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Faculty/Staff Receive Honors at Founderís Week Convocation

Several Creighton University awards were presented to faculty and staff during the annual Convocation on Feb. 5. Honorees included faculty researchers, distinguished staff, faculty and administrators, new academic chairholders, and emeritus promotions.

The first ever University Lifetime Achievement for Research Award was given to Robert P. Heaney, BSí47 MDí 51, the John A. Creighton University Professor and professor of medicine, who has spent time advancing research in the field of bone biology and improving national policies on nutrition. He joined the faculty in 1957 and started the Osteoporosis Research Center, which set the standard for dietary calcium recommendations in post-menopausal and osteoporotic women.

Heaney is a world-renowned expert and lecturer in bone biology with special emphasis on calcium and vitamin D nutrition. He has authored over 400 original scientific articles and reviews, and has received most of the major scientific awards in the nutrition field.

Additional University research awards were given to Martin R. Hulce, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and J. Chris Gallagher, M.D., professor of medicine.

Hulce is internationally known in the field of synthetic organo-metallic chemistry. Since arriving at Creighton in 1991, he has been the principal or co-principal investigator on 12 funded grant proposals. In addition to his research and teaching duties, he actively mentors junior faculty members and undergraduate students in research. In 1995, students recognized his teaching skills with the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Teaching Excellence.

A faculty member for 35 years, Gallagher, a professor in medicine, has brought more than $25 million to the University in research funds. His research has focused on bone and mineral research, with emphasis on understanding the therapeutic uses of vitamin D and its active analogs in the treatment of metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis. He has been the director of the Bone Metabolism Unit in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, since 1984. In 2006, Gallagher received the Career Recognition Award from the International Vitamin D Society.

The Distinguished Administrator Service Award was given to Patrick J. Borchers, J.D., professor of law and former vice president for Academic Affairs. He joined Creightonís faculty as dean of the School of Law in 1999. During his tenure the Community Economic Development Clinic and the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution were created. He is a respected legal scholar and author of numerous contributions to law journals and a significant legal textbook. While serving as vice president, enrollment in Academic Affairs grew and several innovative programs were launched including the PMED program and the Interdisciplinary Ed.D. Program in Leadership.

Receiving the Distinguished Faculty Service Award was Dennis Higginbotham, D.D.S., director of Continuing Education and associate professor in the School of Dentistry. He holds the Dr. Raymond W. Shaddy Endowed Chair in Operative Dentistry. He came to Creighton in 1972 as clinical instructor in fixed prosthodontics. A member of the American College of Dentists, he has held leadership positions in the Council Bluffs Dental Society, Southwest Iowa Dental Association and Iowa Dental Association.

Susan Wilson, program coordinator, Institute for Priestly Formation, was honored with the Distinguished Staff Service Award. Known for her positive attitude, commitment to detail and productivity, she provides administrative and program support to more than 300 seminarians who come to Creighton University each year to participate in the summer programs from all over the world. Wilson came to Creighton in 1987, working first in the business office, and in 1999 moving to the Institute.

Two faculty were also named to fill chair vacancies at the University. Mackenzie L. Taylor, Ph. D., assistant professor, Department of Biology, was named the Clare Boothe Luce Faculty Chair for Women in Science and Kevin R. Burke, S.J., the The Anna and Donald Waite Endowed Chair in Jesuit Education.

Emeritus promotions were also given to the following faculty:

  •  Willis C. Gray, DDS'55, associate clinical professor emeritus of endodontics
  • Ralph R. Herrman, DDS'54, associate professor emeritus of removable prosthodontics
  • Francis M. Klein, Ph.D.. associate professor emeritus of chemistry
  • Sandra Landmark, M.D., associate professor emerita of anesthesiology
  • Marvin O. Ludlow, D.D.S., M.S., associate professor emeritus of endodontics 
  • Bruce J. Malina, S.T.D., professor emeritus of theology
  • Richard R. Super, Ph.D., BA'68, MA'70, associate professor emeritus of history
  • Peter M. Townley, BS'81, MD'86, assistant professor emeritus of medicine
  • Rowen K. Zetterman, M.D., dean emeritus