Volume 46 No. 11
November 2015









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founders day
Founder's Day
Business Attire
Years of Service
Walk WIth the President
Distance Learning
California Dreaming
The "Eyes" Have It
Sweet Home Alabama
Law Forum

1834 XU Says Goodbye to Former First Lady

TMAX sadly notes the passing of another legendary figure in the history of Xavier University of Louisiana: Mrs. Blanche Masdonald Francis ’48.

The beloved wife of President Emeritus Dr. Norman C. Francis, the devoted mother to six children, and the gracious First Lady of Xavier for some 47 years, she touched the lives of many students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Visit HERE for an article appearing in the Times-Picayune.

1834 Xavier Fall Preview & Open House Nov. 16

Xavier will host its annual Fall Preview and Open House for prospective students, parents, and counselors Nov. 16 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

"Fall Preview" gives students and their parents the opportunity to learn about admissions, majors and fields of study, financial aid, scholarships, and student life.

Attendees should go to the University Center (third floor) to begin. Campus tours will be available throughout the evening.

For more info call 504-520-7388 or email apply@xula.edu

1834 IBCS to host
BLM Symposium

The Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) will host “Black Lives Matter”, a national symposium seeking to address critical and urgent concerns of the African American community and to serve as a catalyst for new solutions and clear actions, Nov. 6-7 here on campus.

Through a series of keynote addresses, workshops, and panel discussions, the symposium will examine issues straight from today’s headlines, including the current state of race relations, the prevalent culture of violence in our country, and the enduring effects of poverty.

Keynote addresses will be given by the Rev. Bryan Massingale, a moral theologian at Marquette University, and Brittany Packnett, Executive Director for Teach for America in St. Louis and member of the Ferguson Commission. Kenneth Polite, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, will offer closing remarks.

Workshops will delve into issues of poverty, Black mass incarceration, ethnic and cultural consciousness, understanding white privilege, and dealing with law enforcement. The event will also feature a panel discussion.

Registration is required. Cost for the symposium is $40. Students with current Xavier ID cards will be admitted free.

To register visit HERE.

1834 Alumni Homecoming
Set for Nov. 18-22

Alumni from across the country will return to the campus Nov. 18-22 to celebrate Homecoming 2015. Make sure YOU are in that number!
Activities scheduled for the Reunion Weekend include the distinguished alumni concert, the Jazz Ensemble concert, the joint student/alumni Celebration on the Yard, receptions for special alumni groups (art, business, education, pharmacy, physics, social/behavioral sciences. the legal profession, and the medical profession), the Alumni Mixer, 40 Under 40 Awards, the Alumni After Party, the tailgate brunch, Gold Rush basketball, the Homecoming Banquet, Neophyte Step Show, and more.

“More” includes the Benefit Concert featuring R&B artists Musiq Soulchild and Cristte Michele.

The Classes ending in 5 and 0 are celebrating their respective anniversaries, but as always ALL alumni are encouraged to attend.

Visit HERE to register online, or call 1-877-WE-LUV-XU for more info..

1834 XU Programs Are Affordable Options

Yes, Virginia, Xavier is affordable. That’s the conclusion of some recently released independent websites.

Xavier has been identified as No. 16 on among the 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction degree programs based on its graduate tuition and fees by the Top Education Degrees, a website dedicated to providing “high-quality, well-researched
education and career resources for individuals in the education field”. Visit HERE for the list.

In addition, the University was named the No. 35 most affordable competitive small colleges for business administration in the U.S. based on level of award, maximum enrollment, maximum percent of applicants admitted, and SAT scores by College Value Online, a website dedicated to providing “assistance in selecting the best college for each individual situation by offering rankings of schools and various degree programs in addition to information on numerous career options from a value perspective”. Visit HERE for that list.

Both sites used data from the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator in compiling their lists.

1834 Niche.com Ranks XU Among Top HBCUs

Xavier is ranked fourth among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) according to Niche.com’s 2016 listing of the “Best HBCU Schools”.

Spelman College leads the list, followed by Howard University and North Carolina A&T.

In the report, Xavier receives high marks from the site for academics, value, professors, and diversity, and average marks for student life, campus, and athletics.

