Volume 37 No. 04
April 07
 
THIS MONTH AT XAVIER

ARCHIVES/IN THIS ISSUE:

SGA President
Is No Lame Duck


577 Scholars Make
Fall '06 Dean's List
 

XU Team Triumphs
in Business Competition


Flickinger Receives
NAIA National Honor


Open House at Xavier
Draws Determined Students

Boutte Selected to
Head Freshman Studies

Young Dentists Reach
Career Milestones

Two XU Students
Named Kemper Scholars


Rush, Nuggets Close Out Successful BB Seasons

XavierWrites

Xavier in the News


1834

Phonathon 2007
is Underway

The University's Phonathon 2007 is now underway. XU students have been calling alumni and friends asking for support of the Annual Fund. 

Callers are seeking financial support for student scholarships and other needs of the University. Your gift can make a difference. In giving, you show your support and that you care about XU and its future. The drive will end June 30th.

If you have any questions, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (504) 520-6782 or toll free 1-877-WE LUV XU (1-877-935-8898).

1834 New XU Video Available Online

A new promotional and recruitment video – The Xavier Story – is now available for online viewing. The video celebrates the XU tradition of academic excellence over more than eighty years, as well as its nearly complete campus recovery since Hurricane Katrina. The web video, which runs slightly over 2:00 minutes, is accessible here.

1834 CSLS Sponsors
Family Weekend

The Center for Student Leadership & Service is sponsoring Family Weekend April 13-15, an event designed to bring parents and students together on campus for fun, festivity, and culture.

Among the events planned are a welcoming reception, a professor’s luncheon examining “How to Cultivate a Successful African-American College Student”, a tour of the city or Mardi Gras World, a Greek Show showcasing the talents of Louisiana undergraduate and graduate chapters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and an honors convocation celebrating those freshmen and sophomores who have made the Dean’s List.

For more info, including costs, contact the CSLS at (504) 520-7320 or send an e-mail to ktnavarr@xula.edu. The registration deadline is April 4.

1834 XU, NYU Project
Digital Storytelling

Xavier and NYU students have collaborated on a digital storytelling project entitled “Digital Storytelling and Community: An Exploration of Home,” under a grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation.  
 
Ten XU art students and two faculty members traveled to New York to participate in a
collaborative program with New York University graduate students where they participated in workshops on the basics of editing digital audio and video and spent the week collecting imagery for digital stories. The New York students, in turn, visited New Orleans last month for the next portion of the project, investigating the distribution of the digital stories through online environments, including blogging, video blogging, podcasting and more.
 
A public unveiling of multiple completed projects is expected later in the semester or at the beginning of the fall semester. One project is to create a storytelling booth so that the Xavier community can tell their Katrina stories as a way of healing and connecting.  

1834 Mardi Gras Indians Topic of Seminar

New Orleans' truly unique Mardi Gras Indians were the subject of free seminar, “Mardi Gras Indians: A New Orleans Tradition,” held on the XU campus.

The event, hosted and moderated by Dr. Michael White, Xavier’s Keller Chair in the Humanities, brought together Dr. Joyce Jackson of LSU, Chief Larry Bannock, Chief Daryl Montana, Queen Cherise Harrison-Nelson and Betrand Butler (head of the Mardi Gras Indian Council) together for a panel discussion, followed by a performance and demonstration by Bannock, along with Harold Miller and the Creole Wild West tribe.

1834 XU Launches 2nd Neighborhood Clinic

The XU Center for Student Leadership & Service has opened the second of its two Neighborhood Health and Technology Information Center.

This newest addition, located at McDonogh 35 High School, will serve the Treme area, offering information and resources to residents and small businesses. The first center opened in February at Little Zion Baptist Church and serves Gert Town and other surrounding communities.

Both Centers are supported by a grant from HUD’s Universities Rebuilding America Partnership (URAP) program. For more info, contact the CSLS (504) 520-5139.

1834 XU Hosts Alternate Spring Break

The University served as the host site this month for several “Alternative Spring Break” student groups assisting in the New Orleans recovery.
 
Rowan University of New Jersey spent a week on the campus, followed by a group of students representing three other schools – the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), Morgan State University (an HBCU in Baltimore, MD) and the University of Maryland (Baltimore).
 
Students from around the country have always given up spring vacations to do community service. Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have become a hot spot for these "alternative" spring breaks for many students.
 
