Formation Time – Business Ethics and CST


I hope that you thoroughly enjoyed our conversation during Formation Time on Sunday. A vocation in the business sector can be for the common good and create positive change in the world. I would be remiss in this statement if I did not admit that the society in which we live poses many challenges to maintaining such a posture toward the world. However, in and through collaboration—community—and an understanding of the human person as one who is integrally connected to others, change is possible.

Let’s add some feet to the challenge Madi posed at the end of our time together: What practices on campus and in your life as a consumer frustrate you? What makes you angry? What can we work to change? Let’s start the dialogue and do something about it!

Here’s the link to the document that guided Dr. Kelly’s presentation.

If you want to do some further research, I suggest these articles:

Peace and all good,


Love thy self


Here are a few resources that will help you as you continue to consider what we talked about during Formation Time on Sunday:

23 and a half hours:

Our society tells us that service is an outward facing activity, meaning that it involves others, especially distant others. What if we turn this idea on its head? Shouldn’t service also take place in our own backyard—on campus? In our dorm? With our neighbors? With our very person? How can learn to be kind, gentle, loving and giving, if we do not treat our person in a loving, kind way? Media outlets tell us that we never have enough, we’re not pretty enough, smart enough, likable enough. Is not loving ourselves and valuing the life we have been gifted one of the greatest acts of service we can do?

As we approach this hectic time of the semester, with tests, papers and group projects, love yourself. Take time for yourself—go for a walk, enjoy a cup of tea because you can, sit underneath the shade of the trees in the Jesuit gardens, heck, sleep-in. In order to live for others, you must live for the self too. In a round-about way, I think this is what the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh hints at in the following passage:

“We talk about social service, service to the people, service to humanity, service to others who are far away, helping to bring peace to the world – but often we forget that it is the very people around us that we must live for first of all. If you cannot serve your wife or husband or child or parent – how are you going to serve society? If you cannot make your own child happy, how do you expect to be able to make anyone else happy? If all our friends in the peace movement or of service communities of any kind do not love and help each other, whom can we love and help?” (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation).  If we do not love ourselves, whom can we love and help?

Be well and love well,


Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Director’s Notes

This week, our External Communications Chair Emma Rasmussen is making her directorial debut with Creighton Theatre’s production of the one-act play “Exit, Pursued by a Bear,” which will be performed with another one-act “Gladys” this week, Oct 9-11 at 7:30 pm and Oct. 12 at 2 pm at the Lied Center. Here are Emma’s director’s notes on the play:

“This bear, exit, whatever… show you’re directing… what’s it about?”

I so love getting asked this question, because, one, I am actually (pinch myself) directing a show, and two, my answer tends to catch people off guard. I begin, “Well you see, its a smart, funny revenge comedy…” The person I’m talking to smiles and nods. We’re doing well! Smartness! Revenge! Comedy! “…that deals with the issue of domestic abuse.” Yeah, that’s a plot twist. Some people are fascinated, but many are uncomfortable, confused, or even take offense. Our conversation ends as soon as it began. I get it. Domestic violence is by not exactly good passing conversation. The bear in the room, if you will. Not something anyone wants to talk about. However, that silence is a significant part of the problem.

Domestic abuse is perpetuated by a culture of silence and suppression: suppression of victims’ voices, and of the female story as a whole. One in four women in the U.S. will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives. One in four. Y’all, that is unacceptable. That is something that we need to be talking about.

This show is the beginning of Nan’s conversation with all of us. And it ain’t your average bear of a conversation either. It comes with a side of expository theatre, your friendly neighborhood stripper, and maybe even a laugh or twenty. My hope is, this is a conversation you’ll be glad you stuck around for.

In the words of Simon, my favorite male cheerleader, BRING ON THE BEAR.

All the best,

Emma Rasmussen

Corteama Series: Introducing Madi Felipe

Hi friends! It’s Madi Felipe here, your Formation Time Chair extraordinaire. Hayley asked at our last Corteama meeting that everyone on the Core Team write something about themselves for the blog. I decided I like procrastinating and talking about myself, so here I am writing this blog post instead of studying.

