Marketing & Communications

TMAX - April 2016

Volume 47 Issue 04
This Week:

McKinsey CEO to Address 2016 Graduates
Six Summer Academic Programs Open

IBCS Presents a Dialogue in Black & Brown
Alumni Author’s Book Celebrates Love, Xavier


Among the students initiated into the Alpha Lambda Delta freshman academic honor society were (L-R) Kaylin Thomas, Nicarra Bailey, Jasmin Bethune, Ayodele Okunrinboye, and Mariam Carter, who proudly displayed their certificates and Dean’s List caps.

The Xavier community turned out in force to package more than 10,000 meals to feed families across the globe during a “Meal Packaging Party” sponsored by the Center for Student Leadership and Service.

Leah Labat, a senior art/psychology major, signs a copy of her first illustrated novel, The Sanguinarian Id, during an art and book signing held at the National World War II Museum’s Stage Door Canteen.

Student co-authors (L-R) Kyjeila Latimer and Nia James flank psychology professor Dr. Elliott Hammer at the Society for Personality & Social Psychology Conference in San Diego CA, where they presented their research, "Ingroup Shame Produces Vicarious Stereotype Threat".

Panelists (L-R) journalist Jewel Bush, Dr. Mimi Shippers (Tulane), Dr. Trimiko Melancon (Loyola), and Dr. Tyra Gross (XU Public Health) discussed contemporary issues facing young African American women during an Women’s History Month event sponsored by XU’s Women's Studies program.

XU RCMI and Center of Excellence (COE) students and professors presented their cancer research before the 10th AACR-JCA Joint Conference Maui H, including (L-R) Anthony Poché, Kiera Broussard, Dr. Christopher Williams, Dr. Shawn Lopis, and Chandler Schexnayder.

Atlanta Alumni Chapter members of the Class of 1966 (L-R) Scott Ponder, Markesha Winn Daniel, Tasha Merritt, and Anthony Outland  display their Xavier pride at the 7th annual St. Katharine Drexel Brunch.

Campus Ministry's Fr. Etido Jerome SSJ blesses Xavier’s St. Joseph Altar.

French actor/director Jacques Martial, president of the Memorial ACTe slave trade museum in Guadeloupe, speaks to a campus audience at an event sponsored by the XU Center for Intercultural and International Programs.

Dr. Sarah Clunis, Director of African American & Diaspora Studies, talks to her class about the Haitian revolution using images in Xavier’s  new Art Gallery, located on the first floor of the Administration Building (formerly the Chapel).

Dr. Norman Francis ‘52, President Emeritus, accepts the 2016 CLCU Trailblazer Award from Dr. David Landry, President of CLCU, during the 77th Annual Conference of Louisiana Colleges and Universities.

pharmacy ballRoyalty takes center stage at the College of Pharmacy Coronation Ball: Miss COP Kayrah Jack and Mr. COP Leon Burgess, along with Bria Wates, Hakim Jamison, Jasmine Young, Gerald "JT" Guirard, Monique Guidry, Kinney Murphy, Erica Olivier, and Philipe Gilchrist. Also on hand is Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, Dean.

rebuildDr. Wendy Gaudin's Freshman Seminar class volunteering with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.

feed the homelessMSA members Eman Al-Bassisi, Ahlam Ayyad, Abbas Raza, Alaa Elsayed, Nada Halum, Dr. Fahamina Ahmed, and Dr. Sara Al-Dahir join in for a Feed the Homeless Project.



Dr. Helene Gayle


Dr. Bennet Omalu


Dr. Gilda Barabino


Michael Rue


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’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. -more-


Xavier  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. -more-


The Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier 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.


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 graduates have for their alma mater and also helps to familiarize children with college at an early age.

Farai Caldwell

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 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.”

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.”



* Jessica Carmon, a sophomore biology major from Humble TX (Summer Creek High) has been accepted into the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at Rochester School of Medicine and the SMART Program at Baylor College of Medicine.

* Jeremiah Davis, a senior biology/premed major from Ama LA (Hahnville High), has been accepted into the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson University.

* Robert Freter, a sophomore biology/premed major from Ann Arbor MI (Pioneer High), has been accepted into the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at University of Rochester.

* Whitney Gathright, a senior business/management major from New Orleans (John Curtis High), has been named a first-team NAIA Division I All-America by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. She is the first Gold Nugget to earn first-team All-America since Cassee Davis in the 1997-98 season. She led Xavier in scoring this season with 14.4 points per game.