According to Kimberly Reese, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Center for Student Leadership and Service, Xavier housed the campus groups and coordinated volunteer activities for some of them. “Some groups, such as Rowan University, had planned their service activities," explains Reese, "while others asked for our assistance."
 
Xavier offered an orientation for the visitors and the Student Government Association hosted informal leader-to-leader sessions with ice breakers and conversations about Hurricane Katrina and other issues related to college students.

1834 History Honor
Society Debuts

A chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national History Honor Society, has been established at the University.

Charter members of Xavier's Alpha Mu Pi Chapter include Christopher Bordenave, Erica Gibson, Stephanie Warfield, Kristin Gates, Victor Jones and Gwenevere Weatherspoon.

Students who are interested in applying for membership in Phi Alpha Theta may contact Sister Barbara Hughes, faculty advisor, at 520-7410 or bhughes@xula.edu.

1834 CARMIMAC Forges Link with Xavier

Communications professor Dr. David Park paid a visit to the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, last month to explore opportunities for an exchange program between the two institutions.

Possibilities include both include semester abroad exchange programs both faculty and students, exchange programs during the summer semester, and collaboration on joint projects that address social issues common to New Orleans and Jamaica.

While there, Park spoke with CARIMAC about the use of public relations in crisis management and the democratization of media, with his comments being featured in the web publication Intercom.

1834 Got News for TMAX?

Recently been accepted into professional or graduate school, earned an advanced degree, received an internship or scholarship, won an award, secured a grant, had a book or article published, accepted a new job or promotion?

If so, why not share the good news with the XU community? Send an e-mail to the TMAX at rtucker@xula.edu – it’s really that simple.

1834 XU in the News

1902Times-Picayune - Students Planning City's Future
1902Loyola Marymount
Grad Student's Story is Positively Inspiring

1902St. John's University
Francis to be Awarded
Honorary Degree

1902Louisiana Weekly
XU Opens 2nd
Neighborhood Center

1902Standard Newswire
Teagle Foundation Announces $1.5 Million in New Grants
1902The Whit
Students Repair
Katrina's Devastation
1902Opelousas Daily World
Domingue Named
New Managing Editor

1902The Daily Beacon
Colleges Join Forces
for Katrina Summit

1902PR Newswire
Students from New Orleans Take Home the Grand Prize
1902Times-Picayune
Cuts in Biomed Research Financing Hurt New Orleans

1902Jackson Sun
2 Years After Katrina, 2 N.O.
Teams Make it Back to the NAIA
1902USA Today
Katrina Still Wallops
Small Businesses
1902Gloucester County Times
Students to Lend Helping
Hand on Semester Break
1902KSDK (St. Louis, Mo.)
XU President: 'Don't Take Anything For Granted'

1902NAIA
NAIA Names Flickinger
Wally Schwartz Award Recipient
1902Lafayette Advertiser
Francis honored by CLCU
1902USA Today
New Orleans Colleges
Have 'Long Way to Go'

SGA PRESIDENT INTRODUCES BILL CLINTON
crystal

ON THE NATIONAL STAGE

SGA President Crystal Moore shares the stage with UNCF President Michael Lomax, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Exxon Mobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson at the United Negro College Fund's 63rd Anniversary Dinner in New York City. Moore had the honor of introducing Clinton at the event, which raised more than $2.6 million to support efforts to help rebuild the historically black colleges and universities along the Gulf Coast impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

(photo courtesy of the UNCF)

No Lame Duck:

SGA Prez Adds Emergency Notification System to Her Credits


Politicians whose time in office is about to expire are frequently referred to as “lame ducks” … inferring that they are unlikely to get much done.

But although Crystal Moore’s days at Xavier are numbered – she’s graduating this May – that hasn’t stopped the reigning Student Government Association president from using her clout to improve the lives of both her fellow students and those that will follow in her footsteps.

During the spring semester alone, the business finance major from Collinsville, Miss. (West Lauderdale High) has arranged for some never-before seen perks for students – such as free legal services, $5 free printing, discounts from area merchants, newspapers in the Cafeteria, meal exchange, and most recently (and perhaps, most importantly), the new e2Campus Emergency Notification Service.

In regards to the latter, Moore recently convinced University officials to invest in an emergency text messaging system that will immediately send critical information – such as campus closings, campus or neighborhood safety issues, flooding and/or other weather-related emergencies – to students when needed.

