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2017-2018 Program

Creighton Global Initiative 2017-2018 Awards

A Distinct Presidential Initiative

The Creighton Global Initiative continues to animate, enrich and embrace an intentional global focus for the University community.

Our mission is global. Our interdependence on this planet is becoming more evident every day in realities across a broad spectrum from economics to ecology. In response to this rapidly shrinking world, we seek education for responsible citizenship in the global village.
— Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. - Themes of Jesuit Higher Education. Heartland III, May 22-25, 2000, Creighton University

The Creighton Global Initiative is deepening our understanding of the local as global...

Alexandra Abbate, Amanda Johnson, Gregory Wittenburg, Aaron Fried, and Daniel VanDerhoef (all School of Medicine students); John Stone, PhD (Center for Health Policy and Ethics faculty)

MCHC is a partnership with the Omaha Maya Community that began in 2013. MCHC focuses on enhancing community health and further educating students about global implications of refugee, immigrant, and related cross-cultural issues. We aim to advance health, healthcare equality, and education in the Maya community while introducing Creighton students to the culture and experiences of immigrant populations. Program include mentor nights with the Maya youth, interactive health education nights, an annual interdisciplinary health fair, and cultural exchange events. All events are planned jointly by medical students and Maya community leaders with ongoing evaluation and quality review throughout the process. Attendance at events has included Maya community members, students and faculty from all of Creighton’s professional schools, as well as community organizations such as OneWorld Community Health Centers, Children’s Hospital, Nebraska Methodist College, and Douglas County Health Department. This CGI project will help document and evaluate health data on the Maya population over the last two years, and expand services to a larger portion of the 1,500 Maya in the Omaha area.

Scott Eastman, PhD (History faculty); Tom Kelly, PhD (Theology faculty); Erika Moreno, PhD (Political Science and International Relations faculty); José Miguel Lemus, PhD (Modern Languages and Literatures faculty); Ivelisse Santiago-Stommes, PhD (Modern Languages and Literatures faculty); José McClanahan, PhD (Modern Languages and Literatures faculty); Renzo Rosales, S.J., PhD (Cultural and Social Studies faculty); Barbara Dilly, PhD (Cultural and Social Studies faculty); Ryan Spangler, PhD (Modern Languages and Literatures faculty); Andrea Montoya, JD (Director, ILAC Creighton); Jackie Font-Guzmán, PhD (Director, Werner Institute)

This grant will support events organized by Latin American Studies (LAS), to bring substantive consistent programming that highlights the area of Latin America. The grant will bring nationally recognized speakers to campus to celebrate Latino heritage with a cultural festival in partnership with a Mexican Consulate’s cultural initiative in Omaha. Thus, Creighton members will have access to high-profile programs that expand their knowledge and understanding of global trends and the ways in which they intersect with their own lives.

Becky Davis, DNP (College of Nursing faculty); Pamela Runestad, PhD (Cultural & Social Studies faculty)

This project will engage Creighton University (CU) faculty, students and Karen refugee families in an exchange of cultural perspectives related to the social aspects of food and health. The central activity is a monthly food workshop for Karen refugee families hosted by CU faculty and the nursing care coordinator at CUMC University Campus. Each workshop will combine five activities intended to link food to the context of culture and health. Activities include shopping, food preparation, a shared meal, prepared health message and after-dinner discussion. This project builds upon other projects with the Karen community and engages CU undergraduate students in active learning from a broader community context. A Karen dish and an American dish will be prepared at each workshop to familiarize faculty and students with Karen ingredients and foods, and Karen participants with American foodstuffs. Faculty will collaborate with the nursing care coordinator and Karen interpreter to plan and facilitate the monthly workshops. Additional collaboration with local community agencies and nutrition professionals is also planned.

Theresa Townley MD (School of Medicine faculty); Alexandra Abbate (School of Medicine student); Margaret Siu (School of Medicine student); Pamela Font Gabel (School of Medicine student); Caron Gray, MD (School of Medicine faculty)

This project will create an Annual African Women’s Day at Creighton University. This will be a multidisciplinary event which will involve health education and exchange on women’s health issues including family health, sexual health, violence prevention, nutrition, exercise and diabetes. It will provide free and optional medical care including appropriate vaccines, diabetes screening, STD screening and pap smears. It is anticipated that the primary participants will be from the Somali and Sudanese communities but may also involve other refugee groups such as Burundese, Liberian and Congolese. Social activities, African cooking and products through which the African women will educate participants in key areas of their culture will also be part of the event. This day will be planned with key stakeholders of the refugee communities.

