October 15, 2015


Record Enrollment

  • Enrollment Management reports record enrollment this fall, with a total of 8,435 students. Undergraduates number 4,163, with graduate students at 1,722 and professional students 2,550. We increased overall enrollment by 199 students, graduate enrollment by 118 students, undergraduate enrollment by 98, and professional enrollment by 17. This is very good news in today’s competitive higher education landscape, and it says a great deal about our collective ability to continue to attract quality students to Creighton. It takes every one of you to do this, and your efforts are appreciated.
  • We also have attained a 90 percent or greater freshman retention rate for the fourth consecutive year, for the first time in University history. The national average for freshman-to-sophomore year retention for all four-year private schools is 75.1 percent, according to ACT National Collegiate Retention data. Again, this reflects a campus-wide effort and is a great accomplishment.
  • And the good news keeps coming: with 1,068 freshmen and 50 transfer students, we have enrolled the largest Creighton freshman class ever. Since 2003, we have enrolled 13 of our 14 largest freshman classes. And the freshman class academic profile places us among the top 10 private Midwest universities with more than 4,000 undergraduates, in the company of Notre Dame, Northwestern, Washington University, the University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve. The class academic profile also puts us among the top 10 Catholic universities in the nation with undergraduate enrollments of 4,000 or more.

Veterans and Military Affairs

  • Creighton’s commitment and service to our military, veterans and their dependents has been recognized by Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) by being named a Top School in the 2016 MAE&T Guide to Colleges & Universities research study. The guide provides men and women in uniform information that will help them make the right choices about college. Schools are evaluated by their achievement in military culture, financial aid, flexibility, general support services, on-campus support and online support services.
  • The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs is announcing the opening of the Veterans Resource Center (VRC). The VRC is a student-centric space within the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs dedicated to active duty and veteran students, promoting collaboration, camaraderie and community. The area includes a lounge, study/computer room and a space for other veteran-related services delivered by outside agencies. The whole Creighton community is invited to celebrate Veterans Day with the VRC grand opening Nov. 11, from 4-6 p.m., in the Hixson-Lied Science Building, Room G-06.

Division of Mission and Ministry

  • The Division of Mission and Ministry and three other divisions of the University jointly hosted 500 high school seniors from eight Catholic high schools from Omaha and Council Bluffs to a Papal Watch gathering on Sept. 24, when Pope Francis addressed the United States Congress in a joint session. Some 130 faculty, staff and students volunteered to assist to make this a significant opportunity for the high school seniors to engage in a morning of listening, reflecting and considering how the Pope’s words to the people of the United States will impact their lives.
  • Care for Our Common Home book groups involved 85 faculty, staff and students, meeting this fall for three sessions. Participants read and discussed Pope Francis’ letter on the environment, Laudato Si. The Office of Collaborative Ministry sponsored the study groups.
  • The Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC)-Creighton office is currently assisting the Dominican Pediatric ENT Mission, coordinated by David Chait, M.D., and staffed by many employees of Boys Town, in its mission to provide free ear, nose and throat surgeries to more than 100 children this month. Also, the School of Medicine recently approved a new collaboration with ILAC and the Pontifical University in Santiago, Dominican Republic, to provide an emergency room rotation at the Union Medica private hospital in Santiago. This pilot program will be open to two students for February 2016.

Division of Student Life

  • Student Health Services sponsored CAMPUSPEAK professional Lori Hart, Ph.D., on Sept. 28. Her presentation, “A Few Too Many: A Fun and Frank Conversation About Our Campus Culture of Alcohol,” was shared with 1,280 students. While her message was focused on alcohol-related issues, she challenged students to pick their friends and environments wisely so they can achieve their life goals.
  • Congratulations to Campus Recreation, Student Health Services and the University Safety Committee for hosting the first Wellfest Oct. 8. A program designed to help campus understand the elements of wellness (physical, environmental, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual wellness), participants were able to get free flu shots, participate in a blood drive, interact with therapy dogs, sample Sodexo’s Mindful Menu food, receive a massage, attend fitness classes and visit information booths. A special thank you to sponsors Creighton EDGE, Sodexo, iJay Store, University Safety Committee and the wellness coordinators.
  • The CSU Program Board hosted Homecoming activities for students on campus. Activities included patio square decorating, CU’s Got Talent, the golf cart parade and hypnotist Jim Wand. Congratulations to Marty Kyler and Samantha Staver, who were named as 2015 Homecoming king and queen.