In presenting her case, Moore pointed out – as parents of any teens or college students already know and the University administration acknowledged – the quickest way to get information to today’s students is through a text message on their personal cell phones. 

“Not everyone checks their email frequently, but we all get our text messages right away,” she said. “When the power went out on campus back in February after the overnight tornadoes, nobody knew what was going on. With E2Campus in place next time, we’ll receive the information as soon as the university sends it.”
 
Moore proposed that Xavier adapt the e2Campus system because it allows individual students to choose the best delivery best suited to their lifestyle – whether it be via cell phone, mobile device, email, or instant messaging. Plus, it allows them to receive other information too. Signing up for the system is voluntary, and Moore and her fellow SGA members spent the last two weeks of March providing students with information and easy access to the sign-up process. To date more than 1,000 have signed up.
 
“I know students who need to be reminded of the deadline to add or drop classes, or whenever important financial aid information is due,” said Moore. "This makes it possible for them to also get those reminders right on their cell phones."

While arguably the most important of her acquisitions, the e2campus system it is just one of a laundry list of items she and her SGA colleagues have pursued under this year’s SGA campus theme of "Breathing new life into students, Bringing more to Xavier.”

Case in point: free legal services. The SGA wanted to provide legal services to students so in the case that they have an issue such as parking tickets, tenant relations or criminal charges that would have access to an attorney. So Moore enlisted the services of local attorneys Gene Okyeame Haley ‘95 and Steven M. Jupiter ’92, a couple of Xavier grads who were more than happy to offer their services to students back at their old alma mater.

“Mr. Jupiter and Mr. Haley are very student friendly and are always willing to help when students need to see them,” said Moore. “It is excellent having Xavier alums involved because they have a special connection to our students.”
 
Noting further that students always seem short of cash for food and other items, she approached local businesses that students often frequent asking about possible discounts. The end result was the creation of the "Gold Pages" program – a listing of scores of area businesses and restaurants offering discounts to Xavier students on their favorite fast foods, merchandise and/or services.

Along those same lines, she also convinced the Office of Auxiliary and Support Services to extend the University’s meal exchange program to cover all weekday lunches. This convenient, flexible option allows students who missed the noon meal because of class/study/work obligations the option of exchanging a missed meal in the cafeteria for a prepackaged snack from the UC’s Café a la Carte.

Moore is not new to the SGA. She has been active since her freshman year – previously serving as sophomore treasurer and junior class president. In fact she was latter when Katrina hit – reinforcing her commitment to come back home to Xavier after a semester at Jackson State. But for all her past experience, nothing quite prepared her this year.

“At times it is overwhelming,” she admitted, noting that not only is she expected to attend all University events, all SGA-sponsored events and many other student activities, but she has to hold regular office hours and meet with University administrators several times a week to address student concerns. “But I love it.”

Moore is quick to point out, however, that she owes much of her success to the hard work of her SGA executive board and committee members, as well as the cooperation of the University administration and staff.

“It hasn’t been all Crystal,” she laughed. “I couldn’t have accomplished anything without all the support I have received.”

Moore’s charismatic personality and reputation for getting things done bodes well for her future. With her own graduation looming on the horizon, she has already fielded some job offers and has other irons in the fire. Still, she has not made any commitments.

“I’m just not ready to make that decision yet,” she said, “I’m not finished at Xavier.”

577 Scholars Make Fall '06 Dean's List  
 

A total of 577 student scholars made the Dean's Honor Roll during the fall ’06 semester, according to records released by Avis Stuard, interim registrar. Students merited a spot on the honor roll by earning a semester grade point average of 3.3 or above while taking at least 12 semester hours.

The College of Pharmacy led the way with 202 students on the Honor Roll, while the A&S sciences disciplines also placed a high number of students on the list, including: biology / biology pre-med (163), chemistry / chemistry pre-med / chemistry pre-pharmacy (92) and psychology / psychology pre-med (39).

The complete list is available HERE.

Xavierwrites

Students

George Adesina, a senior biology/pre-med major from Stafford, Texas (Stafford High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Houston, the University of Texas-Galveston and Morehouse College.

Raimot Agbe, a senior chemistry/pre-med major from Jonesboro, Ga. (Jonesboro High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Tennessee, Temple University and Howard University.

