Marketing & Communications

News Releases 2016


1903Xavier Gets the Highest Grade Among Southern Schools in the WSJ/THE College Rankings
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Sr. Grace Mary Flickinger, S.B.S. Steps Down as Faculty Athletics Representative at Xavier After 36 Years
Xavier Receives Prestigious 2016 Confucius Institute of the Year Award
red pinCampus Leaders Make Annual Who’s Who List
Education Announces New Teacher Residency Program

red pinXavier Receives $1.25 Million UNCF Grant to Improve Job Outcomes of Graduates


1903Catholic Colleges Support Students with DACA Status (Xavier Joins 100 Signatories of Letter)
red pinMitchell Honored as Top Alumnus During Homecoming 2016


1903Xavier Announces 2016 40 Under 40 Alumni Honorees
red pinMorris Day, Doug E. Fre$h Headline XULA Benefit Concert
1903Xavier to Host 2nd Annual Alumni Golf Challenge
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AGB, Kresge Grant to Support Xavier, HBCU Business Models
1903Cross Country Teams Repeat as Conference Champs, Qualify for Nationals
red pinVolleyball Earns 6th Straight GCAC Regular Season Title
Baylor and Xavier Universities Announce Student Exchange Partnership
red pinIBCS to Host Black Lives Matter Symposium
1903University Honors 85 Long-time Employees


red pinAlumni Up to Challenge of Keeping XU’s Premed Program Thriving
19032016 Freshman Class Checks in at 764 Strong
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XU No. 6 HBCU in Annual U.S. News College Guide
1903Herald, Davison Finalists for 2 CMA National Awards
red pin Jazz Band to Perform in China
1903 Xavier Named NAIA Five-Star Champions of Character Institution


red pinXU Gets Nod in Princeton Review 2017 Best Colleges Guide
1903Four Added to Xavier Board of Trustees
red pinXULA Announces Hiring of Vice President for Enrollment Management

JULY 2016

1903XULA One of the Nation’s Top Medical College AFAM Feeder Schools
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Xavier Designates Top Students as Rousseve Scholars
1903The Xavier Herald Receives Top Honors from the Louisiana Press Association
red pinFiske College Guide Names Xavier a “Best Buy”

JUNE 2016

1903Williams Returns Home to Coach Men’s Basketball
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Transcripts Now Available Online!
1903Xavier Appoints Dean for Graduate, Summer, CCSDE Programs
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XU Coaching Legend Janice Joseph to Enter Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
1903Xavier BUILD Program Paying Dividends
red pinOnline Fundraiser Raises $476,165
1903Xavier Team Wins WFI Student Grant

MAY 2016

red pin730 Scholars Earn Spots on Spring Dean’s List
1903Men's Tennis Finishes as NAIA National Runnerup
red pin2016 Give. Love. Xavier Day Online Fundraiser Seeks 3,000 Individual Donors
1903XU's Green chosen ITA/NAIA National Coach of the Year
red pinMen's Tennis Advances to NAIA Semifinals
1903Gold Nuggets Qualify for Nationals in 1,600 Relay
red pin546 Receive Degrees at Xavier Commencement 2016
1903CAT Food #4 Among EdTech Magazine's Top 50 Must-Read Higher Ed Blogs

APRIL 2016

red pinXavier Awarded UNCF Grant to Improve Job Placement Outcomes for Graduates
1903Xavier Announces New Provost

MARCH 2016

red pinXavier to Host Its Annual Festival of Scholars
1903McKinsey Social Initiative CEO to Address 2016 Xavier Graduates
red pinXavier University of Louisiana Names Gia Soublet Vice President for Institutional Advancement
1903Xavier Offers Six Academic Summer Programs for High School Students
red pinOld Fire, New Flame:  Mardi Gras Indians and Afro-New Orleans Cultural Groups
1903Gold Nuggets Open NAIA Tournament March 16 / Gold Rush Open March 17
red pinAlumni Author’s Children’s Book Celebrates Love, Xavier
yellow pinXavier IBCS Presents A Dialogue in Black & Brown
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Gold Nuggets Win GCAC Basketball Tournament
yellow pinXavier Division of Education Offers Unique Science and Math Summer Program
red pinBudding Xavier Student Novelist Comes Out of the Shadows


yellow pinDr. Reynold Verret Installed as New Xavier President
red pinXU Art Collection Selected to Participate in National Museum Assessment Program
yellow pinChaka Khan Headlines 3rd Annual UNCF New Orleans Mayor’s Masked Ball
red pinPharmacy Hosts Ninth Annual Health Disparities Conference
yellow pinExplore Xavier at Feb. 18 Open House
red pinYMTF Welcomes African American Professionals
yellow pinDivision of Education Open House Feb. 17

JANUARY 2016       
red pinXU Alum Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in Classical Music
yellow pinPharmacy Student Receives MLK Service Award
yellow pinKwame Rose Address Opens MLK Jr., Week for Peace Celebration
red pinPresidential Inauguration Scheduled for Feb. 22-26 at XULA


XU Gets Nod in Princeton Review 2017 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 2017 edition of its annual edition of "The Best 381 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. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in any order.

Xavier is one of six five colleges in Louisiana (others include LSU, Loyola, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, and UNO) and one of only five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (others include Hampton, Howard, Spelman, and Tuskegee) to make the list.

"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 381 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 24-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, our personal visits to schools, and the wide range of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools.”

Visit HERE for Xavier’s unique profile in the book. Visit the Princeton Review website HERE for more info on the publication.

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Four Added to Xavier Board of Trustees

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana added four new members to its Board of Trustees at the summer meeting of its governing board. Named to initial three-year terms were: Dr. Gilda Barabino ’78, Ms. Carmen Bermudez, Sister Theresa Chato SBS ’71, and Dr. John Jackson IV ’94. It is Chato's second stint on the XU Board (having previously served from 2001-2006).

Carryovers on the 21-member Board – who are serving either their first or second terms on the board – include: Justin Augustine III, Sister Donna Breslin SBS, Mark Goodman, Bishop Curtis John Guillory SVD, Gladstone Jones, The Honorable Ivan Lemelle, Dr. Marie McDemmond, Alden McDonald Jr., Marc Morial, Sister Jane Norton SBS, Sonia Perez, Sister Marianne Poole SBS, Michael Rue, Frank Stewart Jr., Roderick West, and Mary Zervigon. XU President Dr. C. Reynold Verret is an ex-officio member of the Board.

Rotating off of the Board after serving two consecutive terms will be Carla Harris, Sister Stephanie Henry SBS, Dr. Toni Hoover, and Sister Barbara Specker SBS.

Barabino, a 1978 Xavier graduate, is a Berg Professor and Dean of The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY). She holds appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering and the Sophie Davis School of Medicine. A noted investigator in the areas of sickle cell disease, cellular and tissue engineering, and race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering, she consults nationally and internationally on STEM education and research, diversity in higher education, policy, workforce development, and faculty development.

Bermudez is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and founder of Mission Management and Trust Company, the nation’s first and only minority-woman owned independent trust company. Headquartered in Arizona, the company specializes in investment management, trust administration, securities custody, retirement and IRAs, global custody, employee benefit plans and charitable gift planning. It is also known for its efforts to increased opportunities for women and minorities and for contributing a meaningful portion of all revenues to charitable projects. Earlier this year, Bermudez was honored by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament with the St. Katharine Drexel National Justice Award for her commitment to charitable organizations, providing opportunities to minorities and women, and for her support of cultural and social equality.

Chato, who also holds a degree from Xavier, is currently Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Chinle AZ, where she has served since 2011. She has previously served as campus administrator, and as vocation director at the SBS Motherhouse in Bensalem PA., as well as Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance AZ. She has also held teaching positions at SBS schools in Santa Fe NM and Pala CA.

Jackson, still another Xavier graduate, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. The Foundation focuses its resources on efforts to ensure a high quality public education for all students by identifying and eliminating the policies and practices which lead to race and gender educational disparities. Jackson joined the Foundation in 2007 after serving seven years in leadership positions at the NAACP, including as the organization’s its Chief Policy Officer and National Director of Education.


Gilda Barabino

Sr. Theresa Chato


carmenCarmen Bermudez

John Jackson

XULA Announces Hiring of Vice President for Enrollment Management

New Orleans LA - Keyana Scales has been named Vice President for Enrollment Management at Xavier University of Louisiana, according to Dr. Anne McCall, XULA Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs. In the newly created position, Scales will be charged with providing leadership, supervision, and direction to the Offices of Admissions, Student Financial Aid, and the University Registrar. Scales, who will begin Sept. 12, will report directly to the Provost.

"We are pleased to welcome Keyana Scales to campus,” said McCall. “As Vice President for Enrollment Management, she will lead the integration of important units on our campus to ensure that students who can best benefit from a Xavier education enroll and have every opportunity possible to succeed. With extensive experience in a variety of institutions and strong leadership skills, Ms. Scales proved the perfect candidate for this key position.” “I look forward to working with her very soon and introducing her to the entire Xavier community."

Among her core responsibilities at Xavier will be developing and implementing strategies to reach recruitment, tuition discounting, student revenue goals, and retention; strengthening the University’s enrollment through effective outreach strategies; overseeing the management of all aspects of the enrollment process from prospect development to enrollment; and ensuring that high ethical standards are maintained in all areas of admissions, recruitment, and financial aid policies and practices.

Scales has more than 15 years of experience in college admissions and recruitment. She comes to Xavier from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she has served the past two years as Director of Freshman Recruitment and Scholarships.

Prior to that, Scales served as Director of Admissions at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (2010-13) and as Associate Director of Admissions at North Carolina State University (2008-10). She began her professional career at the latter as an undergraduate admissions counselor in 2001 and spent nine years on staff in various capacities. She holds a BA in communications and a Master of Education in Counseling, both from North Carolina State University.

