Note from the Dean: December 2017
Note from the Dean: December 2017


I hope this update finds you well. On behalf of the Graduate School, I want to extend my blessings to you for a happy and healthy holiday season.

The last six months have been a time of great growth for the Graduate School, both in enrollment and the programs we offer. In this edition of the Graduate School e-newsletter, I am pleased to provide you a brief update on the outstanding work of our faculty and students.

2017 is proving to be another successful year for our students. In May and August, the Graduate School awarded 83 graduate certificates, and 372 master’s and doctoral degrees, and we anticipate conferring an additional 170 degrees in December. Congratulations to all of the recent graduates – you have accomplished great things.

Gen. Anthony Zinni was named the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Merit Awardee for the Graduate School. General Zinni, MS’15, is currently pursuing his doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton. General Zinni retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2010 after a long and decorated career. Congratulations!

During Alumni Homecoming Weekend in September, the Graduate School Alumni Advisory Board met for their semi-annual meeting. I’m pleased to announce that the Board elected Dan Semrad (MA‘09) as Chair Elect of the Board. I’d also like to thank Jeff Gross (MS’95), for his work as Chair of the Board for the past year. Through Jeff’s leadership and the commitment of the Alumni Advisory Board members, the Graduate School is developing a leadership fellows program that will allow our talented and high-achieving alumni to mentor and support current graduate students. Look for more details about this program in this newsletter.

I’m also pleased to report that the Graduate School has seen continued growth in enrollment. Our school has experienced a 10 percent increase in enrollment this fall, with a total enrollment of 1,564, as compared to 1,406 in fall 2016. The primary areas of grown occurred in the areas of education, business and health care-related programs.

Cindy Costanzo, PhD, has been appointed as Senior Associate Dean for the Graduate School. In addition to her role as Senior Associate Dean, she serves as the interim director of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. This department houses faculty across seven programs: Interdisciplinary Leadership; Organizational Leadership; Health and Wellness Coaching; Health Care Ethics; Negotiation and Conflict Resolution; Public Health; and Healthcare Management. Dr. Costanzo brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in health care and higher education administration.

The School has also introduced a handful of new academic programs. In addition to launching the Executive Healthcare MBA program, we have introduced a Financial Psychology and Behavioral Finance program, which was profiled in the last issue of Creighton University Magazine. Also, Creighton is developing a Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, which will begin in 2019. This highly anticipated program will be offered through the School of Medicine.

Also, this summer, Creighton received a re-affirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. The accreditation is valid for the next 10 years.

Finally, I want to recognize two individuals from the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (NCR) program who recently were recognized as outstanding alumni from their respective alma maters:

  • Jacqueline N. Font-Guzmán, JD, PhD, NCR Program Director and faculty, was awarded the 2017 Nova Southeastern University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award on Nov. 8. This award is the highest and most prestigious honor bestowed upon a graduate from NSU. The award ceremony took place during homecoming activities on Nov. 9 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Amanda Guidero, PhD, post-doctoral fellow of conflict engagement in the NCR Program, was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kennesaw University in recognition of her outstanding contributions to her profession and community.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the alumni newsletter. We welcome any comments you have, and encourage you to share your accomplishments with us.

Gail M. Jensen, PhD, PT, FAPTA