According to the site, the Best HBCU Schools ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of total quality of the education and experience provided by the college.

run for funds RUN FOR FUNDS

XU students, faculty, staff, and friends join XU President Dr. C. Reynold Verret for a photo op at the start of the annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Walk for Education, held at Audubon Park Riverside.

photo by Irving Johnson III


Xavier is pleased to announce its 2015 Class of 40 Under 40 Young Alumni Awardees. These recipients, who were selected from among 150 candidates, have demonstrated significant accomplishments before the age of 40 in arts, entertainment, healthcare, sciences, education, law, business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, public service or government.

“Xavier alumni have always excelled in their chosen professions, but the number of alumni 40 and under that are making significant contributions to their career field and the community is awe-inspiring said Kimberly Reese ‘95, Director of Alumni Affairs. “This celebration gives the University an opportunity to highlight its rising stars.” - more -


Xavier has signed agreements with three local schools to establish the first ever Confucius Classrooms in Louisiana on the three respective campuses.

Participating in the signing were Dr. Yu Jiang, Director of the Xavier Confucius Institute, and the heads of the three schools – Janice Dupuy, Principal/CEO at Audubon Charter School; Kathy Riedlinger, CEO at Lusher Charter School; Alexina Medley, Principal/CEO at Warren Easton Senior High School.

Dr. C. Reynold Verret, Xavier’s president, and Professor Kang Shusheng, Vice-President of Hebei University, Xavier’s partner school in China, were also on hand to okay the agreement and to present the Confucius Classroom plaques to the three school leaders. - more -


The University has added four new members to its Board of Trustees.

Named to initial three-year terms on the Xavier governing board were: New Orleans Regional Transit Authority CEO and Veolia Transportation VP Justin Augustine III, S.B.S. President Sister Donna Breslin S.B.S., U.S. Federal District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle, and Liberty Bank President Alden J. McDonald, Jr..

In other board news, Michael Rue, President of Marketplace Properties in Anaheim CA, retained his leadership position as Chair of the now 21-member Board, while Morgan Stanley Investments Vice Chair Carla Harris returned to the board after a one-year absence. - more -


The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Xavier’s (TCSPP@XULA) Doctor of Clinical Psychology Program is officially underway in New Orleans, boasting an inaugural class of 16 students for the 2015 fall semester.

The program is the first of its kind offered in the state of Louisiana, and the only Clinical Doctoral Program in the New Orleans Metro Area. The Chicago School is a nonprofit university, and one of the leading institutions devoted to psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences.

In 2013, Xavier and TCSPP reached a formal agreement to launch the program on the XULA Campus in New Orleans—a city still rebuilding its mental health infrastructure post Hurricane Katrina, but lacking mental health professionals and training. - more -


Sixty-five long-time faculty and staff members were honored as part of it's annual Founder’s Day celebration.

Topping the list of honorees celebrating anniversaries of their employment at XU were Dr. JW Carmichael, Jr. (Pre-Med) and Clifford Wright (Business), both with 45 years of service. - more -




Brandi Temple, a senior biology major from Baker LA (Baton Rouge Magnet High), has been named a University Innovation Fellow by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). She was one of 150 students from 52 colleges and universities nationwide chosen for the program that is designed to empower student leaders to become agents of change at their schools by increasing campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. She is mentored by  Dr. Tarun Mandal (pharmacy).


Rashan Clark ’02 has been named a Senior Surface Land Negotiator with the Hess Corporation in Minot ND. The family’s move to their home was featured on HGTV’s House Hunters in an episode that aired in August.

Dr. L'Issa L. Gates ‘03, a board certified pediatrician and partner at Westside Clinics, AMC in Marrero LA was named a Torchbearer Award recipient by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Greater New Orleans Chapter, Inc. for extraordinary contributions to the healthcare profession.

Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry ’94, Chief Toxicologist of NKM Environmental Health Sciences (aka "The Tox Doc"), has had her book, Talking Toxicology,  gain #1 Best Selling Author status in three categories on Amazon.com: pharmacology/toxicology, toxicology, and ecology.

Dr. Carlos (C.J.) Minor ’96, an assistant professor of Urban Education at Langston University, had an article, “The Three Prongs of Recruitment and Retention”, published in the journal Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Kelsey Riley ’12, an event planner in Chicago IL, was featured in the Rolling Outwebsite article "Someone One You Should Know" in recognition of her involvement as a social justice advocate, community service activist, and youth mentor.

Elijah Williams ’05 was recently appointed to his second post as a Presidential Appointee in the Obama Administration. He will serve as Senior Advisor to the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development at the U.S. Small Business Adm.