"This is an exciting time to join the Xavier community,” said Scales. “The university's mission aligns very closely with my personal values and philosophies around student access and success. I very much look forward to building relationships and partnering with students, faculty, staff, and alumni."

Keyana Scales
XULA One of the Nation’s Top Medical College AFAM Feeder Schools

New Orleans LA – New data from the Association of American Medical Colleges published in the July 11 issue of the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education ranks Xavier University of Louisiana third in the nation among undergraduate colleges and universities that produce the most African American applicants to U.S. medical schools.

The report, covering the 2015-16 academic year, lists the University of Florida with 109 African American (AFAM) graduates who applied to U.S. medical schools. That represents 2.2 percent of all AFAM students who applied to medical schools in U.S.

Howard University was the only other university to have more than 100 graduates in the 2015-16 academic year. Xavier ranked third with 89 graduates applying to medical school. The other universities ranking in the Top 10 were Spelman College Georgia State University, the University of Georgia, Florida State University, the University of Maryland College Park, Rutgers University, and the University of South Florida.

Other HBCUs that produced more than 30 AFAM graduates in the 2015-16 were Florida A&M University, Morehouse College, Oakwood University, Hampton University.

Xavier Designates Top Students as Rousseve Scholars

New Orleans LA – Some 35 upperclassmen have been designated Rousseve Scholars by Xavier University of Louisiana for the 2016-17 school year.

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 – Aizaz Ahmad, biology/premed, Metairie LA (Grace King); Usman Chaudhry, biology/premed, Kenner LA (Grace King); Alaa Elsayed, pharmacy, Kenner LA (Haynes Academy); Erica Greenwood, accounting, LaPlace LA (East St. John); Lynn Hoang, pharmacy, New Orleans LA (Ben Franklin); Ajene Johnson, computer science, Corona CA (Centennial); Renee’ Miller, biology/premed, Luling LA (Halhville); Amanda Ware, accounting, Houston TX (Cypress Creek); Ahmed Zaki, pharmacy, Kenner LA (Haynes Academy); and Amir Zaki, pharmacy, Kenner LA (Haynes Academy).

Juniors / P1s –Ezinne Agwaramgbo, chemistry/pre-med, New Orleans LA (Lusher); Steven Do, biology/pre-med, Westwego LA (St. Lawrence WI); Noor Fatima, biology/pre-med, biology/pre-med, Metairie LA (Haynes); Hannah Mbony, biology/premed, Brookeville MD (Sherwood); Marilyn Ndukwe, chemistry/premed, Nigeria; An Nguyen, biology/premed, Marrero LA (John Ehret); Dao Joanna Nguyen, New Orleans LA (McMain); Nhu Nguyen, pharmacy, Madison AL (Bob Jones); Christine Pham, pharmacy, Fountain Valley CA (Fountain Valley); and Bryan Redmond, psychology/pre-med, Memphis TN (City University).

Sophomores – Ahli Chatters, biology/premed, New Orleans LA (Ben Franklin); Mychael Delgardo, biology/premed, Los Angeles CA (Loyola); Huyen Duong, biology/premed, Marrero LA (L.W. Higgins); Dalia El-Desoky, biology, Kenner LA (Chapelle); Cierra Frazier, chemistry/premed, New Orleans LA (St. Mary’s Academy); Tayler Gary, biology/premed, Breaux Bridge LA (Breaux Bridge); Samah Hammad, chemistry/premed, Metairie LA (Grace King); Yasmine Johnson, biology/premed, Renton WA (Sammamish); Tyler Kelly, biology/premed, Greenville SC (Southside); Anthony Nguyen, chemistry/premed, Houma LA (Ellender); Jeanne Nguyen, biology/premed, Harvey LA (John Ehret); Brianna Pace, computer science, Junction City KS (Junction City); Allison Stephens, chemistry/premed, Harvest AL (Sparkman); Lauren Thornton, biology, Arlington TX (Timberview); and James Vu, biology/premed, Kenner LA (Bonnabel).

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

The Xavier Herald Receives Top Honors from the Louisiana Press Association

The student staff of Xavier University’s newspaper, The Xavier Herald, brought home 4 major awards from the Louisiana Press Association’s 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. They ranked first in the following categories: best overall website; most effective use of graphic design on a single page and best feature story. The paper as a whole finished third in the general excellence category.

“Students from across the curricula work countless hours to write, photograph, video, design and even distribute The Xavier Herald, and then produce online content,” said Melinda Shelton, director of university student publications. “The staff's diligence has put the Herald and on the national map, literally.”

The event occurred June 18, at the 136th Annual Louisiana Press Association Convention held in Lake Charles LA. The LPA’s Better Newspaper Competition’s editorial contests range from news story writing to graphic design, while the advertising entries were judged based on design, creativity and effectiveness. This year, the Alabama Press Association judged both competitions.

Xavier’s students were selected from nearly 3,000 entries from 58 newspapers, publications and college/university student newspapers. Graphic design major, Nicholas Davison, now in his junior year said it was an honor to win first place for the Gary Hebert Award for Most Effective Use of Graphic Design on a Single Page. This is the second consecutive year he won the highly competitive and coveted award.

"I was recruited my freshman year to work on the Herald as a graphics designer, and for two years I've been able to showcase my talents and build skills by creating each issue's front page and then inside design,” said Davison. “I thoroughly enjoy my job and am very excited for all that's in store."

Mark Veals, a sophomore and computer science major, became the content manager and designer for in 2015 and is the critical link between the printed and digital realms. His hard work was duly noted coming in first place for best overall website. “"It makes me proud to be on a team that comes together to make something great" said Veals.

Shelton said the web site is an integral part of multimedia training, not only for mass communication majors but also students from other disciplines.

Kaelin Maloid’s ‘mad’ writing skills proved to be beneficial. The junior majoring in broadcast journalism took home a first place plaque for her feature story about Todd Juluke, a self-described ex-thug, ex-convict turned social worker in a story titled, "Black Lives Matter, But Not Mine."

While Maloid aspires to be a sports reporter, she knows writing well is crucial to her success whether in sports or news. "This is important to me because it makes me stand out among my peers; anybody can publish an article, but not everybody can be recognized with an award,” she said. “It's also linked with what I do at Xavier, so I feel like I have brought something back to my university, too."

The paper placed third in the general excellence category. Journalism professionals judged two editions of the Herald: the March 3, 2015, edition featuring #IAMSELMA and a unity march in Selma, Ala., and the April 21, 2015, expanded edition tribute to Dr. Norman C. Francis. The Grambling University Gramblinite took first place, and second went to the Loyola University Maroon.

These are not the first prestigious awards for the paper and its students. Shelton said she is confident that it will not be the last. Their motto is 'By, for and about students,' and these awards and dozens more represent how determined they are to do it right--every time," said Shelton. The Xavier Herald faced steep competition against similar newspapers from larger universities. Other schools recognized were: Loyola University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech University, and Delgado Community College.

The Louisiana Press Association is the official trade organization for Louisiana newspapers and provides representation in the legislature and educational services. LPA’s mission is to unite Louisiana newspapers as a cooperative association which creates and fosters an economic, political, and legal environment where newspapers can compete and flourish as providers of information and information services. Each year the LPA honors the best journalism in Louisiana with its annual awards competition.

Fiske College Guide Names Xavier a “Best Buy”

New Orleans LA – The 2017 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges has named Xavier University of Louisiana among its “Best Buy Schools” for academics and affordability.

This year the publication designated 47 institutions – 21 public and 26 private – as “Best Buys” for a college education. To qualify for the distinction, the colleges and universities must have a four- or five-star academic rating, and be in the inexpensive or moderate price category. Xavier is the only university in Louisiana and one of only four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to make the list.

Now in its 33rd year of publication, 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 the United Kingdom. The author, Edward B. Fiske, served for 17 years as education editor of the New York Times.

Other schools named to this year’s list include: (Public) Evergreen State College, the University of Florida, George Mason University, Indiana University, the University of Iowa, the University of Kansas, the University of Mary Washington, the University of Maryland, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, New College of Florida, the University of North Carolina-Asheville, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, SUNY-Buffalo, SUNY-Geneseo, SUNY-Stoney Brook, the University of Texas, Truman State University, and the University of Utah. (Private) Adelphi University, Alfred University, Austin College, Baylor University, Brigham Young University, Centre College, Cornell College, Deep Springs College, the University of Edinburgh, Elon University, Guilford College, Howard University, Millsaps College, Morehouse College, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of St. Andrew’s, the University of the South (Sewanee), Southwestern University, Spelman College, the University of Toronto, Trinity College Dublin, Wabash College, Warren Wilson College, Wheaton College (IL), and Wittenberg University.


Williams Returns Home to Coach Men’s Basketball

New Orleans – Former Xavier University of Louisiana player and assistant coach Alfred Williams, who engineered one of the best turnarounds in NAIA Division I men's basketball this past season at Harris-Stowe State University,  is returning home to become head coach at his alma mater.

XU Director of Athletics and Recreation Jason Horn announced the hiring of Williams Tuesday. He replaces Dannton Jackson, who left Xavier in April after 13 seasons as head coach to become an assistant at NCAA Division I's University of Alabama at Birmingham. The new head coach will meet with news media, the XU community and fans July 5 at 1:30 p.m. in Xavier's Convocation Center, 7900 Stroelitz St. (zip 70125). In addition, all high school boys basketball coaches in the region are invited.

"I'm super-excited about the opportunity to become the next head men's basketball coach at Xavier,” said Williams, who played for the Gold Rush from 2004-08 and served as an assistant coach from 2009-15. "Xavier has been near and dear to my heart ever since I stepped on campus in 2004. The rich tradition is second to none. I am looking forward to continue building on the foundations of the past while growing toward the future. We will work day in and day out to build a program that mirrors toughness, grit, hustle and passion in everything that we do. I'm looking forward to the challenge and continuing to build for greatness both on the court and in the classroom."

