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The Kingfisher Award

Recognizing a Commitment to the Hummanities

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.

Nicole Piemonte

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

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.

I know that it has much to do with our commitment to the Jesuit tradition and Ignatian pedagogy. Because this is the kind of commitment that supports and encourages the work of the medical humanities—which seeks to help our future physicians and health care professionals see that medicine is about so much more than the biological body. That medicine is a concentration of the human condition. The medical humanities help students recognize vulnerability: their own and their patients. It prepares them to see and then confront and respond to suffering, pain, death—and also birth and joy and humor and connection. The medical humanities and Creighton’s and the Kingfisher Institute’s support of the medical humanities, allows our students to be fully human. So that they can fully show up for their patients when they need it most.

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