(Part of a Series: A Small Sampling of the Newest Xavierites)
Lauren Thornton – One Step Ahead of the Crowd

Even before she took her first step into a Xavier classroom, Lauren Thornton was nearly half-way home.

With a whopping 54 hours of Advanced Placement (AP) credit earned in high school, she has already completed 42% of the 129 hours she needs to earn a biology degree. Not that she’s in any hurry, mind you.

See full story HERE.


Emily Riewestahl - A Tale of Two Cities

iversity is not something you’ll readily find in Grantsburg, a small village of 1,341 people tucked away in the northwestern portion of Wisconsin. Encompassing just three square miles, it’s a stereotypical small, one stoplight town where even the nearest Walmart is a half-hour’s drive away. According to the 2010 census, the racial makeup is 94.6% white.

That very lack of diversity is one of the key reasons that Grantsburg High School graduate Emily Riewestahl is now at Xavier. That, a high school choir trip, and a nice scholarship.

See full story HERE.


Cordarian Banks – The Simple Life

o Cordarian Banks way of thinking, life shouldn’t be all that complicated. It’s as simple as figuring out what it is you do best, preparing yourself adequately, and then using your knowledge and skills to help other people.

It’s a philosophy he began to develop at a very young age; probably around the time when entered high school and found out he was totally unprepared. “The elementary schools I attended were too easy,” he recalled. “The first ‘C’ I got in was like a slap in the face.”

See full story HERE.

Jere’ Williams – All in the Family

Bubbling Crude, Black Gold, Texas Tea.

When Jere’ Williams was pondering her future course of study, the regular options – chemistry, biology, mathematics, business – all seemed too boring. She eventually got it into her head that she wanted to be a lawyer.

It wasn’t until her Uncle Leroy pointed reminded her of the long history her family (and the Houma area) has had with the oil and gas business that she arrived at that “duh” moment: “Engineering; No, chemical engineering. That’s the ticket!”

See full story HERE.
Serena Newberry – Part of the Equation

Serena Newberry loves everything about China. In high school she studied the language for four years and this past summer had the opportunity to experience that nation’s culture first-hand and to interact with its people on a personal level. Even today she reads everything about it she can lay her hands on and carries a phrase book for review.

But for all her avowed enchantment with that foreign land, it is what is happening in her hometown (Southfield MI) and in nearby inner-city Detroit that is always foremost on her mind. It was one of her primary motivations for coming to Xavier and for choosing her major. 

See full story HERE.
Cassandra Johnson – Have no preconceptions, will travel

hen Cassandra Johnson, who grew up on a 100-acre farm in Weston MO, began her search for a college, she knew exactly what she was looking for.

Having taken some classes at nearby tiny St. Benedictine College while in high school, she knew she wanted a college with a similar feel to it – only much farther away. Using that as her guide, her internet googles then zeroed in on her only other primary concerns: 1. was the language program strong and 2. could the family afford it? Xavier made the grade on both points.

See full story HERE.


Included among Xavier’s 2nd Class of 40 Under 40 awardees are nationally prominent physicians, writers, a finalist for “Last Comic Standing”, international service officers, and several a nationally recognized government and law professionals.

Click HERE for this Year's Honorees

Xavier created the 40 Under 40 program to identify and engage high-achieving younger alumni who are well positioned to serve as advocates and ambassadors for the university, and who have demonstrated a commitment to maintaining a lifelong relationship with the university. The selection committee included a panel of alumni, university personnel and industry leaders.

The 2015 Awards Gala is set for 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 20 in the University Center Grand Ballroom and will feature entertainment by T-Ray the Violinist and Dj Rx. The event will be hosted by Lavar Walker, an alumnus and award recipient.

More information on the 40 Under 40 Young Alumni Awards is available at http://xulaalumni.com/40under40. For information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kimberly Reese at kreese@xula.edu.

confucius cont.

The Confucius Classroom is created to “strengthen educational cooperation between China and the U.S., support and promote the development of Chinese language education of primary and middle schools, and increase mutual understanding and friendship between the young people of China and the U.S.,” according the agreements.

The three Confucius Classroom hosting schools, Audubon, Lusher, and Warren Easton, are among the seven K-12 schools within the Orleans Parish School Board that are offering quality Mandarin language courses through Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing. Nine teachers at these seven schools have been facilitated through Xavier to teach Mandarin language classes locally since September 2014. They have been deeply embedded in their school curricula and the New Orleans culture.