Williams was head coach for one season at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Mo., where he led the Hornets in a 7 1/2-game improvement from the previous year and scored victories against a pair of NCAA Division II opponents. Harris-Stowe lost 84-83 in double-overtime Jan. 28 at American Midwest Conference champion Columbia (Mo.), a 29-game winner, after losing there by 46 points the previous season.

During his previous Xavier tenures, Williams was a member of three teams as a player and five teams as an assistant coach that qualified for the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship and won or shared four Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament regular-season championships. The Gold Rush averaged 23.3 victories during his three playing seasons and 23.2 victories during his six seasons as assistant coach.

Xavier won three consecutive GCAC regular-season championships from 2011-14, and its 121 victories from 2010-11 through 2014-15 are the second-winningest five years in the program history, topped only by the Gold Rush's 126 victories from 1936-37 through 1940-41. Williams was a 6-foot-4 forward at Xavier, was All-GCAC his senior year and is one of three Gold Rush players with 800 points, 500 rebounds and 150 assists in a career.

alfred williams

Alfred Williams

"After a comprehensive national search which attracted many outstanding candidates, Xavier and Team Gold are excited to welcome back Alfred Williams," Horn said. "We are confident that AJ (Williams' nickname) will continue the Xavier tradition of excellence and lead the Gold Rush to even greater national prominence while graduating our student-athletes."

Williams, 32 and a native of Greenville, S.C., received his bachelor of science degree from Xavier in 2008.

 Xavier was 21-13 in 2015-16 and qualified for NAIA's national tournament for a school-record sixth consecutive year. The Gold Rush were runner-up in the GCAC Tournament each of the past two seasons. Xavier's 31 seasons of 20 or more victories are the most in the history of Louisiana men's college basketball.

Transcripts Now Available Online!

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana Office of the Registrar is excited to announce that online transcript ordering and delivery will be available beginning July 1, 2016.

This new functionality allows current students and alumni who attended from 1988 to the present to request transcripts online and request electronic delivery of transcripts. Alumni prior to 1988 will not have the option for electronic delivery, but will now be able to order their transcript online for paper delivery.

All orders will be processed via the National Student Clearinghouse. Transcripts are available in two formats: PDF – Secure electronic PDFs can be emailed to selected email addresses, and Paper – Paper transcripts can be mailed to an address specified by the student or picked up in person at the Registrar’s Office. There is a standard $5.00 fee associated with ordering a transcript.

Visit HERE to get started.

Xavier Appoints Dean for Graduate, Summer, CCSDE Programs

New Orleans LA – Dr. Marcus Cox has been appointed Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences with leadership of Graduate Programs and Summer School and Director of the Center for Continuing Studies and Distance Education (CCSDE) at Xavier University of Louisiana. As Associate Dean and Director of the CCSDE, Cox is charged with managing a key element of the University strategic plan for institutional growth by developing and administering viable graduate programs, certificate programs, and distance education initiatives.  In addition, he will manage and coordinate summer school and develop marketing strategies to recruit graduate, non-traditional, and adult learners as well as military and veteran students.

Cox comes to Xavier after 15 years at The Citadel Military College of South Carolina where he held leadership positions as Founding Director of the African American Studies, Assistant Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Associate Dean of The Citadel Graduate College and Evening Undergraduate Studies. He holds the distinction of being the first African American faculty member appointed to the position of Dean in the 172-year history of The Citadel. He earned an undergraduate degree in marketing and a master’s degree in history from Southern University and a master’s degree in business administration from The Citadel School of Business Administration. Cox received his doctorate degree in African American history from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.



Dr. Marcus Cox

Xavier BUILD Program Paying Dividends

New Orleans LA - Back in 2014, Xavier was awarded a $19.6 million federal grant to “build” upon its already thriving biomedical programs. The grant was part of a larger National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded initiative – Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) – a multi-faceted project with the ultimate goal of increasing diversity within the biomedical research workforce.

Apparently the funds are well spent.

Dr. Maryam Foroozesh, Chair of Xavier’s Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and the BUILD Lead Principal Investigator here on campus, reports that all seven of the program’s first cohort of BUILD Technicians (students who graduated in May 2015 and received a year of hands-on research training) will be entering graduate programs or prep programs this fall.

Included in that group are Davon Carter, who will be attending University of California Los Angles with a full scholarship for an MD/PhD program; Kyra Dodson, who will be attending Ole Miss University in chemistry; Justin Grennell, who will be attending Louisiana State University in chemistry; Faith Joseph, who will be attending Baylor College of Medicine’s SMART Prep Program in molecular biology; Brianyell McDaniel, who will be attending Texas Tech University-Health Science Center in biochemistry; Jade Meyers, who will be attending Keck Graduate Institute for a post-baccalaureate premedical program; and Peter Pham, who  will be attending University of Tennessee, Knoxville in chemistry.

BUILD is part of a $240 million NIH investment awarded to 10 BUILD institutions across the country to develop new approaches to engage student researchers, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-relevant workforce. Xavier and its fellow awardees have established a national consortium to train, mentor and encourage students from underrepresented groups to enter into and stay in research careers.

The seven BUILD Technicians were involved in several of the University’s on-going cancer, drug-delivery, and disease-prevention research projects under the direction of faculty mentors Dr. Thomas Huckaba (Biology), Dr. Payton-Stewart (Chemistry) Dr. Mehnaaz Ali (Chemistry) Dr. Jayalakhshmi Sridar (Chemistry), Dr. Kelly Johanson (Chemistry) Dr. Cecily DeFreece (Biology), and Dr. Maryam Foroozesh (Chemistry). Nine additional BUILD Technicians are joining the Program in 2016-2017.

Xavier Online Fundraiser Raises $476,165

New Orleans LA - Alumni and friends turned in another strong performance on this year’s Give. Love. Xavier Day, with 2,582 contributing a total of $476,165 during Xavier University of Louisiana’s annual one-day, online fundraising event.

“Once again our alumni and friends have answered the call,” said Gia Soublet, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Xavier. “The response to our fourth Give. Love. Xavier Day was overwhelming, with Xaverites coming together with an outpouring of financial support.”

Soublet said that donations to the one-day event, which was held June 07, is a major fundraising event for the University and makes a vital difference in the lives of current students. All gifts directly support scholarships and other important University programs.

Since its inception in 2013, Give. Love. Xavier Day has raised more than $1.35 million dollars. The number of donors giving to the annual event has more than doubled.

Each year – during the designated 24-hour pledge period – alumni and friends were invited to come together for one day to show their support for the University with financial contributions, as well as to use social networks (such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) to spread the excitement and encourage their friends and followers to give as well.

One key in the continued success of Give. Love. Xavier Day has been the designation of alumni captains to drive giving among alumni and the utilization of community leaders to attract outside interests. Another important element has been the establishment of key Challenge Grant incentives: dollar for dollar matches that are realized when alumni and friends made their donations that day.

“All of this year’s 13 Challenge Grant initiatives were met,” said Kimberly Reese, XU Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “Those matches brought in an extra $100,000 in pledges, making many of our donor dollars twice as impactful!”

Xavier Team Wins WFI Student Grant

New Orleans LA – Two Xavier University of Louisiana undergraduates have been awarded a $10,000 grant by the Waterhouse Family Institute (WFI) at Villanova University in support of an ongoing project examining social justice and the African American GLBTQ community in New Orleans.

The students – Andre Morgan Jr., a junior communications studies from New Orleans (Lake Area New Technical High), and Kianna Greene, a junior English major from Milwaukee WI (Messmer High) – are the first students from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) ever to receive the award. They are mentored by Dr. Kimberly Chandler, an XU assistant professor of communication studies and an affiliate faculty for the University’s Women’s Studies Program.


Dr. Kimberly Chandler has a big her for Andre Morgan Jr. and Kianna Greene, whose
ongoing project examining social justice and the African American GLBTQ community
in New Orleans was awarded a $10,000 grant by the Waterhouse Family Institute (WFI)
at Villanova.

The WFI – endowed by Lawrence Waterhouse, Jr., and housed within Villanova University’s Department of Communication – was founded on the principle that scholars, students, activists, and practitioners of communication have an important role to play in the creation of a socially just world. The grant recognizes the outstanding efforts of undergraduate students interested in engaging communication and social justice.

Through interviews and focus groups, the project – “Performing Resistance in the Big Easy: Social Justice and the African American GLBTQ Community in New Orleans” – is examining the ways in which the African American GLBTQ community in New Orleans performs gender as a tool of resistance. The students will also seek to make visible the community’s significant contributions through a scholarly publication, interactive website archive and public exhibition of videos, photographs and narratives focusing on their unique lives. 

“Historically, the African American GLBTQ community has been an important contributor to the fight for civil and human rights in the American South; however, this community is relatively invisible due to stigmatization and marginalization by the Black community as well as larger dominant society,” notes the abstract. “While this community has been on the front lines, fighting for gay rights and against injustice for some time, their lived experiences are virtually unknown.”

730 Scholars Earn Spots on Spring Dean’s List

New Orleans LA - A total of 730 student scholars made the Dean's List at Xavier University of Louisiana during the spring 2016 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.

2016 Give. Love. Xavier Day Online Fundraiser Seeks 3,000 Individual Donors

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana will hold its fourth annual online, social media-driven fundraising event – “Give. Love. Xavier Day” – Tuesday, June 07, from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The event invites alumni and friends to come together for one day to show their support for the University with financial contributions.

Participants are encouraged to post about the event via social networks (such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) to spread the excitement and encourage their friends and followers to give. Conversations also are encouraged by sharing the hashtag #GLXU16, connecting to the @XULAalumni website, and visiting to denote and see real-time results.

