2008 Ignatius Award Recipient

Saint Ignatius Award Photo

The inscription on the reverse of the medallion reads:



The award was presented
at the Founder's Week Mass on
February 10, 2008 at St. John's Church.

Andrew Gaines

Shuttle Services
Department of Public Safety

Ignatian Award Citation

Imagine being a Creighton student. You live on the perimeter of campus, or you live off campus and park in one of the commuter lots. You depend on the shuttle to move you safely from your residence or parking lot to the campus. You face going to class each week day. What a pleasure it is to have a shuttle driver who is warm, welcoming, and knows your name.

Andrew "Andy" Gaines is such a driver. He faithfully picks up students along his route. He knows their names, he knows their major, and he knows their ups and downs. He greets them when they board the shuttle, and he enthusiastically and lovingly sends them forth when the shuttle reaches their stop.

Andy is truly someone who lives, and shares, the spirit of Ignatius with all he meets. He does so without an expectation of reward, because that is who he is.

Andy is cheerful and kind. He finds God in the middle of driving a shuttle and has a quality of soul that is rare. He is a minister who works from behind a steering wheel and makes each one of us who come in contact with him feel as if we are a child of God.

Andy makes the effort. He remembers each passenger’s name after only a few trips on this route. He learns people’s names because he wants to get to know them and show them that he cares about who they are. Andy gives pep talks, and he extends condolences. In all that he does, he expresses a very sincere and deeply felt love for each of his passengers.

He sees God in all people. He passes out thoughts to live by, so his passengers will carry his loving messages throughout the day.

Chatting with Andrew Gaines is frequently the best part of everyone’s morning as he bears living witness to what it means to be a kind and caring person in our Creighton world.

Andy concentrates on the simple things that make a difference on an individual level. A bright smile and a hearty good morning go a long way. He ends his route with a thank you to his passengers and a wish for good luck with the day’s challenges. And, you can tell that he genuinely hopes everyone can enjoy the day as much as he does.

Denise LeClair

Student Support Services

Ignatian Award Citation

Denise lives a life of magis, cura personalis, and being a person for and with others. She is patient, and is a receptive and approachable listener. If a student needs help with an essay, she does not complain and eagerly aids the student.

One of the many reasons why students love Denise is that she respects everyone. She encourages the students to use and build upon their strengths. She is a mother figure and does not make a student feel small if they did not do well on a test or paper, instead encourages them to do better next time.

Not only is Denise great at what she does, she aids students growth. She is there for the students, doing a great job, respecting the students, going beyond what is expected, being an encourager and teacher and having a great heart. She exhibits these characteristics in her professional, community, and personal life.

As a professional she has quietly and consistently contributed to the Creighton community in her involvement with the Ratio Studiorum Program. She realizes many "at risk" students need her expertise and she could not let any need go unmet. As one student commented, "I think of Denise as a walking dictionary/encyclopedia/google tool bar…she knows everything!"

Denise serves as the Assistant Director for the Office of Disability Accommodations. She is well suited for this position given her innate compassion, love, understanding, patience, and dedication. Her kind spirit is infused in every action she takes and students respond to her caring approach. Denise sees the potential in every person and helps them realize their God given gifts in a positive way. She often sacrifices personal time to proctor exams or to help students improve their writing and study skills. She will stay late, come in early, or take papers home to assist students.

Denise truly embodies the sense of Magis, always giving her best whether her actions are great or small. Her genuine love, compassion, and care for each person is at the forefront of every action.

She is someone who truly cares about the success of all students. She not only does her job well as a writing specialist, but she is a great mentor/coach/friend for every student with whom she comes in contact. Everyone would agree, she is one of a kind, a saint to all students. 

Jennifer Tilleman

School of Pharmacy

Ignatian Award Citation

On a daily basis Jenny embraces the Ignatian ideals of Magis and Cura Personalis.  She is truly a person for and with others as she generously cares for her students and colleagues. The Ignatian spirit defines her.  While she is extremely busy with her teaching and professional responsibilities, she is never too busy to provide support, guidance and prayer for anyone in need.  Her door is always open to students, faculty and friends who turn to her for help and reassurance whether it be school related issues or spiritual and emotional direction. Jenny genuinely cares for every faculty, staff and student. It is obvious that she loves being a person for others and would have it no other way. 

Her open door policy frequently translates to late hours to get her "work" finished on time, but this does not faze Jenny.

Jenny’s service to Creighton University and the Omaha community is extensive.  She volunteers her professional pharmacy services at Campus for Hope and the Fred Leroy Health Center providing drug information and patient counseling to clients of these clinics.  Her volunteer work also includes Habitat for Humanity, Sienna Francis House, and Special Olympics.  She does all these with a smile. 

She is an active participant in serving at "Caring for the Caregivers" health fairs. She is an active member of St. John’s Church and serves as a liturgical assistant, a Eucharistic Minister, Lector and secretary of the parish council.   If you have ever attended mass at St. John’s, you have undoubtedly seen Jenny assisting on the altar.

She is gratefully aware of the blessings that she has been given by God and humbly shares those gifts with others.  She is a shining example of the Ignatian values in action for faculty, students, staff, and the community.   

Once you meet her, you will never forget her wonderful laugh, great sense of humor, caring nature and her love for every living thing.  We are all blessed to have such a wonderful person here at Creighton.