February 2013
About Us
The Office for Academic Excellence and Assessment (AEA) at Creighton University provides ongoing support and resources to enhance teacher effectiveness and student learning.

To learn more about faculty development programming, assessment, course design, student learning processes and/or effective teaching methods, or the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), contact Mary Ann Danielson at 402.280.2535.

Find past issues of this newsletter here.

Project Homeless Connect is a one-day event that serves as a “one-stop shop,” connecting homeless individuals to needed services, including: housing, healthcare, legal resources, Social Security, food-stamp benefits and employment. Last year, more than 500 guests connected with significant services at Creighton’s Kiewit Fitness Center, assisted by more than 800 volunteers.

Building on the success of the past five years, Creighton will again host Project Homeless Connect Omaha on Friday, March 22, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The opportunities to engage volunteers, build community, grow research and evaluation efforts and ultimately respond to the homeless in Omaha underscore the value of this partnership.

There are many opportunities for Creighton students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends to volunteer. General volunteers are needed for set-up, clean-up, greeting, directing, registering and serving food, among other duties. Most volunteers will serve as “navigators” and assist guests in filling out a basic intake form and staying with them through the process of accessing services. Healthcare professionals who can offer their skills are also needed. Volunteers can sign up to help in the morning, afternoon or all day.

Volunteer registration will be open through Thursday, March 14, or until volunteer capacity is reached. Questions about the event or volunteering should be directed to PHCO@creighton.edu.

Corporation for National & Community Service Updates

Wofford earns award
Former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford received the Presidential Citizens Medal in a ceremony at the White House. This award is the nation's second-highest civilian honor and recognizes American citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens. Wofford served as CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service from 1995 to 2001. He provided strong and visionary leadership to expand opportunities to serve, build bipartisan support, forge new partnerships with the nonprofit sector and strengthen the agency’s operations. Learn more.

We are proud to report that more than 4,000 Creighton students engaged in more than 389,000 hours of community service in 2011-2012. Thank you to the almost 30 individuals from 22 different offices, colleges or schools who helped compile the data for our submission to the President's Honor Roll for Community Service in December.

Program spotlights
Featured this month are two programs: the Porto Clinic at the Sacred Heart Ministry Center and a senior perspective course with focus on poverty in America, in which our students participate in making a difference in our community through service.

Ann Franco Laughlin, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor in the School of Nursing, recipient of the 2013 Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Creighton Award, was recognized for compassion, dedication and service to and for others.

In an interprofessional collaborative effort, she and a group of individuals committed to providing acute care and health promotion programs to individuals and families in the North Omaha community founded the Porto Clinic at the Sacred Heart Ministry Center in 2009.

From a variety of disciplines (nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, dentistry, social work and medicine), faculty and students work together to provide comprehensive, compassionate and competent care to the North Omaha community. Last year, the clinic served 1,200 individuals.

During the summer pre-session, Creighton offers a senior perspective course, Poverty in America, in which students travel to West Virginia and live with a community that serves those of the area in various forms of outreach.

There are opportunities for assisting in home repair, tutoring children, gathering and cooking for community night, visiting elderly and/or the homebound, and coming to know the particular strengths and perspectives of those who deal with poverty day-to-day, all of their lives. Another component of the course is to understand the systemic causes of poverty experienced in the area.

The community students live with emphasizes the importance of simplicity, prayer, service, community and sustainability; they integrate these into the work they do in the surrounding areas. If you are interested, have questions or would like an application (due March 6), please contact Alice Smith, 402.280.3623.
Metropolitan Coalition for Service-Learning News

Creighton University is a member of the Metro Area Service-Learning Coalition. The Coalition seeks to: (1) increase collaboration and share selected service-learning programming among nine metro-area universities; (2) offer coordinated programming on a selected topic each semester; and (3) bring university and college resources to bear in educating students and the public about selected significant local, national and international issues.

UNMC will host the Sharing the Vision Conference April 19-20 in Omaha. The conference will serve to facilitate communication among faculty preceptors, leaders and supporters of student-run clinics for underserved populations. Learn more and register.

Interested in serving as section chair or proposal reviewer for the 2013 International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) Conference?  More information.
Campus Events

On April 18, Kathy Flecky, O.T.D., OTR/L, will facilitate a session on engaged student-learning and strategies to assess learning and community outcomes, both within the context of community experiences. The title of her presentation is “Conversations on Student Learning with Others: Interprofessional Community Engagement.” More information/ register.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance will offer a free drop-in tax return preparation clinic for qualifying taxpayers (generally those with income under $51,000) on March 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ahmanson Law School, Room 124. Certified through the IRS and under supervision of an IRS agent and Thomas Purcell, Ph.D., accounting and law students will file 2012 federal and state tax returns free to students, staff and faculty. W-2 and proof of identification required. Questions? Contact Nicole Bray or Amanda Heims.

The annual event invites adults with developmental disabilities to campus for an afternoon of fun activities on April 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. The adults are partnered with Creighton students and take part in activities led by student organizations, such as bingo, karaoke, a photo booth, games, crafts and more. Campus Ministry is asking for door-prize donations, such as movie gift cards, bath sets, sports equipment and household items by March 22. Items can be dropped off in Campus Ministry (lower Swanson) to Jen Kennedy-Croft, or you can request a pick-up. Questions can be directed to Michelle Skaff or Jennifer Kennedy-Croft.

spotlight on business
Creighton student Amanda Brandt’s article "Creighton College of Business Gives Back," featured in the December 2012 issue of AJCU’s Connections, outlines the opportunities for service-learning in the College of Business, which includes the Financial Hope Collaborative, the Financial Success Program and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Through collaborative efforts with community agencies, these successful outreach programs allow students to learn social responsibility while providing services to citizens in need of financial guidance. Read more on these service-learning programs.

24th Annual National Service-Learning Conference, March 13-16, 2013, Denver.

8th Annual Conference on Applied Learning in Higher Education (CALHE), March 21-23, 2013, Saint Joseph, Mo.

Sharing the Vision, April 19-20, 2013, Omaha.

16th Annual Continuums of Service, April 24-26, 2013, Portland, Ore.

National Conference on Volunteering and Service, June 19-21, 2013, Arlington, Va.

Reinvigorating our Process of Discovery: Research and Best Practices in Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, 
Nov. 6-8, 2013, 

5th International Symposium on Service-Learning (ISSL), Nov. 20-22, 2013, Stellenbosch, South Africa.