This year’s theme is “Xavier Proud”. Gia Soublet, XU Vice President for Institutional Advancement, said all gifts made online that day will support scholarships and other important University programs.

“The Xavier community coming together like this showcases the spirit of our University,” said Soublet. “Donations to the University make a vital difference in the lives of current and future students.”

Last year 2,470 donors contributed a total of $509,000 on “Give. Love. Xavier Day”, far surpassing the previous year’s total of 1,157 donors and $275,000. The donor goal for this year’s campaign is 3,000 individuals.

One key element of the day-long campaign is the use of alumni captains to spur interest among fellow alumni, as well as the establishment of key Challenge Grant incentives: dollar for dollar matches that are realized when alumni and friends made their donations on Give. Love. Xavier Day. This year’s event has nearly $100,000 in matching challenge grants, which will only be realized if Xavierites and friends make gifts on June 07.

“All of last year’s Challenge Grant Initiatives were met,” said Kim Reese, XU Director of Alumni Relations. “Those matches brought in an extra $152,536 in pledges, making many of our donor dollars twice as impactful!” 

More information on Give. Love. Xavier Day is available at or by contacting Lacrecia James at (504) 520-5129.

546 Receive Degrees at Xavier Commencement 2016

New Orleans LA - 546 graduates received their degrees during Xavier University of Louisiana’s 89th annual commencement May 07 at the XU Convocation Center.

McKinsey Social Initiative CEO Dr. Helene D. Gayle delivered the keynote address and was awarded an honorary degree. Also receiving honorary degrees during the ceremony were pathologist Dr. Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu, educator Dr. Gilda A. Barabino ’78, and businessman Michael Rue.

Five graduates headed this year’s group of 25 summa cum laude graduates with perfect 4.0 grade point averages, including: Allison Daniel, a pharmacy student from Harahan LA; Rasaan Hollis, a business/finance major from Columbus OH; Kelly Giardina Johnson, a pharmacy student from New Orleans; Tami Nguyen, a biology/premed major from Marrero LA; and Johlee Schinetsky Odinet, a pharmacy student from Kenner LA.

Visit HERE for a complete list of graduates.

CAT Food #4 Among EdTech Magazine's Top 50 Must-Read Higher Ed Blogs

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching’s CAT FooD blog (CAT+FD) blog was named to the Dean’s List: EdTech Magazine's Top 50 Must-Read Higher Ed blogs. In fact, it was ranked #4. Says the article, “For more than seven years, technology staff members at Xavier University of Louisiana have sounded off on the comings and goings of education technology. The team even regularly hosts a podcast on the subject.” See the whole list HERE. Read CAT FooD HERE.

Xavier Awarded UNCF Grant to Improve Job Placement Outcomes for Graduates

New Orleans LA Xavier University of Louisiana has been awarded a $100,000 planning grant as part of UNCF’s new Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), a highly competitive grant process open to four-year historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs) to help students gain the knowledge, preparation, insight and skills needed for meaningful employment upon graduation.

Xavier is consistently among the nation’s leaders in the number of African American graduates who go on to earn medical degrees, Doctor of Pharmacy degrees, and terminal degrees in the sciences.

In accordance with the Historically Black and Catholic university’s mission, young men and women who show desire and promise are given the opportunity to earn a Xavier degree regardless of academic deficiencies and financial means. Therefore, Xavier has taken great pride in its ability to help its students mature academically and graduate.

“We are very proud of Xavier’s record of preparing students to assume roles of leadership in their respective fields, and we want to continue building on that success so that every Xavier graduate can be fulfilled and serve in a meaningful career,” said Xavier President Dr. C. Reynold Verret. “We are grateful to UNCF and Lilly Endowment Inc. for their commitment to this import aspect higher education and for strengthening  Xavier’s ability to help our students succeed in life and thrive in the global economy.”

Xavier will utilize the planning grant to develop a transformative system that, not only delivers research-based professional preparation to students, but also reshapes the university’s approach to undergraduate matriculation. The integrated system will capture post-graduation data, actively solicit faculty input and assistance in student career preparation, and engage employers to access information on Xavier students and graduates. The University’s Career Advancement Center will be developing a sustainable model that facilitates the collection of crucial data points and critical information exchange that will ultimately lead to successful post-graduate outcomes for a larger percentage of Xavier students.

Xavier was one of 30 colleges that were selected as planning grant awardees for UNCF’s CPI. Lilly Endowment Inc. committed $50 million in October 2015 to launch CPI to improve the job placement outcomes of graduates from HBCUs and PBIs. The collective planning grant distribution announced by UNCF yesterday totals $2.55 million, which has the potential to assist more than 66,000 students across the 30 colleges and universities.

“The UNCF Career Pathways Initiative is not only important to HBCUs and PBIs, it is important for the entire American higher education system and the American global economy,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “CPI will serve as a model of best practices for all colleges and universities to follow, in order to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our students and the demands of the ever-changing marketplace for talent. We’re excited that HBCUs and PBIs will be at the forefront of this new and impactful venture. We applaud all of the institutions that put their best foot forward in the interest of their students’ future careers, and we commend the 30 institutions that were selected.”

The rigorous and competitive grant process opened in December 2015 to 87 eligible public and private institutions, of which 81 were HBCUs and six were PBIs. The eligible institutions must have met select criteria, including being an accredited four-year degree-granting institution that awards most of its degrees at the bachelor’s level. Of the 87 eligible institutions, 70 applied for the planning grant and 30 were selected as grantees.  Award amounts vary based on the institution’s student enrollment.

Planning grantees were selected based on how well their proposals reflected understanding of the challenges facing students as they prepare for post-graduate employment. In addition, successful proposals included evidence that the institutions had connected with experts who can help them find innovative solutions.

Since the Great Recession ended in 2009, the problem of underemployment has become a crisis for young adults. By early 2015, the underemployment rate for recent college graduates had reached 44 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistics are even more alarming for African American graduates. As recently as 2013, the unemployment rate for African American college graduates between ages 22 and 27 was 12.4 percent, more than twice the rate of their white counterparts. And in 2014, the share of recent African American college graduates who were underemployed soared to 56 percent. Furthermore, a recent Georgetown University workforce study found that African Americans are underrepresented in the number of college majors associated with the fastest-growing, highest-paying occupations, with only seven percent entering the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

UNCF® CPI was created to address these issues.

Xavier University Names New Provost

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana announced today that Dr. Anne McCall has been appointed Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. After an extensive national search, Dr. McCall was identified as the best of more than 100 candidates considered. She begins her appointment as provost-designate immediately and assumes the role of provost July 1, 2016.

“Xavier is truly fortunate to have Dr. McCall as provost, and it is with great enthusiasm that I, on behalf of the University and the Board of Trustees, welcome her,” said Xavier President Dr. C. Reynold Verret.

As provost, Dr. McCall will serve as a key member of the president’s leadership team and play a critical role in achieving the University’s goals.

dr anne mccall

Dr. Anne McCall


“I am honored to have been chosen to serve as provost at Xavier, and I am grateful to the Board of Trustees and President Verret for this opportunity,” said Dr. McCall. “Xavier is one of the United States’ outstanding institutions, and its history of ambition and accomplishment gives it a special place in higher education today. I am inspired by President Verret’s vision, and I am eager to help him achieve it.”

Since taking office nearly a year ago, President Verret has made integrating the humanities with Xavier’s renowned STEM programs and serving today’s underserved populations top priorities. Dr. McCall, a French literary scholar, will support these efforts to strengthen Xavier’s niche in preparing well-rounded, learned students ready to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society.

In her letter of candidacy, Dr. McCall wrote, “I have devoted my career to teaching, research, and service in small to mid-sized, comprehensive universities that put a premium on developing the potential of all students. . . As an academic community of great purpose with a complex portfolio of academic units, Xavier University brings liberal arts and professional education into a productive dialogue that must continue to evolve.”

“Dr. McCall is the ideal candidate, in part because she understands Xavier’s unique mission and role as a historically Black and Catholic institution. Her deep appreciation for the values and traditions of Xavier, record of experience, and forward-thinking approach to the advancement of our mission, make her well-suited to help guide this University into the future, taking advantage of the opportunities and meeting the challenges of the times,” President Verret continued.

As an accomplished academic and proven administrator, Dr. McCall brings an extensive range of experience to Xavier. She currently serves as Dean of the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton University. In this role, she provides academic, financial, and external leadership for the largest college within New York’s top-ranked public university. Harpur College enrolls over 10,000 students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees through 26 departments as well as multiple interdisciplinary programs, centers, and institutes.

Prior to serving as Dean of Harpur College, Dr. McCall was Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Denver and Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science at Tulane University.

“Having lived in New Orleans for 17 years while at Tulane, I have known of the strength of Xavier’s academic programs, its social justice mission, and the success of its students. I am excited to assist Dr. Verret and the faculty as we seek to build on the University’s core identity and academic strengths to make it an even better institution,” said Dr. McCall.

Dr. McCall’s priorities will be supporting the faculty, enriching curricula, boosting enrollment, and securing the financial health of the institution. “The dedicated faculty and staff at Xavier do amazing work on behalf of students, and it will be my job to make sure they have the resources and support needed to enhance their efforts,” said Dr. McCall.

Dr. McCall earned a bachelor of arts in French and in German with highest distinction from the University of Virginia and the degree of docteur ès lettres from the Université Strasbourg. An authority on the work of the 19th-century French novelist, playwright, and memoirist George Sand, she is past president of the George Sand Association and has authored and edited books and published more than 25 scholarly articles on nineteenth-century French literature and related topics.

Dr. McCall was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Cincinnati, OH. In her spare time, she enjoys learning about cultures around the world, traveling, and spending time with family. She looks forward to returning to New Orleans and enjoying the city’s live Jazz music.

Dr. McCall is filling the position left vacant by Dr. Loren Blanchard, who was appointed last year as executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the California State University, the largest four-year public university system in the United States. The position of provost has been held on an interim basis by Dr. Deidre Labat since the start of the Fall semester.

Xavier to Host Its Annual Festival of Scholars

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana will host its 13th Annual Norman C. Francis Festival of Scholars Thursday-Friday, April 14-15, in the University Center 2nd Floor Lobby.

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.  Free and open to the public, the Festival begins with a free pizza party at noon Thursday and continues until 4:00 p.m. It will be open Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 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.

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 more info about CUR or the Festival call (504) 520-5066 or visit


Dr. Helene Gayle


Dr. Bennet Omalu


Dr. Gilda Barabino


Michael Rue

McKinsey Social Initiative CEO to Address 2016 Xavier Graduates

New Orleans LA – Dr. Helene D. Gayle, CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit organization that implements programs bringing together varied stakeholders to address complex global and social challenges, will deliver the commencement address at Xavier University of Louisiana’s 89th annual graduation ceremony Saturday, May 07, at 10:00 a.m. in the Convocation Center.

Dr. Gayle, who will address some 540 undergraduate, graduate, and pre-professional students and their families, will also be awarded an honorary degree. She will be joined on the podium by three other honorary degrees recipients: pathologist Dr. Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu, educator Dr. Gilda A. Barabino ’78, and businessman Michael Rue.

“Dr. Gayle is a humanitarian as well an expert on global development and public health issues, and as such she is has been a strong advocate for the alleviation of poverty, gender equality, and social justice,” said Xavier University of Louisiana President Reynold Verret. “We are pleased she has accepted our invitation to address our graduates.”

The annual Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation and the College of Pharmacy Hooding Ceremony will be held the preceding evening, Friday (May 06), at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively in the Convocation Center.

* Dr. Helene Gayle

As the inaugural CEO, Dr. Gayle is setting direction and building the organization. McKinsey Social Initiative’s first program, Generation, addresses the problem of youth unemployment, with programs in five countries—India, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and the United States—and a goal of connecting one million young people with skills and jobs in five years.

Previously, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization with approximately 10,000 staff whose poverty fighting programs reached over 97 million people in 87 countries. An expert on global development, humanitarian, and health issues, she also spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), focused primarily on combating HIV/AIDS. She was appointed as the first director of the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, and achieved the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Gayle also served as the AIDS coordinator and chief of the HIV/AIDS division for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Gayle then directed the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.

Dr. Gayle serves on public company and non-profit boards including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the New America Foundation, the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, and the ONE Campaign. In addition, she serves on the President's Commission on White House Fellowships. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Public Health Association, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Named one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women,” Foreign Policy magazine's "Top 100 Global Thinkers," and Newsweek's top 10 "Women in Leadership," she has been featured by media outlets as diverse as the New York Times, Washington Post, ForbesWoman, Glamour, O Magazine, National Public Radio, CNN and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She has also authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and social justice.

Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University. She is board certified in pediatrics. Her contributions have been honored with awards from Columbia University, Barnard College, Spelman College, Bryn Mawr College, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the U.S. Public Health Service and AARP, among others. She has received 13 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.

* Dr. Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu

Dr. Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu, chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County CA and president of Bennet Omalu Pathology, was the sixth of seven children of a civil engineer and a seamstress in Nigeria. A shy but gifted student with a fertile imagination, he was admitted to the Federal Government College at age 12 and began medical school at the University of Nigeria at age 16.

After earning his degree, Dr. Omalu was accepted into a visiting scholar program at the University of Washington in 1994. He then served his residency at Harlem Hospital Center, where he developed his interest in pathology. In 1999, he moved to Pittsburgh to train under noted pathologist Cyril Wecht at the Allegheny County Coroner's Office. He continued his education at the University of Pittsburgh, completing a fellowship in neuropathology in 2002 and a master's in public health and epidemiology in 2004.

While working at the coroner's office, Dr. Omalu examined the body of Mike Webster, a former pro football player with the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, who had displayed patterns of distressing behavior before his death from a heart attack at age 50. After careful examination of the brain, he discovered clumps of tau proteins similar to a degenerative disease documented decades earlier in boxers, though it had yet to be connected to football players. Dr. Omalu named the condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy and submitted a paper titled "Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player" to the medical journal Neurosurgery.

Following publication in 2005, Dr. Omalu was informed that the NFL's Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) Committee was demanding a retraction. Undaunted he pressed forward with his examination of Terry Long, another former football player who had committed suicide at age 45, and discovered the same buildup. His follow-up paper to Neurosurgery was published in 2006. The NFL attempted to discredit Dr. Omalu's research as "flawed" and refused to acknowledge a link between the sport and the brain damage in former players. However he scored a victory when Mike Webster's family was awarded a significant settlement in late 2006. Later NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell convened a "concussion summit" to discuss the issue with league doctors and independent researchers, although Dr. Omalu was not invited to participate.

Dr. Omalu moved to California in the 2007 to begin his new position as chief medical examiner of San Joaquin County, though he continued his post-graduate education at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University and earned his MBA in 2008. That year, he also published his first book, Play Hard, Die Young: Football Dementia, Depression, and Death, and he advanced the study of CTE by branching out to athletes from other sports and war veterans.

By 2009, Dr. Omalu's exhaustive work on the subject began to bear fruit. He was profiled in a September issue of GQ, which detailed his efforts to raise awareness of football-related brain injuries and the NFL's refusal to cooperate. Commissioner Goodell and other NFL executives were soon called to testify before a House Judiciary Committee, sparking an overhaul of the MTBI and rule changes to enhance safety, as well as a lawsuit brought forth by thousands of former players against the NFL.

Dr. Omalu's story eventually reached the hands of Hollywood power player Ridley Scott, who released a feature film starring actor Will Smith. The release of Concussion served as the ultimate vindication for years of hard work, and provided a spotlight for other endeavors.

* Dr. Gilda A. Barabino ’78

Dr. Barabino is Berg Professor and Dean of The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY). She holds appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering and the Sophie Davis School of Medicine.

She is a noted investigator in the areas of sickle cell disease, cellular and tissue engineering, and race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering. She consults nationally and internationally on STEM education and research, diversity in higher education, policy, workforce development and faculty development.

Prior to joining CCNY, she served as Associate Chair for Graduate Studies and Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory. At Georgia Tech she also served as the inaugural Vice Provost for Academic Diversity. Prior to her appointments at Georgia Tech and Emory, she rose to the rank of Full Professor of Chemical Engineering and served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Northeastern University.

Dr. Barabino received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1978 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rice University. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES).

She was the Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer for 2012-2014 and is the recipient of numerous awards including the BMES Diversity Award, the BMES Distinguished Service Award, the American Society for Engineering Education/Dow Outstanding Faculty Award, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Minority Affairs Committee Distinguished Service and Eminent Chemical Engineers Awards. She is the Immediate Past-President of BMES and is the President-Elect of AIMBE. She serves on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Advisory Board and directs the NSF Minority Faculty Development Workshop.

Dr. Barabino has decades of experience in leading initiatives for women and minority faculty and students and is the founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity.

* Mr. Michael M. Rue

Mr. Rue is the President and CEO of Marketplace Properties, a commercial real estate development and management company located in Anaheim, CA. He has served in this capacity for over 31 years. Also, he is co-owner of Common Areas, a real estate and facilities management software company.

He is also a partner in The Bruery, a family owned Belgium-style craft beer company  located in Orange County CA. The company was started by his son, Patrick.

Mr. Rue has served on the Xavier University of Louisiana Board of Trustees since 2005. He is currently chairman.

A licensed California real estate broker and a member of the California State Bar, Mr. Rue has previously served as the Executive Vice President of Westar Associates, a company engaged in the acquisition, development and management of real estates including neighborhood, community and freeway shopping centers, apartments, self-storage and hotels. He also served as the Assistant General Counsel of Vons Grocery Company, a division of Safeway, Inc., the second largest supermarket chain in southern California.

Other affiliations include: Vistage, which helps CEOs and companies improve and grow their businesses through peer advisory groups and sharing experiences businesses performances would improve; the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); the Worldbed Project, organization that delivers cot-sized mattresses to places that have suffered with disasters; and the Donor-Hunger Project Initiative. Mr. Rue is also a member of the Loyola Marymount University Board of Regents.

In 1969, he received a B.B.A. degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University and in 1979 he received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School (Los Angeles CA).

Xavier University of Louisiana Names Gia Soublet Vice President for Institutional Advancement

New Orleans LA (March 28, 2016) – Xavier University of Louisiana announced today that Gia Soublet has been named Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Ms. Soublet’s appointment was made by President Dr. C. Reynold Verret with enthusiastic support of the University’s Board of Trustees.

“I am pleased to appoint Ms. Soublet to this important role within the University,” said President Verret. “For nearly a decade she has successfully guided fundraising efforts at Xavier and more than proven her ability to lead in the position. Furthermore, as an alumna, Ms. Soublet embodies Xavier’s mission and values, and she has the experience, ideas, and leadership abilities to advance the University’s goals.”

gia soublet
Gia Soublet


Ms. Soublet, who has served the same position in an interim basis since July 2015, oversees the operations of the University’s Development, Alumni Relations, and Media Relations offices. “I am honored to have been appointed to this position at my alma mater,” said Soublet. “With a deep appreciation for Xavier’s rich history and tradition, I will be working to support President Verret’s inspired vision for the University’s future.”

Ms. Soublet has more than 20 years of successful development and fundraising experience, including serving at Xavier as Assistant Vice President in Institutional Advancement since 2007, where she cultivated and stewarded corporate and foundation partnerships and managed a pool of individuals and alumni. Previously she served at United Way for Greater New Orleans, where she won numerous national participation and goal achievement awards, and at Dillard University, where served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

A 1991 graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, Ms. Soublet also holds a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Phoenix.

Xavier Offers Six Academic Summer Programs for High School Students

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will host seven opportunities for middle school and high school students to enrich their academic and social development this summer.

With pre-collegiate programs ranging from science to math, students will be able to explore an area of interest on a deeper level through in-class discussions, laboratory experiences, and cultural explorations in an exciting, but rigorous, academic setting. As part of the learning experience at Xavier, students will enhance their high school career and get a jump start on college life.

Programs being offered this summer include the Summer Science Academy STAR programs (BioStar, ChemStar, and MathStar), Stress on Analytical Reasoning (SOAR), the Center of Excellence Program, The Future Math and Stem Teachers (FMSTA) program, and the Mardi Gras Indiana Arts Program.

Summer programs are hosted by various departments who are committed to and have resources to engage and provide opportunities for interested high school students. Programs are grant funded and may differ every summer. Certain programs may not be open for general application.

For more information contact or call (504) 520-5264.

Summer Science Academy STAR Programs is a part of the STEM Institute Program and host three module programs. These programs are aimed at middle school and high school students who have expressed an interest in science careers. Designed to enhance knowledge of the subject matter prior to the student taking the course in middle school or high school, the three-week curriculum is engaging and thought provoking.

The STAR programs are:

  • BioStar          June 07-24    1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
  • ChemStar      July 05-22     1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
  • MathStar       June 06-24     9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

SOAR: Stress On Analytical Reasoning is a three-week residential program that prepares rising high school seniors in analytical reasoning and provides early exposure to science and health careers. A limited number of on-campus housing is available for SOAR participants living outside of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. Scheduled dates are July 03-22.

Center of Excellence is a four-week enrichment program designed to grant high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors interested in pharmacy a broader perspective of the academic requirements and exposure to various career opportunities in pharmacy. The academic objective is to reinforce math and science concepts learned throughout the school year and introduce new content material.  Dates are June 6 - July 1.

is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education program for high school freshmen and sophomores. FMSTA's vision promotes and supports students, teachers and scientists to collaborate on inquiry-based investigations of the environment and the earth system, working in close partnership with NASA and NSF Earth's environment. Dates are July 11-22.

Mardi Gras Indians Arts Program is an eight-week summer program designed for students, ages 11-15, to study the unique New Orleans African American tradition of masking for Mardi Gras as “Indians.” They will practice the traditions and explore the creative process of designing and sewing a Mardi Gras Indian suit. Students are introduced to the traditional dress styles of Native Americans as a baseline for comparative analysis of the elaborately worked suits of the Mardi Gras Indians. They also study African-Caribbean Indian masking styles and performance traditions. Dates are June 6-July 28.

Old Fire, New Flame:  Mardi Gras Indians and Afro-New Orleans Cultural Groups

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana’s Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities, Dr. Michael White ’76, will revisit his Culture of New Orleans series March 31 with the program, “Old Fire, New Flame: Mardi Gras Indians and Afro-New Orleans Cultural Groups”.

Featured will be a panel consisting of several prominent tribal leaders discussing the history of the Mardi Gras Indians, newer and more African based revisions of the tradition, as well as several other topics related to this important and often misunderstood aspect of New Orleans' unique cultural history.

There will also be a musical demonstration of Indian and Afro-New Orleans songs and chants. Featured panelists will include Big Chief Donald Harrison of the Congo Nation, Big Chief Howard Miller of the Creole Wild West, Big Chief Darryl Montana of the Yellow Pocahantas, Big Queen Cherise Harrison-Nelson of the Guardians of the Flame and Victor Harris (Fi-Yi-Yi) of the Mandingo Warriors.

The program will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the XU University Center Ballroom ( 3rd floor). The program is free and open to the public. For more information contact Bernadette Cheri at 520-7525.

Alumni Author’s Children’s Book Celebrates Love, Xavier

(New Orleans LA) - Given that he is neither married nor has children of his own, Farai Caldwell ’11 would seem an unlikely choice to pen a children’s book entitled, Mommy and Daddy Met at XULA. And yet ...

Just recently published through his own company, Farai Art, the book follows the story of two Xavier lovebirds as told through the eyes of their beautiful daughter. Mommy and Daddy Met at XULA celebrates the special love that Xavier University of Louisiana graduates have for their alma mater and also helps to familiarize children with college at an early age.

“It’s a beautiful story about love and HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). I wrote this book because of my many friends who were XULA sweethearts,” said Caldwell. “I wanted the Xavier community to have something special that they could share with their children. I think this work is important because it introduces children to college and a positive representation of love.”


Mommy & Daddy Met at XULA - Farai Caldwell


Wonderfully illustrated and set in the backdrop of New Orleans and the Xavier campus, the book provides a wonderfully authentic experience for alumni and student readers. The book is available at his website,

This is not the first rodeo for Caldwell, a skillful writer who has previously published another children’s book, Tolani’s Hair, this one based off the childhood experience of a close friend, as well as a book of literary fiction, Black Lives Matter: A Collection of Short Stories, which covers different sociocultural topics familiar to the African American Community.

Caldwell, who was among the Xavier 40 Under 40 Award recipients at Homecoming 2015, also holds a law degree from Loyola University in addition to his undergraduate degree from Xavier. He said that although he originally wanted to be a diplomat (he worked for a time in a U.S. Embassy) and later taught in a high school, he has found his real calling through his writing and art. He maintains his passion for teaching however, hence he also runs a Langston Hughes poetry workshop in Atlanta, which encourages children to express themselves through poetic art. He says his own writings are largely influenced by his upbringing in Atlanta GA and his university time spent in New Orleans.

“I think it is very important for our community to have ownership of ideas and talent,” said Caldwell. “I am a firm believer that our narratives are our own to have and share if we choose to.”

Next up is a fourth book, Black Kids, an illustrated poem that celebrates Black children in positive spaces and in a positive light. “I would like to say I am a servant of the community,” he said. “I will do many things in this life.”

Xavier IBCS Presents A Dialogue in Black & Brown

New Orleans LA – The Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier University of Louisiana will present its second annual Sister Eva Regina Martin, S.S.F. Ph.D. Lecture,  "A Dialogue in Black and Brown”, April 06 at 7:00 p.m. in the Qatar Pavilion Auditorium.

Established to promote and address theological and cultural issues relevant to the African American Catholic community in particular and the greater African American community in general, the lecture series will be held annually near the anniversary of Sister Eva’s passing as a memorial in tribute to her dedication to the IBCS and her commitment to theological and cultural scholarship.

Featured speakers at this year’s event are Dr. Shawnee Daniels-Sykes, S.S.N.D., a theology professor at Mount Mary University, who will speak on "Death Shrines as Memorial Acclamations: Black Lives Matter, Gone but not Forgotten", and Dr. Jeremy Cruz, a theology professor at St. John's University, who will lecture on "Recognizing the Brutalized Image of God: Latino Racism, Undocumented Blacks, and Empire's Collateral Damage".

The lecture is free and open to the public. There will be a reception following. R.S.V.P.s are requested to (504) 520-7691.

Daniels-Sykes, an associate professor of theology and ethics at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee WI, holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Marquette University. A registered nurse, Sister Shawnee combines her passions for health care andservice to God and the Church in her research and teaching on bioethics. Her Marquette dissertation was on Roman Catholic social bioethics and fetal tissue research, and her work has resulted in a number of articles and both scholarly and community-wide presentations. She also serves as an adjunct assistant professor of theology at the IBCS and has been active in the Black Catholic Theological Symposium. Known in the Milwaukee community for her service, she has received several awards for this service. Also loved by her students, Daniel-Sykes has been nominated for the Teaching Excellence Award at Mount Mary.

Cruz, an assistant professor of theological ethics at St. John’s University in Queens NY, holds a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Boston College, where he wrote a dissertation on the theme of social equality in recent Catholic social thought. His research interests are at the intersection of Christian theology, labor studies and egalitarian moral theory. A family member of former agricultural workers, his research focuses on the relationships between labor conditions, race, and state citizenship. These personal and scholarly concerns are reflected in his current research on the ethical dimensions of farm labor systems in Florida and New York. Cruz has worked previously as a lay ecclesial minister in his home state of California and as a faith-based community organizer.

The event is named for the late Sister Eva Regina Martin, S.S.F. Ph.D., who served as director of the IBCS for director for six years (1997-2003) and who also served on the faculty. Sister Eva entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family founded by Venerable Henriette Delille in 1959. During her life as a consecrated religious, Sr. Eva Regina served the people of God as an educator, catechist and retreat director. In 1994 she earned her Ph.D. in African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1995 she joined the faculty of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies, later being named her Director in 1997. She served as the IBCS Director until the Sisters of the Holy Family elected her as Superior General in 2003. She served as Superior General of the Sisters of the Holy Family until her death on in 2014.

Xavier Division of Education Offers Unique Science and Math Summer Program

(New Orleans) – Xavier University of Louisiana’s Division of Education and Counseling is offering a unique science and math summer program, targeting high school students, particularly minorities who are excelling academically, and who want to pursue a teaching career in the field.

“There is such a high demand for math and science teachers in middle and high schools,” said Ahdija Baker Donatto, summer program director and Xavier’s Lead Mentor of the Master’s of Art Teaching Program. “We’re trying to introduce students at an early age about the importance of becoming a teacher specifically in this area.”

The two-week program called Future Mathematics and Science Teacher Academy (FMSTA ) runs from July 11 to the 22, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 12 pm on the campus of Xavier University.  Participants can expect one-on-one training, as well as hands-on experience with laboratory experiments while learning scientific measurements and techniques used in the fields of environmental sciences. The courses are taught by two middle school science teachers.

Statistically, women and African Americans are less likely to earn STEM degrees for a number of complex reasons such as economics, stereotypes, discouragement and wrong perceptions of what math and science are all about.  Xavier’s program is designed to dispel those myths associated with STEM and boost interest in an area that is wide open for minorities.

FMSTA began in 2009. Since its inception, nearly 200 promising and bright students have participated. “The program is the best I’ve ever, ever been too,” said a Benjamin Franklin High School student who participated in the summer program in 2015. “It is super fun and I absolutely love building and creating different things every day. It keeps you looking forward to tomorrow.”The cost of the program is $35. Seats are limited to 30. Mainly ninth and 10th graders who are in good academic standing are eligible. Students are responsible for their travel and personal expenses.

To register, visit the website at: . For questions, email or call the Division of Education and Counseling at 504-520-7536.

Budding Xavier Student Novelist Comes Out of the Shadows

New Orleans LA - Up until very recently, Leah Labat, a senior art/psychology major at Xavier University of Louisiana, would just as soon have remained as shadowy a figure as the main antagonist in her first illustrated novel, The Sanguinarian Id. But the growing popularity of the book, which was published in early January 2016 under the pen-name of L. M. Labat, has pretty much rendered that option impractical. In fact, she’ll make a rather dramatic public literary debut this March 20 when she hosts her very-first art & book signing from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the National World War II Museum’s Stage Door Canteen. As the novel is set during the World War II era – with much of the action taking place in Nazi Germany itself – the Museum provides the perfect venue for her “coming out” party.

Published by Night to Dawn Magazine & Books LLC, The Sanguinarian Id is now available in paperback and in eBook form through both Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. Well-written and meticulously researched, it contains no less than 22 lavishly-rendered illustrations – including the cover – by the author herself. In just a few short weeks the book has already garnered numerous five-star reviews on both of those commercial sites, as well as on such reader-recommendation sites as The novel definitely ports elements of all six of the genres it is listed under, which includes horror, historical fiction, crime thriller, mystery, and the occult. The story itself chronicles the quest of a female dhampir [e.g. a hybrid of one human and one vampire parent] to discover the secrets of her own origin and to take vengeance upon the madman she believes responsible for her fearful transformation. Along the way she battles several other species of vampires, assorted ruffians, mad doctors, and Nazi soldiers, not to mention her own sanity.


Although it is illustrated, make no mistake: The Sanguinarian Id is no children’s book. It takes a rather dark and foreboding look at the darker side of humanity – albeit in a fictional world – while delivering a steady-dose of death, violence, abuse, and sexual references in its 242 pages. In many ways the tone of 22-year-old Leah’s novel is not all that surprising, given that segments of author’s own life have been almost as “dark” as the novel itself. Although obviously not an autobiography, you sense that she shares much in common with Hael, the heroine of her story. "I never knew what it was like to have a childhood,” recalled Leah. “I learned at a young age that life can be cruel, unfair, and full of broken promises. But, just because these things are real, it doesn't mean that a person can't manifest their ambitions or dreams into reality.”

At a very young age Leah was the victim of domestic abuse and came face-to-face with several life-threatening events. Later she suffered with a severe case of chronic plaque psoriasis. As a result, over the years she has endured an endless series of nightmares. Through it all she sought and found solace by absorbing herself in music, art, and literature. She thrived in music while at De La Salle High School high school – a clarinetist, she won several awards and performed at Carnegie Hall with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra – but by her senior year she found herself gravitating more towards writing and drawing. In fact, she had already begun drafting what would evolve into The Sanguinarian Id.



The Sanguinarian Id - Leah Labat

Although Leah exudes confidence in her own abilities, she is quick to give credit to several mentors for helping her to hone her raw artistic and literary talents: De La Salle High School teacher David Pierson for giving her a firm foundation in the English language; XU psychology professor Dr. Charles Gramlich for teaching her fictional and scientific writing techniques as well as providing invaluable guidance in navigating through the protocol and regulations of the literary world; and XU art professor Ron Bechet and others for helping to refine her illustrative skills.

“I first met Leah when she took my writing in psychology course. She was already interested in writing fiction by that time, and we talked quite a lot outside of class that semester about writing, both fiction and nonfiction,” recounted Gramlich. “In the spring of 2015, Leah came to me with a completed manuscript. I read the book and made some minor suggestions, but it was very well polished already.”

"I’ve seen the final product now and it’s quite impressive,” he said. “It’s not a comic book or graphic novel, but illustrated by Leah herself with impressive images that capture the characters and feel of the work. It takes me back to the days when I was reading such illustrated classics as Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe.”

From his perspective in the Art Department, Bechet agrees. “Leah is an excellent ambitious and motivated student,” he said. “She looks to expand on information and turn it into knowledge she can use to share with others. I enjoy her drive and the joy she takes in seeking information.”

Enthusiasts of the novel will be pleased to know Leah is presently putting the finishing touches on her second book, an already much-awaited sequel to The Sanguinarian Id. In fact, she says she has already written drafts for four additional books for the series. As befitting a “college student by day and a writer by night”, Leah, who is already a featured artist of the HBCU/Links Showcase at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art as well as other galleries and who was recently named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, is also busily preparing for her upcoming senior art showcase, which will feature her unique skills utilizing several different types of media. She graduates in May. From there – given her variety of talents, her level of confidence, and her steadfast determination – her horizons seem endless. “If you want something, you have to work smart and be savvy about your project. Very few people will help you, and many will try to destroy you,” said Leah. “I hope my books, art, and overall presence within the literary and art world can help others who were abused and an outcast like me realize that their voice, their creations, and their life matters.”

“I don't care how hard it is. I don't care how long it takes,” she added. “If you want something to happen, do it, because death is certain."

Dr. Reynold Verret Installed as New Xavier President

New Orleans LA - Welcoming all gathered to “a summit overlooking our tomorrow to which by grace we have been called”, Dr. C. Reynold Verret was officially installed as Xavier University of Louisiana’s sixth president during an historical Investiture ceremony held this past Friday.

The Investiture was attended by an enthusiastic mix of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the XU Board of Trustees as well as a long list of dignitaries, including Haiti Ambassador to the U.S. Paul Altidor, U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond, and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Also participating were representatives from the Xavier Board of Trustees (led by Chairman Michael Rues), the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (led by Sister Donna Breslin), and nearly 50 delegates from other colleges and universities across the U.S.

During the investiture, Verret, who has actually been on the job since July 2015, spoke at length about Xavier’s important historical mission, legacy, and illustrious past. He also addressed the future, and challenged all stakeholders to be ready to embrace the changes that will be necessary.

“Since its founding, Xavier has responded to the needs of the times. Throughout its history, this university has welcomed change …,” he said. “… No matter how hard we strain our eyes, though, we can little perceive the challenges of the next decade and thereafter.  Surely as Xavierites before met the tests of their changing times, though, today’s Xavierites will be ready.”

* Click HERE for complete text of speech
* Click HERE for video replay of the Investiture
* Click HERE for Verret biographical video

“Faithful to our history as Black and Catholic and open to the world, we will continue to educate students for the highest levels of achievement,” he said. “We will redouble our efforts to craft educational programs and offerings to be responsive to the evolving needs of society. We will broaden our outreach to welcome others who Mother Katharine might today find are in need of the exceptional education we offer. We will educate and be a gift to the world.”

During the ceremony, Verret was robed with appropriate Xavier academic regalia and took his oath of office. He was also presented with received several symbolic items, including the Chain of Command medallion, the University Mace, and the Xavier Seal.The Investiture climaxed a week-long series of inauguration activities which also included a Student’s First event, a student theatrical performance, a Mass, and a luncheon. A Black History Month convocation, also scheduled, had to be cancelled due to severe weather.

XU Art Collection Selected to Participate in National Museum Assessment Program

New Orleans, LA – The Art Collection of Xavier University of Louisiana has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP).  Through guided self-study and on-site consultation with a museum professional, participation in MAP will empower Xavier to better serve the citizens of New Orleans by facilitating its meeting and exceeding the highest professional standards of the museum field.  The program is funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and throughout its 30 years has been administered by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). As part of the IMLS National Leadership program, MAP advances best practices and fosters improvement in museums.  MAP is a self-motivated program; application to and participation in MAP is initiated by each local institution, and those accepted invest considerable human and institutional resources into the assessment.

Focusing on Xavier’s extensive collection of African and African-American art and artifacts, this program brings together a consortium of participants from various areas within the University’s leadership. It will further the University’s mission of service to the community, both in the Greater New Orleans region and beyond. “The collection is comprised of truly exceptional pieces, and with M.A.P., we hope to determine the best way to bring it to a wider audience,” says Collection manager and registrar Daniele Gair.

MAP is a confidential process of self-study, peer review and implementation.  Museums use the assessment process to strengthen operations, build capacity, and enhance communication throughout the organization and in response to community needs.  Participant museums choose one of three categories for its assessment: Collections Stewardship Organizational, Community Engagement. The Xavier Art Collection will take part in the Collection Stewardship assessment process.  Small and mid-sized museums of all types, including art, history, science and technology, children’s, natural history, historic houses, nature centers, botanical gardens, and zoos participate in the program. “Choosing to be part of the MAP program is indicative of the commitment to civic involvement, public service and overall excellence on the part of Xavier,” said Laura Lott, president of AAM. “Studies have shown America’s museums to be among the country’s most trusted and valued institutions. MAP is designed to make them even better.”

Since its creation in 1981, the MAP program has served over 4,300 museums. MAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with IMLS. For more information, including a complete list of museums participating in MAP, please visit, call 202/289-9118 or e-mail  AAM is the only organization representing the nation’s entire museum community and has been dedicated to promoting excellence within the museum field for over 100 years. For more information about AAM, visit The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. To learn more about the Institute, please visit:

The Art Collection at Xavier comprises some of the most extraordinary works by African and African American artists in the world.  Comprised of the Blanche and Norman C. Francis Collection, the Bishop Moses Anderson Collection, Audreon Bratton Collection, and the Brandywine Collection, the Collection is a major repository of work by legendary sculptor and printmaker John T. Scott, who led the Art Department for 40 years, as well as many of his students and protégés including Martin Payton, Ron Bechet, MaPo Kinnord-Payton, Kimberley Dummons and others. It also houses important works by artists across the African diaspora, from West African ceremonial artifacts to masterpieces by artists such as Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett. For more information, contact Daniele Gair at 504-520-5387, or visit the website,

Chaka Khan Headlines 3rd Annual UNCF New Orleans Mayor’s Masked Ball

      New Orleans LA – UNCF’s (United Negro College Fund) New Orleans Area Office and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will host the third annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball on Saturday, March 12 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Emceed by Kevin Frazier, Co-Host of Entertainment Tonight, the event brings together more than 800 business, civic and education leaders in support of UNCF’s work in providing area students the resources to get to and through college. Presidents from two of the 37 private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that UNCF supports will also be in attendance: Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough of Dillard University and Dr. Reynold Verret of Xavier University of Louisiana.

Ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan will provide entertainment for this signature fundraising event. Known for hits such as “I’m Every Woman,” “Through the Fire” and “I Feel for You,” the legendary Queen of Funk has a career that spans over four decades. In 2011, UNCF recognized her contributions to music and education with the Award of Excellence, UNCF’s highest honor, at the 32nd UNCF An Evening of Stars®.

“We are elated to have long-time UNCF friend and supporter Chaka Khan provide entertainment this year, and we’re grateful for the continued support of Mayor Landrieu and the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. We are guaranteed an electrifying evening in The Big Easy, as we bring supporters and stakeholders together to invest in Better Futures®,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., President and CEO, UNCF. “A true testament of our mission is Entertainment Tonight co-host and proud HBCU graduate and advocate, Kevin Frazier, serving as emcee; an example of our dividends becoming the next generation of leaders.”

"I'm delighted to be part of one of the city's premier events," said Frazier, Hampton University alumnus. "The importance of today's UNCF cannot be overstated. The mission continues and so does the need for on-going financial support. This is going to be a great party, but it's also a fantastic way to invest in the dreams and ambitions of some very talented young people. "

The event will be co-chaired by Hyatt Regency New Orleans General Manager, Michael O. Smith, and President and General Manager of WDSU-TV, Joel Vilmenay. William Goldring, Chairman of Sazerac Company and Crescent Crown Company, will receive the Masked Award for his dedication and support of UNCF’s work. This year’s Presenting Sponsors include: LCMC Health and Ochsner Health System; Marquis Sponsors: Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Entergy, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Flower, and Mr. & Mrs. Alan Leventhal; and media sponsor WDSU-TV.

"I am honored to have two of our city’s largest healthcare institutions come together to support this valuable initiative. The joint support of Ochsner and LCMC will not only allow hundreds of local students to remain in college, but through internships and development opportunities, will further enhance our efforts to grow and retain top talent here in New Orleans,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. The event will feature a VIP Reception, silent auction, 2016 Nissan Maxima Car raffle donated by Supreme Automotive, and dinner provided by award-winning celebrity chefs including: Chef Leah Chase, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, 2016 Recipient of the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award; Chef Alon Shay, Shaya Restaurant, James Beard Award Recipient; and Stephen Stryjewski, James Beard Award Recipient; and Host Chef Eric Damidot of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. For sponsorship or ticket information, please contact:

Pharmacy Hosts Ninth Annual Health Disparities Conference

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy's Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, Research and Education will host its ninth Health Disparities Conference Feb. 29 – March 02 at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

Conference participants will include clinicians (pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, and allied health professionals), health policy makers, researchers, health educators, public and community health leaders, and students whose work incorporates the use of multidisciplinary partnerships to build collaborations to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity. Headlining the conference agenda will the John Ruffin Lecture Series Tuesday (March) 1 at 11:45 a.m. This year’s featured speaker is Dr. David Satcher, the founding Director and Senior Advisor for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

The objectives for the conference, titled From Disparity to Equity: Building Healthier Communities, are to: Identify resources to build on community resiliency and partnerships by capitalizing on the community's strength and resources to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity; Develop and evaluate evidence-based solutions that are driven by social, economic, policy, scientific, clinical and environmental factors; Assess the needs of a diverse workforce in building healthier communities; and Discuss the role of population health in research and interventions.

For more info, including the complete schedule of events, visit HERE.

Explore Xavier at Feb. 18 Open House

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will host its annual Open House for prospective students, parents, and counselors Feb. 18 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
     The Open House gives students and their parents the opportunity to learn about admissions, majors and fields of study, financial aid, scholarships, and student life. Attendees should go to the University Center’s McCaffrey Ballroom (third floor) to begin. Campus tours will be available throughout the evening. For more info call 504-520-7388 or email

YMTF Welcomes African American Professionals

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana Office of Career Services will sponsor its annual Youth Motivation Task Force Program (YMTF) February 21-23.
     This program will bring to campus a team of 55 African American professionals from a variety of career fields including business, government, pharmacy, medicine, public relations, law, math, sports, military, non-profit, education, and health sciences. In addition to the classroom sessions, students will have the opportunity to interact with the consultants during a panel on "Careers in the Sciences" as well as a Speed Networking session on Feb. 22. The Monday events are open to all students.
     Among the 55 consultants scheduled to participate, 31 are alumni. Visit HERE for a list of consultants. Sponsors of the program include the United States Marine Corps, the United States Coast Guard, Enterprise Holdings and the Southern University Law Center.

Division of Education Open House Feb. 1

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana Division of Education and Counseling invites all prospective candidates for any its graduate programs to an Open House Feb. 17 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Library Resource Center 5th Floor. For more info contact Dr. Renee Akbar at or 520-7536.

XU Alum Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in Classical Music

New Orleans LA – Dr. Wilfred Delphin, Xavier University of Louisiana’s prol ific and accomplished classical pianist, received The Gambit Weekly’s lifetime achievement award in classical music. The paper’s foundation for entertainment development and education made the presentation to Delphin and others for outstanding performances in classical music, opera and dance Jan. 26 in New Orleans. Delphin is best known for his performances with the late Edwin Romain, a partnership once described as a dynamic duo of Bach and Beethoven. The Xavier alumnus (’71) is now an artist in residence and professor of music at his alma mater.
     Delphin’s musical career has taken him to the White House where he performed for President Jimmy Carter and other dignitaries at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and overseas to Europe, South America and Asia. He has received a number of awards from the National Endowment of the Arts as well as the Baldwin Piano Company as a ‘celebrated artist.’ He remains active performing regularly at Xavier, with many of the areas’ finest vocal soloists, the Patriotic Children’s Choir, and the popular ensemble, Opera Creole.

Pharmacy Student Receives MLK Service Award

New Orleans LA - Chandler Schexnayder, a Xavier University of Louisiana P3 pharmacy student from Patterson LA (Patterson High), was honored for his community service during the 30th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Week for Peace Celebration Convocation.
     Schexnayder, a regular volunteer for the Men on the Move (a male mentor program for high school students), has also coordinated several community-wide health fairs and outreach programs addressing the health needs within the African American community. As an officer of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Collegiate 100 Black Men, and Student Government Association, he has planned and participated in numerous academic and social events. He also created the XULA Male Guide (guide focused on retention rates of African Americans males), which evolved into the University-recognized student organization Project E.A.T. (Evaluate Attack Triumph). He has also served as president of St. Michael’s Residence Hall.
     Schexnayder 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 event.

Kwame Rose Address Opens MLK Jr., Week for Peace Celebration

New Orleans LA - Social activist, hip-hop artist, blogger, and motivational speaker Kwame Rose will deliver the keynote address during the 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace celebration Jan. 20-23. The address will serve as the kickoff for MLK Week, an annual joint collaboration between Xavier, Tulane, Loyola, and Dillard Universities. Additional events scheduled for the week include an Expressions of Unity and Step Off for the Dream in the Xavier University Center Friday (Jan. 22) at 7:00 and a volunteer service day Saturday (Jan. 23) which will get underway at 8:00 a.m. in the Loyola Residential Quad. All events are free and the public is invited to participate.
     Rose is best known for having boldly held mainstream media, particularly Geraldo Rivera of Fox News, accountable for its inaccurate representation of protestors during the Baltimore Uprising. He has been featured on countless national and international media outlets and is emerging as a sought out public speaker whose talks focus on justice issues. At just 21 years old, Kwame has emerged as a leader, community organizer, and motivator for youth advocacy. His passion for public speaking once earned him a full scholarship to the University of Texas San Antonio as a member of the debate team. While there, he advocated for hip-hop infused education. After the completion of his freshman year, Kwame returned to his hometown of Baltimore to serve his community. He continues to fight for social justice through his music, as well as through a recent partnership with international artist Zakee Kuduro. After having served on the executive board of Brothers In Action, Inc., a mentoring group for young Black males in Baltimore City, for several years, Kwame is currently developing his own youth based advocacy group called V.O.I.C.E.S. (Vocalizing Our Intelligence Creating Effective Solutions).
      For more info, contact Deon Ridgell at 520-5450.

Presidential Inauguration Scheduled for Feb. 22-26 at XULA

New Orleans LA - The inauguration events leading to and including the investiture of new Xavier University of Louisiana President Dr. C. Reynold Verret have been scheduled for Feb. 22-26.
     Inauguration week will include six events, including a student celebration, Black History Month convocation, a Mass and reception, a student performance, the investiture, and a following luncheon. The investiture of Xavier’s the sixth (and second lay) president will take place Feb. 26 at 11:00 a.m. in the Convocation Center. He officially took office July 01, 2015. All events are open to the public, although seating may be limited. Visit for more details.

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