May 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.

As an institution of higher education, Creighton University strives to empower students and communities to navigate changing systems of education, health, finance and vocation. The Metropolitan-Area Consortium for Service-Learning, of which Creighton is a member, has selected its 2013-2014 programming theme: Literacy. To help launch a community-wide conversation on literacy, Nebraska Methodist College and the College of Saint Mary are again hosting a one-day immersion for interested faculty, on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013.

The day will include a panel discussion and visits to community organizations, and will conclude with lunch and a brief reflection. Creighton University has been invited to send five faculty to participate in this immersion opportunity. If you are interested, please contact Mary Ann Danielson, 402.280.2535, no later than May 15. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited. Registrants are expected to participate in the entire program.
Corporation for National & Community Service Updates

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.

service-learning resources
The Corporation for National and Community Service supports a variety of resources designed to support service-learning programs and to help colleges and universities spur volunteering among their students.

These include: The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, which provides resources and best practices to support service-learning programs, and The Impact of Service-Learning: A Review of Current Research, which documents the positive impact service-learning can have on youth.

Program spotlights
Featured this month are two programs, Hand-in-Hand and Project CURA, in which our students participate in making a difference in our community through service.

Sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Hand-in-Hand program offers students an opportunity to work with guests from the Omaha community who have developmental disabilities.

In April, over 175 students were matched with 100 special-needs guests for an afternoon of games, arts and crafts, bingo, dancing and other activities.

The program has grown considerably since its inception in 2008, when it launched with 50 student volunteers and 30 guests. More Information (PDF)

Students involved in Project CURA (Creighton Medical United in Relief Assistance) assist those suffering from poor health and the crippling effects of poverty in developing countries worldwide.

Locally, Project CURA provides health education and primary prevention for under-served and minority populations of Omaha and eastern Nebraska.

This summer, 56 students will be participating in trips to Ghana, Southeast Asia, Romania, Guatemala, southern India, and rural northeast India.

Two of the locations are new this summer, Guatemala and the rural India trips. In India, CURA members will be working closely with the Jesuits to identify areas of opportunity for growth of the Project CURA program. In Ghana, the CURA members are working closely with the community in teaching them CPR. More Information

Barb Harris, Ph.D., associate professor and field practicum coordinator for the Department of Social Work, was recently awarded the Outstanding Community Service Award from the University of Nebraska at Omaha School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Harris has been with Creighton University for more than 22 years and has served as director for the Center for the Study of Children’s Issues and chair of the Committee on the Status of Women. She has worked on several committees dealing with first-year student experiences. 

Her scholarly interests include integrating knowledge and practice in the field practicum setting and inter-professional collaborations in providing services to families and children.

Harris has been recognized for her work and commitment to Creighton with awards such as the Mary Lucretia Creighton Award (2001) and the Outstanding Freshman-Sophomore Advising Award (2003).


Devendar Agrawal, Ph.D., senior associate dean for clinical and translational research at Creighton University School of Medicine, received the India Association of Nebraska (IAN) Award of Excellence in recognition of his service to the community in the areas of social, cultural, religious and academic contributions.

Agrawal's extensive professional accomplishments since arriving at Creighton 28 years ago include ongoing NIH-funded research in the fields of heart disease and allergy and asthma. He has served as the president of IAN, chair of its Sports and Public Committee, and has held several roles with the Hindu Temple in Nebraska, of which he is a founding member.

Agrawal was named IAN’s Man of the Year in 2000, and honored by the Midwest Chapter of American Association of Physicians of India, for his contributions as a teaching professor, researcher and mentor.

Mikayla Savell-Flott, a sophomore public relations student at Creighton, was selected as the Outstanding Student Leader by Serve Nebraska.

Flott has volunteered more than 1,300 hours in the past six years and has helped raise almost $100,000 for her high school, university and community.

Serve Nebraska is the state's volunteer service commission. Sally Ganem, Nebraska's First Lady, honored Flott and nine other volunteers throughout the state at the 2013 First Lady's Outstanding Community Service Awards in April.


Erin Nicorata was the recipient of the Dr. David A. Reinsch Humanitarian Award, which recognizes a senior dental student who embodies equality for others. The award was established in memory of Dr. David A. Reinsch, an outstanding dentist and alumnus. 

Metropolitan-Area Coalition for Service-Learning News

about the coalition

Creighton University is a member of the Metropolitan-Area Service-Learning Coalition. The 2013 theme is “Literacy: Broadly Defined.”

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.


Creighton will host the Metropolitan-Area Coalition for Service-Learning meeting on Tuesday, May 14, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Each meeting opens with campus updates, so if you have information to share, please contact Mary Ann Danielson. Main discussion items will include a summary of this year’s efforts and planning for 2013-2014.

Campus Events

Creighton is partnering with Goodwill and Keep America Beautiful in a nationally piloted program, Give and Go: Move Out 2013. The program is designed to put to "good re-use" items students don't want as they leave campus for the summer.

Special donation bins have been placed strategically across campus for students to use while cleaning out their residence hall rooms. Learn more.

Also, a special thank you to John and Shirley Walker and others for all the work they have done over the years with their "Creightonians Helping the Less Fortunate" program.  

Over the last 10 years, they developed a robust program to collect, sort and donate materials left behind by the students in the residence halls at the end of the school year. By doing this, they saved many thousands of pounds of materials from the landfills while providing much-needed goods to charities across Omaha.


Creighton has a team entered in the Nebraska Children’s Home Society’s Sand in the City sand-sculpting contest, June 7-9.   

There are 21 corporate and community group teams that will be going head-to-head to get the most votes and take home the coveted “People’s Choice Award.”

Creighton needs your vote! Even though the sand sculptures will not be built until June 7-9, you can start voting now. Every vote counts, so click here to visit the Creighton team page.

Each vote is $1, and you can vote as many times as you like. Online voting closes on June 14 at 5 p.m. Read more about the event here, and don’t forget to vote!


In late April, Creighton students in Phi Sigma Tau, the philosophy honor society, partnered with Holy Name School third- and fourth-grade students in lessons on philosophy and debate. The students took turns exploring and preparing both sides of various issues and held active debates against Phi Sigma Tau. Read more (PDF).


The 9th annual All-Nations Pow-Wow was held at Creighton in April, with more 1,000 participants and 18 tribal nations celebrating their heritage in traditional song and dance.

With more than 75 volunteers, the Pow-Wow, presented by Creighton's Office of Multicultural Affairs and Native American Association, is one of the largest student-coordinated events on campus.



The CATME SMARTER Teamwork system prepares students to function effectively in teams and supports faculty as they manage their students’ team experiences.

To learn more, e-mail Gintaras Duda, Ph.D., Department of Physics, who shared this resource as a part of his presentation at the AEA Grant Luncheon early March.