The three Confucius Classrooms will not only be the first such institutions in the state of Louisiana, and also the first that are supervised by an HBCU university among the nation’s over 100 HBCUs.

“This is a landmark development in the history of Chinese language education in the state of Louisiana,” said Jiang. “Since Fall 2012, with the official launch of the Xavier Confucius Institute, we have been enjoying a steady increase of Mandarin language enrollment both on campus and in the community.”


Joseph Byrd
(VP for Student Services) was convocation speaker for William Carey University (his alma mater) during the university's Celebration of 50 Years of Integration.

Dr. Ronald Dorris '72 (African American & Diaspora Studies and English) had a poem "Stroking Midnight (Revisited)" published in La Creole:  A Journal of Creole History & Genealogy.

Dr. Joseph Rochelle (pharmacy) has completed a two- year Docere Fellowship in health professions education at the LSU Health Sciences Center. He also has been appointed faculty panel chair (book editor) of the critical care module for the Pediatric Self-Assessment Program.

Randall Schexnayder '80 (pharmacy) served on an advisory committee for the Initiative for National Institute of General Medical Sciences funded Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Two new faculty – Dr. Matthew Holcomb (clinical psychology) and Dr. Urmi Jani (clinical psychology) – have joined The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s (TSCPP) team here at Xavier.

“This reflects the recognition that citizens in the state of Louisiana have had toward the ever rising important role that China plays on the world economy – let alone the fact that China is theNo. 1 market for Louisiana merchandise exports,” he added. “It also demonstrates our need to learn the language and culture of China in order to engage with this global power more effectively. I look forward to working closely with our K-12 partners in the future.”

The Xavier Confucius Institute was established in October 2012, and had remarkable development in Mandarin education on and beyond campus, as well as community outreach. For more information, contact confucius@xula.edu.

board cont.

Other members of the board include: Mark Goodman, Bishop Curtis John Guillory S.V.D., Sister Stehanie Henry S.B.S., Dr. Toni Hoover, Gladstone Jones III, Dr. Marie McDemmond ’68, James Mitchell Jr., Marc Morial, Sister Jane Norton S.B.S., Sonia Perez, Sister Marianne Poole S.B.S., Sister Barbara Specker S.B.S., Frank Stewart, Roderick West, and Mary Zervigon.

Justin Augustine III

Augustine, a 1980 Xavier gradate, currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority and Vice President of Veolia Transportation.

A management and finance professional with over 28 years of experience in the fields of transportation management and finance/accounting, he has managed numerous multi-modal transit agencies including Capital Metro in Austin TX and The Africa Transportation Company in Johannesburg (South Africa), as well as various transit agencies in both Arizona and Washington.

Sister Donna Breslin, S.B.S.

Sister Donna was installed as the new President of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament August 29, 2015. She has been an S.B.S. Religious since 1979, serving as a social worker for over twenty years in various cities across the United States and in Haiti.

She also is a former Administration and Leadership Councilor of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University.

Ivan L.R. Lemelle

Lemelle, a 1971 Xavier graduate, is a Federal District Judge for the U.S. District Court based in New Orleans, who is occasionally called upon to serve as visiting judge in federal district and appellate courts throughout the Nation. Prior to this lifetime appointment by President Bill Clinton in 1998, he was the first African American Federal Magistrate Judge in Louisiana upon appointment by the court in 1984.

His extensive and varied experience includes service in litigating civil and criminal cases; presiding as judge pro tem in local courts; working in judicial and public interest clerkships; and teaching high school, college and law school students.

Alden J. McDonald, Jr.

McDonald is President, Chief Executive Officer, director, and a founder of Liberty Bank and Trust Co., a privately-held bank that is one of the five largest African-American-owned financial institutions in the United States. Since its founding in 1972, Liberty Bank has grown from one New Orleans office to 19 branch offices and loan production offices in six metropolitan areas and six states.

Including his 40 years with Liberty Bank, McDonald has been a financial institution and banking entrepreneur for more than 44 years. His extensive banking industry experience provides him with significant knowledge in addressing financial, accounting, and regulatory matters.


tcspp cont.

The Chicago School’s programs have been recognized for excellent training in culturally competent service provision. Students will experience extensive clinical training with community partners, including outpatient clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, and governmental agencies. TCSPP at Xavier’s Clinical Psy.D. Program offers the highest degree for practitioners in the field, and helps prepare individuals for professional practice as licensed psychologists.

