zachary B. Smith

Field of Expertise: Late antique, medieval, and Byzantine Christianities; religion in America.

Office: DHHC 132.

Description of Research: I am currently running two related projects -- one is a historical analysis of how monastic communities in the late antique, medieval, and Byzantine eras used a specific text in different ways to form their communities; the other is an analysis of classical and late antique texts to form a theory of reading that sees dissenting persuasive texts as making specific "conservative" rhetorical moves.

Techniques/Methodologies: Intellectual and micro-intellectual history; new historicism; social history.

Prerequisite Classes: Christian Tradition, Philosophical Ideas, Biblical Tradition; history and literature classes preferred, but not required.

Other Comments: There are opportunities for co-publication and regional or national presentation of research.