Volume 46 No. 09
September 2015







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community service
Built to Last
Be There or Be Square
the right fit
The Right Fit
family affair
Family Affair
now showing
Now Showing
motor city
Motor City

1834 AT&T Grant
Supports Students

Earlier this summer, AT&T made a $50,000 contribution to Xavier to support scholarships for high achieving students who are in need of financial aid in order to begin their 2015-2016 academic year at the university.

“Without the support of Councilmember Cantrell and AT&T’s corporate partnership, some of our highest academic students would not be able to start the 2015 fall academic year,” said XU President Dr. C. Reynold Verret.

“Xavier has had a long, successful relationship with AT&T Louisiana, and their commitment to our university and students has helped to produce some of our state’s current business and community leaders.”

1834 XU PSL Presents
Hang It Out to Dry

The XU Performance Studies Laboratory will present the first of three performances this year, “Hang It Out to Dry,” – a one-women show about the washed away community and span tales of Chalmette LA featuring Dr. Danielle Vignes,” Sept. 04 at 7:30 p.m. in the Library Resource Center Nissan Room.

It will be preceded by a student workshop on storytelling from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Both the performance and workshop are free, but reservation is required. Visit HERE for more information.

Visit HERE for the complete season performance schedule.

The Performance Studies Laboratory is an interdisciplinary working group of Xavier faculty with backgrounds in Performance Studies who work with students to produce performance in contexts such as literature, cultural ritual, and everyday life, among many others.

1834 GRE Prep Course

The Office of Graduate Placement is offering a GRE Prep Course beginning Sept. 12.

Classes will be held in the NCF Annex from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon for eight consecutive Saturdays. The cost is $150 for XU students, $200 for faculty/staff/alumni, and $250 for others.

Visit HERE for more info.

1834 Guest Music Recital

The Music Department presents the first of its guest recitals Sept. 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Music Bldg. Recital Hall. 

Featured artist are Elizabeth Moak (piano) and Alexander Russakovsky (cello), artists-in-residence at the University of Southern Mississippi who have performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Admission is free. 

1834 Didn't Get
Your Yearbook?

A limited number of copies of several past yearbooks are available, including the Combo 2006-09, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2013-14, and 2014-15 editions.

Current students or graduates who did not previously receive their copy should email Veronica Farve at yearbook@xula.edu to request one.

1834 Jr. School of Music
& Early Bird Program

The Department of Music is taking applications for its Junior School of Music and Early Bird Programs.

Visit HERE for info on the Jr. School and HERE for the Early Bird, or call 520-7588 or 520-7597.

xu rules the yard

Xavier was pleased to welcome a solid class of 684 first-time freshmen to the campus in August for New Student Orientation and the start of the fall 2015 semester.

That number – which was not yet final at press time – represents an 18 percent increase over last year’s freshman total of 579 students.

“It is indeed a privilege to welcome this new freshman class, which meets all of our expectations for both numbers and the quality of the individual students,” said President C. Reynold Verret, attributing the increase to the University’s national reputation for academic excellence and leadership in both the sciences and the liberal arts.

“It is gratifying to see that students and their families can recognize the value of the private college educational experience that Xavier offers," he said.

Preliminary figures indicate that the total enrollment for fall 2015 will be near 3,000.


The College of Pharmacy has been awarded an $8,362,190 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.

Over the next three years, the grant will support activities designed to impact the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students in the pharmacy profession – particularly African Americans - and to provide an educational opportunity focused on the development of culturally competent health professionals who are prepared for leadership in health care practice, education, and research.

Further, the grant will provide opportunities for underrepresented minority faculty to develop in an environment that positions them for leadership in education, research, patient care and public service. - more -


Xavier has once again been singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in the 2016 edition of its annual edition of "The Best 380 Colleges”.

In its profile on Xavier the guide praises the school for its academics, faculty, and providing a “thriving underlying foundation upon which students can achieve the very best for themselves.”

The New York-based company – which is best known for its test-prep and education services, books, website and other resources for students – showcases only about 15 percent of the 2,500 four-year colleges in the United States in its annual guide.