A few very important things you should know about me are that first I am from Southern California, and I love it a lot. My mom is always saying I should bring my friends home to visit, so if any of you reading this don’t have anything to do for Christmas, you have a place at my home…in Southern California…where there are beaches…and you can tan on Christmas…and my mom makes really good food…and we have a cookie party before New Years where we literally invite people over and don’t let them in the house unless they have brought homemade cookies to share….so maybe you should come over. Second, I really love my dog and my friend’s dog. Their names are Napoleon and Judy and they are beautiful and perfect in every way.


Nappy and Judy ready for the cookie party!

Then there is my cat Veronica. She is fat, but she takes better photos than me. That is all.


I am a senior psychology major with a Spanish minor. I love to exercise and have most recently been into crossfit, power lifting and yoga! I’m a building supervisor and Group Fitness Instructor at the KFC and Rasmussen Center. If you want to talk to me about any of these things please let me know. I won’t shut up about them. Seriously. Ask my roommates. Speaking of roommates: FUN FACT – I LIVE WITH SARAH PERAUD AND EMMA RASMUSSEN. Both of those ladies I got to know through Cortina. Cherish these friendships, my ducklings, cherish them. P.S. we take a lot of selfies…

selfie1selfie3 selfie2

I have a sister and three half-brothers who live all over the states. They are cool. I like my parents. They are cool, too. I have three tattoos that I like a lot. And before anyone asks, no, I did not get the tree on my back because of Cortina, but rumor has it I did. Who can say?


Okay, I think you know enough about me now. If you wanna chat, I really like coffee. What I like more than coffee are people who buy me coffee. If you don’t want to buy me coffee, we can go to a coffee shop and you can watch me drink coffee that I bought all on my own. Or we can get food. I like that. Basically I want to hang out with you, but like not in a creepy way. Okay, I think I’ve been creepy enough as it is, I’m just going to end this here. Bye.

What’s Up in the World Wednesday: Ignored Protests, Ebola Outbreaks and Resignations

Hong Kong Media are providing wall-to-wall coverage of the protests calling for the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, as compared to mainland China where there has been little to no mention of the unrest. This contrast in news coverage clearly displays the “one country, two systems” policy that has been in place since the former British colony reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. You can read more about the cause of the protests here and reporting by the Associated Press about the protests here. What do you think about a nation denying media coverage about a political protest?

Last night the first Ebola diagnosis was made in the US. This comes months the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history began ravaging West African countries, including over 3,000 deaths according to a World Health Organization report. Read why the Center for Disease Control says Americans shouldn’t worry here.

This afternoon Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, has resigned following a series of embarrassing incidents. These security gaffs include a man scaling a White House fence and allegedly running through the buildings main level before being apprehended, and the Service allowing an armed contractor with a criminal record to ride on an elevator with the president. You can read more about the White House intrusion here and more about the resignation of Pierson here. What lengths do you think the Secret Service should go to to protect the president? Read more food for thought here.

Cortina Field Trips!

This weekend, the Cortina Community began a new tradition: Cortina Field Trips! Cortinians had the opportunity to explore different sites in the Omaha area. Formation Group Leaders led small groups of students to their favorite places around the community, from restaurants to parks to churches. Students had the chance to see parts of Omaha they may not have ventured to before and experience the diversity and liveliness of this city. Here are a few pictures from the day. We hope to continue this activity throughout the year!

What did you discover about Omaha? What are some of your places in the city?

What’s Up in the World Wednesday: Feminism and Air Strikes

Actress Emma Watson extended the formal invitation for men to join the fight for gender equality in a United Nations address on Sept. 21, launching the HeForShe campaign. In her role as the new UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Watson spoke about the necessity for the sexes to work together in order to achieve universal equality. You can find a transcript of the speech here  or watch the full video here. In her speech Watson said “Gender equality is your issue, too,” in reference to males. Do you think that gender equality is an issue for both men and women? Do you think that the definition of feminism needs to be more inclusive? Post-address, Watson was met with sexualized internet backlash that you can read about here. What does this type of bullying say about climate of gender issues?