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Susan Aizenberg, MFA, professor of English, has had two new poems, “Shameeka,” and “Shift Reports: Skilled Care,” accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of The North American Review, the oldest literary magazine in the U.S. Aizenberg recently read from her new book, Quiet City, at the University of Northern Iowa, at Creighton on Oct. 8, and read in the Writer’s Workshop Reading Series at UNO Oct. 14.
  • Amy Badura Brack, Ph.D., professor of psychology, and Maya Khanna, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, were named as investigators on a grant seeking to map out the developing brain. A central component of this National Science Foundation project is to build research infrastructure, especially in terms of programs and people, to enhance neuroscience research in Nebraska over the next decade and beyond. One focus is a neuroscience educational effort directed at middle and high school students, with the goal of inspiring students to become tomorrow’s scientists. Brack and Khanna will be central to these research and training missions.
  • Patricia Soto, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, gave a number of presentations the last few months, including: “Conformational dynamics of the cellular prion protein,” co-authored with students Matt Armbruster, Natalie Bui, Margaret Carter, William Graft, Roger Gonzalez, Angela Lax, Chad Nieri and Bo Zhao and collaborator Jason Bartz at the Prion 2015 conference at Colorado State University. She also presented with Gintaras Duda, Ph.D., associate professor of physics, on “Transforming the introductory physics for the life sciences (IPLS) course at a liberal arts primarily undergraduate institution,” which was co-authored with physics professors Mike Cherney, Ph.D., and Dave Sidebottom, Ph.D., at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference at the University of Maryland.

College of Nursing

  • Lori Rusch, Ph.D, APRN, NNP-BC; Ann Oertwich, MSN, R.N.; Julie Manz, Ph.D, R.N.; Kandis McCafferty, Ph.D, RNC-OB, C-EFM; and Anne Schoening, Ph.D, R.N., CNE, had a podium presentation accepted for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 2015 Baccalaureate Nursing Education Conference in November. They will present “Quantitative Outcomes for the Dedicated Education Unit Clinical Teaching Model.”  
  • Joan Lappe, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, was an invited speaker at the Fifth International Breast Cancer Prevention Symposium: Epigenome, Environment and Prevention Tools in Le Gosier, Guadeloupe on Oct. 2. She reported her research, “The effects of vitamin D supplementation on cancer incidence in older women.” Lappe also was invited to participate in the “Think Tank” prior to the meeting.
  • On Sept. 25 and 26, faculty and staff gathered with the chaplain for the College of Nursing, Sister Candice Tucci, OSF, for a retreat experience at CU Retreat Center in Griswold, Iowa. The theme of the Ignatian-style retreat was “Finding God in the Silence.”

Heider College of Business

Professor Taylor Keen and his students were featured on KETV for the innovative business course in which students are growing ancient Native American corn seeds to aid in curing world hunger and in case a global disaster ever strikes the world’s food source. The interdisciplinary class includes students creating a business plan to sell and market the seeds to others in the community.

Graduate School and College of Professional Studies

Jennifer Moss-Breen, Ph.D., director of the Interdisciplinary Ed.D. Program in Leadership, is presenting at the International Leadership Association’s 17th Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 14-18. Moss Breen also is serving as chair of the Business Leadership Member Interest Group. Graduate Kristin Winford, EdD’13, as well as Ed.D. students Stephen Brody, Carly Speranza and Katherine Kirkpatrick also are presenting at the conference. Affiliate faculty member Rob Koonce is facilitating roundtable discussions at this year’s conference.

School of Dentistry

Dentistry faculty and students completed the annual fall break service trip to St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic in St. Francis, S.D., a free clinic operating on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Oct. 7-9. Supervised by Donal Scheidel, DDS’81, associate professor of diagnostic sciences, eight dental students voluntarily provided 79 patients $14,686 of dental care, including hygiene instructions, fluoride varnish treatments, fillings and extractions. Dental students provide care at the St. Francis Mission four times during the year: fall break, end of fall semester, spring break and end of summer session. During each two-and-a-half-day service trip, patients are provided an average of $15,000 to $18,000 of dental care.
Ken Hermsen, DDS, M.S., professor of endodontics, has been invited to speak to naval dental personnel at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on forensic odontology. He will also address the Coastal Carolina Dental Society on the topic of bite marks.

