Volume 45 No. 08
August 2014








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Pure Essence
A World Away
Hands On
Pass It On
IBCS Commencement
We are XU

1834 Student Newspaper Takes Top Award

Students who worked on the 2013 spring and fall editions of The Xavier Herald received the top award presented by the Louisiana Press Association in its annual Better Student Newspaper Competition: First Place in General Excellence.

The Herald also took first place in “staff generated color advertisement” and two second place awards for graphic design and feature photography.

The awards were presented in June at the LPA’s joint conference with the Mississippi Press Association held in Biloxi MS. Entries were from university publications from across Louisiana. The Southeastern Louisiana University Lion’s Roar placed second and Loyola University Maroon placed third in general excellence.

Cassie Smith, spring 2013 editor-in-chief, is now an editorial assistant at the Austin American-Statesman newspaper in Austin TX. The other first place award was for a staff generated color ad that design editor Kenneth Norwood. He also graduated in May 2013.

1834 Home Meets Top
CC 2014 Schedule

Two city meets, including the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships, will highlight of the 2014 Xavier men's and women's cross country schedules.

The Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets, both eight-time defending conference champions, will play host to the GCAC Championships Oct. 18 at City Park, with team and individual champions qualifying automatically for the NAIA National Championships at Lawrence KS. It will be the first time since 2003 that New Orleans is the site of the GCAC meet.

Visit HERE for more details.


VB Opens with
Long Home Stretch

A slew of early-season home matches is one of the features of the 2014 Xavier women's volleyball schedule. XU will play a school-record-tying 13 matches at home (out of 24 total games). Eleven of the Gold Nuggets' first 13 matches will be at home

Xavier is the three-time defending Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champion and is 43-0 the past three seasons against GCAC opponents. The Nuggets are one of only 17 teams to qualify for the NAIA National Championship each of the last three seasons.

Visit HERE for more details.


APPA Recognizes

Xavier has been awarded the 2014 APPA Effective & Innovative Practices Award for its submission “Pervious Pavement and Solar PV Panel Parking Lots: Storm Water Management and an Alternative Energy Resource”.

The award recognizes new programs or significant restructuring to existing programs that will enhance service delivery, lower costs, increase productivity, improve customer service, generate revenue, or otherwise benefit the educational institution.



XU Division of Business faculty members accept the 2013 Louisiana Performance Excellence Award (LPEA) from the Louisiana Quality Foundation (LQF) in recognition of their “focus on improvement, growth and innovation.” On hand for the presentation, held at the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge, were: (L-R) Tonia Doakes, Dr. James Bartkus, Dr. Joe Ricks, LQF President Gordon Payne, Clifford Wright, and Dr. Syed Ahmed.

Photo courtesy Division of Business


The Board of Trustees has approved a new academic program leading to an Ed. D. (Doctor of Education) degree in Educational Leadership.

The 60-hour curriculum will focus on urban education and school turnaround, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that blends theory and applied research with practice. In keeping with Xavier’s Mission, it is designed for the educator who wants to become a leader and agent of change in approaching the current challenges facing many schools in New Orleans and beyond. more


The 2015 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges has tabbed Xavier as among its “Best Buy Schools” for academics and affordability.

The publication has designated 44 such institutions – 22 public and 22 private – as “Best Buys.” To qualify for the distinction, the colleges and universities must have a four- or five-star academic rating, be in the inexpensive or moderate price category, and have a good quality of student campus life.

Xavier is the only university in Louisiana and one of only three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to make the list. more



The University Rank and Tenure Committee and President Dr. Norman C. Francis have approved the promotions of five faculty members in four disciplines for the 2014-2015 academic year, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Michael Homan was promoted to full professorship in theology. Four others were promoted to associate professorships: Dr. Partha Bhattacharjee and Dr. Hector Biliran in biology, Dr. Kristy Brumfield in education, and Dr. Lamartine Meda in chemistry .more



Eric Craig, a junior political science major from Los Angeles CA (Downtown Business High),was selected as this year’s winner of the University of Arkansas George Washington Carver Research Program’s 2014 Research Poster Competition. The award is given annually to an intern that demonstrates exceptional research and presentation skills in his/her chosen area of study.

