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Founders Week Convocation highlights 140 years of Creighton's past, bold vision for its future

Creighton President the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, delivers the 2018 Founders Week Convocation Address, Feb. 6, 2018.A full-throated endorsement and celebration of Creighton University’s future and the past year’s achievements in this, the University’s 140th year, highlighted the Feb. 6 Convocation Address delivered by Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ.

Noting the impending arrival of Christopher Whitt, PhD, the University’s first vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Fr. Hendrickson also applauded the elevation of Diane Glow Stormberg to the role of associate vice president for Alumni Relations and Donor Engagement, and the interim deanship of Amy Wilson, PharmD, in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.

Along with personnel additions and changes, the University has also added eight new academic programs in the past year in accounting, an executive MBA in health care, physician assistant studies, health care management, health and wellness coaching, a master of science in educational specialist work, a graduate certificate in the Ignatian tradition and, at the Phoenix campus, an accelerated nursing degree.

A signature achievement in the last year was Fr. Hendrickson’s announcement of the Creighton Global Scholars Program, which will launch with this fall’s incoming class. The program seeks to widen global consciousness by engaging students in four global experiences beginning with a semester in Sydney, Australia, followed by a term in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and rounded out by two other programs abroad led by Creighton faculty.

“Targeted outcomes include readiness upon graduation to enter the international workforce, specifically organizations focused on responding to global problems, such as the United Nations, Peace Corps, Catholic Relief Services, Jesuit Refugee Services, and others,” Fr. Hendrickson said. “Likewise, the ability to work in and across diversity locally, or at home, is also an essential outcome.”

Some 183 applicants are contending for 20 spots in the Global Scholars Program. Interviews were conducted recently and invitations to the program are expected out this week.

Expanding study-abroad opportunities for students, an Encuentro Dominicano group led by Ryan Spangler, PhD, in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, will add a brief trip to Cuba into their experience.

Complementing the Creighton Global Initiative and the University’s 140th anniversary, Fr. Hendrickson announced a series of presidential lectures over the next year. Former Nebraska senator and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will deliver the first of these lectures on April 3, expecting to touch upon present geopolitical realities.

Another major talk will be delivered Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Ahmanson Ballroom at the Harper Center as V.R. Ramanathan, the man known as Pope Francis’ climate scientist, will speak on the existential threat that is climate change. The talk is sponsored by Richard Miller, PhD, in the Department of Theology, the Creighton Global Initiative and the Office of the President.

The Leading with the Liberal Arts component of Creighton’s strategic plan is preparing to put another of its pieces into action as space in the new School of Dentistry building has been designated for use as the home of the Kingfisher Institute.

“The Kingfisher Institute will provide faculty, staff, and students of all our colleges and schools the opportunity to explore innovative intersections of liberal arts with professional pedagogy and scholarship,” Fr. Hendrickson said.

Also in the strategic plan was a broadening and intensification of a signature issue at Creighton: interprofessional education and Creighton Collaborative Care.

The CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center-University Campus has been successfully implementing the collaborative care model, supporting more than 2,200 health sciences students, medical residents, learners and clinicians across a spectrum of disciplines, all in the interest of a more comprehensive, compassionate and agile delivery of health care services.

Moving west in the health sciences, Creighton’s newly opened Arizona Health Education Alliance and Health Sciences Campus has seen the enrollment of 24 students in its accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program in Phoenix. Early application volumes for the fall of 2018 are also trending strong.

Fr. Hendrickson closed the address with a major announcement on scholarships for underserved students. Money donated by the Jesuit Community at Creighton and the Office of the President will make possible 11 four-year, full-tuition scholarships for this fall’s incoming class of Markoe Scholars. The Markoe Scholarship, taking its name from beloved Creighton Jesuit and early civil rights activist the Rev. John Markoe, SJ, provides students with the highest levels of financial need with the means to get a Creighton education.

As part of the Feb. 6 Convocation observances, several awards were also bestowed on distinguished Creighton faculty, staff and administration. The following individuals were recognized:

New Endowed Chairs
Donal D. Scheidel, DDS, Dr. Edward J. “Eddie” and Neta DeRose Endowed Chair in Dentistry

Erika L. Kirby, PhD, A.F. Jacobson Chair in Communication

Catherine M. Baker, PhD, Clare Booth Luce Faculty Chair for Women in Science

The Rev. Arsène Brice Bado, SJ, PhD, Anna and Donald Waite Chair in Jesuit Education

Distinguished Educator in Teaching as Scholarship Awards
Julie A. Manz, PhD, MS, RN, College of Nursing

Maya Khanna, PhD, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

Distinguished Service Awards

Staff: Cindy Workman, University Communications and Marketing

Faculty: Ryan W. Walters, PhD, School of Medicine

Administrator: Daniel E. Burkey, senior vice president for Operations

Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality Awards

David P. Weber, JD, School of Law

Colleen Hendrick, Heider College of Business

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