 “The most exciting aspect of developing this program over the past few years has been the enthusiastic support from our local consortium partner, XULA, local psychological service providers, our newly hired faculty and staff, and from the 16 outstandingly well-qualified students who will be participating in this program,”said Dr. Christoph Leonhard, Department Chair and Professor of the Clinical Psy.D. Program at Xavier.

Students in the program will spend the entire first year in the classroom, in years two, three and four, they will complete their practicum at community clinics. In the fifth year of the program, students will complete a full-time year-long internship. Students will also have the opportunity to tailor their coursework with focused study to meet individual educational and professional goals.    

I have been waiting for a clinical psychology program in New Orleans for a very long time. This program is a blessing for me because I feel as though I am finally on the path to do what I've always wanted to do,” saidClinical Psy.D. student Jill Boutte. “I hope to do as much as I can to assist the people of New Orleans who are still very much so suffering from Hurricane Katrina. I am confident that my peers and I will be those professionals who will be able to restore the mental health infrastructure in New Orleans. The people of this city are special and deserve quality educated professionals as a part of their care providers.”

For more information on the program call (800) 721-8072 or visit the TCSPP website at www.thechicagoschool.edu.

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.

Interested applicants must already have a master’s degree – although not necessarily in education or educational leadership.

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

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.

Hale said the new Ed. D. curriculum will be infused with a rich mixture of leadership theories, best practices, and entrepreneurial turnaround skills.

Application deadline for the fall semester is March 01, 2016. For more information or to apply, contact the XU Division of Education and Counseling at (504) 520-7536.

employees cont.

Other employees honored included:

40 Years – Dr. Ann Barbre (Pharmacy), Dr. Lester Jones (Mathematics), and Deborah Lidy (Sponsored Programs).

35 years – Luella Gombako (Housing), Bobbie Jordan (Student Services), and Dr. Michael White (Languages).

30 years – Dr. Kenneth Boutte (Biology), Joseph Byrd (Student Services), Janice Florent (CAT), Jacqueline Gavis (Chemistry), and Dr. Shamsul Huda (History).

25 years – Dr. Linda Blakley (Pharmacy), Dr. Marguerite Giguette (Academic Affairs), Erica Houston (Psychology/Sociology), Delise Hunter (Environmental Health), Sandy Livings-Veals (Financial Aid), Gwen Morris (Registrar’s Office), Paul Pierce (University Police), Patricia Vaultz (Fiscal), and Dr. Jian Zhang (Chemistry).

20 years – Sharon Aubert (Pharmacy), Dr. Levon Bostanian (Pharmacy), Arnold Crump (Mass Communications), Dr. Ronald Dorris (English), Dwight Fitch (Campus Ministry), Dr. Maryam Foroozesh (Chemistry), Dr. Anil Kukreja (Dean, Arts & Sciences), Dr. Guangdi Wang (Chemistry), and Mark Whitaker (English).

15 years – Feralyn Ahmed (Technology Administration), Pearl Algere-Lonian (Academic Affairs), Dr. Amne Borghol (Pharmacy), Darrilyn Broussard (Athletics), Denis Carr (Physical Plant), Arthur Collins (Physical Plant), Dr. Wendy Gaudin (Freshman Seminar), Richard Graves (Pharmacy), Dr. Nicole Greene (English), Dr. Mark Gstohl (Theology), Dr. Rosalind Hale (Education), Dr. Elliott Hammer (Psychology), Dr. Martha Harris (Pharmacy), Danitra Hawkins (Pharmacy), Elsie King (Fiscal), Alice Roy (Library), L’Tanya Settle-Charles (Technology Administration), Kendra Turcuit (Institutional Advancement), Yamlak Tsega (Technology Administration), Judy Warren (Student Health), QuoVadis Webster (Pre-Med), and Cynthia Williams (Pharmacy).

10 Years – Almore Cato, Jr. (Library), Dr. Mack Crayton III (Biology), Craig Gilliam (Physical Plant), Dr. Jessica Graber (Physics), Dr. Freddie Landry (Physics), J. Robert Luo (Chemistry), Dr. Linda Mihm (Pharmacy), Donna Robinson (Pharmacy), Erick Robinson (Physical Plant), Ann Smith (Sponsored Programs), Tracie Thomas (Graduate Placement), and Harold Vincent, Jr. (Physical Plant).

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