...while continuing to open up our minds, hearts and souls to the world in unique ways.

Ryan Anthony Spangler, PhD (Modern Languages and Literatures faculty) forming and leading a rotating team of faculty and staff.

This project will establish a Faculty Led Program Away (FLPA) to La Habana, Cuba for students participating in the Encuentro Dominicano program during the Fall and Spring semesters. Necessary contacts and service activities in Cuba will be planned and the necessary promotional materials to ensure the success of the programs will be created. The interdisciplinary course will focus on the language, literature, culture, and history of Cuba, as well as the rather conflictive history between Cuba and the U.S. over the last 150 years. In addition to the academic aspect of the program, students will be involved directly in serving alongside local communities, which will be selected in direct communication with the Centro de Estudios Martianos (CEM). The first FLPA group will participate in the program in Spring 2018.

Alexander Roedlach, Ph.D. (Cultural and Social Studies faculty); Becky Davis, DNP (College of Nursing faculty); Margo Minich, DNP, RN (College of Nursing faculty)

This project will develop an interdisciplinary, 14-days, 3 credit-hours, annual Faculty-led Program Away (FLPA) for undergraduate seniors, graduate, and professional students in Austria and Hungary. The team will visit the two countries to meet partner organizations and initiate agreements. In order to develop the FLPA. The FLPA will explore a wide range of concepts of health and care, and their implications for caregiving and healthcare through seminars during the semester preceding the FLPA, site visits in Austria and Hungary with professionals in healthcare, social work, and alternative and complementary medicine, a seminar during the semester following the FLPA, and the preparation of a campus-wide discussion panel and poster presentations sharing experiences and insights.

Cindy Hadenfeldt, EdD, RN (Nursing faculty); Martha Todd, PhD, APRN-NP (Nursing faculty); Christine Russell, RN. MSN (Nursing faculty); Grace Myers (Nursing student); Kaitlyn Biever (Nursing student); Susannah Black (Nursing student); Alexander Roedlach, Ph.D. (Cultural and Social Studies, faculty); Tree Townley, MD (School of Medicine, faculty)

This project will develop and implement a Faculty-led Program Away (FLPA) course culminating in a 2- week immersion experience in Zambia for Creighton University health professions students. The FLPA course (one credit on-line preparation course with two credit immersion experience) will be developed during year one. During year two and subsequent years, 10-15 students will be enrolled in the on-line course and travel to Zambia located in Sub-Saharan Africa. An on-line course will focus on Zambia’s people, faith, sociocultural and economic situation, and achievement toward two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to hunger and health. During the immersion experience, students will perform nutritional assessments, provide health screenings and health promotion teaching, perform focused physical exams and assist with lab testing under the supervision of a physician at the Chifundo Rural Health Center and in villages in rural Zambia. During the immersion, Creighton students will reside at the Ambassador International University (AIU) operated by Gospelink International Ministry. Students will disseminate information about their projects at the Global Health Conference Midwest on the CU campus.

Mariana Miller, MA (Christian Spirituality Program); Eileen Burke-Sullivan, STD (Mission & Ministry)

An opportunity for both deep and significant formation in the Jesuit Catholic vision of Creighton by entering into the foundational experience of the Spiritual Exercises in a directed eight-day format at the historical sites of the founders of the Jesuits. Such an experience will go beyond nearly all other formative opportunities because it will integrate the intellectual, affective and spiritual dimensions of the participants in a way that will positively shape the values and charisms that drive Creighton’s Catholic Jesuit Mission in and out of the classroom, clinic and office. Participants will travel together to the foundational sites of Loyola, Manresa and Xavier Castle in Spain, to Paris, where the original education mission was formulated, and to Rome where the Society of Jesus has been centered and guided for over 500 years. Participants (faculty and staff) will take part in educational modules in prayer, Ignatian history and the importance of geography for shaping human consciousness of values. While traveling together and forming a community of formation, the participants will be individually guided in their prayer and reflection by a professional spiritual guide in the process of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in accordance with the 18th Annotation (8-day silent, directed retreat). Faculty/staff will be given the opportunity to enroll in a certificate program that is already formulated in the Christian Spirituality Program.