School of Law

  • Jackie Font was appointed interim director of the Werner Institute effective Oct. 5 by Dean Paul McGreal. Font was recently granted tenure and promoted to full professor in the School of Law. Bryan Hanson will continue as assistant director, with his work focusing on academic programs. Mary Lee Brock will take on interim administrative responsibility for planning and oversight of Werner Institute staff.
  • Bernie Mayer, professor of dispute resolution at the Werner Institute, was honored with the John M. Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award at the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) Conference in Reno on Oct. 8.
  • Law student Tina Piatek received the Silver Quill Award from the Nebraska State Board Foundation on Oct. 8. The award was established to recognize a law student’s legal writing ability as displayed in the classroom and other writing situations. Faculty from the School of Law and the University of Nebraska College of Law select the award recipients.

School of Medicine

Family medicine resident Helenka Stone, M.D., received a certificate of commendation from the Association of American Medical Colleges – Organization of Resident Representatives for the 2015 Community Service Recognition Award. Stone has made a significant impact on our institution and on our community with her dedication to service and care for patients as a family medicine resident.

School of Pharmacy and Health Professions

  • Amy Mayer, OTD, OTR/L, assistant professor and Creighton Regis Pathway coordinator, was awarded the 2015 Kizer Light of Wellness Award in the Health Inspiration category from the Creighton University Wellness Council. Mayer will be honored at the Wellness Council of the Midlands (WELLCOM) awards dinner Nov. 5 at the Hilton Omaha.
  • The Office of Distance Education was officially launched Oct. 6 to support the needs of the school’s growing distance education programs and to advance academic excellence within all distance pathways. This launch continues the important and historic role that the school has played in pioneering distance education in the health sciences. Zara Risoldi Cochrane, Pharm.D., director of the pharmacy distance pathway, and Angela Bahle-Lampe, OTD, OTR/L, director of distance education in occupational therapy, will work collaboratively to lead the office. Nancy Walker will also help coordinate distance education support across all programs within the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. Please read more about SPAHP’s unique distance learning history and about the office’s mission, vision and structure.
  • SPAHP was honored to have Professor Lidian Chen, Wenguang Zhang and Mr. Lingqi Chen, representatives from Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, on campus this week. Led by Keli Mu, Ph.D., OTR/L, director of the International Office for Health Sciences and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, the delegation met with faculty and administration from the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, the School of Medicine and the College of Nursing to talk about the future of the already flourishing partnerships Creighton has established with schools in China. This visit further solidifies the school’s commitment to global outreach, distance education and interprofessional studies.

Additional News Items

Division of Student Life

  • The sisters of Alpha Phi celebrated their third annual Red Dress Gala over Homecoming Weekend. The event raised more than $37,000 for Women’s Heart Health and the Alpha Phi Foundation.
  • Creighton’s fraternity and sorority community recently celebrated Greek Week with activities to celebrate their brotherhood/sisterhood, values and building community among the different chapters. Events such as the annual cook-off with a secret ingredient of cheese, chariot races and the Greek Pageant, along with a new event, the Greek Singing Bee, created a week of engaging activities for our fraternity men and sorority women. Overall winners for Greek Week were Sigma Phi Epsilon and Gamma Phi Beta.