"Xavier University of Louisiana offers outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our choice of schools for the book,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP/Publisher and author of "The Best 380 Colleges". - more -


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. - more -

Recent XU graduates – having moved on to their respective professional schools at Meharry College – still sport that Xavier pride: (L-R) Amber Spurlock (Dental), Nicholas Alexander (Medical), Kamberly Tate (Dental), and Alexis Bryant (Dental). photo courtesy of premed office

pharmacy cont.

Unique to this funding opportunity is a focus on inter-institutional collaboration with health profession programs from other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Xavier’s College of Pharmacy will partner with Tuskegee’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Meharry Medical Colleges’ Schools of Dentistry and Medicine through an ePortal system to share best practices in recruitment and retention of students, the development of culturally relevant educational materials, mentoring and faculty development.

“This grant will enhance our on-going efforts to recruit students with the capacity and skills necessary to successfully complete the pharmacy curriculum, and then help to ensure that those students are nurtured and developed by faculty members who are responsive to their needs and committed to their success," said Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, dean of the XU College of Pharmacy and the program director of the grant.

"It will also allow the College to provide an environment in which faculty members can grow professionally to serve as positive role models for students.”

princeton review cont.

“We base our selections primarily on data we obtain in our annual institutional data surveys," he said. "We also take into account input we get from our staff, our 35-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, our personal visits to schools, and the wide range of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools.”

Visit the Princeton Review website HERE for more info.

IBCS cont.

“’Black Lives Matter’ is an open invitation to the community to not only participate in a clear and thought-provoking discussion of racial conflict and racial unrest, but to also be a part of an earnest dialogue that can hopefully lead to effective solutions to spur greater racial understanding as well as racial reconciliation,” said the Rev. Maurice Nutt, C.Ss.R., D. Min, Director of Xavier’s IBCS.

“’Black Lives Matter’ is an unequivocal clarion call,” he added. “We know that ALL lives do in fact matter, as ALL lives are sacred and holy. And yet we also know that even today ALL lives are not respected and treated as sacred creations of God. We are called to fervently affirm that “black lives matter” because there are those who quite frankly believe that the lives of those of the African Diaspora matter little or not at all.”
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. Presenters will include: Dr. Alex Mikulich, Research Fellow at the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University-New Orleans; Sgt. Hudson Cutno, Jr., an officer with the New Orleans Police Department; Ralph McCloud, Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Dr. Christi Griffin, Founder & CEO of The Ethics Project; Carol Bebelle, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Ashe' Cultural Arts Center; Lt. Perri Johnson, an officer with the St. Louis Metroploitan Police Dept.; and Dr. Valerie Bridgeman, President and CEO of WomenPreach!
The event will also feature a panel discussion moderated by Jarvis Deberry, editorial writer and columnist for The Times Picayune. Guest panelists will include: Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina Church in Chicago IL; Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge for Section E; Erika McConduit-Diggs, President & CEO of  the Urban League of Greater New Orleans; and Dr. Brian Turner, an assistant professor of psychology at Xavier.

Registration is required. Cost for the symposium is $40. Early Bird registration, available through Sept. 15, 2015, is $25. Students with current Xavier ID cards will be admitted free.

For more information on the symposium, including registration, the schedule of events, and information on the respective speakers, presenters and panelists, visit HERE.

xu rocks
(L-R) XU Director of Graduate Placement Tracie Thomas and three XU juniors currently conducting summer research at various institutions across the country – biology/pre-med major Khari Gilmore of Dallas GA (at Dartmouth University), psychology major Beverlin Del Rosario of St. Thomas VI (at Hunter College), and biology/pre-med major Nia Williams of Clinton MS (at Howard University) – show their Xavier pride during the Leadership Alliance National Symposium (LANS) in Stamford CT. photo courtesy Nia Williams




Joshua Adkins, a chemistry major from Burlington NJ (Burlington Township High) was named winner of the 2015 LA-SiGMA poster competition for his presentation, “Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition of Nickel Oxide for Use as Anode Material in Lithium ion Battery.” He will represent Louisiana at the NSF EPSCoR National Conference in Portsmouth NH. He is mentored by Dr. Lamartine Media and Corey Arnold (both chemistry).