Emmanuel Detiege
, a senior computer science major from New Orleans LA (Bro. Martin High), served a summer internship at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore MD.

DeVon Pruitt, a senior political science major from Meridian MS (Meridian High), represented Xavier at the 50th anniversary ceremonies of the 1964 signing of the Civil Rights Act in Washington D.C., which included the opportunity to interact with Freedom Riders and other influential civil rights leaders. He was one of only 18 university students invited.



(L-R) Xavier Herald adviser Melinda Shelton and 2013-14 graphics design editor Latasha Smith display awards the student newspaper received in the Louisiana Press Association’s Better Student Newspaper Competition, including 1st place in general excellence (the LPA’s highest award) and staff generated color advertisement, and 2nd place in graphic design and feature photography. Photo by Veronica Farve.

Photo by Veronica Farve

Ed.D. cont

“What makes this degree program unique,” said Dr. Rosalind Hale, Professor of Education and one of the authors of the new program “is its focus on leadership values that include social justice and inclusion of all the organization’s stakeholders.  “At Xavier, our educational programs are grounded in a conceptual framework that identifies six constructs: spirituality, diversity, professionalism, inquiry, competence, and technology that are passed on from the University’s experienced professional team to those who will lead effective schools in the future.”

Dr. Loren Blanchard, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs indicates: “Xavier was established almost 100 years ago as a College of Education.  In this new initiative, our goal is to produce transformational leaders who meet the profession’s current needs and future demands. Ed. D. graduates will be visionary, flexible, and adaptable to change.” 

Degree candidates will learn strategies and skills that will engage all constituents in creating schools with sustainable high performance based on effective organizational models and best instructional practices. The platform to change is underpinned by the pedagogical successes of urban schools that consistently meet the academic needs of all children, including those who are poor and minority.

“The Ed. D. in Educational Leadership curriculum will be infused with a rich mixture of leadership theories, best practices, and entrepreneurial turnaround skills,” said Dr. Renee Akbar, chair of XU’s Division of Education and Counseling, “What makes the program even more unique is its focus on leadership skills built on the foundation of social justice, collaborative relationships, and advocacy.

The new program, which must still be approved by the Southern Associate of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), is slated to enroll its first class of students in Fall 2015. The doctoral degree program, will be administered through the Division of Education and Counseling and draws on the Division’s success as a partner in the Louisiana School Turnaround Specialist Program. Interested applicants must already have a master’s degree – although not necessarily in education or educational leadership.

fiske cont

In its 26th year, the Fiske Guide to Colleges has provided millions of parents, counselors, and college-bound students with an independent perspective on the distinctive personalities of the best and most interesting colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. The author, Edward B. Fiske, served for 17 years as education editor of the New York Times.

Other schools selected include: (private) Adelphi University, Alfred University, Austin College, Baylor University, Brigham Young University, California Institute of Technology, Cooper Union, Deep Springs College, Elon University, Goucher College, Morehouse College, Mount Holyoke College, Olin College of Engineering, Rice University, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, University of the South, Southwestern University, Spelman College, Syracuse University, Trinity University, and Warren Wilson College; (public) Arizona State University, University of Edinburgh (UK), The Evergreen State University, University of Florida, Indiana University, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Mary Washington, University of Maryland Baltimore County, New College of Florida, University of North Carolina Asheville, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Ohio University, Purdue University, University of St. Andrews (UK), SUNY-Buffalo, SUNY-College at Geneseo, University of Texas at Austin, University of Toronto (CAN), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

faculty cont

Homan, who holds a Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern history from the University of California-San Diego, has been at Xavier for 12 years. He currently teaches courses on the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern religion, and has escorted Xavier students on archaeological excavations to Israel and Jordon. The author of such books as The Bible for Dummies and Over, Under and Through the Bible, he is now involved in researching the origins of social stratification and the history of social justice.