Ashton Baltrip, a junior sales and marketing business major from Houston, Texas (B.T. Washington high) has accepted a supply chain operations summer internship with the Quaker, Tropicana Gatorade (QTG) Company.

Sandrika Barnes, a senior chemistry major from New Orleans (Xavier Prep), has been accepted into dental school at the University of Tennessee.

Tiffany Black, a senior psychology/pre-med major from Birmingham, Ala. (Carroll High), has been accepted into medical school at Meharry College.

Whitney Brown, a junior accounting major from Thibodaux, La. (Thibodaux High), has received a scholarship from the Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies (COPAS) of New Orleans. 

Shavaun Cotton, a senior chemistry/pre-med major from Longview, Texas (Longview High), has been accepted into medical school at Tulane University.

Helen Flippin, a senior biology/pre-med major from Indianapolis, Ind. (Cathedral High), has been accepted into medical school at Indiana University.

Cintasha Frazier, a senior biology/pre-med major from Orangeburg, S.C. (Wilkinson High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of South Carolina, the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Christina Gilbert, a junior sales and marketing major from West Des Moines, Iowa (Valley High) has accepted a summer sales internship with the Procter and Gamble Company.

Stephfon Guidry, a senior psychology major from Beaumont, Texas (Ozen High School), submitted the winning entry in the St. Katharine Drexel essay contest sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry.

Nichole Guillory, a senior biology/pre-med major from Church Point, La. (Church Point High), has been accepted into medical school at Tulane University.

Krystin Harrison, a senior psychology/pre-med major from Cary, N.C. (SE Raleigh High), has been accepted into medical school at East Carolina University.

BUSINESS TEAM GETS IT DONE
business

TEAM XAVIER WINS IN DC

Brandon Leach and Johnnie Wilson III (standing) are congratulated by President Norman Francis as they display some of the trophies awarded to them and their teammates - Brenton Combre and Jovan Smith (seated) - for winning the annual Ford HBCU Business Plan Competition, held in Washington, D.C. Flanking the group are Business chair Dr. Anil Kukreja and faculty moderator Dr. Louis Mancuso.

(photo by Irving Johnson III)

XU Team Triumphs in Ford HBCU Business Plan Competition

Team Xavier means business.

The four XU team members – Brenton Combre, a sophomore business major from Houston, Texas (Strake Jesuit High); Brandon Leach, a senior accounting major from Marrero, La. (Ehret High); Jovan Smith, a junior business major from New Orleans (Warren Easton High); and Johnnie Wilson III, a senior biology major from St. Helena Island, S.C. (Beaufort High) – presented their business plan, “One Source Realty, LLC: Offers Affordable Housing for Renters and Home Buyers in the New Orleans Area, Post-Katrina,” in front of a panel of prestigious entrepreneurs during the Annual Conference for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) in Washington, D.C.

In the end they bested teams from Howard University, Florida A&M University, Morehouse College and Spelman College in the finals to win the Ford HBCU Business Plan Competition and claim $50,000 in scholarship prizes.

According to faculty moderator Dr. Louis Mancuso, professor of business and the Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship, the students developed the business plan in his Introduction to Entrepreneurship class last semester and submitted the 10-page document to the Ford HBCU Business Classic Web site. The plan included the required five key elements: type of business, product service, pricing considerations, target market, competition and general operations.

The original nationwide competition was open to HBCU students nationwide and more than 80 percent of the nation’s HBCU’s made submissions. Initial business plans were judged by a panel from SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” Using overall presentation, its viability and overall benefit to the community as their criteria, SCORE narrowed the competition down to the five teams that were chosen to advance to the finals in Washington, D.C.

It was the second year in a row that a team of Xavier students had advanced into the finals of the annual Ford HBCU Business Plan Competition, an event designed to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


Flickinger Receives NAIA National Honor

Long-time University faculty athletic representative and biology professor Sister Grace Mary Flickinger, S.B.S, was presented the Wally Schwartz Award by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in recognition of her outstanding service to student-athletes, her institution and the NAIA at the organization’s 66th Annual NAIA National Convention held in Kansas City, Mo.  

A mainstay for the NAIA on the regional and national level for more than 20 years, Flickinger is currently serving as the chair of the National Coordinating Committee and as a member of the Gender Equity Committee. Her knowledge, loyalty, enthusiasm and integrity in the interest of student athletes has made her personal insight a much sought-after commodity by NAIA administrators and other member institutions.