* Jasmine Geathers, a senior chemistry/premed major from Chester PA (Christian Academy), has been accepted into the Penn State College of Medicine.

* Desire Guillory, a senior biology/premed major from Pearland TX (Pearland High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Texas-Houston.

* Ashley Gragg, a sophomore History major from Pine Bluff AR (Pine Bluff High), has been accepted into the Operation Crossroads Africa Program for this summer. This is a seven week, service-based program where the student will live in a village and work with locals.

* Rachel Hitchen, a freshman biology/premed major from Zachary LA (Zachary High), has been accepted into the First Year Research Experience (FYRE) Program at Howard University for summer2016.

* Briaunna Minor, a senior biology major from Minneapolis MN, has been accepted into the Early Assurance Program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

* Anthony Poche, a P3 student from Marrero LA, participated in the 2016 NACDS (National Association of Chain Drug Stores) RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill and NACDS RxIMPACT U Academy in Washington DC, during which he was part of a select group advocating the importance of pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy, and other key issues related to healthcare reform before members of Congress.

* Derriyan Price, a senior chemistry/premed major from New Iberia LA (Westgate High), has been accepted into the master’s program in medical science at Mississippi College.

* Taylor Thornton, a senior biology/premed major from Cedar Hill TX (Trinity Christian High), has been accepted into the Early Assurance Program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

* Benjamin Vu, a senior biology/premed major from Harvey LA (John Ehret High), has been accepted into optometry school at the University of Houston, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and the University of Incarnate Word.


* Lakendria Brown ’15 has been accepted into the master’s program in biological sciences at the University of Memphis.

* Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry ’94, chief toxicologist of NKM Environmental Health Sciences, has been appointed editor-in-chief of The Journal of Clinical Toxicology, which deals with the study of manmade and environmental xenobiotics (chemical or biochemical factors that are a "stranger to life" or not inherent to the given organism) and toxic effects of drugs. The peer-reviewed journal addresses both scientific research and clinical advances in clinical toxicology.

* Jymirah Morris ’15 has been accepted into medical school at the University of Pittsburgh.

* Dr. Benjamin Ploeger, (MAT '09 and MA Educational Leadership '10), has been named Superintendent at the Kaohsiung American School (KAS) in Taiwan for the 2017-2018 academic year. He is currently Head of School at Eagle Ridge Academy Charter High School in Brighton, Colorado. He received his PhD from Columbia University in NY.

* The husband/wife duo of Dr. Frederick Toca ‘62 and Olivia Toca ‘63 have been honored by the XU Atlanta Alumni Chapter as its Alumni of the Year in recognition of their lifelong support of the University and their steadfast service and commitment to the local chapter since their relocation to Atlanta in 2006.

* Francois Williams ’14 has been accepted into the Morehouse College School of Medicine.


* Ralph Adamo (English), editor of Xavier Review, has announced publication of Issue 35:2, which features two alums: Ronald Dorris ’72, who contributes an essay on the work of Louisiana-born poet Alvin Aubert, and Rowena "Maxie" De Shields '14, winner of the Truman Capote Literary Trust Scholarship. Copies of Xavier Review, as well as journal subscriptions, are available through Katheryn Laborde, XRP managing editor (

* Jamelle Lacey (Institutional Advancement) has joined the staff as a development officer. She holds a BS in Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies from Howard University and Masters in Health Administration from Tulane University.

* Gia Soublet ‘91 (Institutional Advancement) has been named Vice President for Institutional Advancement. She has served the same position in an interim basis since July 2015, overseeing the operations of the University’s Development, Alumni Affairs, and Media Relations offices. She has more 20 years of successful development and fundraising experience, including serving at XU as Assistant VP in Institutional Advancement from 2008-2015.

* Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville (A&S Associate Dean), had her book The "Baby Dolls": Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition chosen as the 2016 selection of One Book One New Orleans sponsored by the Young Leadership Council. There will be eight events inspired by the book from August to October 2016. Visit HERE for details.

* Quo Vadis Webster ‘00 (Premedical Adviser) served as a panelist discussing "HBCU Barriers and Best Practices" at the University of North Carolina Medical School's Open House for minority students and premedical advisors from HBCUs in North Carolina and surrounding states.

Board of Trustees

* Alden McDonald, Jr., President/CEO of Liberty Bank& Trust Co. and a member of the Xavier Board of Trustees, will receive an honorary degree at Loyola University of New Orleans’ commencement in May 2016.


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).


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.

FMSTA 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 06 - July 28.

IBCS cont.

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 and service 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.

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