Bhattacharjee, who holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Liverpool and a D.V.M from Bangladesh Agricultural University, has been at Xavier since 2008. His teaching duties are split between Human Physiology and Microbiology. He also serves as an adjunct assistant professor of Ophthalmology at the LSU School of Medicine. His current research focuses on diabetic retinopathy, the most common eye disease in the retina of diabetic patients with an ultimate vision loss.

Biliran, who teaches a variety of biology courses (general, genetics, and scientific literature), has been at Xavier for six years. He holds a Ph.D. from Wayne State University. His research, which focuses on identifying compounds or molecules that can induce apoptosis or cell death in cancer cells, has received external funding from the National institutes for Health (NIH), the Louisiana State Board of Regents, and the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. He has served as a research mentor to 14 XU students, some of whom have already co-authored professional papers.



Bhattacharjee brumfield
meda Meda
Brumfield, who has also been at XU for six years, holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of New Orleans. A licensed professional counselor, she teaches classes in the M.A. Counseling Program, including play therapy and skills courses. Her primary research focus concerns social and cultural diversity in counseling as well as focusing on counseling children and adolescents.

Meda, who holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Northeastern University, came to Xavier in 2008. His teaching load includes general chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and materials chemistry. His research, which is multidisciplinary in nature and encompasses electrochemistry, physics, chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering, focuses on the understanding of nanostructured materials and their applications in electrochemical energy storage (rechargeable lithium-ion batteries), super-capacitor, and sensors.


Gold Rush coach Dannton Jacksons watches as Army veteran and new XU basketball recruit Troy Salvant works out on the Convocation Center court.


Courtesy of New Orleans Advocate: article by Will Guillory; staff photo by Daniel Erath

When Troy Salvant joined the Army after high school in 2007, he figured his basketball days were over. He had gotten kicked off the team at L.W. Higgins High, had a newborn daughter to take care of and figured it was time to grow up.

“I didn’t have any guidance, from a basketball standpoint, and I really didn’t have the belief in myself to play at the next level,” he said. “So I knew joining the Army would allow me to help my family financially and also help myself grow into a man.”

Salvant spent seven years in the Army, which included a year in Iraq and three in Germany as a human resources specialist. His time in Germany is when he felt compelled to return to basketball. “It was like an eye-opener being out there,” he said. “Everybody there is focused on chasing their dreams. Seeing that showed me that, if I can get committed, I can make my dream come true, too. I knew I just needed to put in the work.”

Not long after, Salvant made his way back home to New Orleans. One day, he was out shopping for clothes when he ran into an old friend. Wanto Joseph, his high school buddy and a former Xavier University of Louisiana standout, came walking up to him, and they began to exchange stories of what has been going on since the last time they saw each other.

“(Salvant) told me that he just got back home from the Army and that he was trying to get back in school,” said Joseph, who now tours with the Harlem Globetrotters. “I knew that he was capable of playing at any collegiate level, so I figured that I should definitely get him in contact with my alma mater.”

Joseph got Salvant a workout with Dannton Jackson, his coach at Xavier whom he describes as a father figure. Jackson has been the Gold Rush head man since 2002, racking up a 249-107 record and three Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in the past three seasons. When Salvant saw Jackson for the first time at the workout, he saw the coach as “a big-time hooper” and “a guy that knows basketball.”

Jackson tried to test the 6-foot-1 Salvant to see whether he could say the same things about the potential recruit. “I tested his skill set, and I tried to tax him a little bit to see how tough he was,” Jackson said. “He showed me that he had the ability to attack the rim relentlessly, and that’s one thing we needed more of on the team, so I knew it would be a good fit for us.”

Jackson decided that he would give Salvant a shot to join the team, as long as his eligibility wasn’t in question. According to NAIA rules, despite Salvant being 25 years old, he would be allowed to join the team as a freshman because he had never played college basketball and exceptions are granted to players who are a year removed from completing their military duties.

