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The Literary Way

a newsletter for Xavier University of Louisiana's English majors, minors, and honors students

April 2014

Sigma Tau Delta officers

Sigma Tau Delta officers Mia Ruffin (2nd VP), Catherine Fakler (1st VP), and Jordyn Goody (President)

Sigma Tau Delta Induction Ceremony

On April 14th, 2014 several new members were inducted into the Xavier University chapter of the international English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. The Alpha Beta Eta Chapter was founded at Xavier University of Louisiana in 1991. Today, there are over 800 active chapters in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Sigma Tau Delta's main purpose is to confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature. Application The application deadline for prospective members is in January every academic year. Applications are welcome from students who:
  • are currently enrolled at Xavier University;
  • have been enrolled at Xavier University for at least three semesters;
  • have completed a minimum of two additional courses beyond the Core Curriculum English requirement (1000/1010, 1020, 2010) OR two additional courses beyond the Honors English sequence (1023H & 2011H)
  • have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all English courses;
  • have earned a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
The 2014 Inductees include Catherine Fakler, Jessica Gardiner, Evan LaRoche, Anthony Lotten, Isaiah Miel Jones, and Thao P. Nguyen. Continuing members include Kamaria Beamon, Javon Bracy, Kaci Foster, Jordyn Goody Obinna Oko, Mia Ruffin, and Brittini Summers. The newly elected officers are Jordyn Goody, President, Catherine Fakler, First Vice-President, Mia Ruffin, Second Vice-President and Jessica Gardiner, Secretary. Dr. Robin Vander (Associate Professor of English) serves as the faculty advisor for Sigma Tau Delta.

According to Dr. Vander, only the executive committee members and Anthony Lotten will carry over into next year, since some of the new inductees are graduating seniors.

Congratulations, Inductees!

Javon and Mr. Shade

Javon Bracy, Graduate of the Year, with Mr. Shade

End-of-Year Department Party


April 30th, 2014 faculty and students of the English Department gathered to celebrate the end of another academic year and to bestow the Graduate of the Year award upon a student voted on by the English faculty and graduating seniors. This year's award went to Javon Bracy, current Student Government Association president and long-time active member of the English Club. A little over a week later, Javon made us even prouder by winning the Saint Katharine Drexel Award, announced at the Baccalaureate Mass: the highest award bestowed by the University upon one of its students. Javon is pictured with Mr. James Shade, assistant professor of English, who began the tradition of Graduate of the Year with the first graduating class after Hurrican Katrina.

Also announced at the party was the winner of the Freshman Essay Contest: Brielle Henderson, for her essay (written for Dr. Bonnie Noonan's English Composition and Rhetoric class) titled "The Beauty within a Dark History." Brielle received a certificate, $100 cash, and her story was published in the latest issue of New Voices, the student literary magazine: Word (No. 21 2014).
We were all so young and innocent ... we had yet to be exposed ... to the racial tensions America had once shown. Our little plump faces of yellow, brown, and gold ... our ten little fingers, our ten little toes. [...] We could walk the streets hand in hand despite the color of our skin. Youth and innocence kept us equal. —from Brielle Henderson, "The Beauty within a Dark History."
The event's spontaneous "program" (oxymoron!) included Dr. Lanoue reciting Chaucer's Middle English ("Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote..."), an Elvis impression by Dr. Bonnie Noonan, an improvised poem by Isaiah Jones, and heartfelt speeches by Mr. Shade and Dr. Dorris.

Dr. Noonan and Brielle Henderson

Brielle poses with Dr. Bonnie Noonan

Ms. Laborde and Brielle

Ms. Laborde reads from Brielle's story

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Dr. David Lanoue with graduating seniors Javon Bracy, Donald Sewell, Daisha Wilson, and Kamaria Beamon

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Dr. Ronald Dorris addressed the group



New Kemper Scholar Announced

Tyler Despenza, a freshman English major, will receive the highly prestigious Kemper Scholarship. Funded by the Kemper Foundation, this scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate academic achievement and potential; leadership in school and community; unusual maturity, openness and flexibility; and intellectual curiosity. Tyler and her fellow Kemper Scholars at other universities will receive scholarship assistance of up to $10,000 a year for three years. They will also attend the annual Kempers Scholars Conference, held in Chicago, for three years—and they'll be placed in paid summer internship programs in their sophomore and junior years. The English Department is very, very proud of Tyler!

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Tyler Dispenza sharing her poetry at the Division of Fine Arts & Humanities picnic



Your English Faculty

Dr. Biljana Obradovic

Dr. Obradovic at Poets House, New York City

Xavier University English majors, minors, and honors students benefit from the expertise of a productive, widely published faculty. Unlike larger schools where students are more likely to be taught by graduate students or part-time adjuncts, at Xavier students are taught for the most part by fulltime instructors with terminal degrees (Ph.D. or M.F.A.) and active research and writing agendas. Xavier students are taught by acclaimed experts in their fields in small classes—a powerful combination.

Dr. Biljana D. Obradovic (Professor of English) published a poem "Placing Everything on the Line" by Zvonko Karanovic translated by her from the Serbian in World Literature Today in its May printed issue and an interview with the same poet online at World Literature Today. Karanovic is one of the poets who appear in her forthcoming anthology of contemporary Serbian poetry co-edited with Dubravka Djuric.

Dr. Oliver Hennessey (Assistant Professor of English) has published a book, Yeats, Shakespeare, and Irish Cultural Nationalism, in press.

Dr. Ronald Dorris (Professor of English) published an article, "Flambeau: Orality as Reflexive Flame of New Orleans," in an anthology that features work by scholars from France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the United States. (Title: Captured by the City: Perspectives in Urban Culture Studies.)

Dr. Nicole Greene (Associate Professor of English) has an article forthcoming in a British journal of Irish Studies. A book that Dr. Greene published for Xavier Review Press in 2013, R. Flowers Rivera's Troubling Accents, was selected by the Texas Association of Authors as its 2014 Poetry Book of the Year.

Ms. Katheryn Laborde (Associate Professor of English) was invited to address students at the Jane Addams School of Social Work in Chicago, based on her various published essays and book on post-Katrina evacuation and recovery experiences.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English and Department Head) was elected to a second term as president of the Haiku Society of America. He has two of his novels coming out in foreign translation this summer: Laughing Buddha in Spanish (Funambulista Press) and Dewdrop World in Bulgarian (Iztok-Zapad). In addition, he recently became the second English Department faculty member to receive a Norman C. Francis Excellence Award. Dr. Bonnie Noonan won this prestigious award in the area of teaching in 2010; Dr. Lanoue won it this year in the area of scholarship; see the video produced by Bart Everson of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching.


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The Literary Way is edited by Dr. David G. Lanoue of the Xavier University English Department. Contact: dlanoue@xula.edu