“It has been my honor to know and to work with Sister Grace Mary for the past three decades,” said XU President Norman Francis. “She is one of our cherished faculty members who mirror the qualities of a true professional in service to students and the institution.”

“It is a pleasure to work with Sister Grace Mary; her tireless dedication to NAIA students makes her an invaluable asset to the Association,” said NAIA Director of Legislative Services Israel Negron. “She is a treasure.”

Dates Set for Baccalaureate and Commencement

Saturday, May 12, 2007 has been announced as the date for this year’s Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises. Baccalaureate will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the University Gymnasium, while Commencement will be that night at 6:00 p.m. in the New Orleans Arena.     

Open House at Xavier Draws Determined Students
 
More than 125 visitors crowded into the University Center lobby last month to participate in the Office of Admissions’ Spring "Explore Xavier" open house event.
 
High school students and their parents visited with academic departments and admissions counselors, as well as financial aid counselors and other university departments.
 
Joshua Hawkins, a student at Warren Easton High, said Xavier is the school he really wants to attend. He already has plans to be involved with the Student Government Association, and he enjoyed the opportunity to visit with Xavier students from SGA.
 
Hawkins friends Jasmine Ratliff and Mallory Lambert, both students at Franklin High School, are also considering Xavier and joined him at the open house.
 
Xavier re-opened fully operational in January 2006 following Hurricane Katrina. Admissions director Winston Brown admits that, when recruiting students living outside the Gulf Coast area, the university still has to contend with "the Momma Factor." That’s the term coined by Xavier’s longtime president, Norman C. Francis,
referring to parental reluctance about sending their students to college in a rebuilding city like New Orleans.
 
“We want to get our message across to the parents that Xavier has been reopened and fully functional for more than a year already, and that we continue to provide a safe and nurturing environment
 
J’Kailyn Reed, a senior at Denham Springs high school, came to the open house with her parents. While her father relaxed, she and her mother Jacquelyn visited the tables and displays that were set up. J’Kailyn already knows she will major in biology/pre-med, so she and her mother spent more time at the financial aid tables.
 
With the number of applications for the Freshman 2007 class approaching pre-Katrina levels, Xavier has extended its deadline for students to apply for the Fall 2007 semester.
 
Allen Banks, a Xavier alumnus, dropped by the open house to pick up information for his daughter Tiwuan who was home sick. “She’s taking courses now and has been in a summer program at Xavier,” said Banks. “She knows this is where she wants to attend. So now, I’m going to talk with Financial Aid!”
 
To apply for the Fall 2007 semester prospective students may visit the Xavier website at http://www.xula.edu/admissions or contact Xavier Admissions at 504-520-7388.

Boutte Selected to Head Freshman Studies

Dr. Kenneth Boutte ‘76 has been named to the newly created position of Dean of Freshman Studies, where he will work closely with academic departments and other campus offices to develop a unique freshman year experience and to enhance the overall learning experience and retention rates for all students.

 As head of the University’s equally new Office of Academic Enhancement, Boutte will plan and direct all initiatives designed to assist, reinforce and enhance the total Xavier learning experience, including overseeing the academic content of new student orientation, monitoring the academic progress of freshman and Deciding majors, developing a challenging honors program, and ensuring the quality of the University’s existing academic support and tutoring activities.

Boutte, who has served at Xavier since 1985 as a professor of biology and, most recently, as associate dean of Arts & Sciences, will collaborate with the Office of Student Services, Admissions, Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office in an effort to make the freshman year experience more efficient, more effective and more student friendly.

 “There are mechanisms already in place that will serve next year’s freshman class well,” said Boutte, who will report directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. “But we have also engaged several faculty and staff committees in developing a more comprehensive and long-range plan.”
 
 “It is our intention to provide incoming students to have a freshman experience like no other,” he said, “an experience that will provide students with all the resources they need to be successful both here at Xavier and in their professional careers.”

Jai Hayes, a senior English major/creative writing minor from Culver, Ind. (Culver Academy), has been selected for the Student Filmmaker Program at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition to a working with filmmaking professionals, she will have the opportunity to participate in a challenge in which four students work together to create a short film that will be judged at the festival.

Dorlyne Henry, a senior biology/pre-med major from Riverside, Calif. (King High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Iowa.

Michael Holmes, a senior biology/pre-med major from Harvey, La. (Ehret High), has been accepted into medical school at LSU-New Orleans.

Patrick Jackson, a freshman psychology/pre-med major from New Orleans (De La Salle High), has been awarded a Goldring Scholarship, an endowed full tuition scholarship funded by the Goldring Family Foundation. The scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate of a New Orleans area high school who demonstrates academic excellence and financial need. 

Marcus Jennings, a senior biology/pre-med major from Memphis, Tenn. (Whitehaven High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Tennessee and Howard University.

Jeremy Jewitt, a senior biology/pre-med major from Bossier City, La. (Parkway High), has been accepted into medical school at LSU-Shreveport.

Victor Jones, a senior English major from Pascagoula, Miss. (Pascagoula High), has been accepted into the graduate school of education at Harvard University.

Sika Koudou, a senior sociology major from Indianapolis, Ind. (Arsenal High), has been accepted into the Ph.D. programs in sociology at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Connecticut.

Kristine Mbadugha, a freshman chemistry major from New Orleans (McGehee High), was named winner of the English Department’s annual Outstanding Freshman Essay Contest for her piece entitled "Undefined”. A second essay also earned honorable mention.

Kien Anh Nguyen, a senior biology/pre-med major from New Orleans (McMain High), has been accepted into medical school at LSU-New Orleans.

Shamekia Nwafor, a senior biology/pre-med major from Eunice, La. (Eunice High), has been accepted into the Southern College of Optometry.

Uchechukwu Obih, a senior biology major from New Orleans (Dominican High), has been accepted into medical school at LSU-New Orleans and Indiana University.

Jaheedah Roane, a senior biology/pre-med major from Plainfield, N.J. (Plainfield High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Giselle Rouson, a junior sales and marketing major from Mobile, Ala. (McGill-Toolen High), has accepted a sales internship with Miller Brewing Company.

Elisha Talbert, a senior biology/pre-med major from Kansas City, Mo. (Lincoln Prep), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Moses Anthony Washington, a senior biology pre-med major from Owings Mills, Md. (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute) has been accepted into medical school at Meharry College, Morehouse College and the University of Maryland.

Alumni

Dr. Regina Benjamin ’79, was presented the annual Saint Katharine Drexel National Justice Award in recognition of her commitment to caring for the health and social welfare needs of the people in Bayou La Batre, Ala., and her efforts to enhance physician access and care to all the underserved. 

Where are They Now? Young Dentists Reach Milestones
sharonda
Sharonda Washington (center) and staff
sancerie
Sancerie O'Rourke-Allen

Dr. Sancerie O’Rourke-Allen ’94 and Dr. Sharhonda Washington ’93 are separated by one class year and several hundred miles, but they share some common characteristics: they’re both XU graduates, they’re both dentists and, most importantly, they’ve both recently opened up their own private dental practices. 

That’s a pretty significant achievement for a couple of young, African American health care professionals in their mid-30’s. And of course, milestones aside, there is nothing quite like being your own boss.

“When you’re the boss, you can go as far as you want to go,” said justifiably proud O’Rourke-Allen, who opened her general family dentistry office, Distinctive Smiles of Baton Rouge (La.). “When you work for someone else, you go as far as they want you to go.”

Opening her own practice is something she has dreamed about since elementary school. The beneficiary of some good cosmetic dental care that virtually changed her life, she was determined to put herself into a position to offer that same opportunity to others.

It was a similarly proud moment for Washington as well, who was the first member of her family to make it into professional school and is now the first to own her own business as well.

“I enjoy being able to call my own shots,” echoed Washington, who established her general family dentistry practice, Allday Dental Associates in Houston, Texas. “I enjoy being deeply involved in the community; having my own practice gives me the freedom to do that.”

Both young dentists have followed a similar career path.

After receiving her degree from the Baylor University College of Dentistry and completing her residency at the University of Mississippi, O’Rourke-Allen took a position as dental director of a community health center in Baton Rouge. She remained there for seven years, during which time she also participated in the National Health Service Corps – caring for patients in underserved areas of the city – which, among other benefits, helped her to pay off her dental school loans.

When the time had come to branch out on her own, setting up her practice in her hometown Baton Rouge was a no-brainer.

“Getting the practice up-and-running wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had imagined,” said O’Rourke-Allen, one of only 12 dentists nationwide selected for the 2005-06 Class of the American Dental Association Institute for Diversity in Leadership. “It was mostly just a matter of finding a good location and working with the architects and dental suppliers to fix things the way I wanted them.”