Global Engagement Office

This fund will support participation in immersion experiences that meet specific global learning criteria. These might be local, regional, or international experiences that aid the participant in analyzing major elements of global systems, including their historic and contemporary interconnections and the differential effects of human organizations and actions, in order to better serve community needs.

...It is helping us better uphold the dignity of all people...

Jacquie Hanks, DPN, RN (Nursing faculty); Meghan Potthoff, PhD, APRN-NP (Nursing faculty); Susan Connelly, DNP, APRN-NP, FNP (Nursing faculty); Nick Zadina (Project Harmony Trainer)

This simulated training will facilitate empathetic nursing care and improve emotional intelligence through interactive educational experiences grounded in cultural awareness. Training nursing students to work within a global society and developing their awareness for personal assumptions will promote culturally sensitive care within the boundaries of their specific clinical environment. This communication training will involve the College of Nursing faculty, nursing students, and a community organization committed to the care of vulnerable populations. These culturally rich simulation experiences will be incorporated in the undergraduate nursing curriculum so that nursing students will become self-aware of their verbal and non-verbal interactions as the improvisational actors dramatically portray the scene in the direction of the nursing student’s responses. The intent is to pilot this program in the nursing department with the goal of expanding the training to develop empathetic global healthcare practitioners in all health science programs at Creighton University.

Kristina Peterkin;  Kim Galt, Pharm.D., Ph.D.; Laura Heinemann, Ph.D. (Anthropology faculty); Amanda Holman, Ph.D. (Communication Studies faculty); Lisa Jordan, OTR/L (Occupational Therapy faculty); Faith Kurtyka, Ph.D. (English faculty); Janel Meis, OTD (Occupational Therapy faculty); Kelly Nelson, DPT (Physical Therapy faculty); Angela Patterson, OTD (Occupational Therapy Faculty); Kendra Schnack (Occupational Therapy student)

Patient centered care requires an understanding of each individual patient and an appreciation of the dynamics each family brings forth. Notable socioeconomic, gender, ethnic, religious, and linguistic differences can arise between patient and provider. Understanding and appreciating culture and difference is vital in building relationships with patients and families in pediatric care. This project will begin with qualitative interviews of parents regarding their perceived role in the healing process. Interviews will be analyzed to then formulate questions for a parent focus group recruited from parents of patients at Creighton Pediatric Therapy.  Using trends from the focus group, faculty experts will facilitate a dialogue about cultural differences.  Then students, with the guidance of faculty, will create five case studies with corresponding videos reflecting cultural differences. Visiting international scholars will also provide perspective.  The videos and case studies will be incorporated into an Interprofessional Passport Activity for future Creighton healthcare students.

Lisa Johnson (Nursing faculty); Kim Begley, Pharm.D. (Pharmacy Practice faculty); Ann Ryan Haddad, Pharm.D. (Pharmacy Practice faculty); Amy Pick, Pharm.D. (Pharmacy Practice faculty); Martha Todd, PhD, APRN-NP (Nursing faculty); Angela Patterson, OTD, OTR (Occupational Therapy faculty)

This program will include training of health professions faculty in caring for at-risk populations (i.e. homeless populations, refugees, immigrants, populations with limited English proficiency, domestic workers, populations with mental illness, populations with substance abuse issues). The clinical focus will be on violence across the lifespan, access to care, health literacy, culture, and the role of the health care provider in identification and management of these complex health and social conditions. The program will also include the development of an interprofessional education elective course and student immersion at the Heart Ministry Center (HMC) and The Porto Clinic in Omaha, Nebraska to enable students to apply knowledge related to patient assessment and evidence-informed care. This course and student immersion will be available for both distance and campus students with the use of technology to facilitate in person and virtual real time presence.

