Evening of Honors
Creighton University will honor four of its graduates on Saturday, Sept. 27 during an Evening of Honors Alumni Awards Ceremony in the Hixson-Lied Auditorium in the Mike and Josie Harper Center.
The award is the highest alumni honor given by the University's schools and colleges.
Beth Fink – Graduate School
Beth L. Fink, principal of Millard Central Middle School, has been named the 2008 Alumni Merit Award recipient from the Creighton University Graduate School. Fink is known as an advocate for at-risk students who otherwise might fall through the cracks of the educational system. She has received grants for various educational programs and written papers on improving reading achievement, the need for student advocates, and the problem of school bullies.
She serves as a member of the program advisory committee for both educational administration and secondary education at Creighton University and is a frequent guest presenter for graduate program courses.
Fink earned her master’s degree in secondary education. summa cum laude, from Creighton in 2002. While at Creighton, she received the Target Academic Scholarship for Teachers in the spring of 2000. In 2002, she was named the Creighton University Superior Scholastic Achievement Award winner.
Beth Katz – College of Arts and Sciences
Beth A. Katz, founder and executive director of Project Interfaith, will receive the 2008 Alumni Merit Award from the Creighton University College of Arts and Sciences.
Katz began Project Interfaith in 2005 as a way to create respect and educate community members about religious diversity through programs, activities and training. Thousands of individuals as well as some 400 educators have attended the organization's workshops and training.
She also has served in leadership positions with Amnesty International and on the committee for "Women of Spirit: A Multi-Faith Gathering of Women." An adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, she also served as a research assistant for the U. S. Institute of Peace Constitution Writing and Conflict Resolution Project.
Katz received her Bachelor of Science in education summa cum laude from Creighton in 2000. While at Creighton, she was awarded the Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Creighton Award by the University Committee on the Status of Women for serving as a role model for other women. She was the College of Arts and Sciences outstanding senior and was honored with the Martin Luther King Award. She received master's degrees in public policy and social work from the University of Michigan in 2003.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Mohar Buschkemper – School of Nursing
Elizabeth Mohar Buschkemper of Bellevue, a 1978 nursing graduate, will receive the 2008 Alumni Merit Award from the School of Nursing.
Since 2006, Buschkemper has worked at OneWorld Community Health Center as a family nurse practitioner, serving pediatric and adult patients primarily from low-income and uninsured/underinsured families.
Her desire to meet the health needs of underserved populations has taken her to South America, Africa, New Guinea and elsewhere. She has taught health, first-aid and trauma care in isolated jungle settings, assisted U.S. surgical teams to perform multiple surgeries, and helped pilots improve air-evacuation procedures. To date, she has made 14 international health service trips, often using her vacation time.
Buschkemper earned her BSN from Creighton, graduating summa cum laude, and an MSN from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She has spent much of her career in various nursing positions at UNMC.
She has received numerous honors for her work, including the Human Rights Award from the Church Women United USA, United Nations Office, 2006; and the Most Positive Image of Nursing Award from UNMC, 1989. Buschkemper is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.
Thomas K. Nichting – College of Business
Thomas K. Nichting will receive the 2008 Alumni Merit Award from the Creighton University College of Business.
Nichting graduated from Creighton in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska.
He joined Cable Services Group (CSG) Systems in 2007 during CSG’s acquisition of Prairie Voice Services. Today, Nichting runs Prairie as a wholly owned subsidiary of CSG under its new name, Prairie Interactive Messaging. He oversees all aspects of Prairie’s business operations, which focus on delivering unified, interactive messaging solutions to customers. Before being named president and CEO of Prairie in 2005, Nichting was an executive with First Data Corporation for 13 years. He began his career at IBM.
Nichting has also used his business acumen to support the community and educational efforts. A member of Creighton University’s College of Business advisory board, he also served as chairman of The Christian Urban Education Services (CUES) in support of Sacred Heart School and is a member of the Board of Directors of First Westroads Bank.