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The Kingfisher Award

Recognizing a Commitment to the Humanities

University President Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, inaugurated the annual Kingfisher Award in partnership with the Kingfisher Institute in 2019. The award recognizes Creighton faculty and staff who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to the values, principles and practices of the humanities.

Nominate someone for the 2023 Kingfisher award today.

Patrick Murray, PhD (2022)

Congratulations to Patrick Murray, PhD, professor of philosophy and the John C. Kenefick Faculty Chair in the Humanities, the fourth recipient of the Kingfisher Award. Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, PhD, presented the award at his annual fall convocation.

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, president of Creighton University, stands at left in black suit with clerical collar; Patrick Murray leans in from right in a gray jacket, holding a life-sized sculpture of a kingfisher (bird) and dragonfly by a branch, representing an image in the poem "As Kingfisher Catch Fire, Dragonflies Draw Flame."

A well-established scholar of the theory and philosophy of Karl Marx, Murray impressed nominators with his record of publicly engaged research and scholarship. Murray has partnered with the University of Nebraska-Omaha, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Film Streams, the Omaha Public Library, the Joslyn Art Museum, and the Nebraska Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities. Topics explored in these collaborative events were wide-ranging, including immigration, African American history in Omaha, community-based scholarship, climate change and the social mission of Catholic universities, Irish women, refugees, and the philosophy of law as it relates to race and racism. 

Nicole Piemonte, PhD (2021)

Congratulations to the 2021 recipient of the Kingfisher Award, Nicole Piemonte, PhD, School of Medicine–Phoenix Campus, assistant dean for student affairs, associate professor in the Department of Medical Humanities, and Peekie Nash Carpenter Endowed Chair in Medicine. Piemonte created and implemented medical humanities curricula for the Omaha and Phoenix campuses, integrating humanities principles and practices into the process of Creighton medical student formation.

Piemonte receiving Kingfisher Award

Piemonte holding statuette by Dan Ostermiller, with Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD and Leavelle.

In her award acceptance remarks, Piemonte noted:

“The Kingfisher Institute [is] committed to bringing liberal arts education to all Creighton professional schools. It’s committed to forming a different kind of professional. One that says a Creighton doctor, a Creighton lawyer, dentist, OT, nurse, will be a different kind of professional and a different kind of person. One who embodies the virtues of a liberal education—they are deep thinking, virtuous, humble and committed to social justice."

"The Kingfisher Award reminds me that I am part of a very special university—one that recognizes the potential of the liberal arts to transform students at the deepest levels and one that values faculty and staff committed to this kind of transformational work. To me, the Kingfisher Award is a public statement of Creighton’s priorities, values, and commitments.”

2019 Recipient: John O’Keefe, PhD, Theology Professor and Documentary Filmmaker

2020 Recipient: Omofolasade (Sade) Kosoko-Lasaki, MD, Director of the Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs office