basketball Briar Cliff Masters Gold Nuggets
basketball No. 22 Rush Defeat Faulkner / No. 19 Nuggets Earn 5th Consecutive Victory
basketball Late 3-point Play Gives Rush a 52-51 Victory at Mobile
basketball No. 22 Rush Preserve NAIA's Longest Poll Streak / Nuggets Drop Spot in Rankings
basketball Nuggets Use Late Spurt to Defeat LeMoyne-Owen / Loyola Defeats Rush to Gain Split
basketball Nuggets Beat Fisk, Reach .500
basketball Gold Rush End Losing streak at Wiley / Xavier Classic Matchups Revised
1902 Paschal Named Top Alumnus During Homecoming 2014
track Fakler, Jackson Lead Xavier at NAIA National Meet
volleyball Lindsey Wilson Eliminates Nuggets in NAIA First Round
basketball Magicians Make XU Homecoming Win Streak Disappear / Nuggets Beat Warner
1902 Xavier University Campus Leaders Make Annual Who’s Who List
basketball Coleman Helps Rush Defeat Mobile / Nuggets Lose to NCAA DI Louisiana-Lafayette
volleyball XU Opens National Tourney at No. 12 Lindsey Wilson Saturday
volleyball XU Sweeps SUNO for 4th Straight GCAC Tourney Title
basketball Gold Rush Pull Away in Second Half / Gathright, Hopkins Rally Gold Nuggets Past LSUS
volleyball Xavier's Echebelem, Lawing Capture GCAC's Top Awards
basketball Gold Nuggets Lead Wire-to-wire, Defeat No. 22 Mobile
volleyball Voorhees' Withdrawal Advances XU to GCAC semifinals
basketball Coleman Leads Xavier Past Loyola in Overtime, 72-66
1903 XU Performance Studies Laboratory Examines Genocide in Diamond Dick
1902 XU President Named to EBONY Magazine's 2014 Power 100 List
volleyball XU Begins Defense of GCAC Title at 10 a.m. Friday
1902 Xavier Student Photographer Wins in National Contest
basketball Strong First Half Helps Rush Beat NCAA D2 Opponent
basketball Late Free Throws Move Albany State Past Rush, 62-61
volleyball Gold Nuggets Conclude Another Unbeaten Run in GCAC
1902 Xavier Teams Up With Adidas in Multi-year Agreement
1903 XULA Homecoming 2014 Has Lots to Offer
basketball Gold Rush 3-0 After Beating Belhaven Again
volleyball Loyola Sweeps XU to End Nuggets' 6-match Win Streak
volleyball Xavier Earns 4th Straight GCAC Regular-season Title
  OCTOBER 2014
basketball Rush 2-0 After Defeating Carver 98-87 / Last-minute Basket Edges Nuggets, 68-66
volleyball XU Beats SUNO, Clinches Tie for GCAC Championship
basketball 13th-ranked Rush Stretch Win Streak in Openers to 19
1902 Activist Angela Davis to Speak at Xavier University for Prospect 3 [ View Video ]
basketball No. 13 Rush Open at Home vs. Belhaven Tonight
basketball No. 18 Nuggets to Open with 4 Straight Top-25 Opponents
volleyball Nuggets Are a Big Hit in GCAC Victory at Edward Waters
volleyball Nuggets Serve Season-high 15 Aces in Win at Voorhees
tennisball Bruins, Albrecht Are Runners-up at Big Easy Classic
1902 Stewart, West Join Xavier University Board of Trustees
1903 Xavier’s Forty Under Forty Alumni Honorees Announced
basketball Rush Open Season at Home vs. Belhaven Next Week
1903 XU Receives $19.6 Million NIH Award to Enhance Diversity in the Biomedical Workforce
1902 Xavier to Lead Louisiana's Chinese Education Initiative
volleyball Nuggets Win on Road, Clinch 4th Straight Winning Season
track Rush, Nuggets Win 9th Straight Titles; Jackson Earns 3rd Individual Title
volleyball Nuggets Beat Tougaloo, Extend GCAC Win Streak to 51
1902 XU Presents “The Many Faces of Louis Armstrong”
basketball Gold Nuggets Preparing for Rugged 2014-15 Schedule
volleyball Nuggets Lose in 3 at Mobile
1903 Community Outreach Center Ribbon Cutting and Open House
1902 Louisiana Sports Hall Selects '61 XU Grad Washington
tennisball Abbes Reaches "Super Bowl" Final / Division II Champ Gives Abbes First Singles Loss
volleyball XU Beats Concordia to Improve to 11-3 / Badgers Rally to Snap Nuggets' Win Streak
1903 Xavier Review Press Publishes Percival Everett: Writing Other/Wise
tennisball Abbes Earns Another No. 1 Seeding, Plays Thursday
1903 University Honors 59 Long-time Employees
1902 XU Performance Studies Laboratory Presents “Here Is Where You Turn Back”
volleyball Xavier Prevails in 5th, Preserves Win Streaks
1902 Xavier Celebrates Founder’s Day
1903 XU’s Benjamin Joins Ascension Health Board
volleyball Gold Nuggets Set Records in GCAC Sweep of Voorhees
volleyball Echebelem Doubles Up Again, Leads Xavier Past Dillard
track Jackson Breaks 4-mile School Record at McNeese Meet
tennisball Abbes, 26-0 in XU Singles Career, wins South Regional
1902 Xavier Hosts Business Week
volleyball Nuggets Earn 47th Straight Victory vs. GCAC Opponent
volleyball Gold Nuggets Win at Tougaloo for 4th Straight Victory
track Jackson, Kitto Finish 1-2 at Southern Miss Invitational
volleyball Echebelem Leads Xavier Past Wiley in 4 sets
1903 Xavier University of Louisiana No. 6 HBCU in U.S. News Report
1902 162 Xavier College of Pharmacy P1s Receive White Coats
volleyball Echebelem Leads Xavier Past Wiley
track Fakler Sets GCAC Record, Jackson Close to Another
track Jackson Shatters Record; Fakler, Nuggets Champs Again
volleyball Gold Nuggets Ease Past Lady Tigers in GCAC Opener
1903 Dr. Norman Francis Announces Retirement as Xavier University President
1902 XU to Host Nat'l Conference of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts
track XU's Fakler, Jackson Finish First at Big Easy Opener
volleyball XU Prevails in 5 on Road to Snap Wiley's Long Win Streak
  AUGUST 2014
volleyball Lady Rams Sweep Gold Nuggets
volleyball Faulkner Defeats Nuggets in 4 in XU Season Opener
1903 Hall of Fame to Induct XU's "Sweetwater" Clifton
1902 XU Gets Nod in in Princeton Review Best Colleges Guide
  JULY 2014
1903 Xavier Committee Approves Faculty Promotions
1902 Women's Tennis, Volleyball Named NAIA Scholar-Teams
1903 Fiske College Guide Tabs Xavier a 2015 Best Buy
1902 Xavier Herald Earns Top LPA Award
1903 Xavier to Offer Ed.D. Degree in Educational Leadership
  JUNE 2014
1902 Federal Financial Aid Available for New PSY.D Program
track Cross Country Will Run Twice at Home During 2014
volleyball Volleyball to Open 2014 With Long Home Stretch
1903 Xavier's Horn Elected to GNOSF Board of Directors
1902 Xavier Designates Top Students as Rousseve Scholars
1903 2014 Give. Love. Xavier Day a Success!
tennisball State Legislature Proclaims Xavier Gold Nuggets Day
  MAY 2014
1903 777 Scholars Earn Spots on Spring Dean’s List
1902 Xavier Research Programs Receive $11.2 Million NIH Grant
1903 Give. Love. Xavier Day to Be Held June 2
1902 Tennis & Track Teams Score Seven All-Americans
tennisball Nuggets Denied Spot in Championship / Top-ranked Embry-Riddle Eliminates Rush
tennisball Nuggets Snap Davenport's 20-dual Winning Streak / Rain Postpones Rush
tennisball Rush Defeat Hastings in NAIA 1st Round
1902 545 Graduates Receive Degrees at Xavier Commencement
1903 Outstanding Faculty Recognized at Xavier Comencement
1902 Xavier Wins GCAC All-Sports Award for 4th Straight Year
1903 Xavier Freshman Selected as Kemper Scholar
basketball Xavier to Host 2nd Annual DJ Hoops Skills Academy Basketball Camp
1903 XU Business Professor Studies Economic Impact of NCAA BSC Era
  APRIL 2014
tennisball Top-seeded Nuggets Open National Tourney / Rush Get Hastings in First Round
tennisball Back on Top: Women's Tennis No. 1 in NAIA Coaches Poll
tennisball Nuggets Beat NAIA's No. 1 Team to Win Group Tourney
1903 IBCS Receives President’s Volunteer Service Award
tennisball XU Hosts NAIA Qualifying Tournament
1903 Xavier Division of Business Earns Performance Award
1902 5 from Xavier are Chosen Arthur Ashe Sports Scholars
basketball XU's Jackson Chosen LABC Coach of Year for First Time
tennisball Gold Rush Defeat Privateers for Third Consecutive Year / No. 2 Nuggets Beat Southern
track GCAC Campion Nuggets Still 14th in NAIA Rankings
1902 XU Department of Music Presents Jazz Festival
track Rolland, Fakler Lead Nuggets to Repeat as GCAC Champs
1902 Redemptorist Priest to Head the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS)
track Gold Nuggets' 400 Relay Team Reaches A-standard Again
1902 XU Team Ready for Honda All-Star Challenge
  MARCH 2014
track Rolland Runs NAIA's Fastest Time This Year in Women's 100
1902 Applications Being Accepted for New TCSPP Clinical PSY.D. Program at Xavier
1903 Award-Winning XU Alumna Named Visiting Fellow at Harvard
tennisball Women Win at Cumberland, But Men Lose
basketball Nuggets' Rally Falls Short in 2nd-round Loss to Lady Tigers
tennisball Women's Tennis Defeats Another Ranked NAIA Opponent
tennisball Rush, Nuggets Win Every Match Against Graceland
basketball NAIA's Top Defense Stymies Gold Rush at Nationals
basketball Gold Nuggets Eliminate Defending Champion in 1st Round
1902 Zervigon Rejoins Xavier Board of Trustees
1903 Xavier to Host Annual Festival of Scholars
1902 Xavier Participates in “Generation Study Abroad” Initiative
1903 Blair Underwood to Address 2014 Xavier Graduates
1902 Xavier Summer Sessions Offer Hybrid/Online Courses, Low Cost
basketball Rush Enter Tourney with Highest Seeding Since '82 / Nuggets Face Defending Champion
tennisball Nuggets' streak is 5 after edging Oral Roberts
1903 Xavier Names Jason Horn as New Athletics Director
basketball Nuggets Win GCAC Tournament for 4th Time in 5 Years
tennisball Women's Tennis Wins at No. 1 Auburn Montgomery
basketball Panthers Beat Rush in Double OT in GCAC Semifinals
1903 St. Joseph Altar Making Tradition at Xavier
basketball Rush Await Fisk-Dillard Winner in GCAC Tournament / Nuggets Heading Back to Dillard
basketball GCAC Honors Jackson, 3 Rush Standouts / Gold Nuggets Place 2 on All-GCAC Team
track Rolland, Alexander Qualify for Track Nationals in Season Opener
basketball Rush defeat Dillard, Win 3rd Straight GCAC Title / Gold Nuggets Reach 20 Victories Again
basketball Xavier Pays Host to GCAC Tournaments Next Week
basketball 13th-ranked Gold Rush Go Wire-to-wire to Defeat Belhaven
tennisball No. 6 XU Beats No. 5 Brenau; Ewell Rallies Twice to Clinch
basketball Gold Rush Reach 20 Victories for 4th Straight Season / Nuggets defeat Tougaloo
tennisball McNeese Beats Nuggets; Abbes Still Unbeaten in Singles
track Rush, Nuggets Track Teams Will Compete 4 Times in Home State
basketball Gold Rush Prevail in Overtime / Nuggets End Losing Streak
1903 Xavier Selected for HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative
tennisball XU Tennis Loses to UnbeatenGeorgia Gwinnett
tennisball Tennis Splits at Belhaven
tennisball Nuggets, Rush Defeat Ranked Carey on the Road
tennisball Tennis Drops Two at ULL
basketball No. 12 Gold Rush Lose to No. 4 Crusaders / WC Gives Nuggets 3rd Consecutive Defeat
basketball Gold Rush Lose Conference Game at SUNO / Nuggets' Second-half Rally Falls Short
tennisball Nuggets Lose 4-0 to Tulane in Matchup of Ranked Teams
tennisball Nuggets, Rush Record 9-0 Home Victories vs. Wolf Pack
1902 Xavier Hosts The New Orleans Black Mardi Gras Tradition Extravaganza
1903 Xavier Named Partner in 100Kin10 National Network to Grow STEM Teaching Force
basketball Rush Beat 20th-ranked Panthers / Nuggets Lose for First Time in Conference
basketball Gold Rush Final-Minute Surge Prevails at Tougaloo / Gold Nuggets Rally
tennisball Men's Tennis Loses at Nicholls
1903 African American Professionals on Campus for YMTF/BEEP
  JANUARY 2014
1902 Xavier to Host Historic Tobacco Summit
1903 Xavier Announces High School Business Idea Competition
basketball Gold Rush Defeat Dillard to Regain First Place / Nuggets Stage Second-half Rally
tennisball 2014 Tennis Schedules: Another Tough Road
1902 Xavier College of Pharmacy Awarded Drug Patent
1903 694 Scholars Make Xavier University of Louisiana Fall Dean’s List
1902 Applications Open for Xavier Summer Programs
1903 Psychology Major Receives MLK Service Award
1902 Dr. Vaz’s ‘Baby Dolls’ to Highlight State Library Black History Month Celebration
1903 Production of XU Music Professor’s Opera Nominated for Big Easy Award
basketball Talladega Edges Rush in Matchup of Ranked Teams / Nuggets Rally Past No. 10 Talladega
basketball Rush Defeat Tigers for Sixth Straight / Nuggets Clamp Down on Lady Tigers
1902 Crosstown Classic Tickets NOW on Sale
basketball Gold Rush Defeat Spring Hill in a Goode Way, 65-59
basketball Gold Rush Rally Against SUNO / Tucker leads Nuggets in Defeat of SUNO
basketball XU-SUNO Saturday Doubleheader Tips Off 2½ Hours Later
basketball Southern Poly Ends Gold Nuggets' 8-game Streak
basketball Rush Take Conference Win at Voorhees / Nuggets Win Eighth in a Row
basketball Gold Rush Defense Dominates vs Fisk / Gold Nuggets Win at Fisk in Conference Opener
1903 Explore Xavier Open House Set for Jan. 23
1902 “Little Rock Nine” Icon to Keynote MLK Jr., Week for Peace Celebration
  Visit the Archives: 2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007 / 2005-2006


Paschal Named Top Alumnus During Homecoming 2014

New Orleans LA - Dr. James Paschal ‘57, the newly elected president of the National Alumni Association (NAA), was honored as the University’s top alumnus at the 2014 Alumni Homecoming Gala.

He was presented the Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award by XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis ’52, outgoing National Alumni President Vivian Broussard Guillory ’75, and Marc Labat ‘99 at the annual Homecoming Gala.

This year’s Homecoming Gala, the last to be presided over by retiring President Dr. Norman C. Francis ’52, drew a record, overflow crowd of 600 alumni and friends. During the event, Class agents for the 14 special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $270,246. The Class of 1969 led the way with 53 members contributing $52,000, while the Class of 2004 had the largest number of donors (90).

Paschal, a therapist and sole proprietor of the Family Counseling Center in Atlanta GA, was lauded for “living the mission of Xavier University and St. Katharine Drexel”. 

Upon graduating from Xavier Paschal lent his services to such community-minded organizations as the Friendship House of Hospitality, the Catholic Day Camp; and the National Defense Education Institute. He went on to founded the Lambda Enterprise, a nationally recognized program to provide employment opportunities to the less advantaged. During his professional career James served in numerous capacities at colleges/universities throughout the south; holding several senior level positions in Student Affairs.

Since 2007 James has served as president of the Atlanta Alumni Chapter, breathing new life into the chapter. During his first year as President the Chapter made a $500 contribution and today as a result of the fundraisers and the annual St. Katharine Drexel Brunch the Atlanta Alumni Chapter has raised nearly $100,000 for Xavier. He has also served on the National Alumni fundraising committee and awards committee. He has truly engaged the greater Atlanta area including alumni of all ages and local businesses. 

Overwhelmed by the increasing financial needs of incoming freshmen, Paschal and his wife Zelma started a scholarship to assist Atlanta area students. In his spare time, he can be found visiting area high schools promoting XU.

A Deacon at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, he is also a member of 100 Black Men of American, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Knights of Columbus, American Counseling Association, the Metro Atlanta Kiwanis Club, and American Legion Post 558.

Xavier University Campus Leaders Make Annual Who’s Who List

New Orleans LA - One hundred and fifty student Xavier University of Louisiana scholars will appear in the 2015 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, an annual chronicle of the nation’s outstanding campus leaders.

The students – chosen by XU department chairs and faculty and approved by the editors of the directory – were selected based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success. They join an elite group of students from more than 2,000 institutions of higher learning in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several foreign nations. Outstanding students have been honored in the annual directory since it was first published in 1934.

The students included in this year's directory are listed below, grouped by their divisions/departments:

BUSINESS – (Accounting) Erin Ancar, Christopher Hayes, Ivyanne London, and Victoria Thompson; (Finance) Keisha Murray; (Management) Markea Gilbert and Rasaan Hollis; and (Sales & Marketing) Ajhia Ellis, Hue-Hillary Nguyen, Kaila Pulliam Collins, and Kennedy St. Charles

BIOCHEMISTRY: Dominique Benson, Christopher Dunlock, and Destane Garrett

BIOLOGY – (Biology Education) Cyndi Paz; (Biology/Pre-Med) Tarrin Casey, Duy Dang, Jeremiah Davis, Jasmine Douglas, Paige Estave, Shikira Flounory, Kristen Fowler, Briana Jarrett, Leslie Jones, Kevin Lam, David Le, Hoang Michael Nguyen, Tami Nguyen, Tri Pham, Sherry Reddix, Leanna Rucker, Brittany Russell, Heba Sarhan, Treasure Stone, and Theresia Sutherlin

CHEMISTRY – (Chemistry) Chinedu Echebelem and Peter Pham; (Chemistry ACS) Lacey Douglas and Lydia Mensah; (Chemistry/Pre-Med) Ayanna Banks, Jamie Bolden, Amber Carter, Kandis Carter, Kai Combs, Jasmine Geathers, Taylor Harris, Jade Meyers, David Powell, Derriyan Price, and Danyelle Wesley; (Chemistry/Pre-Pharmacy) Nancy Pham

COMPUTER SCIENCE – (Information Systems) Jasmine Lewis; and (Computer Science) Gregory Degruy, Nam Nguyen, and Tuan Nguyen

EDUCATION – (Counseling) Natasha Ballard, Anita Cox, and Ayla Yarbrough; (Clinical Mental Health) Octavia Davis and Celita Owens (Educational Leadership) Kendall McManus-Thomas and Thomas Wright Jr.; (Elementary Education) Megan Riley, Melissa Riley, Kaylan Rogers, Rynisha Streeter, and Jennifer Tran; (MAT) Ashton LeBourgeois, LaDonna Jackson, Jasmine Jones; (Middle School Education) Vallery Jenkins 

ENGLISH – (English) Jessica Gardiner, Jordyn Goody, Simone Graham, Anthony Lotten, and Mia Ruffin; (English Education) Catherine Fakler

HISTORY – Alexis Parker

LANGUAGES – (Spanish) Bianca Moore and Ashley Taylor

MASS COMMUNICATION – Deanna Nichelle Eaton, Kareka Green, Keshante Horton, and Franziska Antonia Pirkl

MATHEMATICS – Jennifer Vicks

MUSIC – (Music) Jasmine Eugene; (Music Performance) Simone Brown

PHARMACY – Evelyn Ambush, Sobia Arshad, Michael Aucoin, Temitayo Banjo, ALeon Burgess, Antonio Chimezie, Rose Duchane, Sara El-Rachidi, Terri Frazier, Amanda Grego, Rayya Hunter, Brianna Jenkins, Breanna Lorick, Laneka Mumphrey, Stephanie Ogunrinade, Lynda Osei, Anthony Poche, Ashlee Poolson, Derrick Pullins, Jeffey Quach, Claire Reuter, Teri Robinson, Malak Saad, Chandler Schexnayder, Johlee Schinetsky, Natalie Tran, Ashlynn Volpe, Brittany Williams, Lashira Williams, Marlon Williams, and David Wilson

PHILOSOPHY – Paul Joseph

PHYSICS/ENGINEERING – (Biomedical Engineering) Laquel Brown and Oyindayo Hassan; (Chemical Engineering) Levon LeBan; (Civil Engineering) Summer Flowers; (Electrical Engineering) Jarielle Gilbert

POLITICAL SCIENCE – Eric Craig, Jade Crutch, Evangeline Dech, Jodi Hill, Gregory Jones, Michael Moore, DeVon Pruitt, Aleshia Smith, Cierra Wilcox, and Felecia Woolens

PSYCHOLOGY – (Psychology) Ashanti Anderson, Donielle Curry, Danielle Hodges, Chinyere Okafor, Jusiah Prowell, Keyaisha Thomas, and Toiya Williams; (Psychology/Pre-Med) Megan Bright, Ricaylah Citizen, Armond Collins, Efehi Edomwonyi, Kyriante Henry, Jazzolynn Kelly, Thuy-Lihn Nguyen, Amber Owens, and Khalil Thompson

SOCIOLOGY – Alana Peck


Xavier University’s Performance Studies Laboratory Examines Genocide in Diamond Dick

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University Performance Studies Laboratory continues its 2014-2015 season with the staged reading of “Diamond Dick,” an Erik Ehn play about the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma Race Riots.

This second live event of the season, a collaboration with ArtSpot Productions, will take place Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7:30p.m. in the Xavier University Administration Building Auditorium located on Drexel Drive. The performance is free and open to the public, but seats are limited.

“Diamond Dick” is part of Soulographie, a series of interconnected dramatic works exploring the tragic phenomena of genocide globally with stories drawn from various regions around the world including the African continent (Rwanda and Uganda), Central America (Guatemala and El Salvador) and the United States (Tulsa, Oklahoma).  Conceived and written by playwright Eric Ehn, the series contemplates violent conflict, survival and rebirth within the human spirit and illustrates the potential for theatre and art workers to bear witness to suffering and resiliency in ways that allow audiences to meaningfully access the experiences of others. Comprised of seventeen plays, Soulographie was presented in its entirety in a cycle of performances around the United States in 2011-2012. This year, New Orleans serves as a host city for several of the pieces in the cycle.

For the Xavier event, Drs. Lisa Flanagan, Ross Louis, and Robin G. Vander share directing duties of the student ensemble cast in its staged reading of “Diamond Dick.” Inspired by the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots, the work chronicles the historic racial uprising when mobs of white citizens attacked African Americans and burned the prosperous area of town known at the time as “Black Wall Street.”

While some might be familiar with this moment in American history, the Performance Studies Laboratory presentation provides a thoughtful opportunity to once again encounter this tragedy in American history and the African American experience. Through a compelling cast of characters, the narrative follows the events in Tulsa after Dick Rowland, an African American shoe shiner, accidentally falls against a white woman, Sarah Page, during a Memorial Day parade. Immediately the occurrence is spun into rumors of rape, instigating unrest and demands for an arrest of Rowland. The local white-owned newspaper will call for a lynching and African American soldiers, veterans of World War I, will coalesce to confront the mobs. For forty-eight hours, unrest and rampage grip Tulsa and African Americans will be rounded up and placed in internment camps. As a dramatic work “Diamond Dick” records these events and will eventually lead audiences to the moment, years later, when Rowland and Page meet again.

“Diamond Dick” is presented by the Xavier University Performance Studies Laboratory in association with ArtSpot Productions, an ensemble of artists dedicated to creating meticulously live theater in New Orleans, and whose performances are informed by concerns for social justice and the ability to incite positive change in the local community. ArtSpot is working with university partners, Xavier and the University of New Orleans, to present staged readings of Soulographie plays in advance of its full staging of “Maria Kizito” on Nov. 14-16 and 21-23 at NOCCA Black Box Theatre. For more information on “Maria Kizito,” visit HERE.

The Xavier University Performance Studies Laboratory is an interdisciplinary working group of Xavier faculty with training and backgrounds in Performance Studies. The Laboratory studies performance in contexts such as literature, cultural ritual and rites of passage, identity construction, civic engagement and political actions, and visual and material culture, among others.

For additional information, contact Ross Louis (504-520-5103) or e-mail:

XU President Named to EBONY Magazine's 2014 Power 100 List

Chicago IL – Xavier University of Louisiana President Dr. Norman C. Francis, the nation’s longest serving college president, was named to EBONY Magazine’s Annual Power 100 List, which salutes the remarkable achievements of African-Americans in 2014.

The EBONY editorial team selected the 100 most influential African-Americans in the country.  These achievers have made noteworthy accomplishments over the past year. The list of outstanding leaders highlights individuals from a variety of fields, including business, medicine, sports, media, religion, the creative arts and more. As the curator of the African-American experience, EBONY is proud to showcase these individuals. 

These leaders are honored and recognized for changing the course of history and making an enduring and lasting impact in their communities and the world.

In addition to Francis, who was categorized as a “Dream Keeper”, other game changers honored this year are NBA player LeBron James, Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, television producer Shonda Rhimes, music producer Pharrell Williams, actresses Audra McDonald, Gabrielle Union and Laverne Cox, comedian Kevin Hart, ballerina Misty Copeland and Bishop T.D. Jakes. 

Quincy Jones – composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian – will receive the EBONY Achievement Award. Jones and all members of the Power 100 List will be honored at the 29th Annual Gala celebration in Los Angeles CA Nov. 19, at the AVALON Hollywood.

“The EBONY team is very excited to recognize the accomplishments of the honorees on this year’s Power 100 list,” said Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of EBONY Magazine. “From grassroots to the corporate boardrooms, all of the selected individuals have made a significant impact on both African-American and American cultures. They are truly an inspiration to keep striving.”

The 2014 Power 100 list will appear in the December issue of EBONY, on newsstands the week of Nov. 17. The full list of the EBONY Power 100 can also be found at

Francis, Xavier Class of ’52, announced his plans to retire from the office effective June 30, 2015. His affiliation with Xavier has spanned 66 years.

Arriving at Xavier from Lafayette as a 17 year old freshman in 1948, he quickly emerged as a student leader. Intelligent, personable, and visionary, Francis quickly caught the attention of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, who wisely recognized that this was a Xavier man worth keeping around.

With a few interruptions for law school and the military, he was offered, and eventually served, in just about every administrative position at the University over the course of the next 16 years, culminating in his appointment as President in 1968.

Xavier was truly transformed under his leadership, with enrollment nearly tripling at one point and the university’s endowment growing from under $20 million to more than $160 million today. A campus of five permanent buildings that could fit on one city block has grown to 16 permanent buildings and manicured green spaces extending over 63.4 acres.
During his tenure as president, the University has garnered national recognition for its rigorous graduation requirements, the outstanding academic achievements of its students, the quality of its research, and the intellectual and moral quality of its graduates.

Arguably his finest moment came in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated its campus. Francis not only led the recovery of Xavier – making good on his pledge to reopen in less than five months – but also accepted the role as chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. For his visionary leadership, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s top civilian award, in December 2006.

During his career, Francis has served as an advisor to seven presidential administrations, as president of the American Association of Higher Education and as president of the United Negro College Fund. He has also been chairman of the Educational Testing Service and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, to name a few. He has been awarded 41 honorary degrees and a host of other awards and citations.

In addition to his efforts on behalf of the University, he has done much to distinguish himself as a family man and a community leader. He and his wife Blanche have been married more than 50 years and have raised six children, all of whom are successful in their respective careers.

EBONY is the No. 1 national consumer lifestyle magazine targeting the African-American community. As the longest-running Black publication, EBONY has the largest reach in the African-American print space, reaching nearly 20 million readers annually. EBONY features the best thinkers, trendsetters, celebrities and next-generation leaders of African-Americans. EBONY ignites conversation, promotes empowerment and celebrates aspiration. Available nationwide on newsstands and on all digital platforms, EBONY is the heart, soul and pulse of African-Americans.

Xavier Student Photographer Wins in National Contest

New Orleans LA - On Nov. 1, 2014 Eric Craig made Xavier University of Louisiana journalism history. Again.

The Xavier Herald editor-in-chief and chief photographer first grabbed headlines in October when one of his sports photos placed in the top 10 of the fiercely competitive Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker individual awards, long considered the “collegiate Pulitzers.” Craig’s stop-action photo captures XU track star Devinn Rolland midair in a long jump during GCAC competition last spring.

Craig’s is the first Herald photo to advance through ACP competition that includes scores of collegiate print and online newspapers, from small biweeklies like The Herald to daily publications at the largest journalism programs in the nation.

The headline changed Nov. 1 when the ACP announced the final results: Craig’s photo captured third place. First place went to Sam Maller with the Syracuse University Daily Orange and second place to Joshua Bessex with The Daily at the University of Washington in Seattle—both prestigious journalism programs that produce daily newspapers.

All of the entries can be viewed online at under ACP Pacemaker Organization and Individual Contest Winners.

Craig, a junior political science/mass communication student from Los Angeles, Calif., has won feature photo awards from the Louisiana Press Association and Southeast Journalism Conference. However, the ACP award is his first for sports photography.

Craig describes his winning photo:

“On April 14, 2014, Xavier’s track and field team competed in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference championship at Tad Gormley stadium in City Park in New Orleans,” Craig explains. “Pictured is Devinn Roland, a Xavier track and field star, attempting a long jump. It was the first time I shot a track event and I used a Nikkor DX-zoom, 18-55 mm lens on a Nikon D3200 with settings of ISO 200, F-stop 5.3, 1/800th of a second shutter speed.
“When I heard that I placed third in ACP sports photo competition, I was speechless.  I've been practicing photography for less than three years, and it never occurred to me that I could produce a photo that could compete with photographers nationally. This win has strengthened my desire to become a better photographer who can capture even better images.”

Craig first volunteered for The Herald as a freshman in August 2012. Herald adviser Melinda Shelton handed him one of two aging fixed-lens digital cameras and assured him the low-tech camera and a recycled attachable flash unit were all he needed to take acceptable photographs. Creating great photos, however, goes far beyond the “point and shoot” approach, she warned.

“As a photographer, I know it takes time and patience to develop an eye and feel for photography. When to shoot, when to pause, how to frame a subject, when to use lighting, why something worked or didn’t work must become second nature,” Shelton said, “Eric has spent hundreds of hours behind the lens and he’s shot thousands of images. He also was smart and took Professor Edna Lanieri’s black and white photography class to learn the how and why of photography.”

Craig quickly became known as The Guy With The Camera. He seldom went anywhere without the camera bag slung across his back. When The Herald acquired a Nikon D3200 and audio and video accessories, he earned Shelton’s trust and gained access to the new equipment.

Today, he’s teaching new staff photographers what he learned: Creating quality content doesn’ trequire state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Equipment is only as good as the student using it.

XULA Homecoming 2014 Has Lots to Offer

New Orleans LA – Alumni from across the country will be returning to the Xavier University of Louisiana campus Nov. 19-23 to participate in Homecoming 2014.

This year’s celebration, which spotlights the five-year reunion classes ending in 4 and 9, is extra special as it marks the last homecoming event that retiring XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis ’52 will preside over as university president. In fact, a special tribute event is one of highlighted activities.

No less than 30 activities are scheduled for the Reunion Weekend, including a joint student/alumni Celebration on the Yard, receptions for special academic and social groups, mixers/parties/after parties, tailgating, athletic events, and a Mass.

Featured events include:

Friday, Nov. 21

40 Under 40 Reception: (5:30 p.m., University Center Ballroom] – An inaugural event of the Young Alumni Leadership Association recognizing alums under 40 years of age who are living the Xavier mission of leadership and service.

Scholarship Benefit/NCF Tribute (7:30 p.m., Convocation Center) – A special gala at which the inaugural recipients of the Dr. Norman C. Francis Endowed Scholarship will be announced, and alumni will pay a special tribute to their retiring President.

Saturday, Nov. 22

Intercollegiate Basketball (noon, Convocation Center) – A basketball doubleheader featuring the Gold Rush vs. LeMoyne-Owen and the Gold Nuggets vs. Texas College.

Homecoming Banquet (6:30 p.m., University Center Ballroom) – The Annual Banquet which features special recognition for the Classes in reunion and the honoring the 2014 Alumnus/Alumna of the Year.

Neophyte Show (9:00 p.m., Convocation Center) – The Panhellenic Council welcomes its newest members into the Xavier Greek family.

For more information, visit HERE or call either 520-7575 or 1-877-WE-LUV-XU.

Activist Angela Davis to Speak at Xavier University for Prospect 3

New Orleans LA – Nationally renowned activist and scholar Dr. Angela Davis will speak on the prison industrial complex alongside local activists and exonerated prisoners on the campus of Xavier University on Tuesday, Nov. 4 from 6 – 8 p.m. The panel discussion will be held at the Qatar Auditorium, Room 112A and B, in the Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion building on the campus.
Davis will address America’s failed prison system alongside local artists Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick; Carmen Demourelle, a former prisoner; Henry James, an exonerated prisoner and Noris Henderson, a former prisoner turned public defender and activist. Loyola University Law professor Bill Quigley, who directs Loyola’s Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, will moderate the event’s discussion.

“Angela Davis’ life and sacrifices for social and political justice is an outstanding example for our students at Xavier,” said Sarah Anita Clunis, Xavier’s director of the African American and Diaspora Studies program.

“Davis has paved the way for us to have the intellectual and philosophical freedoms that we have regarding civil rights in the United States,” Clunis said. “My hope is that the Xavier and the New Orleans community will be mobilized by her example to act in ways that encourage the ethical and fair treatment of all citizens of this country.”

Such a discussion is also relevant to incarceration trends today in the city of New Orleans. “This debate has to take place here because this is an emergency,” said Bill Quigley, director of the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans. “We live in the prison capital of the world. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate of all 50 states and the US has the highest rate of all the countries across the globe.”

Such statistics have spawned creative activism on the issue. Artists Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun have produced an extensive body of work on Angola Prison, focusing on its incarcerated men and the impact of the prison system on their families. Angola, or its official name, The Louisiana State Penitentiary, also nicknamed the “Alcatraz of the South, is the largest maximum-security prison in the United States. It is located on an 18,000-acre property that was previously the Angola and other plantations.

“We’re working on a body of photographs focused on the theme that prisons are slave plantations, especially Angola. It was transformed but it never really ended," the artists wrote about their work for Prospect.3.

McCormick and Calhoun’s photography is currently on display at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The panel discussion is one of a series of Prospect.3 New Orleans events taking place at 18 venues across the city. Prospect New Orleans is an international contemporary art biennial showcasing the intersection of art and life in the city and the wider Louisiana Gulf Coast region.

The event is being hosted by Xavier University’s African American and Diaspora Studies program, and Loyola University’s Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, in addition to Prospect.3 New Orleans. Xavier University is a Historical Black and Catholic university located on 1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, La. For further information contact Dr. Sarah Clunis at

Stewart, West Join Xavier University Board of Trustees

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana announced the addition of two new members to its Board of Trustees at the annual fall meeting of its governing board.

Named to initial three-year terms were: New Orleans natives Frank B. Stewart, Jr. Chairman of the Board of Stewart Enterprises, Inc., and Roderick "Rod" West, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Entergy.

Michael Rue, President of Marketplace Properties in Anaheim CA, retained his leadership position as Chair of the now 19-member Board. Other officers include: (vice chair) Mary Zervigon, Chair of the Keller Family Foundation; and (secretary) Sonia Perez, President of AT&T Louisiana.

Rotating off of the Board after serving six years were Mark Romig, Dr. Dale Cochran, and Sister Rita Radloff, S.B.S.

Stewart serves as Chairman of the Board of Stewart Enterprises, Inc. and as Chairman of the Board and sole owner of Stewart Capital, LLC, one of the largest private investment companies in the Gulf South.

Stewart joined the family business in 1959 and became President and Chief Executive Officer in 1966, serving as President until 1984 and Chief Executive Officer until 1989. The family business was consolidated as Stewart Enterprises, Inc. in 1970, and, effective with that reorganization, he became a member of the Company's board. Stewart was appointed the board's Chairman in 1984, overseeing the initial public offering in 1991. That expansion has resulted in Stewart Enterprises current position as the second-largest provider of funeral and cremation merchandise and services, along with cemetery property, merchandise and services in the death care industry in the United States today.


In 2003, after more than 44 years in the business, Stewart retired from all management positions with the Company and became Chairman Emeritus. He was appointed Chairman of the board again in April 2007, a position he currently holds.

He has served as President and Director of the Southern Cemetery Association, former President of the Louisiana Cemetery Association, and is a member of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association ("ICCFA"). In 2010, ICCFA honored Mr. Stewart with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stewart holds a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane’s University. He lives in Metairie, LA and is married to the former Mrs. Paulette de la Vergne.

West, who joined Entergy in April 1999, has been Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer since 2010. Prior to that appointment, he had served in a variety of administrative positions, including President of Entergy New Orleans, Chief Executive Officer, Senior Regulatory Counsel, Manager of Regulatory Affairs, and Region Manager for Distribution Operations.

He began his professional career in 1993 with the New Orleans-based law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, LLP.  

A member of the Office of the Chief Executive, he has the responsibility for Entergy’s shared services functions supporting commercial activities of its utility and nuclear operations, and wholesale commodities businesses. Functions reporting to the CAO include finance operations, supply chain, business processes, administrative services, information technology, human resources and administration, federal policy, regulatory and governmental affairs and corporate communications.

During his tenure he has overseen the development and launch of the Entergy Shared Services Company, a redesign of all corporate center and business support functions. The redesign focused on delivering improved performance and cost savings across Entergy through efficient, compliant and standardized business processes.

West currently serves as a Trustee at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. He also holds a master’s degree and a Juris Doctor from Tulane University. He is married to the former Madeline Doucette and they are the parents of one daughter.

Xavier’s Forty Under Forty Alumni Honorees Announced

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana has announced its inaugural selection of 40 Under 40 Young Alumni Awardees.

Included among the Class of 2014 are nationally prominent educators, music industry innovators, an Emmy nominated journalist, international research scientists, and prominent healthcare professionals. These recipients, who were selected from among 270 candidates, have demonstrated significant accomplishments before the age of 40 in arts, entertainment, healthcare, sciences, education, law, business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, public service, and government.

“Xavier alumni are doing amazing work in virtually every field, but these 40 are special because they have achieved so much so early,” said Kimberly Reese Buckner, Director of Alumni Affairs. “This celebration recognizes their hard work and dedication as well as their outstanding accomplishments, which will inspire Xavier students and graduates for years to come.”

Xavier created the Forty Under Forty 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 who are also under 40 years of age.

“The 40 honorees will be people to watch. With so many accomplishments realized in such a short time, we are exciting to track their careers in the future,” said Crystal Moore, class of 2007 and co-chair of the event. “It is our great pleasure to great an opportunity to recognize them and provide a forum for them to meet and engage with one another.”

The 2014 Awards Gala is set for Nov. 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the University Center Grand Ballroom and will feature entertainment by Soul Rebels Brass Band, along with the award presentations, dinner and dancing.

The event will include a keynote address from Katrice Albert, Ph.D., Vice President for Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota, and Xavier class of 1994. XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis will also provide special remarks at the event as well. This year’s homecoming will mark the historic president’s last homecoming as he will be retiring from the university after 47 years of service in June.

Information on Xavier University’s inaugural “40 Under 40 Young Alumni Awards” please visit For information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kimberly Reese at

This year’s honorees are:

Youshea Berry, JD ‘98
Senate Division Chief, Division of Senate Affairs-Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs at USAID
Washington, DC

Ashleigh Bing, ‘08
Campaign Manager, Because of Them We Can
Washington, DC

Ayanna V. Buckner, MD, MPH, FACPM, ‘97
Principal, Community Health Cooperative
Atlanta, GA

Blair Dottin-Haley, ‘02
National Programs Manager, College Summit
Washington, DC

D. Wendy Greene ‘99
Professor at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law
Birmingham, AL

Amelia A. Hardy, MBA, ‘98
Marketing Director at Best Buy
Minneapolis, MN

MaCalus V. Hogan, MD, ‘02
Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Associate Residency Program Director - Department of Orthopedic Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Pittsburgh, PA

Maryse E. Holly, ‘06
Deputy Director, Capacity Building/AVANSE Project for DAI Inc.
6th Class, Leland International Hunger Fellow
Jamaica, NY

Camiel Irving, ‘08
Asst. Brand Manager, Procter & Gamble
Cincinnati, OH

Lamont R. Jones, M.D., ‘98
Vice Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology, Henry Ford Health System
Dearborn, MI

Noreen Khan-Mayberry PhD, ‘94
Chief Toxicologist, NKM Environmental Health Sciences
Houston, TX

Lisa Laws, ‘06
Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Mayor Rahm Emanuel (City of Chicago)
Chicago, IL

Gregory Lee, ‘96
Executive Sports Editor, South Florida SunSentinel
19th President of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jarvis Lewis, ‘13
St. Charles Parish Councilman At Large
Luling, LA

Victor McCray, M.D. ‘01
President and CEO, Ocular Dynamics
Surgeon, Acute Care Surgery Medical Group
San Jose, CA

Rachael Mitchell, ‘10
Doctoral Candidate, Loma Linda University School of Public Health
Delegate, 67th World Health Assembly
Moreno Valley, CA

D'Andrea J. Morning, Esq., ‘04
Senior Associate General Counsel, Grady Health System
Atlanta, GA

Donald R. Naylor, Jr., JD, ‘96
Transactional Counsel, Intellectual Property Department, Air Liquide USA
Pearland, TX
Kayla Nixon, ‘09
M.D. Candidate, Mayo Medical School
Rochester, MN

Terrance Osborne, ‘00
Artist and CEO, Gallery Osborne
New Orleans, LA

Jamika Pessoa, ‘01
Celebrity Chef and TV Personality
Atlanta, GA

Marc Philpart, ‘03
Director, Policy Link
Co-Director, Institute for Black Male Achievement
Oakland, CA

Myla R. Poree, ‘02
Vice President/Managing Director, TruFund Financial Services (formally Seedco Financial)
New Orleans, LA

Rita Maria Reed, ‘02
President, FFC Capital
New Orleans, LA

Allissa Richardson, ‘03
Emerging Media Professor, Bowie State University
Founder, MOJO Lab
2014 Nieman Foundation Journalism Fellow at Harvard University
Washington, DC

Derek Robinson, MD, MBA, FACEP, ‘98
Executive Director, Illinois Hospital Assoc's Institute
Chicago, IL

Tennille M. Robinson, ‘04
Senior Content and Event Producer, Inc. Magazine
New York, NY

Ayana K. Rowley, Pharm.D., ‘05
Team Leader, Over The Counter Branch, Office of Unapproved Drugs and Labeling Compliance
US Food and Drug Administration
Washington, DC

Devin Sasser, OD, ‘11
National President, American Optometric Student Association
Atlanta, GA

Ayo Scott, ‘03
Designer, NOYOdesigns, Inc.
New Orleans, LA

Sharlene Annette Sinegal-DeCuir, Ph.D., ‘99
Assistant Professor of History, Xavier University of Louisiana
New Orleans, LA

Angelia Wade Stubbs, Esq., ‘99
Associate General Counsel, AFL-CIO
Washington, DC

Myiesha Taylor, MD, ‘96
Medical Consultant and Supervising Physician, Taylored Physician
Founder and President, Artemis Medical Society
Keller, TX

Bryant Terry ‘97
Author, Chef, and Healthy Eating Advocate
Oakland, CA

Trevonne M. Thompson, MD ‘97
Emergency Physician and Medical Toxicologist, University of Illinois
President, Xavier University Physician Alumni Association
Chicago, IL

Omari Todd, ‘99
Senior Vice President of Regional Operations, Teach For America
Baltimore, MD

Elijah J. Williams, ‘05
Senior Advisor for Legislative Outreach, NASA
Washington, DC

Erion Williams, ‘07
Saxophonist, The Soul Rebels Brass Band
Music Instructor, Trombone Shorty Academy at Tulane University
New Orleans, LA

Rev. Starsky Wilson, ‘99
President and CEO, Deaconess Foundation
Pastor, St. John's United Church of Christ
St. Louis, MO

Tiffany Zeno, ‘96
Emmy Nominated News Producer, NBCUniversal, Inc.
New York, NY

Xavier Receives $19.6 Million NIH Award
to Enhance Diversity in the Biomedical Workforce

New Orleans LA – This afternoon Xavier University of Louisiana received a $19.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the national Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative. Xavier will use the grant to expand the already thriving biomedical programs the historically Black university offers its students.

“Xavier is already number one in the nation as the primary undergraduate source of African American Ph.D.s in the life sciences,” said Dr. Norman Francis, president of Xavier University. “Yet, with this grant, we believe we can triple the number of these graduates and increase the number of African American life science Ph.D.s nationally by 10%. We are proud that NIH has named us one of the institutions that it believes can uniquely contribute to this important goal.”

The award is part of a $240 million NIH investment involving more than 10 institutions to develop new approaches to engage student researchers, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce. Xavier and fellow awardees will establish a national consortium to train, mentor and encourage students from underrepresented groups to enter into and stay in research careers.

“These awards represent a significant step towards ensuring that NIH’s future biomedical research workforce will reflect the unique perspectives found within the diverse composition of our society,” said Dr. Hannah Valantine, NIH chief officer for scientific workforce diversity.

“Participation in faculty research projects is a major reason for Xavier’s success in graduating STEM [science, technology and engineering] students, many of whom go on to get the Ph.D.,” said Dr. Gene D’Amour, the university’s principal investigator for the grant. “Working with our partner research universities across the nation, this NIH grant will greatly increase the opportunities for our students to become even more actively engaged in cutting-edge research and to go on to get life science Ph.D.s.”

Xavier will serve as the primary institution for its grant, “Project PATHWAY: Building Integrated Pathways to Independence for Diverse Biomedical Researchers.” It has partnered with Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, the Louisiana State University and its Health Science Center, Tulane University, The University of Wisconsin, Meharry Medical College, George Washington University, Penn State University, the University of Rochester and the University of California San Francisco.

Xavier will conduct and oversee the program’s implementation to broaden the interests of students early in their college careers and attract them to a life sciences Ph.D. The primary benefit to the 11 partners is access to Xavier STEM students to participate in their summer research programs and ultimately attract these students to their graduate programs. These students, known as BUILD Scholars, are motivated undergraduate science students with an interest in doing research and pursuing a Ph.D.

“The Laney Graduate School at Emory University is pleased to partner with Xavier University to implement the BUILD Initiative. Our commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion at Emory is being implemented through robust, innovative programming that creates pipelines to increase the number of underrepresented students entering and progressing through doctoral programs in the biomedical sciences. Partnership with Xavier University will undoubtedly benefit ¬ and better ¬ our efforts. A deeper level of engagement with BUILD scholars during their undergraduate experience will create opportunities that we hope will not only attract them to our programs at Emory, but ultimately create and nurture a biomedical workforce that is more representative of the unique perspectives and diversity of our nation,” said Lisa A. Tedesco, Ph.D., Dean, James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, Emory University.

The BUILD Initiative is expected to include five integrated components:

  • Tuition scholarships, including stipends, for undergraduate BUILD scholars and possible loan repayment funds for those who pursue a Ph.D.  
  • Training and mentorship experiences for students across a wide range of disciplines in the biomedical sciences;
  • Salary support for key faculty responsible for research training;
  • Resources for highly effective mentors to train new mentors; and
  • Support for an “innovation space” environment for BUILD awardee institutions to develop additional creative and novel approaches to increase the diversity of the student pool that enters the Ph.D. training pathway relevant to biomedical research

"This NIH grant just could not be a more exciting opportunity for Xavier faculty and students to expand our research mentoring and training efforts to now ensure even a greater number of our graduates will pipeline into STEM terminal degree programs and subsequent biomedical research careers," said Dr. Maryam Foroozesh, Interim Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs at Xavier. “Not only does this award speak to the value that Xavier holds for our nation and the world relative to the effective training of biomedical research leaders but also reflects a deep alignment with Xavier’s commitment to its mission and appreciation of its rich history.”

For information about the BUILD awardees and partners, please visit

Xavier has significantly increased its national prominence in research over the last decade. Among the 106 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Xavier currently ranks first on a per capita basis from Health and Human Services (HHS) and sixth overall. Among all universities in the nation, Xavier is among the top 30 percent in National Science Foundation (NSF) funding and among the top 15 percent in HHS funding.

Xavier University to Lead Louisiana's Chinese Education Initiative

New Orleans LA – The 100,000 Strong Foundation (100K Strong) – a national organization leading the movement to ensure that the next generation of Americans is equipped to engage effectively with China – has designated Xavier University of Louisiana as the lead institution for its “Advance Louisiana – Educating a Globally-Competent Workforce” initiative.

The partnership will have three major objectives – all designed to enhance Louisiana’s capacity of understanding Chinese language and culture – to include:

  • Significantly expanding Mandarin teaching in Louisiana primary and secondary schools, community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Facilitating and enhancing study abroad in China for those students in Louisiana who participate in Mandarin instruction
  • Enhancing cultural understanding of owners and employees in businesses throughout Louisiana – especially those engaged in the tourism industry

“The programs initiated by our own Confucius Institute the past two years – programs that fully complement what the 100K Strong Foundation has been striving to implement on the national level – place Xavier in a unique position to serve as the lead institute for the Advance Louisiana initiative,” said Xavier University of Louisiana President Dr. Norman. C. Francis. “We are committed to preparing a Louisiana 21st century workforce that is culturally competent and to training the next-generation of political, business, and civic leaders with a global perspective.”

The growth in business and tourism between Louisiana and China demonstrates the importance and impact Advance Louisiana will have.

Since 2000, Louisiana has seen a steady increase in exports to China and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, currently ranks fourth in the nation, behind only California, Washington and Texas. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce stated that Louisiana’s exports to China totaled $8 billion, or over 12.6% of Louisiana’s total exports. Contrasting the $8 billion in exports, Louisiana imports from China in 2013 totaled just over $1 billion.

This trade advantage with China benefits Louisiana considerably. Proportionally, the exports to China in 2013 would have sustained at least 35,000 in the state (12.6% of the 285,520 jobs supported by the total state imports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce). In addition, in 2013, China was 6th in the world in international visitor spending in the United States. In fact, China’s 1.8 million visitors, up by 22% in 2012, spent $9.8 billion touring the U.S., up by 11% in 2012.

The Confucius Institute (CI) at Xavier University of Louisiana, established in 2012, is a partnership between Xavier, Hebei University and the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) in China which is committed to sharing knowledge to all who wish to learn about Chinese language and culture.

The CI at Xavier was the first to be established in the state of Louisiana as well as the first established at any Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

As a result of CI initiatives, seven K-12 schools in the New Orleans area began offering Mandarin Chinese language courses this fall, including four charter schools (Audubon Charter School, Lafayette Academy Charter School, Lusher Charter School and Warren Easton Charter High School) and three within the Orleans Parish School Board (Benjamin Franklin Elementary Mathematics and Science School, Eleanor McMain Secondary School and Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School of Literature and Technology).

Nine Mandarin teachers from China are teaching various language courses from primary education to senior high school. These teachers are funded by the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing. These schools have sent staff to China to interview some of the Mandarin teachers and visit some K-12 schools in China.

Xavier and the Confucius Institute are helping the schools acclimate the Chinese teachers and coordinate some of the cultural activities.

“The Advance Louisiana initiative will provide opportunities for our children across the state to expand their cultural horizons, learning more about China, its people and culture, as well as learn to speak Mandarin,” said State Superintendent of Education John White, “Advancing in this area will help put our children on a more level playing field to compete in our ever-changing global economy.”

The Advance Louisiana initiative will expand upon already existing programs by:  

  • Offering Mandarin instruction in K-12 schools across state and at state’s community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Providing support to individuals pursuing state certification as Mandarin instructors through Xavier’s Master of Arts in Teaching program
  • Facilitating educator delegations to China where these individuals will spend 14 days learning about Chinese language and culture
  • Facilitating study abroad opportunities in China for Louisiana students
  • Organizing workshops for Louisiana businesses that focus on Chinese culture and doing business with China
  • Organizing presentations for workers in the Louisiana tourism industry, especially focusing on key tourism centers in the state
"We are so excited to be working with Xavier University of Louisiana to expand Mandarin language learning and study abroad to China in New Orleans and throughout the state," said Carola McGiffert, president of the 100,000 Strong Foundation. "Louisiana is our inaugural state-specific initiative, and we plan to build Xavier's excellent work here to engage other states and cities across the country."

XU Presents “The Many Faces of Louis Armstrong”

New Orleans LA - Xavier University  of Louisiana will host a special lecture/concert, “The Many Faces of Louis Armstrong,” Nov. 06.

Professor, scholar and musician Dr. Michael White will discuss the musical and cultural importance of New Orleans born jazz legend, Louis Armstrong, as well as the trumpeter’s several stylistic changes, shifting public image, legacy and influence.

The event will begin at 7:00 pm in Xavier’s University Center McCaffrey Ballroom (3rd floor). It is free and open to the public.

In a rare concert that covers Armstrong’s recording career from 1923 until the late 1960s locally prominent trumpeters (and singers)
Kermit Ruffins, Gregg Stafford, and Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown will perform some of Armstrong’s most influential and popular songs from his iconic 1920s Hot Five and Seven recordings, through his big band vocal standards and his last decades as a world renowned popular entertainer.

Songs will include “Cornet Chop Suey”, “West End Blues”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “Heebie Jeebies”, “Hello Dolly”, and “What a Wonderful World”. Also featured along with the trumpeters White’s will be Original Liberty Jazz Band.

This event is part of the continuing Culture of New Orleans Series
sponsored by the Rosa and Charles Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Xavier University.

For further information contact Dr. Michael White at

Community Outreach Center Ribbon Cutting and Open House

New Orleans LA - Ribbon Cutting and Open House for the new Xavier University of Louisiana Community Outreach Center (XUCOC) will be held October 20 at 5:30 p.m. The location is 7934 Edinburgh Street (corner of Edinburgh and Short St).

Working closely with the community, the facility will house activities that provide guidance and support services in a safe environment, and help improve the quality of life for residents of Gert Town and surrounding communities.

The new facility replaces the former Center on Audubon Place, which burned down in May 2012.

For more info contact Dr. Rosalind Hale at or 520-7526.

Louisiana Sports Hall Selects '61 XU Grad Washington

New Orleans LA - The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee finally noticed Otis.

Otis Washington -- a 1961 graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and a football coaching legend at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans -- was announced Tuesday as one of the 2015 inductees.

"Frankly, I was surprised," Washington said from his home in Baton Rouge, La., about an hour after the inductees were announced. "I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said I never thought about getting in. But after a while, I kind of forgot about it."

Washington, who turned 75 in February, will enter the hall with stellar credentials. His St. Aug teams won state championships in 1975, 1978 and 1979 in the LHSAA's highest classification at the time, AAAA. He parlayed that success into football jobs at LSU, Southern and Tulane, including head coach of the Jaguars from 1981-86.

In July 2003, the Times-Picayune newspaper rated Washington's 1975 St. Aug team -- which was 15-0 and defeated previously unbeaten Covington 35-13 in the championship game -- one of the 10 best in New Orleans history and the best of the 1970s.

"Coach Wash was a person you trusted and believed in. He lived up to that standard every day," said Jerry Reese, a  St. Aug defensive back from the early '70s who played for the University of Oklahoma and two seasons with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. "When he said he was going to do something, he did it. He was a very disciplined coach and knew his X's and O's.

"He changed my life. He wasn't just a coach. He was a mentor, a father figure. He always made sure we took care of our studies. He cared about us."

Washington will be enshrined on Saturday, June 27 to culminate the three-day LSHOF Induction Celebration. Also inducted in 2015 will be football's Kevin Faulk, Jake Delhomme and Leonard Smith, basketball's Avery Johnson, coaches Pat Collins (football) and Yvette Girouard (women's softball) and thoroughbred horse trainer Frank Brothers.

Washington came to Xavier in 1957 on a football scholarship -- he was a 5-foot-10, 195-pound offensive guard and linebacker -- after graduating from R.B. Hudson High School in Selma, Ala. He was part of a Selma pipeline which included Joseph Jackson, another athlete and the father of current XU men's basketball coach Dannton Jackson.

"They weren't all athletes who came to Xavier from Selma," Washington said. "At one point at Xavier we had about 20 from Selma at the same time. I don't know when it started, but Father Nelson Ziter, an Edmundite priest with the Don Bosco Boys' and Girls' Club in Selma, had a connection with the nuns at Xavier. It ballooned into something big."

Washington was a captain on XU's football and baseball teams and was All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in both sports. A catcher, Washington said three major-league teams -- the Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Senators -- scouted him and expressed interest in signing him. Washington was a junior when Xavier played its last intercollegiate football game, a 21-9 victory against city rival Dillard on Thanksgiving Day in 1959.

"We were just hanging on," Washington said of Xavier's financial decision to end athletics in the spring of 1960.

Xavier honored all athletic  scholarships after dissolving its teams, and Washington, with three years invested, opted to finish at XU. He received a bachelor of science degree in physical education.

XU baseball coach John Crowe recommended Washington to St. Aug for a teaching and coaching job that Washington landed shortly after graduation. St. Aug named Washington its head football coach soon after the 1968 season, and he remained in that position for 11 seasons.

"When I became head coach, we were starting our third year in the LHSAA," Washington said. "I never doubted if we would be successful. But it wasn't easy playing in the Catholic League. We competed against some great coaches like Bobby Conlin at Brother Martin and John Kalbacher at Holy Cross, and their teams showed it on the field. They were well-rounded, and they knew what they were doing.

"We stayed up a lot of nights at St. Aug just trying to keep up."

The late nights, obviously, paid off. In addition to the state titles, Washington's St. Aug teams won seven Catholic League championships.

Washington has few XU mementos -- his diploma, two yearbooks, a trophy which honored him as the 1958 team MVP and the silver dollar from the winning pregame coin toss with Dillard in 1959 -- but he maintains plenty of admiration for his alma mater.

"To this day," Washington said, "Xavier is one of the best schools in this country. I tell everybody this."

Xavier Review Press Publishes Percival Everett: Writing Other/Wise

New Orleans LA - Dr. Nicole Pepinster Greene, executive editor of the Xavier Review Press, announces publication of Percival Everett: Writing Other/Wise, a scholarly collection of theoretical and literary essays on the renown African American writer (and one-time professor of creative writing at Xavier University of Louisiana) co-edited by XU professor Dr. Robin Vander and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell’s Dr. Keith Mitchell.

Percival Everett:  Writing Other/Wise presents eight original critical essays analyzing the fiction and poetry of contemporary American writer, Percival Everett and includes a special section highlighting Everett’s visual art. The Xavier Review Press collection is the second comprehensive volume of essays to be published on Everett in the United States and serves as the companion volume to the first publication, Perspectives on Percival Everett published by University Press of Mississippi in 2013, also co-edited by Drs. Mitchell and Vander.

Everett, a prolific African American writer/theorist/visual artist, is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of nearly twenty major publications including novels, poetry collections, and a children’s book. Though deeply theoretical and imaginative in his works, Everett has received limited critical attention in the United States although he is widely read and studied in Europe, particularly France. The Xavier Review Press publication, along with the 2013 University Press of Mississippi volume, serve as the first major publications on Everett in the United States and are considered foundational for emerging scholarship.

Also a visual artist, Everett provided images from his paintings to be used on the covers of both the Xavier Review Press and the University Press of Mississippi collections.  He graciously provided additional images for the Xavier Review Press publication to create a special section in the book on his paintings. An Artist Statement written by Everett is included.

In pre-publication reviews the collection is being lauded for its contribution to literary and cultural studies, particularly issues of race and culture, and its inclusion of Everett’s artwork.  Joining Anthony Stewart in praising the collection, W. Lawrence Hogue, John and Rebecca Moores Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Houston writes that with this volume the editors, “successfully introduce one of the most provocative, original, and intellectual American writers today. This collection, along with Perspectives on Percival Everett, will make an invaluable contribution to American scholarship.”  St. Louis University Professor Joe Weixlmann asserts that the synthesis of critical essays and artwork renders the collection a “must-own text” for every fan of Everett’s work.

In a thoughtful nod to Xavier University history, it should be noted that Everett served as a writer-in-residence when the English Department launched its highly successful Creative Writing Program. 

Percival Everett: Writing Other/Wise continues an excellent tradition of publishing at Xavier University, where the Xavier Review Press is one of the longest, continuously publishing presses at any HBCU in the country. To date, over 230 libraries and organizations have ordered the first volume on Everett and it is widely anticipated that the Xavier Review volume will do as well.

A talk by Dr. Vander offering reflections on reading Percival Everett and insights on editing two volumes of scholarship about the author is being planned for the fall semester on the Xavier University campus. She is currently a contributing editor to the Xavier Review.

The book is available from the Xavier Review Press. To purchase, contact Katheryn Laborde, Managing Editor, at

University Honors 59 Long-time Employees

New Orleans LA – Sixty-six long-time faculty and staff members were honored as part of Xavier University of Louisiana's annual Founder’s Day celebration. 

Topping the list of honorees celebrating anniversaries of their employment at XU were Karen Watkins (President’s Office) with 45 years of service, and Winston Brown (Admissions) with 40 years of service.

Other employees honored included:

35 years – Barbara Franklin (Student Services), Gladys Hampton (Fiscal Services), Yvonne Parker (Fiscal Services), Sondra Reine (Admissions), Viola Spencer (Housing), and Richard Tucker (Institutional Advancement).

30 years – Shirley Labbe (Counseling), Randall Schexnayder (Pharmacy), and Silas Steele (Recreational Sports).

25 years –Dr. Teresa Birdwhistell (Chemistry), Roy Crowley (Physical Plant), Alma Henderson (Athletics), Gwendolyn Hudson (Pharmacy), Bro. Herman Johnson O.P. (Languages), Emily London Jones (Financial Aid), Dr. Janet Privett (Chemistry), Dr. Sindhu Unnithan (Mathematics), and Jacqueline Windham (Switchboard).

20 years – Dr. Robert Blake II (Pharmacy), Dr. Michelle Boissiere (Biology), Dr. Violet Bryan (English), Dr. Carroll Diaz, Jr. (Mathematics), Dianne Encalade (History), Ultra Fredricks (Fiscal Services), Osannah Harrison (University Police), Dr. Shubha Ireland (Biology), Dr. Vlajko Kocic (Mathematics), Dr. R. Raymond Lang (Computer Science), Karen Lee (Center for International Studies), Dr. Joe Ricks (Business), and Paula Singleton (Library).

15 years – Kerwin Byrd (Central Plant), Bart Everson (CAT), Dr. Conchetta Fulton (Pharmacy), Dr. Dominique Gendrin (Communications), Dr. Galina Goloverda (Chemistry), Karen Hodge (Fiscal Services), Lionel Jacobs (Central Plant), Kelsh Kelly, Jr. (Campus Police), Mapo Kinnord-Payton (Art), Toni LaBranch (Counseling), Dr. Adrianne Mitchell (Pharmacy), Dr. Paul Schafer (Philosophy), Dennis Sigur (ITC), Vincent Simmons (ITC), Reginald Starks (Animal Care Facility), Paul Waddell (ITC), and Robert Williams (Post Office).

10 Years – Dr. Amy Bellone Hite (Sociology), Duane Carkum (University Police), Nicara Christoff (University Police), Lorie Gie (Fiscal), Gloria Kindrick (Registrar’s Office), Dr. William Kirchain (Pharmacy), Pamela Mitchell (Housing), Joseph Moses (Athletics), Dr. Boonie Noonan (English), Shirelle Perkins (Housing),  LeShawn Porter (Financial Aid), Benjamin Ragos (Physical Plant), Dr. Tim Turner (Music), Adicia Waddell (Human Resources), and Patricia Washington (Housing).

XU Performance Studies Laboratory Presents “Here Is Where You Turn Back”

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University Performance Studies Laboratory will launch its 2014-2015 season with its presentation of “Here Is Where You Turn Back,” a staged adaption of literary texts inspired by the history and culture of New Orleans, Thursday-Saturday, October 09-11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Administration Building (Old Chapel).

Admission is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For additional info or ticket reservations email or call at Lisa Flanagan at 520-5087.

“Here Is Where You Turn Back” is a scripted adaption of “Talk to the Music” and “The Goodness of St. Rocque,” two short stories written by Louisiana natives Arna Bontemps and Alice Dunbar Nelson, respectively, and from a portion of the novel, Mumbo Jumbo written by Ishmael Reed.

Intertwining each of the three narratives, the show follows the stories of a young college student who longs to hear the blues as sung in the segregated music halls of Storyville, accompanies a young Creole woman as she solicits divine intervention to bring a wayward lover back to her, and watches as the dapper Mayor of New Orleans must deal with a widening epidemic rapidly transforming the city and its residents. The epidemic – Jes Grew – is an anti-plague and audiences will experience its infectious nature throughout the show as the stories continuously travel back and forth from a lively picnic at Milneburg (a bustling area on Lake Pontchartrain at the end of Elysian Fields during the 1800s), to the heady entertainment district of Storyville, and the renown steps of St. Louis Cathedral. The student ensemble cast tells these stories in a physical style, using their bodies to show how Jes Grew “enlivens its host” and offers all a way to live in that “moving procession of human energy.”

“Here Is Where You Turn Back” is the first show of the new season which will entail festival performances later this year, and the staging of “This Other World,” an adaption of the haiku poetry of Richard Wright in the spring.

The Performance Studies Laboratory, launched in 2013, is an interdisciplinary working group of Xavier faculty with training and backgrounds in Performance Studies. In its inaugural season, the Lab produced faculty and student performance showcases, and coordinated performance studies workshops for interested university students. Co-founders Lisa Flanagan, Ross Louis, and Robin Vander have previously taught courses, mentored student research, and collaborated with other faculty on performance-based projects but “Here Is Where You Turn Back” is the first full show to be produced through the Lab. Other collaborators include Liz Edgecomb, Kimberly Chandler, and Ron Bechet. Performance Studies is often referred to as an embodied way of knowing, a creative approach to scholarship that allows us to make sense of ourselves and others.

The Performance Studies Laboratory studies performance in contexts such as literature, cultural ritual and rites of passage, identity construction, civic engagement and political actions, and visual and material culture, among others.

Xavier celebrates Founder’s Day

Note: Founder’s Day will be celebrated at Xavier Oct. 7  at 12:15 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

New Orleans LA - St. Katharine Drexel’s story is one of unparalleled vision, commitment and sacrifice – it is a story that cannot be repeated too often.

She was the equivalent of an American princess, born into the privileged family of a wealthy Philadelphia banker and philanthropist. She could have lived her life in the lap of luxury, oblivious to the suffering of others.

But instead, throughout the 1890’s and the first half of the 20th century – long before taking up the cause of racial equality came into vogue – St. Katharine Drexel was at the forefront of efforts to improve the lives of others.

It was during those decades shadowed by the segregation and degradation forced on Blacks as well as the dispossession, relocation and betrayal of Native Americans that the name of St. Katharine Drexel shone out as a beacon of hope.

St. Katharine was at the forefront of efforts to educate African-Americans and Native Americans with an eye toward helping them to develop their own leadership and self-determination. Her schools were always open to all faiths; and the nuns who followed her lived among the poor they served.

She was born in 1858 to wealthy Philadelphia banker and philanthropist Francis Drexel and his wife Hannah, who died a mere five weeks after giving birth. Her father remarried two years later. It was from her parents, revered for their own generosity and charity to the less fortunate, that St. Katharine learned early the lesson of stewardship and responsibility to the poor.

Early on, St. Katharine indicated her intent to establish a bureau to distribute her wealth to Indians and Black missions, and to enter a cloistered religious order. But instead, during a trip to Rome with her family, she accepted the challenge of Pope Leo XIII and established a brand new order (the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament) which went on to found and staff schools and centers in the inner cities of the North and East, the Indian reservations of the west and across the Deep South.

Despite the many obstacles placed in their path, including strong opposition from whites, by 1942 the Sisters were operating black Catholic schools, convents and mission centers in some 13 states. So extensive was her influence in the Black, rural areas of New Iberia, St. Martinville and other Acadiana parishes that she is often referred to as the “Patron Saint of South Louisiana.”

St. Katharine’s presence was also felt in urban New Orleans, where the Sisters not only opened a Catholic high school and several elementary schools, but also established Xavier University of Louisiana, which was to become the capstone of her educational system.

Originally a coeducational secondary school, Xavier evolved into a teacher’s college and by 1925 had achieved full university status. A College of Pharmacy, now one of only two pharmaceutical schools in the state, was added two years later.

The stresses and strains of building a nationwide network of schools for black and Indian children were hard on St. Katharine. The never-ending work and awesome responsibilities that she shouldered for more than a half-century finally took their toll in 1935 when she suffered a near-fatal heart attack. For 20 years she was confined to the infirmary at the Motherhouse in Bensalem, Pa., where she is said to have spent most of her remaining waking hours in prayer and meditation.

St. Katharine died on March 3, 1955. She was officially canonized a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in October of 2000 by Pope John Paul II. She is only the fifth American to have been canonized and only the second American-born Saint. She is now in the select company of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, Rose Philippine Duchesne, Bishop John Neumann and Mother Elizabeth Seton.

“(Katharine) Drexel is an excellent example of that practical charity and generous solidarity with the less fortunate that has long been the distinguishing mark of American Catholics,” the Pontiff said during a rain-soaked canonization ceremony that drew tens of thousands to the Vatican, noting that her life brought about “a growing awareness of the need to combat all forms of racism through education and social services.”

It is estimated that St. Katharine, who during her lifetime shared the annual income from her father’s trust fund with her two sisters, gave away more than $20 million.

XU’s Benjamin Joins Ascension Health Board

New Orleans LA - Dr. Regina Benjamin, Endowed Chair in Public Health Services at Xavier University of Louisiana and U.S. Surgeon General 2009-2013, has been named to the Ascension Health Board of Directors.

Ascension Health, which provided $1.3 billion in care of persons who are poor and community benefit last year, is the nation's largest Catholic and non-profit health system. Its mission-focused Health Ministries employ more than 150,000 associates serving in more than 1,500 locations in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

“Dr. Benjamin’s clinical expertise and voice regarding health policy will be instrumental in guiding us as we make important changes to how we provide care and manage the health of communities, and influence the policies that govern care,” said Gino Pazzaglini, chair of Ascension Sponsor, in making the announcement. Her initial term is three years.

Benjamin, a ’79 graduate of Xavier, has been serving as Endowed Chair in Public Health Sciences at her alma mater since September 2013. As the Endowed Chair she is charged with positioning Xavier as an international center for public health with a strong focus on the community.

Benjamin’s role at Xavier also includes reviewing curriculum and cementing the University’s position as an international thought center on public health. Working closely with Xavier’s School of Pharmacy, Arts and Sciences, and Center for Health and Health Disparities Research, she has helped develop the new Department of Public Health Sciences, teaches classes, and coordinates national and international conferences in New Orleans.

Prior to returning to Xavier, she led the nation’s Public Health Service Commission Corps as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States (2009-2013), where she provided the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. She has continued her important work at Xavier through a number of different initiatives, including hosting an historic, national one-day summit focusing on how prevention can lead to a tobacco-free generation last February.

“Last year I stepped away from my position as Surgeon General but not from my mission,” said Benjamin, a long-time champion of the power of prevention. “This endowed chair at Xavier has provided an ideal platform from which I can broaden my mission of prevention and wellness.”

Xavier Hosts Business Week

New Orleans LA – Creative Digital Media in New Orleans is the theme of the Xavier University of Louisiana’s Division of Business annual Business Week series of forums Oct. 06-08.

The three events on slate include:

Creative Digital Media
Oct. 06, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
XU Convocation Center Annex Room 111

An overview of the present and future of the Creative Digital Media industry with speakers Quentin Messer, Assistant Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development; Phyllis Cassidy, President of the Good Work Network; Peter Bodenheimer of FlatStack; Tom Hayes of Uber; and Erik Waters of the Louisiana Small Business Development Centers.

Opportunities in Creative Digital Media
Oct. 08, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
XU Convocation Center Annex Room 111

Business and employment opportunities in the Creative Digital Media industry will be discussed by Susan Lucchesi of Cumulus Media; Carroll Morton of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy; Carmen Sunda of Louisiana Small Business Development Centers; and Christopher Hayes, Xavier student and the Google Community Leaders Program.

The Future of Social Media
Oct. 09, 12:15 p.m.
XU Convocation Center Annex Room 111

A presentation of social media and its future will be delivered by Aziz Ali of Peter Mayer Advertising.

All forums are free and open to the public. For more information contact Tonia Simmons-Doakes at  or 520-7505.

Xavier University of Louisiana No. 6 HBCU in U.S. News Report

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana was ranked 6th among Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the 2015 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News Media Group.

Topping the HBCU rankings of the 67 eligible schools were Spelman, Morehouse, Howard, Hampton, and Tuskegee. Visit HERE for the complete list.

To qualify for the U.S. News ranking, an HBCU must be an undergraduate baccalaureate-granting institution that enrolls primarily first year, first-time students and must be a school that is currently included in its overall 2015 Best Colleges rankings.

Among all U.S. colleges and universities, U.S. News ranked Xavier 178th in the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges category.

162 Xavier University College of Pharmacy P1s Receive White Coats

New Orleans LA - 162 first-year (P1) pharmacy students received their white coats – symbolizing ethical practice and the beginning of their professional pharmacy education – during the Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy’s 13th annual White Coat Ceremony.

During the ceremony members of the Class of 2018 students also signed the Academy of Students of Pharmacy "Pledge of Professionalism". They also received encouragement and sage advice from keynote speaker Meagan Minor Brown, Pharm.D., BCACP, Coordinator of Community Pharmacy Development & Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. Brown, a former Miss Xavier University, received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Xavier in 2010.

Receiving their white coats were:

Sidoline Achemenkong, Hanadi Afaneh, Huda Afaneh, Eman Al-Bassisi, Jordan Alonzo, Ganiat Animashawun, Derick Atabong, Jessica Baham, Ashley Barabin, Chrystalynne Bechtel, Sarah Bilbe, Brook Boe, Brittany Bordelon, Jaune Boudreaux, April Brown, Edcharra Cage, Megan Callaghan, Brandi Calvin, Heather Campos, Corliss Carter, Chuong Chau, LaTara Cloudet, Latecia Coleman, Iesha Colla, Devin Conley, Morgan Cottingham, Raymond Curry, Joshua Delcambre, Heather Dikes, John Dinh, Peter Duong, Dominique Edwards, Mezzan El Sayed,  Rania El-Desoky, Suzan Elqess Mossa, Jasmin Eugene, Kayla Evans, Angela Exnicios, Yinka Falana, Hannah Finnegan, LaShone Francis, Shone Francis, Ariyan Frazier, Lawrence Gaines, Stephanie Gates, Telicia Gayden, Emily Generazio, Philipe Gilchrist, Tomi Gilliam, Cornelia Greene, Justine Gunnell,

Lauren Hamilton, Jessica Hano, Yasheika Harris, Reginald Harrison, Jaleel Hill, Nhi Hoang, Casey Holloway, Faith Hyacinthe, Dana Jackson, Chelsea James, Alexis Jones, Kayla Jones, Chloe Keller, Christopher Kennie, Jasmine Kinnard, Jonathan La, Andrew Lai, Thu Le, Tien-Trang Le, Kaitlyn Loupe, Celeste Mart, Jacenta Matthews, Veronica Mayer, Taylor McBride, Taylor McFarland, Megan McKay, Kristina McKinney, Aniya Mercadel, Mason Miley, Clarence Mitchell, Mona Moghareh, Evonne Murphy, Bonnie Murray, Leah Ndenecho, Mindy Ngo, Thuy Ngo, Anthony Nguyen, Billy Nguyen, Christina Nguyen, Han Nguyen, Janice Nguyen, Jenny Nguyen, Joseph G. Nguyen, Joseph K. Nguyen, Karen Nguyen, Kenny Nguyen, Michelle Nguyen, My Hien Nguyen, Ngoc Lan Nguyen, Patrick Nam Nguyen, Peter Nguyen, Phi Nguyen, Phung Nguyen, Phuong Nguyen, Tam Nguyen, Thanh Nguyen, Vi Nguyen,

Nicholas Ninh, Erica Olivier, Thanh-Thao Pham, Thao Pham, Tram Pham, Jennifer Phan, Kelly Phan, Andrea Phang, Joseph Pugh, Daanaa Richard, Ashley Ricouard, Gabriel Rochon, Ronald Salmen, Krim Sbaa, Angelita Sirianni, Dominick Spadoni, Daniel Spell, Scarlett Splane, Lauren Steele, Amanda Stevens, Frederick Sykes, D’Undria Taylor, Katelynn Templet, Ngan Thai, Que Tieu, Corey Todd, Anton Tran, Jonathan Tran, Lisa Tran, Michael Tran, Nhi Tran, Tuong-Vi Tran, Viet Tran, Riddi Vekariya, Nina Vo, Rowena Vo, Joshua Vu, Alisha Warren, Jana Webb, Margaret Wetzel, Nandi Wilkerson, Whitney Wong, Letitia Yearby, and Cody Young.

XU to Host Annual Nat'l Conference of the
Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will host the 24th Annual National Conference of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts Sept. 26-28.
More than 200 Lilly Fellows Program National representatives are expected to attend the conference, which will feature exciting intellectual presentations by nationally renowned authors, an artistic performance that explores the 1960s summer Freedom Rides (which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer), and  the South African-based R5 Art Exhibition. LILLY CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
(click here)
This year’s conference theme is A Future City, A New Creation: Equal on All Sides?, which centers on the powerful meaning of the apocalyptic in various religious traditions. The apocalyptic here refers to the beyond, the yet to come but already present experience of the earth transformed. Among other things, the conference will serve to communicate a vision of hope in the midst of worldwide urban crises. It seeks insights into the significance of the city in the apocalyptic tradition: a future city made new, and also to stimulate discussion on ways in which universities, with faith missions and visions, are committed to the virtues necessary to sustain free and open conversation.

Featured presenters at the conference will include:

Friday, Sept. 26, 4:00 p.m., College of Pharmacy Qatar Pavilion

Dr. Monya Stubbs, Ph.D., a Bible scholar, in her recently published book, Indebted Love: Paul's Subjection Language in Romans (2013) draws us into the situation and experience of those referred to as the Other. She engages in a re-reading of the biblical text from the perspective of victims that facilitates a deeper understanding of current questions that currently affect so many people living in the inner city.

Saturday, Sept. 27. 9:00 a.m., College of Pharmacy Qatar Pavilion

Dr. Elijah Anderson, Ph.D., an Urban Ethnographer, will focus on violence and racial disparities in urban society. He will paint a powerful picture of the situation of those whose struggle for survival commands an ongoing interest and investment from society and the university. His recent work, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life (2012) will serve to inform, influence, and strengthen perspectives corresponding to the Conference theme.

Saturday, Sept. 27, 1:00 p.m., Administration Building Auditorium

Dr. John Ware, D.M.A., Professor of Music, will conduct the nationally acclaimed Freedom Rides, an Opera composed by Dr. Daniel Shore, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Music at Xavier University. The opera conveys the spirit, emotions, and suffering that accompanied the struggle for justice in Urban America during the 1960s.

Also featured will be the  “R5 South Africa Art Exhibit” presented in collaboration with Rachel Smith of Taylor University and Joel Carpenter of Calvin College. R5 refers to South Africa’s 5-Rand coin, however the artists especially highlight the challenges facing a post-apartheid South Africa: Remembrance, Resistance, Reconciliation, Representation, and Re-visioning.

The Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts is funded by Valparaiso University, the LFP National Network of church-related colleges and universities, and a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation. The program seeks to renew and enhance the connections between Christianity and the academic vocation at church-related colleges and universities.

The Lilly Fellows Program National Network of Church Related Colleges and Universities holds its annual National Conference each fall on one of the Network's member campuses. For more info visit LFP Website.

XU Gets Nod in in Princeton Review Best Colleges Guide

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana has once again been singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in the 2015 edition of its annual edition of "The Best 379 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 379 Colleges".

“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.”
princeton review
For more info, visit HERE.

Xavier Committee Approves Faculty Promotions

New Orleans LA - 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 at Xavier University of Louisiana, 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.

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.

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.

Fiske College Guide Tabs Xavier a 2015 Best Buy

New Orleans LA - The 2015 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges has tabbed Xavier University of Louisiana 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.

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.
best buy
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.

Xavier Herald Earns Top LPA Award

New Orleans LA – Students Students who worked on the 2013 spring and fall editions of The Xavier Herald at Xavier University of Louisiana 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 last month at the LPA’s joint conference with the Mississippi Press Association held in Biloxi, Miss. The Better Student Newspaper Competition entries were judged by mainstream media professionals from outside Louisiana and Mississippi. The competition includes university publications from across Louisiana.

Student publications were required to submit two full editions—one from the spring and one from the fall 2013—and judges based their decision on content, design and advertising. “Excellent reporting of subjects relevant to your target audience,” one judge commented about The Herald’s entries. “Professional quality design. Excellent all around.”

Herald staffs entered the April 11, 2013, and Nov. 19, 2013, editions. The April edition included coverage of the university administration’s controversial decision to cancel performances by two New Orleans bounce artists days before the annual students’ spring festival. The November edition featured an in depth examination of college students’ usage of “stimulants in a can,” such as energy drinks, and overuse of other caffeine-loaded products; misuse of prescription drugs; and detrimental “addiction” to social media.

Cassie Smith, editor-in-chief in the spring 2013, graduated in May 2013 with a BA in mass communication, print concentration. She is now an editorial assistant at the Austin American-Statesman newspaper in Austin, Texas. Anthony Lotten served as editor-in-chief in fall 2013 and is a senior English major.

The Southeastern Louisiana University Lion’s Roar placed second and Loyola University Maroon placed third in general excellence.

The Herald’s other first place award was for a staff generated color ad that design editor Kenneth Norwood produced to solicit contributions for New Voices, which features students’ literary and artistic submissions. Norwood graduated in May 2013 with a BA in mass communication, print concentration.

Fall 2013 design editor Latasha Smith was awarded second place in “most effective use of graphic design on a single page.” The winning entry was one page of a two-page Arts and Entertainment spread on the film, “12 Years a Slave.” Smith’s elaborate design featured a review by staff writer Bianca Moore and a coordinated layout with images from the film and corresponding passages from Solomon Northup’s memoir,Twelve Years a Slave.”

“A lot of information, but well-thought out and strong design. The main art as focal point brings you into the entire graphic,” one judge wrote about Smith’s entry. Smith graduated in May 2014 with a BA in mass communication, public relations concentration.

Managing editor and photographer Eric Craig earned second place in feature photography with his nighttime photo of student Jade Dedeaux as she texts on her phone while walking across campus. The photo accompanied a feature on campus safety. Craig is a junior political science major with a mass communication minor.

Xavier to Offer Ed.D. Degree in Educational Leadership

New Orleans LA – The Xavier University of Louisiana 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.

“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 Division of Education’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 Xavier’s University’s 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.

Federal Financial Aid Available for New PSY.D Program

Prospective students applying for admission to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s (TCSPP) new Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) Program at Xavier for the fall 2014 semester, can now apply for federal financial aid. Applications are now being accepted.

The Clinical Psy.D. Program is the first one of its kind offered in the state of Louisiana and has been approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional accrediting agency. 

While TCSPP’s Clinical Psy.D. Program curriculum will be housed on the XULA campus with XULA providing all classrooms, program offices and other support services, TCSPP will provide, manage and maintain faculty, curriculum and all other academic matters. Oversight will be provided by The Chicago School of Professional Psychology as well, and all faculty members, and some administrators, will be employed by the institution.

The program opens the door to well-qualified candidates from Xavier and other local universities, as well as professionals already in the field, who are seeking clinical psychology graduate studies. Graduates of the Clinical Psy.D. Program at XULA will be equipped with expert knowledge in theory, research, and practice in clinical psychology, so that they are well-prepared to serve as practitioners in clinical settings.

The Chicago School’s Clinical Psy.D. Program, offers 106 credit hours of rigorous training in culturally competent service provision while exposing students to a variety of professional training opportunities.

A unique feature of the program is the Research Clerkship model through which students are paired with core faculty to receive mentorship in research and scholarship, and obtain important support and preparation for their dissertation. All students complete three years of practicum experiences, allowing them to be well prepared for internship placement.

Xavier Designates Top Students as Rousseve Scholars

New Orleans LA - Thirty-nine upperclassmen have been named Rousseve Scholars for the 2014-15 school year at Xavier University of Louisiana.

Students selected for the University’s Rousseve Scholars Program generally represent the top ten (or more) students in the senior, junior and sophomore classes based on their academic performance the preceding two semesters. Each recipient receives a full tuition scholarship and a book allowance.

This year’s recipients, grouped by their class, are listed below along with their majors, hometown and high school.

Seniors / P2s –Caitlin Bucher, pharmacy, Kenner LA (Chapelle High); Tarrin Casey, biology/premed, St. Louis MO (Cardinal Ritter High); Duy Dang, biology/premed, Harvey LA (Shaw High); Sara Elsayed, pharmacy, Kenner LA (Haynes Academy); Paige Estave, biology/premed, Kenner LA (Chapelle High); Catherine Fakler, English/English Education, Phoenix AZ (Xavier Prep); Shikira Flounory, biology/premed, Shreveport LA (C.E. Byrd High); Kristen Fowler, biology/pre-med, Kenner LA (Chapelle High); Tri Pham, biology/pre-med, Harvey LA (Shaw High); and Theresia Sutherlin, biology/pre-med, Mobile AL (Murphy AL).

Juniors / P1s – Ashnti Anderson, psychology, Mobile AL (Williamson High); Jasmine Douglas, biology/premed, Shreveport LA (Caddo Parish High); Rania El-Desoky, pharmacy, Kenner LA (Kingwood High); Jasmine Geathers, chemistry/premed, Chester PA (Christian Academy); Lynn Hoang, chemistry/prepharmacy, New Orleans (Ben Franklin); Rasaan Hollis, business, Columbus OH (Westerville North High); Leslie Jones, biology/premed, Memphis TN (Central High); Kevin Lam, biology/premed, Kenner LA (Haynes High); Anthony N. Nguyen, pharmacy, New Orleans (Ben Franklin High); Janice Nguyen, pharmacy, New Orleans (Ben Franklin High); Tami Nguyen, biology/premed, Marrero LA (Ehret High); and Derriyan Price, chemistry/premed, New Iberia LA (New Iberia High).

Sophomores – Nkemdi Agwaramgbo, biology/premed, Gretna LA (Thomas Jefferson High); Aizaz Ahmad, biology/premed, Metairie LA (Grace King High); Jacqueline Baidoo, dual-degree engineering, Frederick MD; Usman Chaudhry, biology/premed, Kenner LA (Grace King High); Rebekah Covington, biology/premed, Leavenworth KS (Leavenworth High); Keeyan Davis, chemistry/prepharmacy, Harvey LA (Lusher High); Ryan Hoang, biology/premed, Gretna LA (Thomas Jefferson); Erica Greenwood, business, LaPlace LA (East St. John High); Moamen Ismail, chemistry/premed, Metairie LA (Grace King High); Shahan Maqbool, chemistry/premed, Metairie LA (Grace King High); Renee’ Miller, biology/premed, Luling LA (Hahnville High); Tracey Nguyen, biology/premed, Gretna LA (Thomas Jefferson High); Alayna Robinson, chemistry/premed, Peachtree City GA (McIntosh High); Michaela Smith, chemistry/premed, Shreveport LA (Caddo Parish High); Amanda Ware, accounting, Houston TX (Cypress Creek High); Cassidy Williams, chemistry/prepharmacy, Hammond LA (Pontchatoula High); and Zhayna Yarber, biology/premed, New Iberia LA (New Iberia High).

The scholarships are named in honor of the Rousseve family, outstanding alumni and supporters of the University.

2014 Give. Love. Xavier Day a Success!

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana raised a total of $275,100 from participants in the 2nd Annual Give. Love. Xavier Day held on June 2. This year’s online fundraising event far exceeded last year’s total of $120,000, and nearly 1,200 donors contributed to the cause and rallied fellow alumni and supporters over social media.

Donations are still being accepted through June 30 to help Give. Love. Xavier Day 2014 reach the $300,000 level. All gifts go directly to the Annual Fund which supports scholarships and other important University programs.

“Xaverites coming together like this showcases the spirit of our University,” says Dr. Kenneth St. Charles, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “Part of our mission is to prepare students to assume roles of leadership and service in the global society and these alumni are taking on the responsibility of preserving that tradition. Their donations to the Annual Fund make a vital difference in the lives of current students.”

Xavier would like to thank the generous donors, volunteers and those alumni who established Challenge Grant Incentive opportunities. The Give. Love. Xavier Day Challenge Grant Initiatives were dollar for dollar matches that were only realized when alumni and friends made their donations on June 2.

“All of this year’s Challenge Grant Initiatives were met,” shares Kim Reese, Director of Alumni Relations at Xavier University. “These matches brought in an extra $90,000 for Give. Love. Xavier Day 2014, making many of our donor dollars twice as impactful!”

To participate in Give. Love. Xavier Day, visit to make a donation ($20 minimum) or call (504) 520-7575. Donors and supporters are still encouraged to post about Give. Love. Xavier Day on their social networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to spread the excitement and encourage their friends and followers to give. They can join the conversation by sharing the hashtag #GLXU14, connecting to @XULAalumni and linking to the website.

More information about Give. Love. Xavier Day can be found at or by calling Lacrecia James at (504) 520-5129.

777 Scholars Earn Spots on Spring Dean’s List

New Orleans LA - A total of 777 student scholars made the Dean's List at Xavier University of Louisiana during the spring 2014 semester, according to XU Registrar Avis Stuard.

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 honor students listed below are grouped by major and include their classifications, high schools and/or (hometowns). Unless otherwise noted, the latter is New Orleans.

The complete lists are available HERE (College of Arts and Sciences) and HERE (College of Pharmacy.

Xavier Research Programs Receive $11.2 Million NIH Grant

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana has received a five-year, $11.2 million renewal of a Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in support of its expanding research capabilities.

The new five-year grant will enable Xavier to build upon the dramatic upgrading of its infrastructure and the significant growth of its biomedical research capacities – especially in the area of cancer and health disparities – that have occurred since it received its inaugural RCMI grant in 2009.

During that period the University has been able to increase the number and quality of cancer researchers on the faculty; to provide those researchers with release time, professional development opportunities, and mentoring opportunities; to enlarge its laboratories areas dedicated to research; to provide state-of-the-art instrumentation in the labs, and to fund pilot research projects.

With the new funding, Xavier will work to strengthen internal and external collaborations and partnerships, particularly those that promote health disparities and translational research; to enhance critical core laboratory services; to increase Xavier’s pool of competitive and productive cancer and health disparities researchers who participate in the “translational research pipeline”; to establish a new pilot project program for cancer/health disparities research; and to provide targeted administrative services in support of RCMI investigators.

"This award not only portends the continued enhancement of Xavier's research capacity for the future, but also acknowledges the great work and success of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) faculty who have, over the last five years, been supported by and worked on RCMI projects,” said Dr. Gene D’Amour, Senior Vice President for Resource Development. “And, as a result, many of our students have been able to obtain the critical research experiences they needed to get into graduate or medical schools."

Give. Love. Xavier Day to Be Held June 2

New Orleans LA - Give. Love. Xavier Day is an online fundraising event encouraging alumni and friends to come together and support Xavier University of Louisiana. This one-day event will take place on Monday, June 02 from 12 a.m. to midnight.

All gifts made online on this day will go directly to the Annual Fund which supports scholarships and other important University programs. The Annual Fund makes a vital difference in the lives of students and supports the areas of greatest need.

To participate in Give. Love. Xavier Day, visit HERE and make a donation ($20 minimum) on June 2 or you can make a gift by phone at (504) 520-7575. Donors and supporters are encouraged to post about Give. Love. Xavier Day on their social networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to spread the excitement and encourage friends and followers to give. They can join in the conversation by sharing the hashtag #GLXU14, connecting to @XULAalumni and linking to the website.

The first Give. Love. Xavier Day held last year was a huge success; 1,100 donors raised $120,000 for the University and its programs.

This year’s goal is to have contributions from 1,750 donors. Additionally, through a special Challenge Initiative, Xavier has received $100,000 in challenge fund pledges - dollar for dollar matches that will only be realized when and if other alumni and friends make their donations on June 02. This would double of impact of Give. Love. Xavier Day!

XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis, currently America's Longest Serving College President, joined Twitter especially for this year’s Give. Love. Xavier Day to connect with students and alumni. He can be reached at @DrNCF.

More information about Give. Love. Xavier Day can be found HERE or by calling Lacrecia James at (504) 520-5129.

Tennis & Track Teams Score Seven All-Americans

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana’s nationally-ranked tennis programs have produced five 2014 All-Americans. And the young track and field program added yet another two.

The Rush, who finished 13-12 and reached the quarterfinals of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship, placed two first-teamers on the men’s All-American tennis squad – Kyle Montrel and Nikita Soifer. The Nuggets, who posted a 17-7 record and reached the NAIA women’s national semifinals, topped that with three tennis All-Americans: Kourtney Howell and Nour Abbes on the first team and Brion Flowers on the second team.
Montrel, a sophomore education major from Atlanta GA (SW Atlanta Christian Academy), was 16-10 in singles and 19-7 in doubles this season, while Soifer, a junior computer science major from Israel, was 15-10 in singles and 22-7 in doubles.

Howell, a senior mathematics major from Cypress TX (Cypress Woods High), is XU’s first three-time All-American. She was 15-9 in singles and 23-9 in doubles this season. Abbes, a freshman deciding major from Tunisia, was 17-0 in singles and 16-2 in doubles; while Flowers, a sophomore biology/premed major from Lafayette LA (St. Thomas More High), was 10-13 in singles and 23-8 in doubles. At the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores AL, Devinn Rolland, a P1 pharmacy student from Harvey LA (Cabrini High) long-jumped 18 feet, 7 inches to earn All-America honors for the second time in three years. Competing in her third event of the day, she placed fourth out of 24 jumpers.

Angelica Alexander, a senior biology/premed major from Shreveport LA (Byrd High), became Xavier's second All-American of the NAIA outdoor meet when she placed fifth in the high jump, tying her own school record of 1.68 meters of 5 feet, 6 inches.

545 Receive Degrees at Xavier Commencement

New Orleans LA - 545 graduates received their degrees during Xavier University of Louisiana’s 87th annual commencement May 10 at the XU Convocation Center.

Award-winning actor/director/producer Blair Underwood delivered the commencement address during the ceremony and was awarded an honorary degree. Also receiving honorary degrees were retiring Tulane University President Dr. Scott Cowen and New Orleans educator/activist/community leader Sybil Haydel Morial ‘52.

Two students – Parixit Joshi, a biology/pre-med major from Metairie LA, and Dustin Foret, pharmacy student from Thibodeaux LA, headed this year’s group of 18 summa cum laude graduates with perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

Honor Graduates

Summa Cum Laude

Bachelor of Arts: Vallery Jenkins.

Bachelor of Science: Nadine Bizimana. Chigozie Dike, Brandan Dotson, Kayla Johnson, Parixit Joshi, Kyle McClue, Kaylin McLeod, Danh Nguyen, David Nguyen, and Oluwadolapo, Oyebadejo.

Doctor of Pharmacy: Gina Deering, Dustin Foret, Joshua Gauthier, Mona Khashan, Theresa Nguyen, Nicole Riley, and Phuc Tran.

Magna Cum Laude

Bachelor of Arts: Kamaria Beamon, Javon Bracy, and Randi Lemons.

Bachelor of Music: Sandi Lewanika.

Bachelor of Science: Wyndy Bailey, Dujuana Batiste, Kaitland Brannon, Chrystina Clinton, Devin Conrad, Brandon Dang, Sharelle Davis, Morgan Edwards, Jessica Johnson, Maura Jones, Mil’ana Jones, Javon Mead, Alyssa Mercadel, Autumn Myers, Quan Nguyen, Obinna Oko, Jade Romain, Desmond Stewart, Julie Vo,  and Donielle Williams.

Doctor of Pharmacy: Tessa Bridges, Kristen Constantino, Chisom Ezenwoye, Darcy Foret, Kasey Pattan, Jimmy Quach, Lauren Smith, and Candace Zahn.

Cum Laude

Bachelor of Arts: Jasmine Eugene, Jeanece Kelly, Evan La Roche, Mireille Lonian, Balfour Thompson, and Adia Wallace.

Bachelor of Science: Chandler Carter, Jasmine Chaisson, Cydney Chatters, Amber Cook, Aaron Dangerfield, Kamirah Demouchet, Mariah Dunbar, Miracle Gaines, Joseph Gilbert III, Gabrielle Gloston, Shanequa Grayson, Fredericka Lewis, Erika McClain, Brianna Miles, McKenzie Moses, Thao Nguyen, Bradley Patterson, Gretchen Peppers, Anthony Pham, Kai Prophete, Fizza Sajid, Danielle Sanders, Michael Seaberry, De’Angela Smith, Taylor St. Charles, Jasmine Stansberry, Christina Tate, Khandase Tate, Maza Tchedou, Lauree Thomas, Jasmine Thompson, De’Angellica Vaughn-Allen, Cynthie Watson, Amber Williams, Vernicia Winford, and Jillian Young.

Doctor of Pharmacy: Kearston Barnes, Dana Birch, Annette Carter, Kelly Cutrer, Tiernisha Darensburg, Angela Davis, Miranda Dermady, Emily Gray, Raven Jackson, Chalyn Joshua, Allison Long, Rachel Lockhart, Jessica Lowe, Tendai Makina, Shirouk Muhsen, Christopher Pugh, Terreca Taylor, Taylon Tom, Nam Vu, and Quyen Vu.

Graduate Degrees with honors

Master of Arts: Shelia Banks, Amy Milam, John Okogbaa, and Andrea Spreter.

Master of Arts in Teaching: Lori Colgan, Katie Krajcer, Troy Lawson, Emmaline Newman, and Tiffany Willis.

All Graduates

Bachelor of Arts

Karnies Adams, Brandi Armant, Nekkia Augustine, Michael Bach, Matthew Baker, Anthony Barnett, Kamaria Beamon (Magna Cum Laude), Gabriel Bracy, Javon Bracy (Magna Cum Laude), William Bragg II, Brionee Broussard, Nikole Calhoun, Tori Charles, Rickey Coleman Jr., Zavia Collins, Brandon Davis, Chelsea Davis, Kelicia Davis, Taylor Dupree, Ariel Ellis, Jasmin Eugene (Cum Laude), Harris Faulk, Tonnesha Foster, Rasheed Gilmer, Allyson Graham, LaDale Jackson II, Marvin Jean-Pierre, Vallery Jenkins (Summa Cum Laude), Jimmie Johnson Jr., Isaiah Jones, Lexus Jordan, Jeanece Kelly (Cum Laude), Evan La Roche (Cum Laude), Nekita Lagarde, Jade Lamb, Randi Lemons (Magna Cum Laude), Jasmine Lesane, Vonora Lewis, Mireille Lonian (Cum Laude), Birkinesh Maat, Ebonee’ Mackey, Nia Matherson, Darienne McKenzie, Sherry Minias, Ogechi Nwoko, Jeremy Oatis, Kortez Parker, Tieranni Parquet, Kirkland Penro Jr., Rae Fiera Pickett, Evan Pipion, Jazzma Reese, Llolowen Robinson, Ivory Rogers, Donald Sewell Jr., Balfour Thompson (Cum Laude), Breanna Thompson, Danielle Tucker, Dominique Walker, Mornique Walker, Adia Wallace (Cum Laude), Theresa Weber, Debra Williams, Janay Williams, Daisha Wilson, and Folasade Wilson-Anumudu.

Bachelor of Music

Sandi Lewanika (Magna Cum Laude).

Bachelor of Science

Julie Adams, Toluwanimi Adebanjo, Zainab Adebayo, Mercy Adeshina, Asia Age, Angelica Alexander, Nikita Alleyne, Melody Ash, Wyndy Bailey (Magna Cum Laude), Nailah Banks, Lauren Baron, Dujuana Batiste (Magna Cum Laude), Gavin Bauman, Jolie Bellow, Courtney Bettis, Nicholas Bijou, Nadine Bizimana (Summa Cum Laude), Ashley Blocker, Ariel Bonvillian, Brittany Boone, Anthony Boswell, Jaune Boudreaux, Justin Bowers, Kaitland Brannon (Magna Cum Laude), Chelsea Broussard, Amber Brown, Domecia Brown, Tiffany Brownlee, Ana Carter, Chandler Carter (Cum Laude), Jarvis Carter, Jasmine Carter, Jasmine Chaisson (Cum Laude), Cydney Chatters (Cum Laude), Morgan Cheek, Tameka Christmas, Brittany City, Chrystina Clinton (Magna Cum Laude), Devin Conrad (Magna Cum Laude), Amber Cook (Cum Laude), Jocelyn Copeland, Brandon Dang (Magna Cum Laude), Aaron Dangerfield (Cum Laude), Eric Dangerfield, Jessica Daniels, Janique Davalie, Shaquan David, Micaya Davis, Raven Davis, Sharelle Davis (Magna Cum Laude), Kamille Deloach, Lauren Demby, Kamirah Demouchet (Cum Laude), Chigozie Dike (Summa Cum Laude), Brandan Dotson (Summa Cum Laude), Shannon Douglas, Mariah Dunbar (Cum Laude), Rita Dyson, Celeste Edwards, Morgan Edwards (Magna Cum Laude), Ahmed El, Idorenyin Etuk, Kayla Evans, Kara Everhart, Whitney Fant, Whitney Fears, Gabrielle Ficher, Jamille Fields, Carey Ford Jr., Sierra Franklin, Tatyana Franklin, Miracle Gaines (Cum Laude), Racquel Gardner, Kalyn Garner, Paige Gauthier, Robert Gibbs, Joseph Gilbert III (Cum Laude), Diari Gilliam, Gabrielle Gloston (Cum Laude), Lauren Gonzales, John Gordon III, Tyron Gordon, Danzell Gourrier, Sana Grant, Shanequa Grayson (Cum Laude), Bryant Green, Gabriel Green, Jontrell Green, Arieyon Guillory, Olivia Hall, William Hana Sr., Shakia Harper, Anthony Harris, Reginald Harrison Jr., Brehana Hawkins, Kedric Hayes, Shelby Haynes, Nicholas Haywood, James Hearn, Danielle Helffrich, Sherryl Henderson, Jared Hentz, La Tisha Hodge, Carmen Holcombe, Raven Holmes, Arleya Horne, Shanti Hubbard, Jasmyne Hudson, Linus Igbokwe, Timothy Jackson, Jazmine James, Paris Jarman, Atatiana Jefferson, Bene’ Johnson, Jessica Johnson (Magna Cum Laude), Jessica Johnson, Kayla Johnson (Summa Cum Laude), Terri Johnson, Chante’ Jones, Garrett Jones, Lindsey Jones, Marchelle Jones, Maura Jones (Magna Cum Laude), Mil’ana Jones (Magna Cum Laude), Shomari Jordan, Montrelle Joseph, Parixit Joshi (Summa Cum Laude), Rosalyn Kent, Courtney Lavallais, Amber Lejeune, Etheral Lesene, Fredericka Lewis (Cum Laude), Kristiaan Lewis, Leaann Love, Tayler Loyd, Richard Luong, Briana Madhere, Elisah Magee, Diana Mai, Jasmine Martin, Robert Martin, Jamere Maxwell, Lillian McAbee, Shayla McCall, Erika McClain (Cum Laude), Kyle McClue (Summa Cum Laude), Tyriece McGee, Whitney McGruder, Kaylin McLeod (Summa Cum Laude), Javon Mead (Magna Cum Laude), Alyssa Mercadel (Magna Cum Laude), Brianna Miles (Cum Laude), Sherry Minias, Briann Mitchell, Clarence Mitchell III, Rossea’ Moore, McKenzie Moses (Cum Laude), Ashley Moss, Wardah Mustahsan, Autumn Myers (Magna Cum Laude), Keelyn Myers, Paige Nelson, Danh Nguyen (Summa Cum Laude), David Nguyen (Summa Cum Laude), John Nguyen, Quan Nguyen (Magna Cum Laude), Thao Nguyen (Cum Laude), Thuy-Van Nguyen, Vu Nguyen, Brittany Nicholson, Kenechukwu Ojukwu, Obinna Oko (Magna Cum Laude), Oghenebrume Oloko, Gbenga Onayiga, Ephraim Opara Jr., Oluwadolapo Oyebadejo (Summa Cum Laude), DaReek Parker, Bradley Patterson (Cum Laude), Gretchen Peppers (Cum Laude), Anthony Pham (Cum Laude), John Pittman, Taquoya Portee, Ebony Powell, Alex Presley, Kristen Priestley, Kai Prophete (Cum Laude), Laurena Purvis, Kristi Rambaran, Ariel Revere, Sacha Rhone, Shamarri Riddle, Precious Roberson, Antonio Roberts, Alexandria Robertson, Jade Romain (Magna Cum Laude), Brittany Russell, Fizza Sajid (Cum Laude), Danielle Sanders (Cum Laude), Nicholas Schello, Jasmine Scott, Michael Seaberry (Cum Laude), Nusrat Sharmin, Atrice Sheppard, Brandy Simmons, De’Angela Smith (Cum Laude), Gregory Smith, Renard Smith, Charmelle Spatcher, Emmanuel Spence, Taylor St. Charles (Cum Laude), Jasmine Stansberry (Cum Laude), Desmond Stewart (Magna Cum Laude), Brittini Summers, Archie Swain Jr., Tyler Sylve, Omolola Taiwo, Courtney Tannehill, Christina Tate (Cum Laude), Khandase Tate (Cum Laude), Nigel Tate, Maza Tchedou (Cum Laude), Jeremy Terry, Jasmyne Thomas, Lauree Thomas (Cum Laude), Tracey Thomas, Jasmine Thompson (Cum Laude), Diem-Kieu Tran, Joshua Turner, Charne’sa Tutwiler, Venita Uzowulu, Vivian Uzowulu, De’Angellica Vaughn-Allen (Cum Laude), Tiffanie Veal, Leslie Verret, Christopher Vicks, Julie Vo (Magna Cum Laude), Nina Vo, Charles Waller, Charles Warner-Hillard, Alisha Warren, Sharita Watkins, Cynthie Watson (Cum Laude), Megan Webb, Lauren Webster, Kailah Wicker, Kyle Wilcox, Amber Williams (Cum Laude), Donielle Williams (Magna Cum Laude), Francois Williams, Javonnah Williams, Morgan Williams, Vernicia Winford (Cum Laude), Nicole Woodley, Jillian Young (Cum Laude), and Yves-Yvette Young.

Doctor of Pharmacy

Ishac Adem, David Agyekum, Karen Alexander, Corey Anderson, Richard Anderson Jr., Sarah Anthon, Courtney Babin, Tishara Badon, Gianni Baham, Kearston Barnes (Cum Laude), Latoya Batiste, Kristin Bell, Amy Beshir, Korin Bibbins, David Birch (Cum Laude), Eldora Bolden, Tessa Bridges (Magna Cum Laude), Chester Brown Jr., Nakeisha Brown, Antonio Burrowes Jr., Lamar Cardenas II, Annette Carter (Cum Laude), Justin Charles, Chukwuemezie Chimezie, Ryan Chretien, Sharde Clay, LaShon Conerly, Wyatt Connelley, Kristen Constantino (Magna Cum Laude), Tito Coomber, Mayra Cucullu, Kimberly Curington, Kelly Cutrer (Cum Laude), Okell Dames, Rhiannon Daniel, Quynh-Nhu Dao, Tiernisha Darensburg (Cum Laude), Angela Davis (Cum Laude), Javier Davis, Lauren Day, Gina Deering (Summa Cum Laude), Seth Delise, Miranda Dermady (Cum Laude), Jason Diamond, Tanika Diggs, Anh-ton Do, Jimmy Donald Jr., Caroline Emukah, Karen Erinmwingbovo, Annette Evans, Chisom Ezenwoye (Magna Cum Laude), Hunter Farrar, Darcy Foret (Magna Cum Laude), Dustin Foret (Summa Cum Laude), Hilarie Frickey, Joshua Gauthier (Summa Cum Laude), Felicia Gibson, Kelly Goodson, Lillian Gordon, Emily Gray (Cum Laude), Nastosha Griffin, Kayla Guerra, Amina Hamide, Samer Hamide, Rebecca Han, Chawn Harris, Aefsha Holliday, Michael Holmes Jr., John Hunter, Neumarishel Ingram, Raven Jackson (Cum Laude), Orlando Jerez, Rhea Jones, Chalyn Joshua (Cum Laude), Mona Khashan (Summa Cum Laude), Nicholas Ladner, Allison Lang (Cum Laude), Long Le, Ny Le, Rachel Lockhart (Cum Laude), Jessica Lowe (Cum Laude), Erin Maclin, Thomas Maestri, Tendai Makina (Cum Laude), Tawanna Matthews, Joseph McDonald III, Christina Melerine, Chauna Modica, Kelly Mott, Shirouk Muhsen (Cum Laude), Amy Nguyen, Elizabeth Nguyen, Ellis Nguyen, Helen Nguyen, Johnny Nguyen, Jollin Nguyen, Khanh Nguyen, My-Linh Nguyen, Sang Nguyen, Selena Nguyen, Thanh Ha Nguyen, Thao Nguyen, Theresa Nguyen (Summa Cum Laude), Tran Nguyen, Trang Nguyen, Truc Nguyen, Trung Nguyen, Vi Nguyen, Van Novick, Jessica Olivier, Christopher Omari, Kasey Pattan (Magna Cum Laude), Ibraheem Pedro, Danielle Perry, Tuong-Vi Pham, Lynez Preyan, Kalaina Price, Christopher Pugh (Cum Laude), Jimmy Quach (Magna Cum Laude), Rhondalyn Rainey, Joshua Randolph Sr., Nicole Riley (Summa Cum Laude), Shana Robinson, Magali Roskam, Rose Rowden, Janet Royals, Nicole Rugel, Youke Sawada, Kendall Schwab, Charles Shaw, Porscha Showers, Danielle Sidney, Lauren Smith (Magna Cum Laude), Cherise Steib, Tiffany Stubbs, Xuong Ta, Terreca Taylor (Cum Laude), Gordon Thai, Naveen Thomas, Danielle Thompson, Jazmine Thompson, Elisa Thong, Taylon Tom (Cum Laude), Van Tra, Kevin Tran, Lanh Tran, Phuc Tran (Summa Cum Laude), Tu Tran, Hung Truong, Nam Tsan, Paul Vo, Christopher Vu, Michael Vu, Nam Vu (Cum Laude), Nga Vu, Quyen Vu (Cum Laude), Uyen Vu, Michelle Williams, Shavonda Wilson, Michelle Winn, Jade Young, Gerald Yumul, Candace Zahn (Magna Cum Laude), and  Rana Zayed.

Master in Theology

Brenda Burns, Thelma Lucas, and Jacqueline Mayo.

Master of Arts

Chinelo Ananaba, Sheila Banks (4.0), Everette Bates Jr., Romesha Bridges, Landon Bussie, Monique Carter, Julia Condon, Teryn Dobbins, Tishlinn Fountain, Chelsea Hall, Kelly Hardy, Alfonso Holmes, Albert Jones Jr., Darren Lewis, Amy Milam (4.0), John Okogbaa (4.0), Tara Payne, Teikeshia Randolph, Melissa Michele Rhodes, Keisha Rogers, Shevblaymenyea Rose, Jasmine Scott, Andrea Spreter (4.0), Adrianne Strachan, Ronique Sylva-Beverly, Shawn Vinnett, Chantell Washington-Williams, Kimberly Williams, and Ashonta Wyatt.

Master of Arts in Teaching

Rahim Alem Sr., Lori Colgan (4.0), Dwayne Cormier, Rochelle Darville, Sara Easter, Lectoria Epperson, Angela Farnell, Odell Isaac, Jeremiah Jackson, Jaime Johnson, Monique Jones, Katie Krajcer (4.0), Troy Lawson (4.0), Erica Lehr, Aaron McCalister, Angelica Mino, Brantley Minor, Emmaline Newman (4.0), Jennifer Rogers, Jordan Sanchez, James Saunders Jr., Marla Taylor, Jennifer Torregano, Sheridon Trepagnier IV, Gentri Williams Jr., Tiffany Willis (4.0), and Dannie Woods Jr.

Outstanding Faculty Recognized at Xavier Comencement

New Orleans LA – Five Xavier University of Louisiana faculty members were honored during the 2014 commencement for their extraordinary performance in the areas of teaching, service, and scholarship.

The winners of the 2014 Norman C. Francis Faculty Excellence Awards were:

Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching: (junior faculty) Dr. Sara Al-Dahir in College of Pharmacy’s Division of Clinical and Administrative Services, and (senior faculty) Dr. Lisa Schulte-Gipson in the Department of Psychology.

Faculty Excellence Award in Service: (senior faculty) Dr. Maryam Foroozesh in the Department of Chemistry.

Faculty Excellence Award in Scholarship: (junior faculty) Dr. Syreeta Tilghman in the College of Pharmacy’s Division of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, and (senior faculty) Dr. David Lanoue in the Department of English.

Initiated in 2009, the Faculty Excellence Awards are designed to honor both the “junior” faculty members (those who have served as XU for seven years or less) and “senior” faculty members (more than seven years of service). The award includes a monetary gift of $5,000 – which is split evenly between the award recipient and his/her academic department/division/college – and a medallion.

Xavier wins GCAC all-sports award for 4th straight year

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana is the winner of the Thomas Howell Cup, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's all-sports award, for the fourth consecutive year.

The Thomas Howell Cup, named for the GCAC's longtime commissioner, is awarded annually to the school with the most points based on order of finish in various sports. Xavier was boosted by GCAC championships in men's cross country, women's cross country, women's volleyball (regular season and tournament), men's basketball (regular season), women's basketball (tournament) and women's outdoor track and field. Xavier's women's tennis team, ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, won an unaffiliated group championship.

Xavier scored 48 points to match its highest total of the last 10 seasons. Edward Waters was second with 39 1/2 points, and SUNO was third with 29 1/2. The 1-2-3 order is the same as a year ago.

"We are excited to win the award for the fourth consecutive year," XU athletics director Jason Horn said. "This achievement recognizes the collective hard work and determination of the Xavier student-athletes, coaches and staff.  We have a solid program across the board, and I applaud all of the Gold Rush and Gold Nugget coaches and student-athletes for their successes -- not only in competition but also in the classroom and the community." 

It is the fourth time that Xavier has won the award. The athletics department finished in the top three each of the past 10 seasons. Xavier is the second school in GCAC history to win the all-sports award at least four consecutive times. Former member Mobile had Howell Cup streaks of 12 and five seasons.

Xavier has won 54 conference/group championships and earned 39 team berths in NAIA national championships during the past nine seasons.

Xavier is one of 38 U.S. colleges listed as a "Best Buy School" in the 2014 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges.

The 2013-14 GCAC all-sports standings:

1. Xavier, 48 points
2. Edward Waters, 39 1/2 points
3. SUNO, 29 1/2 points
4. Talladega, 28 1/2 points
5. Dillard, 26 points
6. (tie) Philander Smith, 16 1/2 points
6. (tie) Tougaloo, 16 1/2 points
8. Fisk, 14 1/2 points
9. Voorhees, 13 points

Xavier Freshman Selected as Kemper Scholar

New Orleans LA - Tyler Despenza, a freshman English major at Xavier University of Louisiana, has been selected for the incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program.

Tyler, a graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, was chosen for the honor by the Foundation based on her excellent academic standing, her commitment to the liberal arts, and her expressed interest in exploring careers in organizational leadership and management in business or the non-profit sector.

Students named Kemper Scholars receive annual scholarships up to $10,000 based on need during their sophomore, junior, and senior years of college.

Program participants also receive stipends to cover the costs of their work as interns in major non-profit organizations in Chicago during the summer following their sophomore year, during which the scholars are placed in full-time administrative positions where they can learn about such things as financial management, organizational strategy, fund-raising, and non-profit administration. During the Chicago summer, scholars live in the same apartment residence hall and participate in a weekly seminar while having opportunities to explore the cultural, historical, and entertainment aspects of the city. tyler
Tyler Despenza
“Kemper Scholars represent the best undergraduates from a group of sixteen exemplary liberal arts colleges around the country,” said Dr. Ryan LaHurd, President and Executive Director of the James S. Kemper Foundation. “They are selected because they are committed to their studies and service in their communities and because they have exhibited leadership and well-rounded, ethical character.”

“Throughout the over six decades of the program, scholars have gone on to make outstanding contributions as leaders in organizations around the country,” he added.

Xavier is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the 16 school partnership.

The Kemper Scholars Program has been sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago IL since 1948. Its mission – to prepare students for leadership and service, especially in the fields of organizational administration and business – concentrates on undergraduates in the liberal arts, which the Foundation believes represents the best preparation for life and career.

Xavier to Host 2nd Annual DJ Hoops Skills Academy Basketball Camp

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana will host the second annual DJ Hoops Skills Academy Basketball Camp this summer, June 9-12.

Conducted by Coach Dannton Jackson, head coach of Xavier men’s basketball program and a premier individual skills improvement training strategist to top level NBA and collegiate players, offers  boys (ages 7-16) a chance to participate in basketball skill development, to improve their footwork and fundamentals, and to engage in competitive play.

Camp hours are Monday–Thursday 9:00 to 2:00 p.m., and will be held in the Xavier Convocation Center, 7910 Stroelitz Street. Lunch will be provided. 

The camp will feature guest coaches and speakers from the NBA, such as DJ Augustin of the Chicago Bulls, Brandon Bass of the Boston Celtics, Mo Williams of the Portland Trailblazers, and more.  

Space is limited to 150 (early registration is recommended). Camp tuition is $165 per participant. A deposit of $75 is due by the registration deadline of May 31.

XU Business Professor Studies Economic Impact of NCAA BSC Era

New Orleans, LA - $24.3 billion. That is the total revenue reported by Division I college football institutions from 2002-2012, according to a new study by a researcher in the Division of Business at Xavier University of Louisiana.

 The upcoming study to be published in Contemporary Issues in Education Research, examined the total economic impact of the BCS for individual conferences and schools. The study further finds that the earning potential for schools was largely determined by their conference affiliation and their inclusion as an automatic qualifier (AQ) institution in the BCS. Inclusion as an AQ institution provided those particular schools with an $18.8 million dollar advantage over their non-AQ peers.  

This means that schools from conferences like the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and others, stood to gain more than their peers from the MAC, Conference USA, and the Mountain West.  According to Dr. Cary Caro, Assistant Professor of Management at Xavier and the study’s author “this revenue imbalance has created a chasm in the competitive balance in recruiting, facilities, and arguably, performance on the field”.

As college football’s business model changes with the coming of the College Football Playoff system the implications could become more intense as institutions weigh paying athletes, and athletes look to forming players unions.

IBCS Receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

New Orleans LA – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has awarded the Xavier University of Louisiana Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) a 2014 United States President’s Volunteer Service in recognition of its commitment to strengthening the nation through volunteer service.

The award, whose stated three-fold purpose is to recognize and honor volunteers as a way of setting a standard for service, to encourage a sustained commitment to civic participation, and to inspire other to make service a central part of their lives, was originally established in 2003 by President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. Today the award program is administered as a CNCS initiative.

The IBCS, established in 1979 to help sustain and support the pastoral and intellectual needs of Black Catholics throughout the United States, offers a Master’s degree in Pastoral Theology and continuing education units in Catechesis, leadership and youth/young adult ministry.

Xavier Division of Business Earns Performance Award

New Orleans LA – The Xavier University of Louisiana Division of Business has been awarded the Level II Louisiana Performance Excellence Award (LPEA) based on an evaluation of its proven effectiveness, sustainability, innovation, integrated processes and tracked results.

The LPEA is Louisiana’s statewide award recognizing quality leadership in education, government, manufacturing, service industries, health care and non-profit organizations.

The Division will be honored at the annual Award Ceremony at the governor’s mansion June 24, 2014, along with the other 2014 Level II recipients: the Jefferson Parish Career and Business Solutions Center and the Jefferson Parish Community Action Programs. 

The purpose of the Award program is to promote quality and performance excellence awareness and practices in Louisiana and recognize the quality achievements of Louisiana organizations. The award criteria are based on the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award ( and is organized and administered by the Louisiana Quality Foundation.

The Louisiana Performance Excellence Award was initiated by a group of statewide quality professionals with the vision of providing recognition for organizations operating according to quality principles, and is administered by the Louisiana Quality Foundation (LQF).

Xavier University Presents Jazz Frestival

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana Department of Music’s annual Jazz Festival will be held Tuesday-Thursday (April 22-24).

The free three-day event, which highlights various genres of the Jazz art form through performances, clinics, workshops, and lectures, will include performances by the XU Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Tim Turner featuring Nicholas Payton, Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Brass Band, and the Astral Group.

Visit HERE for more info.

Redemptorist Priest to Head the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier

New Orleans LA - The Rev. Maurice Nutt, C.Ss.R., has been named the new director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier University of Louisiana, according to Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Loren Blanchard.

He comes to Xavier from the Redemptorist Parish Mission in Chicago IL, where he was a member of the Preaching Team.

Father Maurice Nutt, who specializes in preaching, evangelization, African American culture, spirituality, and community and church development, is no stranger to Xavier, having earned a Master of Theology from Xavier’s IBCS in 1989 and having served as an Assistant Professor of Preaching at the Institute since 2007.
Fr. Maurice
Fr. Maurice Nutt
“We are blessed to have acquired the full-time services of Father Maurice, who will bring his boundless energy, dynamic leadership, and profound scholarship to the Institute, with which he has already developed such an intimate connection,” said Blanchard. “We look forward to the vision he will bring to the Institute.”

The IBCS, established in 1979 to help sustain and support the pastoral and intellectual needs of Black Catholics throughout the United States, offers a Master’s degree in Pastoral Theology and continuing education units in Catechesis, leadership and youth/young adult ministry

A native of St. Louis, Father Maurice Nutt professed vows in the Redemptorist congregation in 1983 and was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1989. He has served as Pastor of Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church in Memphis TN, as director of the African American Ministry Initiative in Chicago IL, and as Pastor of St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church in St. Louis MO.

A member of the Board of Directors for the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, he has also served as an Adjunct Professor for Hampton University’s Online Religious Studies Program), and as a Pentecostalism Adjunct Professor for St. Louis University’s Department of Theology.

In addition to his Xavier degree, he also holds a Doctorate of Ministry from Aquinas Institute of Theology with a concentration in Preaching, and a Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union.

He is the author of three books: Thea Bowman:  In My Own Words, Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Alphonsus Liguori, and Lent and Easter Wisdom from St. Alphonsus Liguori. He is also a contributor to the African American Catholic Youth Bible, a collaborative project between the National Black Catholic Congress and St. Mary’s Press to be published in 2014.

Father Maurice Nutt succeeds Dr. Pamela Franco, Executive Associate in the Office of Academic Affairs, who served as interim IBCS director for three years.

XU Team Ready for Honda All-Star Challenge

New Orleans LA - A team from Xavier University of Louisiana will add to the brainpower from America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be on display at the 25th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament April 12-16 in Torrance CA.

Competing for XULA will be Jacqueline Baidoo of Takoradi, Ghana, McKenzie Marie Moses of Kansas City, MO, Alayna Joshalynn Robinson of Atlanta, GA and Haley Nicole Severin of New Orleans, LA will represent Xavier University. Darryl Keller, Jr. will coach the team.

For more details visit HERE.

Applications Being Accepted for New TCSPP Clinical PSY.D. Program at Xavier

New Orleans, LA - Applications are now being accepted for admission into The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s (TCSPP) new Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) Program at Xavier University of Louisiana.

The opening of applications for the five-year program - the only Clinical Psy.D. Program offered in the City of New Orleans as well as the first of its kind to be offered in the state of Louisiana - follows formal approval by both the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional accrediting agency. The unique program opens the door to well-qualified candidates from Xavier and other local universities, as well as professionals already in the field, who seek clinical psychology graduate studies.

Applications for the program’s Fall 2014 semester are currently being accepted on the TCSPP website

Hosted at Xavier, the TCSPP Doctor of Clinical Psychology Program offers 106 credit hours of rigorous training in culturally competent service provision while exposing students to a variety of professional training opportunities. It offers the highest degree for practitioners in the field who wish to apply their knowledge as practicing clinicians. Students will experience extensive clinical training with community partners such as clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, and governmental agencies.
Students will complete foundational coursework in four intervention orientations including: Cognitive Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Humanistic Existential, and Systems and have the opportunity to tailor their coursework with focused study to meet individual educational and professional goals.
A unique feature of this program is the Research Clerkship model through which students are paired with core faculty to receive mentorship in research and scholarship, and obtain important support and preparation for their dissertation. All students complete three years of practicum experiences, allowing them to be well prepared for internship placement.

Graduates of the Psy.D. program at Xavier will be equipped with expert knowledge in theory, research, and practice in clinical psychology, preparing them to serve as practitioners in clinical settings. Upon completion of the program and following additional post-graduate study, graduates will be prepared to sit for the state licensing exam administered by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, as well as the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, the national psychology licensing exam administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

The need for mental health service providers in New Orleans is well-documented following Hurricane Katrina. Many mental health professionals left the region after the storm, and the City of New Orleans is slowly rebuilding its mental health infrastructure. The training of culturally competent practitioners who intend to practice locally is critical to meeting the needs of those with mental health and behavioral health issues.

“It is no secret that the mental health service needs in this region, as well as throughout this country, are great,” said Xavier University President Dr. Norman C. Francis, “This doctoral degree program will address some of those needs by providing new, young professionals with the finest undergraduate and graduate psychology training experience possible right here in New Orleans.”

“We are excited by the initial response from prospective students who are eager to continue their doctoral studies in the clinical psychology field,” stated TCSPP’s National President Dr. Nealon-Woods. “The Chicago School’s groundbreaking approach to the training and practice of psychology through its Engaged-Profession model will enable practitioners in the field to begin the work at hand of rebuilding the mental health programs of the City and its regional areas. We are excited to bring this much-needed Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology to New Orleans.”

“We foresee this collaboration as being one of mutual benefit to both Xavier and The Chicago School of Psychology, as well as to our respective communities,” she added, noting that TCSPP, the nation’s  leading graduate institution devoted to psychology and the fields of behavioral and health sciences,  is already very familiar with the quality of Xavier students, having accepted nine XU graduates in the past three years into its graduate programs on its Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles campuses.

Award-Winning XU Alumna Named Visiting Fellow at Harvard

New Orleans LA – A Xavier University of Louisiana alumna professor will develop a massive open online course (MOOC) to teach people how to effectively report the news using mobile devices, as one of five 2014 Visiting Fellows from Harvard University’s prestigious Nieman Foundation for Journalism.

Starting this week, Allissa Hosten Richardson ‘03, a 2003 XU graduate and a lecturer of journalism at Bowie State University, will spend two weeks as a scholar-in-residence, building the online class as a free tool to teach veteran journalists, citizens, and journalism students how to effectively report news using only tablets, mp3 players or smartphones.

She started working on the course in fall 2013 at Bowie St. and will continue her work at Harvard, as well as giving talks on mobile journalism and exchanges ideas with other Visiting Fellows.

“Mobile journalism is an increasingly vital skill for the public to have. In times of crisis, the ordinary citizen journalist who is armed with a smartphone is often the only eyewitness we have,” said Richardson. “When more people know about how to gather and interpret news that happens around them, the media ecosystem becomes a richer, more diverse place.”

Richardson has been widely recognized for her innovations in mobile journalism. She was named a 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator for her creative teaching style, enabling Bowie State to receive Apple equipment and software for the mobile journalism lab she established in the Department of Communications. She was also named the 2012 National Association of Black Journalism Educator of the Year.

The Nieman Foundation of Journalism works with the Fellows on a project designed to enhance journalism in unique ways. The visiting fellowships are specifically designed for individuals interested in working on special research projects designed to advance journalism. The foundation educates leaders in journalism and raises the standards of the profession by convening scholars and experts in all fields.

Zervigon Rejoins Xavier Board of Trustees

New Orleans LA - Mary Keller Zervigon, President of the Keller Family Foundation and a Trustee of the RosaMary Foundation, has been named to a new three-year term on the Xavier University of Louisiana Board of Trustees.

Zervigon has served on the board previously – from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2006 to 2012 – most recently as chair of the university’s governing board.

Currently she also serves as chair of the Advocates for Science and Mathematics Education in New Orleans and of the New Orleans Board of Liquidation, City Debt from 1992 to the present. She previously held the position of Chairman of the Louisiana Tax Commission.
zervigon Mary Zervigon
Zervigon received her B.A. degree from Loyola University and her J.D. from Loyola School of Law.

Xavier to Host Annual Festival of Scholars

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will host its Eleventh Annual Festival of Scholars Thursday-Friday, April 10-11.

Sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR), with grant funding from Title III, Part B and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the yearly event showcases student research developed during the academic year.

This year’s Festival features 51 posters, nine individual presentations, and nine panel discussions highlighting student scholarship in the sciences, communication, education, humanities, and art.  Currently scheduled are poster presentations in biology, computer science, chemistry, political science, history, art, English and theology.
Free and open to the public, the Festival begins with a free pizza party at noon Thursday and continues until Friday at 4:00 p.m. On both days, student researchers from disciplines across the curriculum will present their scholarship during poster presentations, panel discussions, and individual presentations.

Topics will include research on diabetes, issues of health disparities, environmental justice, history of cartoon animation, combined poetry and art projects, studies on management of alcohol withdrawal, research on liposome nanoparticles, anti-cancer agents—and much more.  Panel presentations will feature discussions on thematic analysis in Spanish literature, the emergence of race in the Atlantic World in addition to sessions on writing about art, and insights on technology in education.

Also this year the Festival spotlights the emergence of performance-based scholarship on the campus. On Thursday evening, the Performance Studies Laboratory will host a student performance showcase of projects developed by students enrolled in performance studies courses in the Department of Communication Studies. Performances will include research adapted and scripted for staged presentation and performance of literature. The Performance Studies Laboratory studies performance in contexts such as literature, cultural ritual and rites of passage, identity construction, civic engagement and political actions, and visual and material culture, among others. As part of the Performance Studies Laboratory’s inaugural season on the campus, the student showcase will be held in the Administration Building Chapel, 1 Drexel Drive at 7:00 p.m.

Since its inception the Center for Undergraduate Research has been the cornerstone of faculty-mentored student research on Xavier’s campus and has provided opportunities for undergraduate and College of Pharmacy students to gain invaluable training and experience beyond the classroom. Each year the Festival has grown in the number of student presentations, averaging over 100 presentations. 

For a full list of 2014 presentations or for more information about CUR, please visit, or call (504) 520-5066.

 Xavier Participates in “Generation Study Abroad” Initiative

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana has joined a group of 150 higher education institutions in pledging to significantly increase the number of students who study abroad.

“Generation Study Abroad,” officially launched by the Institute of International Education (IIE) earlier this month, is designed to bring together leaders in education, business and governments who have committed to specific, measureable actions to provide more American students the opportunity to graduate from college with an international education experience. 

As part of its participation in the initiative, Xavier’s Center for Intercultural and International Programs along with its Faculty Global Awareness Committee established the following commitments: increasing study abroad scholarships, enhancing students support at all stages of the study abroad process, promoting multiple opportunities for students to study abroad by discipline, and creating faculty-led programs.

“Under the Generation Study Abroad Initiative, we have pledged to increase the annual number of Xavier students who study abroad to ten percent by the end of the decade,” said Dr. Torian L. Lee, Director the XU Center for Intercultural and International Programs (CIIP).

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” he said, echoing the sentiment of Dr. Allan Goodman, President of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

Generation Study Abroad will engage educators at all levels and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive meaningful, innovative action to increase the number of U.S. students who have the opportunity to gain international experience through academic study abroad programs, as well as internships, service learning and non-credit educational experiences.

Building on its nearly 100-year commitment to study abroad, IIE has committed $2 million of its own funds to this initiative over the next five years. IIE is also actively raising funds for a Study Abroad Fund to provide scholarships to college and high school students and grants to institutions.

A new scholarship program, the IIE Passport Awards for Study Abroad, will provide supplemental grants for students from inner-city high schools to study abroad when they are in college. IIE will invite participating universities to apply for other grant funding to support universities in their pledge efforts.

To date more than 150 higher education institutions from 41 U.S. states have already signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment, including large state and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and several foreign governments, as well as key higher education associations and study abroad provider organizations, have also pledged to support the goals of the initiative. Recognizing the importance of an internationally focused workforce, IIE is also actively seeking the participation of corporations and the business community.

With 2.6 million students graduating with associates or baccalaureate degrees each year, it is clear that major segments of America’s young people are not getting the international experience they will need to advance their careers and participate in the global economy, or to work together across borders to address global issues.

Every institution faces its own unique set of challenges in getting more students to study abroad. Private liberal arts colleges in particular have historically been successful in making study abroad a part of their academic experience. But institutions of varying sizes and types with different missions and capabilities are developing innovative efforts to make study abroad more accessible to their students. By sharing best practices, campuses can learn from each other to extend international opportunities to a broader group of students from diverse backgrounds and fields.

For more information on the initiative, visit

Blair Underwood to Address 2014 Xavier Graduates

New Orleans LA – Award-winning actor/director/producer Blair Underwood will deliver the commencement address at Xavier University of Louisiana’s 87th annual graduation ceremony Saturday, May 10, at 10:00 a.m. in the Convocation Center.

Underwood, who will address more than 550 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional students and their families, will also be awarded an honorary degree at the commencement, along with retiring Tulane University President Dr. Scott Cowen and New Orleans educator, activist and community leader, Sybil Haydel Morial ‘52.

The annual Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation will be held the preceding evening, Friday (May 09), at 6:00 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

Blair Underwood

Blair Underwood has distinguished himself as an award-winning actor/director/producer who continues to showcase his multitude of talents in the world of film, television, theatre and literature.

Underwood, whose most recent film (co-starring Cicely Tyson) is the Lifetime telefilm based on the Tony-award winning play, “A Trip To Bountiful”, first burst into the national spotlight in the 1980’s with his confident and passionate portrayal of lawyer Jonathan Rollins in the NBC hit series “L.A. Law”, a role that earned him the first of his two Golden Globe nominations.

Blair Underwood
The next decade saw him singled out by TV Guide as one of “The Top Stars of the 90s”, and land a major role in CBS’ top-rated 1998 dramatic miniseries, “Mama Flora’s Family,” a performance which earned him the first of 13 NAACP Image Awards nominations, as well as the first of his six wins.

In 2000, People magazine named him one of its “50 Most Beautiful People” and in 2004 named him one of the “Sexiest Men Alive.”

Some of his more memorable cable and television movies include: HBO’s groundbreaking drama “In Treatment”; as well as NBC's "Murder in Mississippi"; HBO’s “Soul of the Game” and Sex & the City”; Steven Bochco's "City of Angels"; and TNT’s award-winning “Heat Wave”.

His theater credits include his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” – which earned him a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination. Prior to that he starred in an off-Broadway, one-man show "IM4: From the Mountaintop to Hip Hop" – written by his brother Frank Underwood – in which he played eight characters in all.

Underwood made his feature directorial debut with the independent drama “Bridge to Nowhere.” Additionally, he produced the TLC series “Million Dollar Christmas”. As director, executive producer, writer and star of the dramatic short “The Second Coming,” Underwood played Jesus Christ returning to earth.
Underwood published his first book, a non-fiction bestseller called “Before I Got Here”, a collection of stories and anecdotes from parents that speak to the existence of a child’s soul prior to birth. He also portrayed Jesus in the audio book “The Bible Experience.” Since its release in October 2006, it has become the No. 1 selling audio Bible in history.

He has also co-authored several critically and reader acclaimed detective novels, the fourth installment of which, “South by Southeast”, will be released later this year.

In 2009, Underwood won a Grammy award for Best Spoken Word for former Vice President Al Gore’s album “An Inconvenient Truth” (with co-readers Beau Bridges & Cynthia Nixon).

Underwood is involved in numerous charitable organizations. His dedicated support of The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) won him the 1993 Humanitarian Award, presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of MDA. In 2003, Underwood, along with Ashley Judd, served as the spokesperson for YouthAIDS.

Underwood is also co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA). Founded in 1989, by members of the arts and entertainment community, ANSA is a nonprofit organization working in the U.S. and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, assist children orphaned by the disease, advance human and civil rights, educate and empower youth, and build bonds between our nations through arts, culture, and our shared pursuit of social justice.

In 2009, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the United States’ largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider, announced the grand opening of their first AIDS treatment center in Washington DC – and the facility was named after Underwood in recognition of his longtime advocacy.

Dr. Scott Cowen
Dr. Scott Cowen, Tulane University’s 14th President, is set to retire in July 2014 after 16 years at the helm. He will leave behind a thriving university community and a remarkable legacy.

uring his tenure, Tulane more than quadrupled its undergraduate applications while experiencing all-time highs in student quality. In addition, the university more than doubled its level of total private giving and received a record level of research awards, leading to the implementation of a number of innovative academic, research, and community outreach initiatives. Tulane’s growth has been the impetus for $700 million in new and renovated facilities in the last eight years.
Scott Cowen
The consummate fundraiser, Cowen successfully led the “Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane” campaign which exceeded its $700 million goal, making it the largest university fundraising effort in the history of Louisiana. Upon the completion of a comprehensive university-wide planning process in 2012, he launched a $1 billion plus campaign to support the university’s long-term future.

Cowen also led Tulane through the most trying period of its history when, in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the University’s uptown and downtown health sciences campuses, and dispersed faculty, staff and students for an entire semester. Under his leadership, a sweeping Renewal Plan strengthened and focused the university’s academic mission and strategically addressed its operations in the post-Katrina era. As a result, a remarkable 87 percent of Tulane undergraduate students returned for classes in January of 2006, just months after the storm.

His response to Katrina was not limited to Tulane. Cowen was an integral figure on the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, leading a committee which reformed and rebuilt the city’s failing public school system. He also served as a commissioner of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, and was co-founder of the Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors program, a group of New Orleans civic leaders who, in the aftermath of the storm, spread the message nationwide that post-Katrina New Orleans was an economically viable, livable city with a recovery plan in progress.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed. The recipient of several national awards and honorary degrees, Cowen was named one of the nation’s Top 10 Best College Presidents by TIME magazine in 2009, and was one of only four university leaders nationwide to receive the 2009 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award. In 2010 he was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies.
Locally, he has received The Times-Picayune’s Loving Cup, which honors New Orleanians who have worked unselfishly for the community without expectation of recognition or material reward, and was also honored by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of the 30 “Driving Forces” in New Orleans in the last 30 year. Additionally, Gambit recognized Cowen as the New Orleanian of the Year.

Cowen, who as President also held the joint appointments as the Seymour S. Goodman Memorial Professor of Business in Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and Professor of Economics in the School of Liberal Arts, has held leadership positions in national academic and professional associations, including the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the NCAA, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). He currently serves as a board member of the University of Notre Dame and as an overseer of TIAA-CREF.

Cowen’s areas of scholarship and teaching focus on strategic financial management systems, corporate governance and leadership. He has consulted with dozens of companies, from startups to Fortune 100 companies and is currently a board member of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. and Forest City Enterprises. He is the author of five books and more than 100 academic and professional articles, essays and reviews. His most recent book entitled, The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America, will be published in June 2014.

Cowen holds both a master’s and doctoral degree from The George Washington University in the fields of finance and management. He and his wife, Marjorie, have four adult children and four grandchildren.

Sybil Haydel Morial

Sybil Haydel Morial, a beloved educator, activist and community leader, is a New Orleans treasure.

The former First Lady of New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana administrator began a lifetime of involvement in human and civil rights dating back to the 1950s, when she became an active member of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and the League of Women Voters.

Sybil Morial
She was a founder of the Louisiana League of Good Government, a non-partisan, interracial women's organization devoted to civil liberties and full participation in government for all Louisiana citizens.

Both her late husband and her son served as mayor of New Orleans. During their terms, Mrs. Morial worked to improve the quality of education and healthcare for minorities. She also served as executive producer of A House Divided, a highly acclaimed documentary about the desegregation of New Orleans.

At Xavier, she served in a variety of administrative roles for more than 20 years, including Associate Dean of the Drexel Center for Extended Learning, Vice President for Public Affairs, and Vice President for External Affairs. She retired in 2005.

Morial's other civic affiliations include the Metropolitan Area Committee, the United Fund, the New Orleans Council of Arts for Children and the Amistad Research Center. Her community involvement has merited many awards, including the Torch of Liberty Award of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith, the Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award, the Whitney M. Young Brotherhood Award and the National Council of Jewish Women's Hannah Solomon Award.

In 2011 she was presented the first ever Outstanding Mom of New Orleans award by Feeding Dreams, the General Mills company’s platform for celebrating the hero in African American women and the catalyst for its Feeding Dreams Get Together initiative, a grassroots program that provides intimate forums in communities across the country to discuss efforts to positively impact health and education in African American communities.

She served on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana Board for 14 years. She is also a past Board Chairwoman of HMO Louisiana, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross.

A 1952 Xavier graduate, Morial also holds a master's degree from Boston University. She has five children.

Xavier Summer Sessions Offer Hybrid/Online Courses, Low Cost

New Orleans LA - The traditional slate of daytime and evening classes at Xavier University of Louisiana is giving way to even more and better this summer as the university has added a significant number of online/hybrid courses to the mix.

No less than 50 online/hybrid degree-credit courses will be available this summer, including offerings in English, business, communications, languages, mathematics, philosophy, and political sciences. The Graduate school is also offering a number of summer courses.

All courses are available to both Xavier and non-Xavier college students, What’s more, all classes are being offered starting at $200 per credit hour.

This year’s summer schedule boasts two five-week sessions (Summer Session I and II) with courses offered in more than 20 different disciplines, and another eight-week session with offerings in four areas. The complete list of courses is available at

Registration for Session I and II are Mary 26 and June 27, respectively. Registration for Session III is June 6. For more info, contact the Registrar’s Office at 520-7583 or visit

Xavier Names Jason Horn as New Athletics Director

New Orleans LA - Senior Vice President for Administration Ralph Johnson has announced the appointment of Mr. Jason Horn as the new Athletics Director (AD) at Xavier University of Louisiana. He will join the athletics staff effective March 31, 2014.

Horn comes to Xavier from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) in Detroit MI, where he has served as Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs since 2011, overseeing the areas of event management, marketing, licensing, development, fundraising, ticket sales, social media, branding, and media relations, as well as supervising several sports. During his tenure he also served as UDM interim Director of Athletics for more than seven months.

“I am elated that Mr. Horn will be joining the Xavier community,” said Johnson. “His professional accomplishments are remarkable and he has extensive and successful experience in athletics operations. He will be a tremendous asset as we position all aspects of the Xavier athletics program for enhanced success.”
jason horn Jason Horn
Horn replaces Xavier’s retired AD Dennis Cousin, taking over an athletics program that has achieved unparalleled success competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

During the past 10 years Xavier teams have won 53 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference or NAIA unaffiliated group championships and qualified 36 times for NAIA National Championships in basketball, cross country, track and field, tennis, and volleyball. During that same stretch, 125 of 130 senior student-athletes under the current head coaches received degrees from Xavier or are still enrolled.

XU facilities also received a major upgrade last year with the completion of the XU Tennis Center and the new Convocation Center, which hosts all of the University’s intercollegiate basketball and volleyball games.

Horn’s professional career spans nearly 20 years in the field of marketing and promotions, ticketing and sales, holding positions with Northwestern State University, the University of Central Florida, Bowling Green State University, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Development League, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Conference USA, and the 1996 and 2002 Olympic Games.

Prior to his work at UDM, he served as Northwestern State University’s (LA) Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing & Promotions for two years. At Northwestern, he was directly involved in marketing, revenue generation, event management, branding and licensing. He also provided oversight to the ticket office, equipment services and was involved in event scheduling. He helped manage and heighten awareness of the university’s athletic website, social media and licensing programs, setting new school records for revenue and customer and fan traffic in each quarter. He also helped develop season and group ticket sales strategies resulting in overall revenue increase for all ticketed sports.

From 2006-08, he was with Central Florida as the Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions, where the marketing team's ticket sales strategies in 2006-07 led to a 21 percent spike in basketball attendance, 58 percent in baseball attendance and 32 percent for softball. In 2007 alone, over 7,000 new football season tickets were sold generating over $1.4 million in new revenue.

At Bowling Green State University he created and planned season and group ticket sales strategies that created a 40 percent increase in football season ticket revenue and an overall all-sports ticket revenue increase of 21 percent. He developed and maintained corporate contacts for partnerships, event sponsorships and promotions and hired, trained and evaluated marketing and game-day staff members.

Horn’s work history has also included the NBA Developmental League for the Mobile Revelers (2001-02) as their Director of Marketing and Community Relations, the Detroit Pistons (1996-97) as an account executive for corporate sponsorships and the New Haven County Cutters (2004-05) minor league baseball team as an assistant general manager.

A University of Michigan (UM) graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Horn started his career as a UM Basketball Operations Assistant. He was born and raised in the Detroit MI, graduating from Southfield Lathrup Senior High School. He is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators.

St. Joseph Altar Making Tradition at Xavier

New Orleans LA - The St. Joseph Altar making tradition will be the topic of a workshop and lecture to be presented at Xavier University of Louisiana March 16 and March 19.

A cuccidati/symbolic pastry workshop will be held Sunday, March 16, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. in University Center 205C. Workshop facilitator Treschere Washington will present a fun and informative workshop about the tradition and the art of making the fig-filled cookies that are carved into symbolic shapes. It is free and open to the public. Cookies made during the workshop will be displayed on the altar.

The annual St. Joseph’s Day Altar will be setup for viewing in Xavier’s original chapel, now the "Old Boardroom" March 19 in the Administration Annex from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enter building on the Corner of Drexel and Pine. University Chaplin Father Etido Jerome will bless the altar at 12:45 p.m. that day, followed by a presentation by XU professor Dr. Michael Homan entitled “Altars, Feasts, and Sacred Spaces: How Sacrifice Makes Us Human”.
Homan is an associate professor in Xavier’s Department of Theology. His research interests and publications combine the disciplines of Theology, History and Archaeology to focus on how people in the Bible and the ancient Near East lived. He has supervised 14 archaeological excavations in Israel and Jordan, and has published more than 40 articles and four books, including The Nine Commandments (Doubleday, 2000), To Your Tents, O Israel (Brill, 2002), The Bible for Dummies (Wiley, 2002), and the forthcoming Over, Under and Through the Bible (Eerdmans 2014).

Monetary donations (alms) will be accepted, with all funds going toward the Xavier University of Louisiana Student Emergency Fund.

Xavier Selected for HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana is among 15 historically-black colleges and universities (HBCU) chosen to lead a multi-year collaboration to foster innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship on their respective campuses.

Sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Office for Access and Success (OAS), the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), the United State Patent and Trademark Office, and the United Negro College Fund, the HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative establishes an inaugural cohort of 15 HBCUs (both public and private) which have committed to implementing new institutional courses, changing faculty pedagogy, and developing partnerships that will lead to success for students on their campuses.

Partnering with Xavier in the new initiative, which is funded by The Lemelson Foundation, are: Clark Atlanta University, Fayetteville State University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Prairie View A&M University, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of the Virgin Islands, and Virginia State University.

“Xavier University of Louisiana is pleased to be included in this inaugural cohort of HBCU’s that have committed themselves to a leadership role in the critical area of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Xavier President Dr. Norman C. Francis. "Our strategic efforts in this arena over the last few years have been productive and we look forward to the added incentives and challenges that this collaborative will offer.”

“We especially look forward to collaborating with the other selected institutions in assuring that our faculty, students, and graduates are focused on the future and addressing emerging societal needs in state-of-the-art ways,” he said.

Selected universities will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative community seeking to increase innovation and entrepreneurship across disciplines (i.e., agriculture, business, science, mathematics, engineering and technology, etc.) in order to build an innovation community among institutions, administrators, faculty and students, the federal government and private industry. This cohort of HBCUs will be able to access current and future funding opportunities that will find a consortial approach attractive.

“Xavier has had a long standing commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, and this new partnership opens up new avenues for exploration and funding opportunities to extend upon previous initiatives,” said Dr. Loren Blanchard, Xavier University Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The 15 member cohort was selected from a list of 44 institutions that submitted competitive applications for the limited number of spaces in the initial cohort. Institutions were rated on the following criteria: Institutional Commitment, Institutional Capacity, Federal Research Engagement, Intellectual Property Engagement, Faculty Innovation Potential, and Cross-Disciplinary Impact.

The institutions will kick off their participation at the 2014 HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative Symposium in conjunction with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance 18th Annual Conference that will be held in San Jose, CA. March 21-22.

Xavier Hosts The New Orleans Black Mardi Gras Tradition Extravaganza

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana will host is hosting a special program highlighting unique local carnival customs, the New Orleans Black Mardi Gras Tradition Extravaganza Feb. 25 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the XU University Center Ballroom.

Admission is free and open to the public.

The program will feature presentations by representatives of several longtime Carnival groups and practices, including Big Chief Darryl Montana (of the Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indian Tribe), Clarence Becknell (Zulu Club historian), Dr. Kim Vaz (author of The Baby Dolls), Cinnamon Black (Treme Million Dollar Baby Dolls), Royce Osborn (Skull & Bones Gang member and Producer of the documentary, All On A Mardi Gras Day) and Al “Carnival Time” Johnson (singer of Carnival Time). There will also be a performance by the TBC (To Be Continued) Brass Band.

Each representative will discuss their personal experiences as well as the history and meaning of their tradition. They will also give brief demonstrations. This is a rare opportunity to see these unique local traditions presented together and also for the public to ask questions and interact with the authentic their authentic practitioners.

This program is sponsored and hosted by Dr. Michael White, Keller Endowed Chair in    the Humanities at Xavier.

Xavier Named Partner in 100Kin10 National Network to Grow STEM Teaching Force

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana has been accepted as a partner in 100Kin10, a multi-sector network addressing the national imperative to train 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021.

Xavier is the only university in Louisiana and the only HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) nationally in the collaboration.

As part of its commitment to 100Kin10, Xavier will provide hands-on professional development for 225 STEM teachers (including elementary) through workshops and site-visits led by STEM professionals, with activities that are culturally sensitive to the community and students with special needs.

In addition, the University will also prepare 110 teachers (50% will be elementary) who will be trained to work with students in urban high needs schools and districts, highly knowledgeable in STEM content areas, and culturally sensitive to special needs of the inner-city community.

“Xavier is delighted to have been selected to join this elite group of organizations and foundations committed to training 100,000 STEM teachers over the next ten years,” said Xavier President Dr. Norman C. Francis. “STEM literacy and the importance of ensuring that our nation is fully prepared to address the current STEM teacher shortage is a national priority and one that we at Xavier stand ready to address.”

“We especially look forward to collaborating with the growing number of more than 150 partners currently in the network in order that we can share our own STEM successes while learning new and innovative practices and concepts that will help ensure America’s leadership in this critical area,” he said.

More and better-trained STEM teachers are essential to prepare America’s students to fully participate in our democracy and to understand and respond to complex national and global challenges. To compete in the global marketplace and provide opportunity to all young Americans, all students – not just those fortunate enough to attend certain schools— must have basic STEM skills and knowledge. Xavier is one of nearly 200 100Kin10 partners unified by a single, ambitious goal: to prepare all students with the high-quality STEM knowledge and skills to equip them for success in college and the workplace.

With 65 percent of its incoming freshmen focusing on a STEM discipline, XULA has perfected the model in successfully guiding and educating minority STEM students.  The university’s success has been well-documented. According to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), in 2011 Xavier was the top producer of African-American students who earned medical degrees – besting the nation’s most prestigious schools including Harvard, Yale and Stanford.  Sixty of its alumni graduated from medical schools across the country compared to 22 Harvard graduates, 21 Yale graduates and 20 Stanford graduates.
According to the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the university is first in the nation in awarding African-Americans baccalaureate degrees in physics and the physical sciences. The university is consistently ranked by the American Chemical Society as one of the top 25 universities in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees in chemistry. The National Science Foundation ranks XULA ninth on its list of schools whose minority alumni complete a PhD. Xavier is also one of the nation's top producers of African-American Doctor of Pharmacy graduates.

“Xavier has had a long standing commitment to preparing highly qualified STEM teachers and this new partnership with 100Kin10 supports our efforts on a national level,” said Dr. Rosalind Pijeaux Hale, an XU professor in the Division of Education and Counseling. ”We are looking forward to collaborating with the other partners to share our successes and also learn from them. Together we will reach the goal of 100Kin10.”

Organizations are accepted as 100Kin10 partners following a rigorous vetting process conducted by a team of partner reviewers and the University of Chicago. Reviewers are looking for organizations that bring innovation, boldness, and a proven track-record to their commitment(s) toward expanding, improving, and retaining the best of the nation’s STEM teaching force, or building the 100Kin10 movement. 

A complete list of partners – with new partners highlighted – appears below and is also available on the 100Kin10 website [].

As partners fulfill their ambitious commitments and work together to spark innovation, they have access to exclusive opportunities—including competitive research opportunities, solution labs, collaboration grants, a growing research and learning platform, and a funding marketplace. Each of these is designed to foster collaborative problem-solving and support partners in fulfilling their ambitious commitments.

In January 2014, 100Kin10 launched its third fund with $5 million and leadership from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and the Overdeck Family Foundation. To date, 100Kin10 funding partners have committed more than $57 million in support of the work of the partners. Over $31 million has already been distributed to partner organizations in 99 grants since the first fund launched in June 2011.

In the first two years of the effort, 100Kin10 partners who have committed to increase the supply of great STEM teachers have recruited and prepared 12,412 teachers. They are projected to prepare just shy of 37,000 teachers by 2016, five years into the project’s ten-year timeline. The network’s continued growth (through organizations such as those announced here) will add to this total number. In addition, nearly 75 partners are working to support and improve existing teachers so that more of them stay in the profession, with the goal of over time reducing the need for so many new teachers entering the workforce.

African American Professionals on Campus for YMTF/BEEP

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana Office of Career Services will sponsor the annual Youth Motivation Task Force/Black Executive Exchange Program (YMTF/BEEP) on February 23-25.

This program will bring to campus a team of 50 African American professionals from a variety of career fields including education, the military, business, government, and the private and non-profit sectors. 

Team members will go into classrooms to talk with students about their goals and how they should prepare to achieve them. The program will also include panels on Careers in Law and Career Options to Medical School.

Chaired by Carolyn Duvigneaud Thomas, ’71 the event will include 27 alumni including Eugenia Foster Adams ’73, Jhan Doughty Berry ’93, Whitney Brown ’08, Monica Bertran ’88, Ken Boutte ’76, Mark Boucree ’90, Patricia Boyer ’80, Charlese Brown ’81, Lynette Smith Causey ’72,  Clement Dugue ’80, Royce Duplessis ’04, Houston Gilliand ’89, Kimberly Henderson ’03, Kristi Hubbard ’78, Paula Narcisse Hooks ’89, Frank Joshua ’84, Adrienne Johnson ’95, Algernon Kelley ’04, Amanda Kelley ’06,; Wayne Lopez ’99, Vernon Martin ’73, Willie McKinney ’90, Andrea Rance ’09, Larry Rivarde ’74,  Randall Schexnayder ’80, Pete Thomas ’90, and Cheryl Mayo Thomas ’71.

Xavier to Host Historic Tobacco Summit

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will host an historic, national one-day summit focusing on how prevention can lead to a tobacco-free generation Feb. 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the XU Convocation Center.

The “Summit on the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Tobacco Report” marks the 50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, a report which concluded that smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health. The focus of the summit, however, is on prevention.

The event will feature conversations with the several former U.S. Surgeons General, tobacco control history makers, youth activists, advocacy groups, foundations, public health officials, and national and local community leaders.

Co-hosted by Xavier and the Louisiana Cancer Research Center under the leadership of Dr. Regina Benjamin, the XU Endowed Chair in Public Health Sciences and the 18th U.S. Surgeon General, is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Visit HERE for more details or to register.

Xavier Announces High School Business Idea Competition

New Orleans, LA - The Entrepreneurship Institute of Xavier University of Louisiana will host a business idea competition for New Orleans high school students this spring.

“Our competition provides New Orleans high school students who have an idea to put it into motion and have our experts in entrepreneurship evaluate it. In addition, students will meet other high school and some college students from across New Orleans who are creative thinkers,” says Mark Quinn, Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute.

The deadline for all entries is 11:59 p.m. on March 8, 2014. Semifinalist and Finalists presentations will be on March 22, 2014. The winner and runners up will be announced at an awards banquet on April 3, 2014. The winner receives $400 and 4 runners up each receive $150. Applications are available by e-mailing or calling (504) 520-5046.

Sponsors of the competition are the Xavier University Entrepreneurship Institute; Capital One Bank; the Xavier Encatus Team, and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center.

Xavier College of Pharmacy Awarded Drug Patent

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a U. S. Patent for a new drug formulation which promises to improve methods for treating pain and heroin addiction.

Patent No. 8,628,701B2 – “An improved method of microencapsulation” – is for a new, long acting buprenorphine formulation developed in the Xavier College of Pharmacy that allows for a reduction in the frequency of dosing. Buprenorphine is a pain killer which is also effective against opioid addiction.

“The new patented buprenorphine formulation will not only reduce the frequency of dosing from daily to once in three or six months because of the compositions and preparation method, it will also reduce the potential for abuse,” said Dr. Tarun Mandal, the lead inventor of the subcutaneous or intramuscular injection formulation and the head of the group which will initiate the safety and efficacy study soon.
“Opioid addiction is a medical condition; not caused by lack of morals, nor controlled by willpower, not cured by good advice. It is a disease as is cancer or diabetes,” he said, noting that virtually every American has been touched by addiction in some way, whether it was an addicted parent or child or spouse or co-worker or friend.  He estimated that addicts’ costs the country in excess of $400 billion a year.

Buprenorphine is commercially available as sublingual tablet and film (SubutexÒ and SuboxoneÒ) for daily dose. Subutex, which contains only buprenorphine is not allowed as take home medication because of its abuse potential and must be dosed in a clinic, whereas Suboxone contains a second drug naloxone to reduce the abuse potential and therefore, used as a take home medication. Sales of these two medications reached $1.5 billion in the U.S. in 2012 and are growing by about 10 percent annually.

For more information, contact Dr. Tarun Mandal, Division of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, at (504) 520-7432 or

694 Scholars Make Xavier University of Louisiana Fall Dean’s List

New Orleans LA - A total of 694 student scholars made the Xavier University of Louisiana Dean's List during the fall 2013 semester, according to XU Registrar Avis Stuard.

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 honor students listed below are grouped by major and include their classifications, high schools and/or (hometowns). Unless otherwise noted, the latter is New Orleans.

The complete lists are available HERE (College of Arts & Sciences) and HERE (College of Pharmacy).

Applications Open for Xavier Summer Programs

New Orleans LA - Students who will attend Xavier University of Louisiana’s diverse array of pre-college and collegiate summer programs can count on learning analytical reasoning and verbal skills that will help them with their future studies, in some cases college credits.

Applications for the pre-college student programs are being accepted now, and the University is encouraging the community to enroll students soon, expecting the programs to be filled to capacity. Space is limited. New this year is an online, common application that should make applying easier and convenient.

In addition to those special programs, the summer schedule also includes regular college degree-credit courses available in two five-week sessions, and an additional eight-week session. Some new and exciting online and hybrid courses will be offered, too.  All three sessions, offered at low tuition rates, are open to currently enrolled, new and returning Xavier students, as well as students enrolled at other universities. Registration for Session I and II are May 26 and June 27, respectively. Session III registration is June 6.

“Whether it’s junior or high school students participating in one of the summer enrichment programs, or our own current students mixed with transient or adult learners taking affordable summer classes for college credit or trying to improve their professional skills, each summer the Xavier campus is filled with a myriad group of students all with the common goal of getting summer enrichment,” said Damon Williams, XU Director of Summer Programs. “This summer we will offer more evening and online courses which gives the students more flexibility and the ability to work or carry out other responsibilities during the day.”

Interesting and informative pre-college programs beginning in May and June include:

  • British Petroleum STEM Summer Institute (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
    • Summer Science Academy “Star” Programs – offers three “STAR” programs – MathStar, BioStar, and ChemStar – for high school students who have an expressed interest in science careers
    • Louisiana Engineering Advancement Program (LEAP)/Summer Scholars – a  competitive and intensive honors program designed to improve the analytical reasoning and verbal skills of students considering careers in engineering, mathematics or the sciences
    • Exploring Computer Science at XU – for students interested in learning more about science
  • Center of Excellence Program – a four-week session designed to grant a small group of high school students interested in pharmacy a broader perspective of the academic requirements and exposure to various career opportunities in pharmacy
  • Future Mathematics and Science Teacher Academy (FMSTA) – a worldwide hands-on, middle and secondary school-based science/math education program
  • The Stress On Analytical Reasoning (SOAR1) – a program that prepares students in analytical reasoning and provides early exposure to science/health careers
  • SuperScholar/EXCEL – a four-week residential summer enrichment program that is geared toward students who are interested in pursuing college degrees in the arts, humanities, social sciences and education

While the pre-college programs give the campus a different feel during the summer, XU’s regular collegiate summer school sessions, offered at low tuition rates, and several special college-level programs also attract a brisk enrollment. Special program offerings include the following:

  • Biomedical Scholar Summer Program (BSSP) – provides the opportunity for very high-ability incoming freshmen students who intend to major in Biology, Chemistry-Premed, or Psychology-Premed to complete one semester of Xavier's General Chemistry course earning 3 hours of college credit. Invitation only.
  • Business Achievers Summer Program – for incoming freshmen business majors. Invitation only.
  • Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) Summer Bridge – enhances diversity in materials research and education by stimulating the development of formal, long-term, collaborative research and education partnerships between minority- serving colleges and universities and the National Science Foundation
  • Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program – ten-week program for students interested in obtaining first research experience in Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • STEM Scholars Summer Bridge Program – a five-week program for incoming freshmen majoring in math, computer sciences, physics and engineering 
  • XUPharmPrep - a four-week program for incoming freshmen majoring in Chemistry-Prepharmacy that is designed to prepare students in key academic areas and expose them to opportunities in pharmacy.  Invitation only.

In addition, the Math and Science Teacher Institute (MSTI) and Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) are expected to draw higher enrollment numbers as well.
For more information on Xavier’s Summer Programs, visit HERE.

Psychology Major Receives MLK Service Award

New Orleans LA - Yves-Yvette Young, a Xavier University of Louisiana senior psychology major from St. Paul MN, was honored for her community service during the 28th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Week for Peace Celebration.

Young, whose passion for children and love of people has fueled her zeal for community service throughout her years at Xavier, was recognized for emulating the true spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and for embracing the Xavier’s mission of leadership and community service. 

Young’s penchant for involvement became obvious as early as her freshman year, her volunteer work with the Girl Scouts at Xavier and the Hunger Coalition earning her a reputation of “always going the extra mile.” The next year she served as Outreach Day Project Coordinator, organizing cultural enrichment and educational activities for youth 6–12 years.

A MARC Scholar, she has served as a Peer Dean (orientation leader), XU Love freshman mentor, Orientation Community Service Chair, and on the MLK Week of Peace Committee. Embracing her passion to serve and capacity to lead, Young is now in her second year as co-chair of MAX (Mobilization at Xavier), keeping tabs on over 250 volunteers, 10 programs and 15 project coordinators.

“I just try to lead by example,” she said. “Encouraging others and showing the way to keep the Xavier tradition, and my purpose, growing strong.

Young was one of four students (one from each of the MLK Week-sponsoring local institutions: XU, Tulane, Dillard and Loyola) to receive a community service award during MLK Week’s signature convocation. Other events included an interfaith service, an expressions of unity celebration, and a community service day.

Dr. Vaz’s ‘Baby Dolls’ to Highlight State Library Black History Month Celebration

New Orleans LA - In celebration of Black History Month, the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana is hosting Dr. Kim Marie Vaz, author and Xavier University of Louisiana Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, for a discussion of The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition.

The presentation will take place at noon on Feb. 6 at the State Library Seminar Center in Baton Rouge LA. Registration is not required for this free event.
Vaz’s book is a history of the Million Dollar Baby Dolls, one of the first women’s organizations to participate in Mardi Gras, and its post-Hurricane Katrina comeback. The ‘Baby Dolls’ traces the tradition as it spread to different New Orleans neighborhoods and empowered women.

The book uncovers the fascinating history of the women who wore baby doll costumes—short satin dresses, bonnets and stockings with garters—and their bold behavior during their journeys into the predominantly male Mardi Gras celebration.

Vaz will share photographs from different time periods to highlight how the practice changed over time. The photos, along with short video clips, bring to life the spirit of fun and play that constitute the practice of masking.

The ‘Baby Dolls’ served as the basis for a major installation on the Baby Doll tradition at The Presbytere as part of the permanent Carnival exhibit.

Production of XU Music Professor’s Opera Nominated for Big Easy Award

New Orleans LA - The 9th Ward Opera Company's double bill of George Gershwin's "Blue Monday" and Xavier University of Louisiana music professor Dr. Dan Shore's "An Embarrassing Position" has been nominated for a Big Easy Award. 

The Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education (FEDE) announced special awards and nominations for performances of classical music, opera, ballet and ethnic and contemporary dance in the New Orleans area in 2013. Winners will be announced at the Tribute to the Classical Arts luncheon Feb. 14 at the Hotel Monteleone.
The production, which featured Xavier graduates Danielle Edinburgh-Wilson ’10 and Dedrian Hogan ‘13 as well as current music major Micah Turner in “An Embarrassing Position”, was nominated in the Best Student/Community Opera Production category.

For a complete list of nominees, visit HERE.

Explore Xavier Open House Set for Jan. 23

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will host its annual Open House for prospective students, parents, and counselors Jan. 23 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

"Explore Xavier" gives students and their parents the opportunity to learn about admissions, majors and fields of study, financial aid and scholarships, and student life. Attendees should go to the University Center to begin Open House.

Campus tours will be available throughout the evening. Tickets will be available for that weekend’s Xavier-Dillard Crosstown Classic basketball doubleheader.

For more info call 1-877-XavierU or 504-520-7388.

“Little Rock Nine” Icon to Keynote MLK Jr., Week for Peace Celebration

New Orleans LA - Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the nine African Americans who desegregated Arkansas’ Little Rock Central High School (e.g. “the Little Rock Nine’) in 1957, will be the keynote speaker for the 28th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace, Jan. 17-20, 2014.

The theme for this year’s event – a joint collaboration between Xavier University of Louisiana, Tulane University, Loyola University and Dillard University – is “50 Years Later: Evolution of the Dream”

The keynote address will take place during the annual MLK Convocation and Symposium Jan. 18, which will be hosted this year by Loyola University in the Dana Center (St. Charles Room, 10:00 a.m.). Students from all four universities will be presented community service awards at the signature event.
The four-day celebration kicks off Jan. 17 with an Expressions of Unity Talent Showcase and Step off at Tulane University’s McAlister Auditorium (7:00 p.m.), followed by an Expressions After Party. Other MLK week activities include an Interfaith Service Jan. 19 at Dillard University’s Lawless Chapel (6:00 p.m.) and a Day of Service Jan. 20 at Xavier University beginning at the University Center (8:00 a.m.).

All events are free and the public is invited to participate.

Minnijean Brown Trickey entered history in 1957 by striding through the front doors of the then whites-only Central High School in Little Rock AR. As a member of the “Little Rock Nine”, in front of a worldwide television audience she walked past armed guards and an angry mob to help set America on the path toward desegregation in public schools.

That was just the beginning of her fiery career as a social activist. In her adult life, Brown-Trickey continues to be an activist for minority rights, peacemaking, environmental issues, developing youth leadership, diversity education and training, cross-cultural communications, and gender and social justice advocacy. She has spoken in 49 states, and internationally in Northern Ireland, Ireland, Canada, England, New Zealand and South Africa.

A journalist and educator, during the President Bill Clinton Administration, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Workforce Diversity in the Department of the Interior.

For her lifetime of work she has received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, the Spingarn Medal, the Wolf Award, and a medal from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute, among other citations. She has also appeared in two acclaimed documentaries: Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey and HBO's Little Rock: 50 Years Later.

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