Research and Scholarship

For research and scholarship that changes the world.

Research and scholarship is an integral part of Creighton’s College of Arts and Sciences. U.S. News & World Report named Creighton one of the 32 “Top Schools for Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects” - the only Catholic university to make the list. Become a part of it with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURAS), the premier location to discover undergraduate research and scholarship opportunities, connecting faculty and students together.

At Creighton, you don’t have to wait until you’re a graduate student to participate in research. As early as your freshman year, you can work side-by-side with world-renowned faculty members.

By getting involved in research as an undergraduate, you set yourself apart when applying for graduate school, national research scholarships, internships—and future careers. You could be one of dozens of students who have presented their work at national and international conferences. Or you might co-author a published peer-review journal article.

Visit CURAS to learn about undergraduate research opportunities.

Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship at Creighton University

Director: jksoukup [at] creighton [dot] edu (Juliane Strauss-Soukup), Ph.D.

Juliane Strauss-Soukup, Ph.D., has served as director of CURAS since its formation in 2013. She has long been a champion for undergraduate research and an advocate for increasing support for students involved in faculty-led scholarship. Dr. Strauss-Soukup, who earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Creighton in 1993, began working at the University in 2000. Since then she has mentored 60 undergraduate research students who have given hundreds of presentations on their projects at local, regional, national and international meetings and have been co-authors on publications in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and Chemistry & Biology. For 11 years, she has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) INBRE program. For six years, she’s received an NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award Program R15 grant. Both programs are focused on providing undergraduates with research experiences in the sciences.

Dr. Strauss-Soukup:

  • Received her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Served as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University
  • Authored seven book chapters and 18 peer-reviewed articles in Science, Nature Structural Biology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Served on study sections for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation
  • Serves as a reviewer for Nature and American Chemical Society journals

Office Coordinator: angelabatson [at] creighton [dot] edu (Ms. Angela Batson)

Ms. Angela Batson is the office coordinator for the Center of Undergraduate Research and the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work.

curas [at] creighton [dot] edu (Email CURAS) to be eligible for the following awards:

  • College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • Ferlic Summer Science Research Scholarships
  • Honors Program Research Scholarship

Congratulations to Dr. Erin Averett!

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a  Digital Humanities Start-Up grant to Dr. Averett of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts for her proposal “Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Futrure: the Potential of Digital Archaeology.” Dr. Averett also is working with a 2014 Dean’s Summer Research Scholar, Caitlyn Ewers, this summer in Cyprus continuing the trend toward Digital Humanities.

Congratulations to the recipients of Best Poster and Best Presentation Awards from St. Albert’s Day 2014!

Basic Sciences Category:

  • Best Poster (Graduate), Ankita Aggarwal and Vikash Kansal (Medical Microbiology and Immunology)
  • Best Poster (Undergraduate), Lyandysha Zholudeva (Chemistry)

Best Oral Presentation:

  • (Graduate) Melissa Clouse (Biomedical Sciences)
  • (Undergraduate) Chelsee James (Exercise Science)

Arts and Sciences/Humanities Category:

  • Best Poster (Undergraduate) - TIE, Claire Wilka (Political Science) and Olivia Lickteig and Isabelle Laposha (Psychology)
  • Best Oral Presentation :(Graduate) Kelly Burdine (International Relations); (Undergraduate), Nina Fredericks (Fine Arts)

Clinical Sciences Category:

  • Best Poster (Graduate/Professional), Bethany Bentele, Elizabeth Ruminski and Katherine Kogler (Physical Therapy; (Undergraduate): Marc Petrykowski (Exercise Science)
  • Best Oral Presentation (Graduate/Professional): Jesup Fritsch (Physical Therapy); (Undergraduate)  Elizabeth Bracciano (Exercise Science)

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2014 College of Arts & Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships:


  • Cole Crawford, “Transforming Robert Tannahill’s  Poems and Songs”
    • Advisors: Dr. Bridget Keegan and Dr. Greg Zacharias
  • Daniel Poston, “Using the glmS riboswitch as a Synthetic Genetic Device”
    • Advisor: Dr. Julianne Strauss-Soukup

