Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions

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Narratives of Health and Illness

Race in America: 1919-2019

For the first years of operation, the Institute will organize itself around these broad themes of critical social importance. Future themes will be determined through community input.


The Kingfisher Institute figured prominently in a recent press release from the University: Strategic Plan Ponders University’s Future, Mission


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Statue of St. Ignatius on Creighton campus


The Kingfisher Institute is founded on a bold vision for the future of higher education, and Jesuit and Catholic higher education, in particular: a vision that liberal arts and professional education complement and reinforce one another.

Moreover, through the formation of faculty and staff, the Institute aims to influence every single student, in all of Creighton's nine schools and colleges. It will be instrumental in developing and articulating what makes a Creighton graduate distinctive - shaping the student as a Creighton lawyer, a Creighton accountant, a Creighton dentist, a Creighton occupational therapist - unifying heart, hands and minds.

About the Kingfisher Institute



The Kingfisher Institute is inspired by the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” which Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, highlighted in his inaugural presidential address. In doing so, he challenged all members of the Creighton community to seek more and to find God in all things.

Establishing the Institute

Establishing the Institute

The Kingfisher Institute represents more than two years of foundational work by faculty and administrators across Creighton University as part of the University-wide strategic planning process. As part of the "Leading with the Liberal Arts" strategic planning goal, the Institute is aligned with the University's priorities, goals and strengths. 

With the approval of the Institute in 2018, its offices will soon move into the new, state-of-the-art School of Dentistry building. This symbolizes the relationship between the professions and the humanities at Creighton.

The Institute will continue to expand through a phased approach, which will incorporate feedback from the campus community on ways to best achieve the vision. In this way, it will intentionally build on each successive year while also growing organically through affiliated faculty and staff who embed the spirit of of the Institute in their teaching, research and other endeavors.



Fall 2018: Soft Launch

  • Reading Groups Initiated - associated with the two inaugural themes:
    • Nicole Piemonte, Afflicted: How Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice
    • Ted Wheeler, Kings of Broken Things
  • Curricular and accreditation requirement audit for all nine schools and colleges
  • Search for director
  • Advisory board identified and invited
  • Call for and review of applications for faculty curriculum fellows and research scholars
  • Event planning for 1919 race riots commemoration

Spring 2019: Formal Launch

  • Director appointed
  • First cohort of faculty curriculum fellows named
  • First cohort of research scholars named
  • Reading groups continue
  • Programming marking the centenary of the 1919 Omaha race riots:
  • Collaboration with Creighton?s Diversity and Inclusion Goal group, Nebraska Humanities Council and Omaha community for events and activities throughout 2019


Director Position

Director Position

The Kingfisher Institute seeks a full-time, tenured Creighton faculty member to serve as inaugural director, beginning January 2019. Faculty in all schools and colleges are encouraged to apply.

Candidates will be model teacher-scholars with the ability to lead new initiatives and interdisciplinary efforts while fostering innovation. Experience leading programs, faculty, and staff is required. Candidates should also be talented communicators, collaborators, and networkers.

The director will oversee and – with assistance from the associate director – develop programming, including reading groups, seminars, and conferences. The director will be responsible for setting standards for faculty development programming and for reporting outcomes for all KFI activities.

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Applicants, please submit a letter of interest (2 pages), vision statement (1 page) and current CV (including names of 3-5 Creighton references) to Michele Graham (michelegraham@creighton.eduby September 10, 2018.

Faculty and Staff Formation

Faculty and Staff Formation

The Institute offers opportunities for faculty and staff from across the disciplines to connect under a shared mission of transforming and integrating the paradigms and pedagogies of liberal arts and the professions - and, ultimately, higher education as a whole. Faculty and staff can make these connections through:

  • participating in reading groups,
  • participating in lectures, seminars and events,
  • applying for upcoming teaching and research fellowships,
  • attending professional development opportunities,

and much more to come as the Institute continues to take shape.

Reading Group Details

Kings of Broken Things, by Ted Wheeler
Wednesday, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24 from 3:30-4:30 p.m., TLC Training Room, RAML L33-34
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 3:30 p.m., Creighton at Highlander (2112 N 30th Street, Suite 101)
Facilitated by Kathy Gonzales, PhD, and Palma Strand, JD   

Afflicted: How Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice, by Nicole Piemonte
Wednesday, Oct. 3, Oct. 24, and Nov. 7, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
DHHC/Humanities 214 or via Zoom
Facilitated by Andrew Hogan, PhD

Reading group registration for fall 2018 is now closed.

Magis Core Curriculum Faculty Development Grants

Magis Core Curriculum Faculty Development Grants

The Kingfisher Institute is now accepting applications for faculty development grants. These awards will support projects that infuse one of the Institute’s themes into the undergraduate curriculum. Up to 12 grants in the amount of $500 each are available.

Any member of the university faculty who teaches a Magis Core Curriculum course may apply.

Successful grant proposals will sketch how an existing Magis Core Curriculum course will be adapted through either:

  1. developing a module of an existing Magis Core Curriculum course, or
  2. developing a new syllabus for an existing Magis Core Curriculum course.

Review of applications will begin Nov. 26, 2018, with adapted courses offered for the first time in Fall 2019 or Spring 2020. See complete details and how to apply.

2018 Events

2018 Events

Frankenweek: Oct. 23-31, 2018
In celebration of the bicentenary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Dates and times are tentative.

View "Frankenweek" events

“What Med School Never Taught You: Confronting Vulnerability and Suffering in Medical Practice”
Wednesday, Oct. 3, from noon to 1 p.m.
CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy
Room 11661 A, B and C
1 continuing education credit

View recording

"Humanities and the Health Professions: What Medicine Can Teach Us about Being Human," by Nicole Piemonte, PhD
Author of Afflicted: How Vulnerability can Heal Medical Education and Practice
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 | 7 p.m.
Harper Center, Hixson-Lied Auditorium
Free and open to the public

View recording

"A Thousand Mile Walk - Reason, Altruism, William James and Blisters," by Tom Kirsch
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 | 2:30-4 p.m.
Mike and Josie Harper Center, Room 3028

View recording

2019 Events

2019 Events

Save the Date:

Richard Rothstein, author of "The Color of Law"
Monday, March 25, 2019 | 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Harper Center - Hixson-Lied Auditorium

1919 Centenary Events

In collaboration with community partners, more events are being planned to observe the centenary of the brutal 1919 lynching of an African-American man, Will Brown, and the accompanying riots in Omaha. Watch this video to learn more about the history.