Rose Duchane, a P4 pharmacy student from Jeanerette LA (West St. Mary’s High), was awarded the Walgreens Diversity Advancement Scholarship and elected as the Region 4 Facilitator for 2015-2016 at the Student National Pharmaceutical Association Meeting, held in Orlando FL.

Demitrius Onuaguluchi, a P3 pharmacy student from Jamaica NY (Brooklyn Technical High), earned first place in poster competition at the Student National Pharmaceutical Association Meeting, held in Orlando FL. for his presentation, "Cell extrinsic effects of Metformin in the breast cancer microenvironment". He is mentored by Dr. Christopher Williams (pharmacy).

Alayna Robinson, a junior chemistry/premed major from Peachtree GA (McIntosh High), has been accepted into the 2015-2016 HBCU All-Star cohort to serve as Xavier’s student ambassador to the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

Chandler Schexnayder, a P3 pharmacy student from Patterson LA (Patterson High), was awarded a $2,500 scholarship as a regional finalist in the Walmart Future Leaders competition in addition to a $2,000 academic scholarship from the Kroger Company at the Student National Pharmaceutical Association Meeting, held in Orlando FL.

Uyen Vu, a P3 pharmacy student from Mobile AL (McGill-Toolen High), placed third in poster competition at the Student National Pharmaceutical Association Meeting, held in Orlando FL, for her presentation on the relationship between neighborhood retail outlet density and hospital presentation for Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome. She is mentored by Dr. Jessica Johnson (pharmacy).

Two students – senior psychology/premed major Thuy-Linh Nguyen of New Orleans (Lusher High) and senior computer information systems major Alexandria Williams of Katy TX (Morton Ranch High) – presented their research, “Predicting Student Success and Retention at an HBCU via Interest-Major Congruence and Achievement,” at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Toronto. They are mentored by Dr. Wyndolyn Ludwikowski (psychology).


Dr. Draion M. Burch ‘01, a board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and a nationally-recognized author, speaker, consultant, and go-to media expert on women's health and transgender health issues, has joined Astroglide.com as its sexual health and wellness advisor.

Dr. L'Issa Gates ‘03, a board certified pediatrician and partner at Westside Clinics, AMC was presented a Gold Doc Award by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in recognition of her outstanding service to the healthcare profession.


Dr. Jose Bautista (the JP Morgan Chase Endowed Professor of Business Solutions to Urban Economic Problems) served as a speaker/panelist in the Hurricane Katrina Commemoration “Before. During. After.” held at Gallier Hall. The event, sponsored by Walmart, focused on the importance of public-private partnerships for disaster preparedness, mitigation, and recovery.

Dr. Pamela Franco (President’s Office) has been named Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, where she will oversee the daily operation of the office including personnel issues, recordkeeping and the budget. She will also provide support and leadership for special projects and committees, and serve as a liaison to the Board of Trustees, the President’s Advisory Board, and the Administrative Cabinet. She previously served in Office of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Elliott Hammer
(John LaFarge Professor in Social Justice) co-authored a paper, “The threat of sexism in a STEM educational setting: the moderating impacts of ethnicity and legitimacy beliefs on test performance,” which was published in Social Psychology of Education.

Katheryn Laborde (English) was interviewed about a subject she covered in detail in her book Do Not Open: The Discarded Refrigerators of Post-Katrina New Orleans for the WWNO broadcast Katrina: The Debris. She was also interviewed for an upcoming broadcast of NPR's Gravy that focuses on food and KatrinaIn addition, her essay, "Beans," appeared in noladiaspora.com, while a brief reflective piece, "Written and Rotten (The Fridges of Katrina)" was featured on LinkedInPulse.

Tyronn Mitchell (athletics) has joined the staff as men's basketball assistant coach. A standout point guard at Northwestern State University from 2002-06 and professional player in Europe, he previously served as an assistant coach at Baton Rouge Community College. He replaces Alfred Williams, who left XU in July after six seasons to become the head coach at Harris-Stowe State University.

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