With assurance from the NAIA, Jackson decided to add Salvant to his three-man recruiting class for 2014, joining guard Josh Freeman and forward Jacques Johnson. Jackson said the story of

Four premed undergraduates –senior psychology major Armond Collins of Shreveport LA (Cadda Parish High), junior biology major Malcolm Chidera Mezue of Baldwin NY (Long Island High), junior biology major Brittany Russell of Sumrall MS (Sumrall High), and junior biology major Taylor Thornton of Cedar Hill TX (Trinity Christian) – expanded their minds at the eight-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.


Gavin Bauman ’14 is working at Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist in Boston MA.

Sister Greta M. Jupiter, S.S.F. ’72 has been elected congregational leader of the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans. She had previously served as interim congregational leader and as first general councilor.

Dr. Robert Miller, Jr. ’85, an associate professor in social work at the University at Albany SUNY’s School of Social Welfare and Director of the Research Training and Education Core of the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, co-edited a book, Qualitative Research in Social Work, published by Columbia University Press.

Frances Parker ’67, eldercare consultant and author of Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes, was a featured speaker at the first Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology Nurse Navigator Conference at the Michigan State University Tollgate Center in Novi MI. 

Alex Presley ’14 is working at Accenture as a Business and Systems Integration Analyst in New York City.

Dr. Karla Vital ’95, President and CEO of Vital Health & Wellness Center and a board certified physician specializing in bariatic medicine and nephrology in Houston TX, was featured as “Physician of the Week” in the July 13 issue of African American News.

Damon Williams, Jr., ‘02, has been named the Director of Diversity, Community and Recruitment at Emory University’s Laney Graduate School. He previously served as Director for Graduate Placement, for the McNair Scholars Program, and the University Summer Programs at Xavier.

Yves-Yvette Young ’14, is serving a Fellowship with Harvard School of Public Health’s Multidisciplinary International Research Training Program (MIRT) at a public health site in New Zealand.


Ed Cassiere (Athletics), made a presentation, “Winning Coverage Strategies for Small Sports Information Staffs”, at the 2014 National HBCU Media Summit, held in New Orleans.

James Dunson (Philosophy) co-authored a book, Citizen of the World: Suffering and Solidarity in the 21st Century, whichhas been awarded a Silver Prize from the Catholic Press Association.

Jason Horn (Director of Athletics) has been elected to the board of the directors of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to attract and manage sporting events that have a positive economic impact on the greater New Orleans area. Horn is one of two local collegiate athletics directors on the — the other is Tulane's Rick Dickson.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English) gave a paper, "Shocking Basho: (Some) Contemporary American Haiku" at an international haiku conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. While there he also celebrated publication of a translation of his novel, Dewdrop World, with a bilingual reading and book-signing; he then traveled to Spain to sign books at the Feria de Libros in Madrid, where his novel Laughing Buddha came out in Spanish.

Dr. Sharlene Sinegal-DeCuir (history) discussed black soldiers and their presence in the Civil War, Voodoo and its roots, and the infamous quadroon balls for a United Kingdom television documentary “On the Trail of the Blues,” which explores the history of the blues in its socio-cultural context.

Institutional Advancement staffers Lacrecia James, Whitney Grandpre, and Kimberly Reese made a presentation, “GiveLoveXavier – A Case Study in Social Media Campaigning for HBCU Philanthropy”, at the 2014 National HBCU Media Summit in New Orleans.
Merlin Peters, his former teammate and Xavier’s all-time leading scorer, inspired him to give Salvant a chance. Peters came to Xavier after a stint with the Marines.

“He comes in early and he works with the guys and there’s no doubting that he has the ability to lead. We don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but we hope his leadership can have a big impact on us this year.”

“I think the most important thing (Salvant) will add to our team is his maturity,” Jackson said. “Sometimes freshmen come into an opportunity like this and don’t realize how much of a blessing it is to have a college basketball scholarship. (Salvant) understands this already because he was in a position where he didn’t have a scholarship despite how badly he wanted to play.

While Salvant accepts that role, he also knows the Gold Rush went 23-9 last season without him. “I understand that I have to follow first, before I can be a good leader,” he said. “I can play whatever role Coach needs me to play on the court without disrupting our team concept. I just hope my work ethic can rub off on my teammates and we can all work hard so we can be great.”

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