Charles J. Filipi, MD, Robert J. Fitzgibbons, MD, Marcus Balters, MD, Charles Youngblood, MD, Juan Asensio, MD, Brad Phillips, MD, James Smith, MD, Todd Sekundiak , MD, Michael Feloney, MD, (all School of Medicine Faculty); Mark Latta, DDS (School of Dentistry faculty)

This two-year Fellowship that will provide dedicated and exceptional surgeons to meet the surgical healthcare needs of people in low income countries (LICs). The fellowship first year will include clinical rotations in Omaha (Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dentistry, Orthopedics, Anesthesia, Trauma, and Urology). The second year will be at a LIC first level hospital in close collaboration with a local partner organization. There the fellow will operate, educate local healthcare providers and participate in the development of a sustainable healthcare system. For sustainability, the site will be attended by subsequent fellows. Fellows will be physicians who have completed an American Board of Surgery approved general surgery residency and have scored greater than the 50th percentile nationally on in service examinations.

Martha Habash, Ph.D. (Classical & Near Eastern Studies faculty); Tom Lenz, Pharm.D (Healthy Lifestyle Management Program); Christine Billings, MS (Leadership Studies Program)

Jesuit Worldwide Learning: Higher Education at the Margins (formerly Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins) is an initiative of the Society of Jesus to bring tertiary education to those living at the margins in Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Brooklyn, N.Y., Afghanistan, Iraq, and Chad.  Many have pursued a Diploma in Liberal Studies offered online and accredited by Regis University, and wish to continue their studies toward a bachelor’s degree. This project will pilot scholarships to graduates of the Jesuit Worldwide Learning Diploma.  Four JWL diploma graduates will participate in Creighton’s Bachelor’s programs in Leadership Studies and Healthy Lifestyle Management by taking 1-2 courses concurrently every 8 weeks, beginning with CPS 200: Making the Transition. Their 45 credit hours awarded by Regis University will transfer to Creighton.  Students will complete the programs and graduate in about 4 years.

...and bring a global perspective to our research mission.

Thomas Kelly, PhD (Director of Academic Service Learning); Caron Gray, MD (School of Medicine); Andrea Montoya, JD (Director, ILAC Creighton)

This project will coordinate the development of a comprehensive community assessment strategy through research based interdisciplinary service learning opportunities. Teams of students, faculty and Dominican professionals will create a community assessment with special attention to health needs for rural communities in the Dominican Republic, devise a system to administer that assessment and compile and interpret the data, and train local health collaborators to use this assessment in all communities served by ILAC’s visiting health teams. Ultimately, data will inform all groups that arrive to provide service about the strengths and needs of the communities with whom they will partner and provide longitudinal information on the development of each community.

Global Engagement Office

This project will serve to jump-start transition to renewable energy systems by partnering with the ILAC (CESI) center in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Opportunities for research, application, and innovation will be sought for sustainable approaches in agriculture, business, and livelihoods.

Juliane Strauss-Soukup, PhD (Director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURAS), Chemistry faculty); Jay Leighter, PhD (Sustainability Studies faculty; Presidential Advisory Committee on Sustainability)

For three years Creighton University has been named a Top School for Undergraduate Research/ Creative Projects by U.S. News & World Report. The great majority of students carry out their research within the US. The Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURAS) will provide opportunities to be involved in the high impact educational practice of research on the 'global scale' by helping fund travel abroad. CURAS GLOBAL will partner with faculty and programs in and outside Creighton University already involved in global engagement programs/semester abroad experiences. CURAS GLOBAL will fulfill the ideals of global citizenship by exposing students and faculty to international research relationships in order to learn from our international partners and incorporate their voices into our scholarly endeavors. In addition, students will focus on research projects that have a global impact and pursue research that provides opportunities to talk across cultures and gain a better understanding of the world we all live in.

Global Engagement Office

This faculty fund will support and enhance the research and scholarly productivity on pressing global issues. Faculty will be encouraged to involve students in their research programs and scholarly endeavors. Applications will be sought from investigators seeking to establish a research agenda related to global concerns so they may build on this work to seek external funding. Scholarship on global learning and teaching and mission-based projects will be of particular interest.

The Creighton Global Initiative funded the 2017-2018 proposals for a total of nearly $1.0 Million beginning July 1, 2017.