Another hot-topic this week was the United States’ airstrikes against Syria on September 23. The U.S. military said that their aerial bombardment of Syria was the beginning of a prolonged strategy that will continue over the next few months. The campaign is likely to become more difficult as the targeted ISIS militants retreat into populated areas. You can watch a Pentagon briefing about the Syrian airstrike campaign here. Said President Obama of the military action in Syria, “We will do what is necessary to take this attack to this terrorist threat. The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone.” What do you think about the airstrikes? Is it a necessary step to combat a foreign terrorist organization or irresponsible for the United States to target populated areas of Syria?

Monday Meditation: Vocation

The first Cortina Formation Time of the year focused on the topic of vocation. Freshmen and sophomores were split into separate rooms to hear from members of the Creighton and Omaha communities who shared their vocational journey and gave advice to students as they find their own vocation.

Our panelists were: Kyle O’Reilly, video editor at West Corporation; Scott McClure, Vice President of the Magis Program at Creighton; Dr. Andy Gustafson, Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Society at Creighton; Dr. Corey Guenther, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Creighton; Becky Nickerson, Assistant Director for Leadership and Retention in Creighton’s Office of Multicultural Affairs; Amanda Drapcho, Director of the Lieben Center for Women at Creighton; and Kate McKillip, an internal and pediatric resident at UNMC. We thank them so much for taking the time to spend their Sunday evening with us!

As you begin to reflect and meditate on your passions and career calling, here are some great resources to help you continue thinking about vocation:

“Something’s your vocation if it keeps making more of you.” — Gail Godwin, Evensong

What does vocation mean to you? How do you see your time at Creighton informing your vocation? What can you do/are you doing to make your time here meaningful? How do you balance your inner voice and the demands of society/college culture when it comes to discerning your vocation?

The Start of a New Year

Welcome to our new and continuing members of the Cortina Community! After a busy start to the year full of new student orientation and the beginning of classes, we couldn’t be more excited for the year to come.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 11.22.09 AMOur first community meeting of the year was the annual Community Partner Bash where students learned who their community partner for the semester would be and met their fellow Formation Group members and leaders. Cortinians are eager to go to their service sites and learn about the Omaha community.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 11.22.53 AM The following weekend was the Cortina Fall Retreat, held at Carol Joy Holling Camp, for a time of learning, reflection, relationship-building and plenty of fun.

Students learned about Fr. Jon Cortina and were given a glimpse into his life of faith and service. In addition, we were privileged enough to see the premiere of a film made by Nico Sandi, second-year RA in Deglman, called “Faith That Does Justice,” which tells about the Jesuit martyrs tragedy in El Salvador that occurred 25 years ago. The incident shocked the world and spurred Fr. Cortina to fight injustice during a time of civil war in the country and for the rest of his life.

Cortinians also heard informative and inspirational talks from Ken Reed-Bouley, director of the Creighton Center for Service and Justice; Kyle Lierk, director of Campus Ministry at Creighton; and Dr. Faith Kurtyka, assistant professor of English at Creighton University, who all gave greater insight into the Cortina Community and how it will challenge students to think and to grow during their time in the community. We thank them for taking the time to speak to us, and we are looking forward to discussing and reflecting on what they shared with us as we continue to learn about ourselves and our world during the year.

In these first two weeks, we faced our fears, thought about our own beliefs, met new people, and shared laughter with wonderful people.

Here’s to the start of a life-giving year.

Meet our new Resident Director – Kate Macan!


Greetings Cortinians and Happy Summer!

My name is Kate Macan and as a former Cortinian and a Creighton grad, I feel blessed and honored to be a new member of your community.  While at Creighton, I studied theology and Spanish and minored in Justice and Peace Studies.  I was abroad for a semester in the DR, passed many wonderful hours facilitating ESL courses in the Omaha community and spent my mornings on Carter Lake with the Crew team. 

Following my graduation, I volunteered with Cap Corps Midwest in Managua, Nicaragua from 2009-2011.  I worked with underprivileged youth in an inner-city neighborhood teaching English courses, facilitating retreats and after school activities.  Most recently, I was working on a master’s degree in theological studies at the University of Notre Dame. 

I very much look forward to the conversations we will have this year, as we consider issues of power, privilege, and injustice.  I look forward to being a resource for you in your journey at Creighton and beyond. 

Be well.  I’ll be seeing you soon!