Recruiting patients was easier than expected as well. Many of her former clinic patients were more than happy to follow her to a private office and avoid the congestion of the community health center setting.

“We offer general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry for the whole family,” said 0’Rourke-Allen. “We see lots of children and I really enjoy that aspect.”

Washington, who earned her medical degree from Meharry College, completed her residency at the V.A. Hospital in Houston, Texas. She worked for a time at the Community Healthcare Center in Wichita Falls, but when it came time to put down permanent roots, she too chose to settle down in her hometown.

After some two years of working full-time at South Texas Dental and on weekends at AllDay Dental, she opted to go fulltime at the latter – a decision that turned out to be fortuitous. One year later, as the then senior member of the staff, Washington was first in line to buy out the already-established practice when the previous owners decided to explore other business opportunities.

“I had already started to think in terms of starting my own practice, so this opportunity was not one to be passed up,” said Washington. “Certainly taking over an established business is easier than starting from scratch.”

“Dentistry was a natural career choice for me because I love working directly with people – and because I like to talk a lot,” laughed Washington, who often visits elementary schools to speak about dental health. “Taking over this practice was an ideal situation for me as well because the office is located in a neighborhood in which I was already heavily involved.”

Although both young dentists have reached a pinnacle of sorts, getting there wasn’t easy as it all seems. As African American females in what has traditionally been a very white male-dominated field, they have both overcome some challenges.

“Dentistry can be a very rewarding career, but it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to make it happen,” said O’Rourke-Allen. “There are some trials along the way.”  

“There were a lot of people who told me I couldn’t do it, but that didn’t stop me from realizing my dream,” said Washington. “I’m very happy with my career.”

Two XU Students Named Kemper Scholars

Two Xavier freshmen – Brandon Voss, a music major from Cordova, Tenn. (Memphis Overton High), and Val Williams, an English major from New Orleans (Xavier Prep) – have been selected for the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program’s Class of 2010.   

The scholarship-mentorship program, designed to promote education in the liberal arts while providing students opportunities for career exploration and practical experience through internships, has been sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, since 1948.


Typically, schools have only one recipient chosen each year, but XU had two this year. Kemper Scholars receive annual scholarships of $3,000 to $8,000 for three years, as well as $2,000 to $6,000 stipends while serving internships at major nonprofit organizations in Chicago and at for-profit organizations of their choice anywhere in the world in the summer following their sophomore and junior years, respectively.

During the Chicago summer, scholars live in the same apartment residence hall and are placed in full-time administrative positions where they can learn about financial management, organizational strategy, fund-raising, and organizational administration.

“Kemper Scholars represent academically superior, community spirited, committed, and well-rounded undergraduates from a pre-selected group of fifteen superior liberal arts colleges around the country,” said Dr. Ryan LaHurd, president and executive director of the James S. Kemper Foundation.

Rush, Nuggets Close Out Successful Basketball Seasons

The Gold Rush went further than any other XU men’s team in three decades and the Gold Nuggets went further than anyone thought possible – but both teams had their seasons cut short of their ultimate goals in their respective NAIA National Championship tournaments.

The Rush made a big splash early in the men’s tournament in Kansas City, knocking off No. 3 seed Georgetown College 82-79 in the first round. It was the first time a Xavier team had won at the men’s national tournament since 1973. It all came to an abrupt end the next night, however, as XU came up just short 58-57 in the second round against NW Oklahoma.

Coach Dannton Jackson’s team finished the season at 22-10, which included tying for the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular season title. Two players – Mark Stewart, a 6-1 guard from Destrehan, La. Destrehan High), and Shaun Dumas, a 5-foot-11 sophomore from New Orleans (St. Augustine High) – earned All-Conference honors. They led the Rush in scoring with 16.5 and 12.5 points a game, respectively. Dumas was also chosen third-team NAIA All-American.

The Gold Nuggets – who earned a berth in the women’s national tournament berth despite losing five starters during the course of the regular season – exited the tournament in the first round, losing to 56-50 to Carroll College. Coach Bo Browder’s charges finished the season at 23-12.

