2003 Ignatius Award Recipient

Saint Ignatius Award Photo

The inscription on the reverse of the medallion reads:

TAKE, LORD, AND RECEIVE ALL MY
LIBERTY, MY MEMORY, MY
UNDERSTANDING AND MY ENTIRE
WILL. ALL THAT I HAVE AND POSSESS,
YOU HAVE GIVEN ME TO YOU, O LORD,
I RETURN IT. ALL IS YOURS, DISPOSE OF IT
WHOLLY ACCORDING TO YOUR WILL. GIVE ME
YOUR LOVE AND YOUR GRACE, FOR THIS IS
SUFFICIENT FOR ME.

ST. IGNATIUS

The award was presented
at the Founder's Week Mass on
February 2, 2003 in St. John's Church.

Tami Buffalohead-McGill

Coordinator of Multicultural Student Services

Ignatian Award Citation

Creighton University becomes more authentic as its programs and policies become incarnated and personal within the lives and actions of its students, faculty, and staff. Racial and cultural minority persons form the majority of Tami Buffalohead-McGill’s interest here at Creighton and the culturally diverse communities of our country. Tami, a 1989 graduate of Creighton does not work at a job here, but invests daily in her personal mission of caring for how Creighton expresses and achieves its commitment to students from all cultural minority groups.

Tami challenges Creighton as well as the Federal Government to be faithful to its Mission Statement and Constitution. She likewise challenges the students under her care to stay faithful to their heritage and the gifts the Creator has given them.

On a daily basis, a steady stream of students stops to visit Tami about an academic question, a financial problem, a personal-relationship issue, a concern about parents, or just for moral support. To each, she offers a welcoming smile and a hearty greeting. Tami attracts not students only to her office, but is responsible for having attracted many students from minority groups to attend Creighton. Her countless hours of listening, encouraging, confronting, and instructing these students has resulted in an increased retention of those who find Creighton so different from their cultural and traditional ways.

This woman of faith offers home-like welcome to her office and she and her husband Jim often welcome students into their home for fellowship. They have also opened their home to students experiencing crises.

Tami reaches out beyond the Creighton campus to the Native American people in Nebraska and presently serves on the Board of directors of the Red Cloud School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She has served as the Chief Tribal Officer of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska after working for the Nebraska Department of Economical Development, assisting Nebraska Indian Reservations with business and housing advancement.

“When I think of Tami and her family, Creighton students are her children and her extended family. She cares for them, nurtures them and encourages them and pushes them in their development as maturing young adults.” 

The words of faith move to actions of justice in this woman of the Ignatian Vision. Her restless dissatisfaction with the personal, social, educational, and economic conditions existing in our current culture results in her not being interested merely in increasing the number of multi-cultural students here at Creighton, but unless these students are received, cared for and challenged, Tami’s mission remains incomplete. Her deep sense of service to the poor and marginal keeps calling to the larger Creighton family to expand its vision and mission. To experience the spirit of Saint Ignatius as lived out in our midst, we focus our vision on this woman of many cultures and one multi-dimensional love.

Joleen Richwine

Administrative Assistant
Department of Political Science & International Studies

Ignatian Award Citation

“It is one thing to provide an ear and another to take sincere interest in the well being of the students.” Creighton University continues to be founded by the living saints who find here various ways to express God’s love for them by extending that love thoughtfully, caringly, earfully, cheerfully to all whom they meet. Joleen Richwine, Administrative Assistant in the Political Science Department, works tirelessly to make Creighton and the surrounding area a better place by her being more than one word can describe. Joleen does not seem to know the one word, “no”. She is a trouble-shooter for Creighton students and faculty alike. 

As students and faculty find her reaching out towards them in her department, the rest of the campus finds her involved in many charitable projects such as the Holiday Spirit Committee, and the Creighton Habitat House. 

Twice Joleen has been selected as President of the Staff Advisory Council. She is a person upon whom others seem to call, because of her generous spirit and she is one of those persons whom everybody knows and who knows everybody. She is a team player with a generous spirit which makes her the logical choice to ask for help, whether it is a personal problem or a committee struggle.

“From her professional competence to her proactive management of office affairs, to her volunteering in countless activities, which including United Way and Chad, to her willingness to counsel other staff undergoing personal stress, to the bake-goods she regularly brings in for students and faculty, to her cheerful attitude which brightens everyone's day’ to her willingness to serve as a mother to so many of our students, Joleen embodies the Creighton spirit from head to toe.”

Her work for others is in no way limited to the Creighton offices and campus. She is an active member in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs where she has served on every board possible. She has taught Sunday School and has organized a Metro-wide interdenominational choir. Her strong faith is the center of her active life and moves her heart to reach out to the needy of the community. She has organized a crochet and knitting group on campus which group has provided hand-made caps, slippers, mitts and the like for the poor in shelters, nursing homes and hospices. 

“Joleen is a giver. She is warm and generous with her time and talents and simply delights in giving some of her joy to those in need. She is simply filled with Christian love and shares it generously. The more she shares and gives to others the more she seems to have to give.”