College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Fellowships:

  • Ozioma Aloziem, “Who Sleeps by Whom? An Alternative Strategy for Studying Implicit Cultural Values of the Igbo in Nigeria”
    • Advisor: Dr. Jill Brown
  • Joseph Baronovic, Sarah Copeland, and Ashley Weed, “Portrait of a Roman Boy”
    • Advisor: Dr. Gregory S. Bucher
  • Maria Benevento, “Simple Living: Sustainability and Spirituality in Northeast Missouri Intentional Communities”
    • Advisor: Dr. Tracy Leavelle
  • Emily Dowdle, “The Best [We] Have to Offer: The American Fair and Curating American Identity”
    • Advisor: Dr. Heather Fryer
  • Caitlyn M. Ewers, “Imaging the Past: The Votive Figurines from the Malloura Sanctuary, Cyprus”
    • Advisor: Dr. Erin Walcek Averett
  • Elenore Leonard, “Interpreting the American West: Museum Display of the Works of Alfred Jacob Miller”
    • Advisor: Dr. Heather Fryer
  • David Martin, “Out of the Mouth of Youth: Pragmatism, Postmodernism, and Pastoral Ministry”
    • Advisor: Dr. Leonard Greenspoon
  • Mara R. McGuire, “Foucault’s Hidden Philosophy of Race”
    • Advisor: Dr. Richard White
  • Conan Rainwater, “Christian Base Communities in Peru: Lessons in Community-Building for North America”
    • Advisor: Dr. Thomas Kelly
  • Samantha Stanley, “Blood Lead Level: Exploration of the Impact of Omaha’s Lead Contamination on Student Learning and Behavior”
    • Advisor: Dr. Timothy Dickel

Ferlic Summer Scholarships:

  • Sarah M. Budney, “RNase 4 in Little Brown Bat (M. lucifugus) and Related Bat Species: Elucidating the Story of Adaptation Behind the Gene Burst”
    • Advisor: Dr. Soochin Cho
  • Danielle Desa, “Evaluating Mitochondrial Superoxide Formation in Cochlear Cells During Antibiotic Exposure”
    • Advisor: Dr. Heather Jensen Smith
  • Kaitlyn Fischer, “Development of a Mechanism for Controlled Release of an Antimicrobial Agent”
    • Advisor: Dr. Stephen Gross
  • Renner C. Fujiwara, “Determination of Mechanism of Simple Sugar Solutions as Cryoprotective Agents”
    • Advisors: Dr. David Sidebottom, Dr. Nick Haas, Dr. Michael Nichols
  • Ryan Gnabasik, “Optimization of Long-Range Order in Solvent Vapor Annealed poly(styrene)-block-poly(lactide) Thin Films”
    • Advisor: Dr. Andrew Baruth
  • Megan Kangiser, “Effects of varenicline and GZ-793A on methamphetamine and food self-administration under a multiple schedule of reinforcement in rats”
    • Advisor: Dr. Dustin Stairs
  • Daniel F. Kresock, “Mechanistic Investigation of a Spermine-binding Mammalian Riboswitch to Potential Anti-cancer Drugs”
    • Advisor: Dr. Juliane Strauss-Soukup
  • Christina Miller, “Metabolic Profiling of Skin Cancer Using Nonlinear Optical Techniques”
    • Advisor: Dr. Michael Nichols
  • Leah Schaffer, “Development of a Capillary Electrophoresis Separation and Electrochemiluminescent Detection Method for Biogenic Amines”
    • Advisor: Dr. Erin Gross
  • Benjamin R. Schmachtenberger, “Viability in Active Galactic Nuclei”
    • Advisor: Dr. Jack Gabel
  • Tiare M. Takaesu, “Elucidating the Evolutionary History of the Primate Alpha-Amylase Multi-Gene Family: How Promoter Sequence Changes Can Alter Tissue-Specific Expression Pattern”
    • Advisor: Dr. Soochin Cho
  • Eric Villanueva, “Analysis of Cochlin Mutations in Zebrafish Ear Development”
    • Advisor: Dr. Ken Kramer