The Nuggets also had two players on the All-Conference team: Jarryn Cleaves, a 5-foot-8 junior guard from Memphis, Tenn. (East High), and Erica Turnbull, a 6-foot sophomore forward/center from Baltimore, Md. (Polytechnic High). Cleaves, the sixth Nugget to make the All-GCAC team three times, averaged a team-leading 14.1 points per game, while Turnbull averaged 12.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Cleaves was earned an honorable mention on the NAIA All-American team.

oldchapel newchapel
PRAISE THE LORD - Restoration of the University Chapel - which was devasted by Hurricane Katrina floodwater - has been delayed by restrictions imposed by FEMA due to the Administration Building's status as a historical landmark, but the work is now nearing completion along with the rest of the first floor classrooms and offices.

Tarin Bynum ’02, will receive her medical degree from Wayne State University next month and will serve her residency at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. 

Darryl Donohue ’77, has been appointed the presiding judge of the Virgin Islands Superior Court. As administrative head of the court, he oversees the daily operations of the court, including designating judges for each judicial division and assigning court cases.

La’Charlotte Garrett ’01, is serving as coordinator of student employment and verification at the University of New Orleans.

L’Issa Gates ’03, will receive her medical degree from the LSU School of Medicine next month and will begin her residency in pediatrics at LSU SOM New Orleans/Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ernest Jackson ‘75, the only African American, board-certified forensic odontologist in the world, has been inducted into the Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, an international hierarchical religious and military Order of Chivalry devoted to works of charity education and the defense of the Christian faith.

Dr. Nikia Laurie ‘96, a postdoctoral fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, was lead author of a paper demonstrating a potential new treatment for the pediatric eye cancer retinoblastoma, which appeared in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research.

Dzifaa Lotsu ’00, will receive his medical degree from Howard University next month and will be serving his residency in internal medicine at Northwestern University Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Ill.

Ashley Reece ’06, a registered representative with Bear Stearns & Co. in Atlanta, Ga., has passed the National Association of Securities Dealers’ Series 7 Licensing Exam.
 
Dr. Reggie Ross ’88, was named Medical Director of the Hospitalist program at Christus St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles, La. Prior to this appointment he served in a similar position at Avoyelles Hospital in Marksville, La.

Keira Scanks ’03, will receive her medical degree from the University of Texas-Galveston next month and will serve her residency at Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

Faculty Staff

Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr (English) co-presented the paper " Intersections of Town and Country in the Writing and Visual Art of John Faulkner" at the Southern American Studies Association Conference, held in Oxford, Miss. From 2005-07, he served as Past President of SASA and has subsequently been appointed to its Advisory Board. Two of his reviews of American literary studies appeared in Choice.

Dr. Kenneth Boutte '76 (dean, freshman studies) served as program panelist and keynote luncheon speaker at the 10th Annual Regional HBCU Summit on Retention, held in Ocean City, Md.

Larry Calvin ‘70 (director, human resources) served as host committee chairman for the Southern Regional Conference of the College and University Personnel Association (CUPA-HR), held in New Orleans. He has also been named to the Deacon Personnel Board for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Dr. Ronald Dorris '72 (African American Studies/English) presented a paper, "New Orleans and the Shadow of Peonage: from the Mississippi River Flood, 1927 to Federal Airlift, 2005" at the Southern Conference on African American Studies, Inc.

Dr. Conchetta White Fulton ’85, ’98 (pharmacy) wrote an essay on fellow soror and alum Louise Metoyer Bouise ’38 for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. history book, Pearls of Service: The Legacy of America’s First Black Sorority. Bouise wasadvisor for the Xavier chapter for 33 years.

Dr. Silas Lee (sociology) was a panelist at the National Urban League’s Black Males and Jobs roundtable in Washington, D.C., and made presentations at the State Innovations Retreat in Santa Fe, N.M. and to the progressive caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. He was named a member of the FBI Citizens’ Academy.

Dr. DeReef F. Jamison (African American Studies) presented a paper, "Hurricane Katrina and the Construction of African American Critical Consciousness”, at the Southern Conference on African American Studies, held in Baton Rouge, La. In addition, he was the keynote speaker at the Southern Regional Research Center's African American History Month Celebration.

Dr. Keturah R. Robinson ’05 (pharmacy) has been named Vice-President/President Elect for the 2007-2008 year for the Southeast Chapter of The Louisiana Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

If you have any comments about TMAX or have some information
you would like to submit for publication, please direct an e-mail to
rtucker@xula.edu

About Xavier - Contact Us - Site Map
© 2008 Xavier University of Louisiana. All rights reserved