Division of Mission and Ministry

  • Campus Ministry hosted 50 students and six professional staff on a “Papal Pilgrimage” to Philadelphia Sept. 25-28. The group had formation gatherings to build community, reflect on the interplay between the local and global church, understand the power of pilgrimage and got to know Pope Francis as an Argentinian and a Jesuit. They stayed at St. Joseph’s University with students from various AJCU schools. The heart of the experience was a 10-mile round trip walk from St. Joseph’s to Benjamin Franklin Parkway to participate in the Papal Mass.
  • Campus Ministry served as the primary support for Fr. Hendrickson’s Inaugural Missioning Mass on Oct. 1.  It was a beautiful celebration with nearly 40 concelebrants.
  • 42 students participated in the Fall Adventure Retreat to South Dakota this year, which was double from last year. Freshman Retreat included 80 freshmen along with student and adult leaders.
  • The Schlegel Center for Service and Justice is happy to report a record-setting semester for Creighton’s Service and Justice Trips Program, as nearly 250 students will serve and learn on 38 trips over fall break. Last spring, the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice premiered “Seeds: The Service and justice Trips Story,” a documentary that gives a look into the Service and Justice Trips Program. Please enjoy the documentary video here.
  • In commemorating the 26th anniversary of the Jesuit/UCA martyrs of El Salvador in 1989, The Schlegel Center for Service and Justice will lead a delegation of 59 students, staff, faculty, Jesuits and alumni to Washington, D.C., Nov. 6-10 to participate in the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice. They will hear keynotes on immigration, environmental justice, U.S. policy toward Central America, the death penalty, racial justice and low-wage-worker justice. At the conclusion of the teach-in, students will participate in Ignatian Advocacy by meeting with almost a dozen elected officials on Capitol Hill about these issues.
  • The staff of the Creighton University Retreat Center in Griswold, Iowa, is excited to announce the completion of the Loyola Dining Hall expansion project.  The new space was blessed during the Division of Mission and Ministry’s annual retreat. The retreat center is now able to serve more than 140 guests and offer a private dining area for silent retreatants. The new space is also home to the administrative office and gift shop.

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Don Doll, S.J., On Assignment,” an exhibition of images taken in refugee camps around the world, will be on display in College of Saint Mary’s Hillmer Art Gallery from Oct. 26 through Dec. 18. A reception with Fr. Doll will be held Nov. 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition comprises images of refugees from Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Congo, Uganda, Chad and Jordan, as well as landmine victims in Angola and Bosnia, and child soldiers in Uganda and Chad. Admission is free and open to the public.
  • Scott Eastman, Ph.D., associate professor of history, was recently published in Newsweek. In his editorial entitled, “As Catalonia Goes to The Polls, Could Its History Predict Its Future?” Eastman discusses the way in which commemorations can evoke an almost intuitive, emotional appeal to a seemingly timeless nation and people. That, Eastman says, is the real trick of romantic nationalists, who can gloss over economics and history to call for the creation of a state that they themselves may one day lead.  
  • Gintaras Duda, Ph.D., associate professor of physics, attended and presented at the 2015 Physics Education Research Conference and 2015 Summer American Association of Physics Teachers Meeting, both in College Park, Md.
  • On Oct. 2, Creighton University’s Asian World Center hosted the inaugural East-West Studies Conference on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The conference was in conjunction with UNO’s 38th Annual Global Studies Conference and more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty attended the Friday conference.

College of Nursing

Students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni from Creighton College of Nursing at Mary Lanning Medical Center in Hastings gathered Sept. 8 at St. Cecelia Cathedral for the Blessing of Hands. This blessing has been a traditional ritual to send forth our students as they begin to use their abilities in clinical settings and continue to advance their education to become health care/nursing professionals. A similar service was also held at St. John’s on Sept. 14. Together, 140 students participated.

School of Pharmacy and Health Professions

Twenty-three Creighton faculty and staff collaborated on presentations and posters for the Collaborating Across Borders (CAB) V meeting in Roanoke, Va., Sept. 29 through Oct. 2. Those attending the conference included: Gail Jensen, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School and College of Professional Studies, vice provost for learning and assessment and professor of physical therapy; Cathy Carrico, DNP, APRN-NP, FNP, and Lori Rusch, Ph.D., R.N., ACNS-BC, assistant professors in the College of Nursing; Ann Ryan-Haddad, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice and director of the SPAHP Office of Interprofessional Scholarship, Service and Education (OISSE); Kelli Coover, Pharm.D., assistant director, SPAHP Office of Experiential Education; Angela Patterson, OTR/L, adjunct faculty member and Anna Domina, OTD, OTR/L, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy; Kate Martens Stricklett, M.S., NHA, COS, SHCM, OISSE education coordinator; and Ronna Sears-Fritz, MPA, OISSE program planner. The conference theme, “The Interprofessional Journey: Advancing Integration and Impact,” reflected the importance of integration and impact in the preparation of future health professionals.